Sopes with Potato-Chorizo Hash and Real California Queso Fresco

If you haven’t heard of sopes yet, get ready to make some! These sopes come with a scrumptious potato and chorizo hash and are topped with Real California queso fresco. Did anyone say yum yet?!

Similar to tacos, sopes are made with masa, but are pressed into a different shape that offers a different mouthfeel. They can be topped with any of the ingredients you love in tacos. They can be fried like the recipe below, or for lighter fare, they can be cooked on a griddle.

I paired these sopes with a Peruvian sauce called aji verde. It’s spicy from the jalapeños, but creamy from the Real California queso and really serves this recipe well.

Don’t forget to look for the Real California Milk seal when purchasing your cheese for this recipe or any other dairy recipe. Real California Milk produces sustainable dairy foods that offer nutritional benefits that are unique from plant-based foods. What more can you ask for?

Sopes with Potato-Chorizo Hash and Real California Queso Fresco

[Sponsored]

Time: 1 Hour
Serves 6-8
Makes 16 Sopes

Ingredients

Aji Verde Sauce
Canola oil
1 small onion, roughly chopped
4-6 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1/2 cup cilantro, leaves and stems, packed
1/2 tsp salt
¾ cup Real California queso fresco

Masa Dough
3 cups instant yellow corn masa flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
¼ cup lard, melted
2 ¼ cups water
Canola oil

Potato Chorizo Hash
1 lb Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
2 lb fresh Mexican chorizo
Kosher salt
2 small white onions, finely chopped
18 medium epazote leaves, roughly chopped (optional)

To Garnish
Real California queso fresco
Chopped cilantro leaves, for serving
Lime wedges

Directions
In a medium skillet, heat 2 tbsp canola over medium heat. Sauté the onion, peppers, and garlic until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the pepper mixture to a blender with 2 tbsp olive oil, cilantro, salt, and queso fresco. Blend until creamy, about 1 minute. Season with salt if desired and transfer to the refrigerator to cool.

Combine the masa, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Stir in lard and water. Mix thoroughly for 2 minutes to form a smooth dough. Form dough into 16 individual 2-inch balls and set aside on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Press each masa ball into the palms of your hands to form a ¼-inch thick round. Crimp the edges of each round to form a crust.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Heat ¾-inches of oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 400 degrees F. Working in batches, fry 3 sope boats on one side for 2 minutes. Turn sopes over and cook for 2 more minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a baking sheet and move to the oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining sope boats.

Add the potatoes to a bowl with ¼ cup water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and pierce with a fork a few times. Microwave for 4-5 minutes until the potatoes break easily with a fork. Drain off water.

In a medium skillet, cook chorizo over medium-high heat and break up with a spoon until the chorizo starts to brown, about 1 minute. Continue breaking up the chorizo with a spoon and add the onion. Sauté with chorizo for 10 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the potatoes and lower the heat to medium. With the back of a cooking spoon, mash the potatoes into the chorizo and allow to brown for a minute. Scoop up the mixture and mash again, continuing this process about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are crispy. Season with salt to taste.

Assemble 2-3 sope boats per plate and top with chorizo filling and aji verde. Garnish with queso fresco and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.


If you loved this recipe, you will love my recipes for Chicken Mole Verde Tacos, Mushroom Tacos with Fried Eggs, and  Mushroom & Pesto Quesadillas!

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Chipotle-Spiced Bean Tacos

I don't always make tacos for Taco Tuesday, but when I do, I make sure they're absolutely this tasty!

I came up with this recipe about a year ago when I was nearly starving and thought I was out of food in the kitchen. Luckily I was able to appease my hunger after finding a couple tortillas, eggs, and a wedge of queso fresco in the refrigerator as well as some beans and canned chipotle chilies in the pantry. The result was fantastic.

I've since revised the recipe to be even more pleasing to the palate! Before I microwaved the filling in a bowl and then fried the eggs to make for a quick 7-minute meal. That recipe was awesome - and you could easily do the same with these ingredients with a terrific result. But if you want to spruce things up a little more, just spend just a few more minutes building flavors over the stove and fry your tortillas instead. Soooo good!

The recipe is still as quick as ever! In fact, it's so easy, it makes for a perfect outdoor recipe as well! Check out the step-by-step pictures that I took of the Chipotle Tacos on my outdoor excursion for Alite's Outdoor 101. 

Chipotle-Spiced Vegetarian Tacos

Time: 15 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
Extra Virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans
2 whole canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, minced, reserving 1 tbsp adobo sauce
1/3 cup queso fresco, crumbled
1/3 cup cilantro, stemmed, roughly chopped
2 tsp Chipotle Tabasco
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 corn tortillas
8 large eggs
1 spring onion, whites and greens finely chopped
1 lime cut into wedges

Directions
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add kidney beans, chipotles chilies, reserved adobo sauce, and stir occasionally until warmed through, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in queso fresco, 1/3 cup cilantro, and Tabasco. Season with salt and pepper to taste and keep warm.

In a medium skillet, add enough olive oil to liberally coat the bottom of the pan. Heat oil to medium-high heat and add tortillas, one at a time, cooking for 30-60 seconds on each side until crisp. Blot tortillas on paper towels and keep warm.

To the same skillet or a small egg pan, crack 1-2 eggs into the pan at a time, spooning oil over the whites. Fry until the whites are firm, but the yolks are still runny. Transfer eggs to a large plate and keep warm.

Serve tortillas on plates, topping with kidney bean mixture followed by spring onions and additional cilantro and queso fresco if desired. Squeeze over with lime wedges and top each taco with a fried egg!


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Chicken Tikka Masala Tacos with Cilantro Chutney

Ladies and gentlemen, I have made for you some seriously delicious tacos! I wish I made enough to ship out tacos via FedEx to each and every one of you, but alas, you will just have to make some yourselves!

I made these tacos with the spice kit of a very lovely blogger, Sonia Soni from Life is a Recipe, who I met on Instagram. She shipped out the spice kit for me to play with and this is what I came up with - absolute yummimess!

Imagine your favorite chicken tikka masala flavors (thanks Sonia!) over warmed tortillas with the best cilantro chutney and pickled red onions you've ever tasted. Yep, that's what this recipe has to offer. 

So who's going to make this one for Taco Tuesday?!

Chicken Tikka Masala Tacos with Cilantro Chutney

Hands-on Time: 35 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour, 35 Minutes

Serves: 4-6

Adapted from Sonia Soni’s recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients
1 cup whole Greek Yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp Life is Recipe's Tikka Masala Kit Part 1
2.5 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
5-10 birdseye chilies, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium serrano peppers, finely chopped
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp Life is a Recipe's Tikka Masala Kit Part 2
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Chutney
3/4 cup green onions, roughly chopped
2 serrano peppers, roughly chopped
2 tbsp ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 small bunch cilantro leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

To Serve
8-12 corn & wheat blended tortillas
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, Chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges

Directions
In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 1 tsp salt, and 2 tbsp of Tikka Masala Part 1. Stir in chicken and birdseye chilies if using. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for one hour. 

Preheat oven to 350F. Add chicken and marinade to a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat and cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, bring apple cider vinegar, sugar, and 1 tsp salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in red onions and remove to heat. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, and serranos and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Stir in Tikka Masala Part 2, heavy whipping cream, and baked chicken, and simmer, uncovered, for for 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the flavors are well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.

Add all of the chutney ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

Warm the tortillas in a microwave covered with a wet paper towel or in a pre-heated oven covered with foil until warmed through.

Serve tortillas on plates and top with chicken tikka masala mixture. Garnish with chutney, yogurt, pickled red onions, green onions, and cilantro. Squeeze over lime wedges and serve immediately!


If you loved this recipe, you will love my recipes for Mushroom Tacos with Fried EggsSpicy Chicken Tacos, and Potato, Chorizo, and Green Chili Tacos!

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Mushroom Tacos with Fried Eggs

Mushroom tacos are here to save my Friday and yours too!

It's been a hectic week. Between my cat Zoe visiting the veterinarian three times for pneumonia, including 6 hours at the emergency vet (let's not talk about that bill!), running tons of errands, going to work, and trying to squeeze in a bit of blogging, I'm beat!

I decided to make tacos because I'm always craving them (!), but wanted to make some that were light because I haven't been working out as much as I like. My goal of running 28 miles per week hasn't been met in a while and my love for al pastor tacos will have to wait until I get back into my routine. Well, maybe...

Luckily, mushroom tacos are extremely delicious! They're also chalk full of important nutrients like B vitamins and potassium, but serve as a lower calorie filling than meat. At 22 calories per 100g of raw mushrooms vs. 114 calories for uncooked chicken breast (skinless even!), mushrooms are the perfect filling for a light taco that is packed with flavor!

That's right! While meat often has to marinate or cook for long periods of time, mushrooms absorb flavor in no-time, which means that this recipe is one tasty piece of cake to make! Topped with fried eggs, these tacos are just what I needed to save my week and finish off Friday right. 

Mushroom Tacos with Fried Eggs

Time: 35 Minutes
Serves 4
Adapted from Rick Bayless’s Mushroom Tacos with Onions and Garlic

Ingredients
1 lb cremini mushrooms, quartered
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeds and pith removed, finely chopped
2/3 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil or bacon fat if available
3/4 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp epazote, roughly chopped (or 1 tbsp thyme leaves)

To Serve
Olive oil, for frying
8 large eggs
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Cilantro, roughly chopped
Queso fresco, crumbled

Directions
In a large skillet, add oil, mushrooms, onion, jalapeño, chicken broth, and lime juice, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the broth is absorbed by the mushrooms. Stir in tomatoes and epazote and cook for 10-12 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated from the pan and the mushrooms are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Keep warm.

Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a large frying pan and heat oil over medium-low heat. Crack about 4 eggs into the pan at a time, spooning oil over the whites. Fry until the whites are firm, but the yolks are still runny. Remove from heat. 

Warm tortillas in the microwave, covered with a damp paper towel for 30 seconds, or until warmed through. Serve mushroom mixture over tortillas, and garnish with cilantro and queso fresco. Top with a fried egg! Enjoy!


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Mexican Barbecue Pork Tacos

Is it Taco Tuesday already?! Awesome! I made these Mexican Barbecue Pork Tacos, aka Cochinita Pibil, which are super delicious. The pork, black beans, avocado salsa, cabbage, and pickled onions were all pre-prepared thanks to my Good Eggs’ dinner kit, but that doesn’t mean I can’t provide you with a recipe to replicate this dish! 

Googling around for some of my favorite bloggers’ recipes, I found a great way to make easy-peasy Mexican slow cooker pork as well as pickled red onions. While I haven’t cooked up these exact recipes, I already know they’re great because 1. I trust their cooking skills, and 2. I’ve made very similar dishes before! 

What about the rest of the ingredients? They’re all pretty easy to buy at a conventional grocery store, so if you want to make taco night an easy night, I suggest picking up a can of black beans and avocado salsa! 

If you want to make this recipe even easier, you don't have to fry the tortillas! Good Eggs actually recommended wrapping them in foil and warming them in the oven. But because I enjoy frying my tortillas, I included those instructions in the recipe below. The rest of the recipe is adapted pretty much per Good Eggs' original instructions.

Also, if you do live in the San Francisco Bay Area, I recommend checking Good Eggs out. Their grocery delivery is exceptional and these dinner kits are too darn tasty to pass up! If you don't live in the Bay, sorry for bragging, but at least you have this recipe below!

Mexican Barbecue Pork Tacos

Time: 4 Hours, 15 Minutes
Serves: 12

Ingredients
Mexican slow cooker pork
1.5 cups pickled red onions
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp sugar
Kosher salt
4 limes, cut into wedges
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Canola oil, for frying
24 corn tortillas
2 (15 oz) cans refried black beans
2 cups avocado salsa
1/2 bunch cilantro

Directions
Prepare the slow cooker pork and pickled red onions per the recipes linked above.

Add cabbage to a medium bowl. In a small skillet, heat vinegar, sugar, and 1 tsp salt over medium heat until the sugar and salt dissolve. Add to shredded cabbage and toss with the juice of one lime, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. 

Heat enough canola oil to line the bottom of a small skillet and heat over medium heat. Add one tortilla at a time, and fry on each side, flipping with tongs, about 20-30 seconds, until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, separating each tortilla with a paper towel to blot out excess oil. Keep warm.

Reheat the pork and and beans separately in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat until warm. 

To assemble the tacos, pile the pork onto the tortillas, and top with avocado salsa, pickled red onions, and a couple sprigs of cilantro. Serve with warmed beans and cabbage salad!

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Spicy Chicken Tacos with MAIO

[Sponsored]

Happy Taco Tuesday, Everyone!

I’m excited to announce that I’ve partnered with Bolthouse Farms to bring you a GIVEAWAY to make your Taco Tuesday even happier! One lucky winner will receive a free package with three flavors of MAIO’s Yogurt Spread and Dressing! To enter, simply 1. LIKE my taco image on Instagram AND 2. SIGN UP for my mailing list to the right of the blog ---> to get my recipes straight to your inbox! 

These Spicy Chicken MAIO tacos are super, uber good. MAIO’s chipotle spread definitely added that extra touch because it’s so delicious and satisfying.

But there’s one other thing that I love about it as a dietitian: it has 20 calories per tablespoon vs. mayonnaise’s 57. How is that for awesome! 

MAIO’s product is currently sold in Northern California’s Safeway stores. So if you live in Northern California like I do, you’re one lucky duck! Whether or not you’re in Northern California, be sure to sign up for my mailing list to enter to win this delicious giveaway!

Note: this giveaway IS sponsored (MAIO sent me free product!) and is in no way associated with Instagram or Square Space.

Spicy Chicken Tacos with MAIO


Time: 35 Minutes
Serves 4 (8-10 Tacos)

Ingredients
1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into ½ inch pieces
2 chipotle chilies from 1 (7 oz can), sauce reserved
2 tbsp MAIO yogurt spread and dressing
1 tsp fresh oregano
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 medium jalapeños, finely chopped
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Canola oil, for frying
8-10 corn tortillas tortillas

To Finish
1 avocado, cut into ½ inch cubes
8 green onions, sliced thin
4 oz queso fresco, crumbled
MAIO yogurt spread and dressing
Fresh cilantro, chopped 1 lime, cut into wedges

Directions
Adjust oven rack to the top position. Preheat broiler. 

In a large mixing bowl, add chicken, minced chipotle chilies, 2 tbsp reserved chipotle sauce, MAIO spread, oregano, 1 tbsp olive oil, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Let marinate for 15-20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, prepare salsa by combining tomatoes, red onions, jalapeños, cilantro, 1 tsp reserved chipotle chili sauce, and lime juice in a bowl. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste. 

Add marinated chicken to a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil for 6 minutes on each side until browned and crisp. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat enough canola oil to line the bottom of a small skillet and heat over medium heat. Add one tortilla at a time, and fry on each side, flipping with tongs, about 20-30 seconds, until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, separating each tortilla with a paper towel to blot out excess oil. Keep warm.

To build the tacos, add the chicken to the center of each tortilla. Top chicken with salsa, avocado, green onions, queso fresco, MAIO dressing, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges on the side. 


For more tacos, check out my recipes for Chipotle Chicken Tacos, Tacos Tres Amigos, and Chile Verde Tacos.

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Chili Verde Tacos with Homemade Black Cornmeal Tortillas

We made tacos last night and had time to enjoy the fruits of our labor! Okay, so maybe really the tacos of our labor because not only did we make them from scratch, which was a lot of fun, but we also grew Hopi heirloom black corn last summer and finally processed the dried kernels into cornmeal! 

While this sounds like the perfect farm-to-table/garden-to-kitchen story, there was one minor setback. We were so excited to make tacos that we made the cornmeal before remembering to prep the kernels for masa harina (that will be another post down the road for those wondering how to do that). So we ended up having to make the cornmeal tortillas with added flour, which still ended up tasting super wholesome and amazing. So below is our recipe for that! You can check out more in My Story on Instagram for the tortilla making process.

Chili Verde Tacos with Homemade Black Cornmeal Tortillas

Time: Tacos: 35 Minutes; Tortillas: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Serves 10-12 people

Ingredients

Tortillas (Makes 30)
2 cups Hopi black cornmeal
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
12 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 cups water
1.5 tsp salt

Tacos
2.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
15 tomatillos
3 fresh jalapeños, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, quartered
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
4 oz pickled jalapeños, diced
1/2 large bunch cilantro
1 tbsp lime juice

For Serving
Warmed black corn tortillas
Pickled watermelon radish
Diced white onion
Cilantro
Sliced pickled jalapeños
Sour cream
Lime wedges

Directions

Tortillas
In a large mixing bowl, add black cornmeal, flour, and oil. Slowly mix in water and salt with a wooden spoon. Knead dough for 1-2 minutes, until the dough is smooth like Play Dough.

Separate dough into about 30 (1.25 inch) pieces rolled into balls, placing on parchment paper when done. Let dough rest, covered, for 30 minutes. 

Line one side of the tortilla press with a plastic quart-size zip-top bag. Place one dough ball in the middle, but slightly off center toward the closing hinge. Cover dough with another plastic quart-size bag. Close the tortilla press firmly to form a thin tortilla. Carefully peel off plastic film and cook each individual tortilla immediately on a hot, un-greased griddle for about 1 minute per side. Alternatively, uncooked tortillas can be transferred to a plate lined with parchment paper, separating tortillas between additional pieces of parchment paper. Tortillas can be stacked on top of each other once they’re removed from the pan and kept warm. 

Tacos
In a medium pressure cooker, prepare chili verde sauce by combining chicken, tomatillos, fresh jalapeños, onion, garlic, salt, cumin, and vinegar. Place on high heat and stir for a couple minutes. Cover and cook over high pressure for 15 minutes. Carefully release pressure under cool water. Remove lid and return pressure cooker to stove.

Set chicken pieces aside on a plate. Add cilantro, sliced jalapeños, and lime juice to the pot. Bring to a simmer and reduce sauce until it reaches a salsa-like consistency. Return chicken to the pressure cooker for 1-2 minutes, until warmed through. 

Serve chicken pieces over black corn tortillas, topped with tomatillo sauce. Garnish with pickled radishes, white onion, cilantro, pickled jalapeños, sour cream, and lime wedges.

Mushroom Tacos with Roasted Chilies and Corn

 

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the healthiest tacos you have ever seen! These vegetarian tacos with mushrooms, corn, and chili peppers are tasty and full of textures that will please even the most stubborn meat eater. You can probably taste the flavor from here, but if you’re not sure, these tacos have all that roasted yumminess you’d expect with an additional scrumptious bite from the corn and mushrooms.

Adrian and I left a note on our recipe a while back that these tacos are also the most gourmet tacos that we make, and we still agree. So now it’s your turn to tell me, are these on your list for Taco Tuesday yet? It’s only Friday now, so you have plenty of time to prepare!

 

Mushroom Tacos with Roasted Chilies and Fresh Corn

Serves 4
Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients
3 Anaheim and/or poblano chili peppers
1 poblano chili, charred over gas flame, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 ear corn, kernels removed from cob (about 1 cup)
Olive oil, about 2 tbsp, divided
Sea salt
1/2 white onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 garlic cloves, minced
12 corn tortillas
6 oz baby bella mushrooms, stems removed, roughly chopped
1 tbsp fresh epazote leaves, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup feta, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/4 cup Roasted tomato salsa, divided
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Directions
Char chilies over gas burner on all sides. Place in a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let cool. Peel (do not wash) and cut into 1/2 inch dice.

In a small bowl, add corn, 1 tsp olive oil, and a pinch of salt.

Heat a large dutch oven or heavy skillet over high heat. Spread out corn in pan and roast for about 30 seconds until slightly blackened. Set corn kernels aside.

Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the same pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and reserved chilies and saute, until onions are soft and begin to brown, about 6-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Meanwhile, lightly fry corn tortillas and blot on paper towels.

Add 1/2 tbsp olive oil to the same pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add the reserved chilies, corn, and feta, and stir in epazote. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon about 1/4 cup vegetables onto each tortilla. Dollop with salsa, cilantro, and garnish with parmesan. Serve immediately.

Tacos Los Tres Amigos

 

I’m calling this recipe Tacos Los Tres Amigos because I like consuming tacos in threes. Sometimes I go over my calorie allotment and just eat a little less for my next meal. And that’s totally okay! It’s adapted from a delicious recipe by Rick Bayless. I’m not quite sure anymore, but I’m pretty sure he’s the one that introduced me to the really interesting and yummy herb epazote. Using epazote is optional here and you can use more cheese to make up for the omission. It is available at many Mexican grocery stores, so if you have those in your area, definitely check them out! It’s funny because before I was growing it in my garden, I had to trek a few miles to the store to buy it. But last year when I stayed in Baja California, it was growing wild everywhere. In any case, I’m always curious about new things and if you are too, don’t miss out on this one!

 

Tacos Los Tres Amigos

Servings: 8-12 Tacos
Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients
1.5 lbs small boiling potatoes, halved
3 tablespoons olive oil + additional to fry tortillas
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
6 medium fresh poblano chiles, roasted and peeled
Salt
8 oz crumbled Mexican queso fresco or other fresh cheese such as feta or goat cheese
16 leaves epazote, chopped (optional)
8-12 corn tortillas, lightly fried in olive oil

Directions
Simmer the potatoes in salted water to cover until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool under running water, peel and cut into 1/4-inch dice.

Heat the oil in a heavy medium-size skillet over medium. Add the onion and potato, and fry, stirring regularly to ensure that nothing sticks to the pan, until the mixture is richly browned, 10 to 15 minutes.

While the potatoes are browning, seed the chiles and roughly chop. Stir them into the potato mixture and season with salt to taste. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the cheese.

Fry corn tortillas in olive oil over medium heat. Fill with potato filling, fold in half, and serve with your favorite hot sauce.

Chipotle Chicken Tacos

 

In California, tacos are fundamental to our cuisine. That’s why I’m constantly in search of amazing taco recipes to make at home for friends and family. Let me tell you, these chipotle chicken tacos are the best I’ve ever made. Not only is this recipe from the New York Times delicious, it’s pretty darn healthy too. Just look at the nutrition analysis for two tacos below. Not bad, right?

I know several people who think that tacos are a guilty pleasure and that they’re inherently unhealthy. But in reality, they can be quite the opposite. Here you can see that my suggested serving size of two tacos has enough fat to keep you satiated while the saturated fat is kept in check, and the sodium is acceptable unless you’re on a low-salt diet. I even included 1/4 tsp of added salt in my analysis.

What is really great about these tacos, though, is that while they have a good amount of vitamin C and calcium, the fiber is outstanding. Hint: in addition to the vegetables, each tortilla has 2g of fiber. If you double up on your tortillas like I did, you’re well on your way to meeting your fiber needs for the day. Are you convinced that tacos can be a part of a healthy diet yet?

Some tips for tacos in general:

1). Keep your portion size in check. If you’re consuming 6-inch tortillas, I recommend about two tacos. If you’re a tall athlete, sure, you can have more. But if you’re shorter and trying to lose weight, you may want to fill the tacos with more vegetables than meat. For 3-inch tortillas (street taco style), you’re likely safe with three.

2). Vegetarian, seafood, and chicken tacos are all great choices unless any components are fried. Pork and beef can be acceptable, but keep in mind that the less red meat you eat throughout the week, the lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer.

3). Load up on vegetables for fiber because they are low in calories and contribute to fullness. Salsa can be a low-calorie addition, but it can also be salty, so if you have hypertension, you may want to avoid it altogether.

4). If adding beans: choose pinto or black beans instead of refried as refried beans at restaurants can pack in a lot of calories. If you’re cooking at home, there are several varieties of canned refried beans that are low in fat and also a good choice. However, keep in mind that if you’re salt sensitive, many canned beans contain a fair amount of sodium, so look at your labels!

5). Enjoy! Eating tacos is what’s best about tacos, right?

 

Chipotle Chicken Tacos

Click HERE for original NYT Recipe
Serves 4

Ingredients
4 large bone-in chicken thighs, about 1 1/2 pounds
3 scallions, left whole
1 bay leaf
1 thyme branch
3 black peppercorns
1 allspice berry (or a pinch of ground allspice)
2 cloves
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 or 3 chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped
3 tablespoons adobo sauce, from the can
½ cup broth (use broth from simmered chicken)
16 fresh corn tortillas

To Garnish
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 thinly sliced serrano chiles
4 thinly sliced radishes
1/2 sliced avocado
Crumbled queso fresco or mild feta cheese
Crème fraîche or Mexican crema
Cilantro sprigs
Dried oregano
Lime wedges

Directions
Put chicken thighs in a saucepan and cover with 3 cups water. Add scallions, bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns, allspice, cloves and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Simmer for 30 minutes, then remove chicken and cool. Shred chicken with your fingers, discarding chicken skin and bone. Strain broth and reserve. You should have about 2 cups shredded chicken.

Put olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add diced yellow onion, season with salt and cook until softened and a bit browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cumin and cook for 1 minute more. Add chopped chipotle chile and adobo sauce and stir to combine. Add shredded chicken, salt lightly and stir to coat. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes, until sauce has thickened somewhat. Keep warm.

Heat the tortillas over steam or by your favorite method, keeping them soft and pliable.

Build the tacos quickly: Put a spoonful of the saucy chicken in the center of each tortilla. Top with a teaspoon of chopped white onion, a few slivers of serrano chile, some radish and avocado slices, a teaspoon of queso fresco and a teaspoon of crème fraîche. Add a few cilantro springs and a small pinch of oregano. Serve immediately with lime wedges on the side.

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