BACK IN 2007 Did I mention I love-love-love Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday? I do! This recipe is one more reason. It makes an excellent quick supper of tacos, infinitely variable, completely delicious. And then? The leftovers are just excellent for a simple lunch! Next time, I will go easy on the canned chipotle pepper and its adobo sauce. This turned out hotter than pleasant – not inedible-hot, not eye-watering hot, not mouth-burning hot, just hotter than pleasant. I added a can of hominy in an attempt to quell the heat, turns out, it was a great addition!
UPDATE So seven years passed after making these tacos the first time – and then I made them three times in as many weeks! Each panful has been slightly different but starts with the onion-mushroom-tomato-chipotle mixture, then gets vegetable and protein additions we have on hand. It's a real winner for Meatless Monday and other nights when "quick" and "nutritious" guides the dinner choice.
ZUCCHINI MUSHROOM TACOS
Time to table: 25 minutes
Makes 6 cups
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large white onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, washed and trimmed, caps broken into pieces, stems chopped
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 - 2 teaspoons chipotle in adobo sauce
2 medium zucchini, about 3/4 pound, trimmed and diced
Other vegetables or cooked foods, as desired
1 15-ounce can something starchy like hominy, black beans, etc, rinsed and drained
Salt & pepper to taste - be generous
Corn tortillas or wheat tortillas, warmed briefly in a skillet
Cheese, queso fresco, feta, goat cheese, even sour cream
Fresh cilantro, chopped
ZUCCHINI-MUSHROOM FILLING In a skillet, heat the oil til shimmery. Add the onion and cumin, sauté til onions soften and begin to brown. Add the mushrooms as they're prepped, stirring often until mushrooms release their liquid and begin to turn color and shrink down.
Meanwhile, in a blender or small food processor, purée the tomatoes, chipotle and adobo sauce in a blender. Add to the skillet and let cook down a bit, until the consistency of tomato sauce.
Stir in the zucchini and any other vegetables, let simmer until zucchini becomes soft but now mushy. As it cooks, season to taste, do taste and see if you want to add more chipotle in adobo sauce. Be sure to really let this "cook" and not just warm up.
TACOS Warm tortillas in a skillet, fold in about half-cup of Zucchini-Mushroom Filling plus cheese and fresh cilantro. Dig in!
LEFTOVER REPORT I love this for supper but really love it left over for lunch. A 50-calorie corn tortilla, a scant half cup of filling warmed in the mike, plus a tiny spoonful of something 'cool' like Greek yogurt or cottage cheese plus a slice of roasted red pepper and/or chopped lettuce, some cilantro and salsa. Call it lunch in five minutes flat, for all of 100 calories. Take THAT to the weekly weigh-in, won't you?
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
CHIPOTLE IN ADOBO SAUCE Look for this in small cans, you'll use just a bit, the rest can be stored in glass jar for months where it's ready to be used, any time. I used to leave the chipotles whole, then spoon out the adobo sauce that keeps it moist a teaspoon or so at a time. Now when I open a new can, I run the whole canful through a mini food processor, that means no mashing/fussing around later. For this recipe, I've used a teaspoon of this mix, also two teaspoons, how much you use will depend on your taste for heat, this stuff is spicy! I suppose it's not "necessary" to blend the tomatoes and the chipotle but it does break down the tomatoes into something more sauce-like, it also distributes the heat throughout the sauce, there's no risk of an unexpected single "very hot bite". If you don't have any chipotle in adobo sauce, sriracha or another hot sauce would work fine but I'd add a splash of Liquid Smoke or a teaspoon or so of smoked paprika too.
SOMETHING STARCHY I adore the nuttiness of hominy but it's harder to find, not as typical to keep on hand. Black beans are a great substitute, so are other beans such as pinto or even red kidney.
QUESO FRESCO I in love-love-love with Mexican queso fresco, much like the uuni justo (oven cheese) I ate all the time when living in Finland. Small world, our planet! I also choose another Mexican cheese called cotija, it's got an addictive sort of sourness.
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MORE FAVORITE MEXICAN RECIPES~ Homemade Guacamole with Tomatillos ~
~ Microwave Green Beans with Tomatillo Salsa Dressing ~
~ Chayote Soup with a Kick ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos ~
~ Roasted Veggie Enchilada Casserole ~
~Mexican Pizza (Oaxaca Tlayuda) ~
~ more Mexican recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
and vegetable inspiration from Asparagus to Zucchini.
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