Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mexican-Style Zucchini Tacos

So many thoughts running through my head! I am having a really, REALLY hard time focusing on any one thing so this post might be desultory and/or spastic. THAT'S a good SAT word.

This is the final installment in the taco trilogy. Hot weather provides tacit encouragement for the consumption of vegetables and I thought that this recipe would be appropriate...however, I failed to take into account the richness and lush texture that 2/3-cup of whipping cream would add. FAIL. This recipe is from Bayless' Mexico One Plate At A Time. As before, I consider this an excellent introductory book to the art of Mexican cuisine. If you happen to go looking for it, don't be perturbed by the gringo on the book's front cover. You might be obsessed with finding a Mexican cookbook by a Mexican but I assure you that Bayless and, by extension, this book are legit. The real deal.


1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
18 ounces of canned, whole tomatoes in juice, drained
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 large fresh poblano chiles (I used three because I really like the flavor of poblano chiles...Poblanos are large, fresh, green chiles with a vegetal flavor and mild spice...If you've ever had a chile relleno, you already had a poblano without knowing it!)
1 large ear corn, husked and kernels cut off (Canned corn would be fine, I suppose...use1 cup)
4 medium (1.5 pounds total) of zucchini (I used Mexican zucchini) cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or, if you can find it, leaves from 1 sprig fresh epazote)
2/3 cup crema, creme fraiche or heavy whipping cream
Crumbled queso fresco or other crumbly fresh cheese

Pour oil into a large (12-inch) skillet and set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until well browned...recipe says 8 minutes. While the onion is cooking, puree the tomatoes in a blender. Add the garlic to the browned onion and cook for a minute, stirring, then add the tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Roast the poblanos over a gas flame or on a baking sheet 4 inches under a hot broiler, turning regularly until the skin is charred and blistered. Cover the peppers with a kitchen towel (or place into a bowl and cover with saran wrap) and wait 5 minutes. Rub off the blackened skin and pull out the stems and seed pods. Rinse BRIEFLY to remove any stray seeds and bits of skin. Slice into 1/4 inch strips.

Set the skillet with the tomato mixture over medium-high heat. Stir in the poblanos, corn, zucchini, cilantro, and the crema (or the substitution). Cook, stirring frequently until the zucchini is cooked through and the liquid is thick enough to coat the vegetables. This took me about 10 minutes. Season with salt.

Serve with warmed tortillas and the crumbled queso fresco. Done!

Time-Roughly 40 minutes, some of it unsupervised.

Food Cost-I'm not going to break this one down because I don't have the receipts in front of me but it's around 6 bucks total. Should make enough filling for ~20 tacos. About 30 cents per taco, 3 or 4 per person so $.90-$1.20 per serving

LOLCat This one is kind of a toughie...Click here for an explanation:

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