Sunday, February 14, 2010

Surprisingly Addictive Veggie Tacos


This recipe is inspired by the amazing veggie tacos at El Parasol, a small chain in northern New Mexico (spawn of the fantastic restaurant El Paragua - best carne adovada in the state, IMHO.)  Meat-eaters have been known to order them instead of carne, just because they're so tasty!  Interestingly, they also offer the Khalsa Special burrito - catering to the Sikh community in Espanola.

1 lb cauliflower, broken into small florets
3/4 lb potatoes, diced into 1/2" chunks
1/2 lb carrots, chopped into about 1/2" chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1/4 tsp ground cumin seed
Salt and pepper to taste

1 dozen corn tortillas
oil for frying

Chopped green chile, or your favorite salsa
Cotija (crumbly, salty Mexican cheese) or grated Cheddar

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Add minced garlic and fry for a minute or so, then add the vegetables and toss with the spices. Cover and cook, stirring once or twice, about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Turn the heat to low and continue to saute, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

The key to delicious, authentic tacos is the way you cook the tortillas. Heat about 1 tsp of oil on medium-high in a small skillet.  Put in one corn tortilla and fry it until it starts to puff up a little, then flip it over. Set another tortilla on top of it to soak up some of the oil, then flip both together. Fry until the bottom tortilla is slightly browned, then flip again and fry until the bottom of the other tortilla is slightly browned. They should become very soft and puff up a little bit as they cook. You need two for each taco, otherwise they tend to fall apart. (If you don't want to fry the tortillas in oil, you could make these into enchiladas instead of tacos, by just slathering them in green or red chile sauce.)

Scoop the filling onto the tortillas, and fold them over gently. Top with chopped green chile or salsa, and crumbled cotija or grated cheddar.
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