Saturday, July 28, 2012

Summer Vegetarian Tacos

I had an itch for tacos with fresh ingredients that were light and summery, and stumbled across this interesting sounding saute on Post Punk Kitchen.  It wasn't for tacos, necessarily, but I thought it might work well. 

It also had seitan (pronounced say-TAN, not satan, ha!) in it, which I was intrigued to try.  The meat-loving fiance was willing to give it a try (bless him and his tolerant taste buds).  I had to buy it at Whole Foods, but I never mind having an excuse to go there, really.  If you can't find seitan, feel free to use black beans instead.

The result?  Awesomely tasty.  Really.  They were fresh tasting, yet the seitan and mushrooms lend a wonderful savory and meaty flavor (and texture).  I wasn't sure what to expect with this experiment, but it turned out amazing.  Next time we might add some fresh slaw or rice, just to mix it up. It was very easy to throw together, so we will definitely be making this regularly!

Summer Vegetarian Tacos
(adapted from The Post Punk Kitchen)
Makes 4-5 tacos

Taco Filling
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium red onion, in thinly sliced half moons
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced (seeds removed if you want less heat)
8 oz seitan, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh corn kernels, from 2 ears of corn (you can use frozen corn, in a pinch, but not ideal)
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced into thin strips
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Avocado Cream
2 ripe avocados
1/4 - 1/3 cup sour cream (to taste)
Pinch of salt

Small flour tortillas
2-3 small tomatoes, chopped
Queso fresco cheese, crumbled
Hot sauce (if you need more heat)
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Preheat a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Saute onion and jalapeno in two teaspoons oil and a pinch of salt, until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the seitan and corn, and an additional tablespoon of oil and cook for about 5 minutes, until seitan is lightly browned, stirring often.
Add the mushrooms, cilantro, salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes.
Push everything to one side of the pan so that you have space to quickly saute the garlic. Put the remaining teaspoon of olive oil in the pan and toss in the garlic, stirring as it sizzles, for about 15 seconds. Then mix everything together and add the lime as well.

For the avocado cream, cut avocados in half and scoop out the insides and put into a bowl.  Mash (or use immersion blender) to smooth it out.  Add sour cream (to your taste) and salt, and blend.

To assemble tacos - spread some of the avocado cream on the tortilla, and top with filling.  Garnish with chopped fresh tomato, crumbled queso fresco cheese, cilantro, and hot sauce (to your taste).


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