Thursday, May 22, 2014

What I Did With a Package of Corn Tortillas

There are so many things you can do with corn tortillas:  tortilla soup, nachos, chilaquiles, enchiladas, but my favorite of course is tacos.  Being a veg, I don't get to hit the taco truck very often (unless you want to help me chase the Kogi truck) so I make mine at home.  The rad thing about tacos is that you can make them however you want.  I usually stick to the basics when I make tacos and just put whatever I'm eating into a warm corn tortilla.

This week, I wanted tacos dorados, or golden delicious fried crunchy tacos.  To reduce the calories, you can bake your tacos on a cookie sheet lined with foil or silpat and a little cooking spray.  Your filling can be anything you want.  I use mushrooms, potatoes, refried beans, greens, Daiya, Soyrizo, tofu, +gardein Tofurkey, Yves, +Lightlife or whatever you have around the house. These guys are mushroom tacos. If you choose to fry your tacos, make sure your filling is relatively dry so the oil won't splatter out of the pan.

I sweated 2 boxes of sliced button and baby bella mushrooms until they dried out a little and seasoned them with salt, pepper, dried parsley, dried cilantro, powdered chile de arbol, and powdered chile new mexico.  If you don't like heat, pick something mild like paprika or pasilla.  I let the mushrooms cool a bit while I steamed my tortillas in the micro.  This is how you can tell my mom is not Mexican.  Yes, I wrapped the tortillas in cling film and zapped them until they were soft and fluffy, about 30 seconds per pair of tortillas. Be careful taking them out of the microwave if you do this--steam burns suck.  2 boxes of mushrooms makes about 18 tacos.

Lay out your tortillas and top sparingly with the filling, fold, and fry in a good amount of oil that is already hot and has a sprinkle of salt in it to help with splatter.  The first side takes a while to cook (like grilled cheese) so check before you flip.  The tortilla may start to curl and shrink when the tacos are close to golden, but they will continue to cook after you take them out of the oil.  Be careful with the hot oil and use a fork/spatula combo if you don't have tongs.  I burn myself making tacos all the time.

Okay now these guys!!  Taquitos!!  These are great for appetizers and pretty easy to make.  Again with the micro steamed tortillas.  I laid them out and added a single slice of Tofurkey for the filling.  You can use a strip of tofu, or zucchini, or anything that will let the tortilla roll around it in crunchy goodness.  If you use sliced veggie meat, pull the slice a little bit outside the edge of the tortilla and keep some tension on it  If the slice hangs out past the tortilla, it may burn.  Fold if you need to.  Pin each roll by inserting a toothpick diagonally through the length of each taquito.  That will keep them from unrolling in the pan.

I topped mine with avocado sauce.  Some people like fresh or store bought salsa, taco sauce, sour cream, or regular guacamole.  I make my avocado sauce with ripe avocados.  Slice in half, retain the pits, dice in the skin and scoop out into a bowl.  Add a lot of lime juice, salt and pepper, then mash the chunks with a fork and whip the sauce until it's smooth.  I also like to add olive oil and or Vegenaise.  Sometimes I add garlic or chopped serranos, add whatever tastes good.  Keep the pits in the sauce and cover with cling film so that the sauce stays green

Okay, go eat now.

WARM CORN TORTILLA I suggest you get the really thick ones made by hand using yellow corn. They're fragrant and have a lovely texture, but if you can't, the tortillas at your local grocery store will work fine.  If you don't normally eat corn tortillas, FYI the ones at the ends usually fall apart.

RIPE AVOCADOS are hard to find.  Just because they're soft or have a sticker that says ripe, does not mean they are ready or suitable for your purposes.  Often the soft avocados will have dents in them from the weight of being stacked.  These are likely to be black inside.  If the avocados are soft, but seem to have air between the flesh and skin, those are bad too.  Rock hard avocados are hit and miss sometimes.  They may go bad by the time they soften and the ripening could take days.  A good avocado will have a tiny bit of give with just the slightest pressure and will be mostly firm with a continuous curve-no dents or creases.