Friday, 15 October 2010

Roasted Vegetable Tacos with Chipotle Peanut Salsa

 (check this and more posts at the grand new CuiZine site)


For the Chipotle - Peanut Salsa (based on a Rick Bayless Recipe, cant lie)
  • 5 dried “morita” chillies (available at some spots in London; Whole Foods in Stoke Newington, De Beauvoir Deli in Hackney) 
OR 1/4 cup of chipotles in adobo
- NOTE: If using dry chillies make sure you wipe them clean with a damp towel, then deseed and de-stem. The spicy bit of the chilli is all in the inner vein tissue, remove them all for a milder salsa, leave them all in for a hot salsa, or take just a few out. If you are using chipotles in adobo then just use a bit less water when blending.
  • 1/3 cup roasted peanuts - pounded fine in a mortar and pestle (I go to a local African store and buy these pre roasted and unsalted, they work great) 
  • 9 Small Tomatillos or 6 larger ones (I have only been able to find these tinned at my favorite spot for Mexican groceries: Casa Mexico on Temple Street just off Hackney Road)
  • 1 small white onion cut into 8 pieces 
  • 4 garlic cloves - 2 peeled and 2 unpeeled 
  • 1/8 tsp ground Mexican cinnamon 
  • 1/2 - 2/3 cup water 
For the Tacos
  • A mixture of veggies for roasting (I recommend: sweet potatoes or yams, oyster or chestnut mushrooms, some squash, bell pepper, and aubergine.) 
  • 2/3 Onion - diced
  • Avocado - sliced into long strips and lightly salted
  • Sour Creme
  • Grated Mild Cheddar - unless you can find queso fresco which you cant...
  • Lime Wedges
  • Corn Tortillas (Again go to Casa Mexico, also Whole Foods often has some local made tortillas from the Cool Chilli Co... otherwise, if you must, get some El Paso but dont tell me about it) 
  • Cilantro  - finely chopped (cilantro is coriander) 
The salsa... 

Start by heating a dry pan over medium heat and turning your oven grill on to a medium high heat. When pan is hot begin to toast the chillies one by one until fragrant (about 15 seconds per side) but do not burn! When all chillies are toasted remove pan from heat place chillies back in pan and quickly cover with water. Soak for at least 15 minutes stirring occasionally to promote even hydration. Set aside. 
Place the tomatillos (drain them first) on a grill pan lined with aluminum foil then place under the oven grill. Watch the tomatillos: when they start to blacken on the top take them out and quickly turn them. Place them back under the grill and allow to blacken again. Take out of oven and set tomatillos and any liquid in the pan aside. 
Take the onion pieces and garlic cloves and place on a roasting tray. Put them in the oven in the middle rack position so they are not terribly close to the grill. Heat until the onions start to color a little and char up around the edges. The unpeeled garlic should feel soft, set the onions and garlic aside. Turn grill off and turn regular oven mode on at about 150c. 
Remove the chipotles from the soaking liquid. Chop up onion into small pieces and peel garlic cloves. Place all ingredients in a food processor with the water (you could use the soaking liquid - I usually use some in combination with some plain water) and blend to as smooth of a salsa as you desire. I think the salsa should have a slightly chunky consistancy but no chunks should be large. Place salsa in a serving bowl. 
The Tacos... 

Chop up your veggies into small pieces; no bigger than an inch. Toss with salt and pepper to taste and olive oil for an even coating (dont let them swim in the oil). Spread the vegetables onto an oven tray and place in oven. You want them to just be soft and ever so slightly charred around the edges so just watch them as they cook. 
While the vegetables are cooking get your tortillas ready for heating by barely moistening them with some water and stacking them wrapped in aluminum foil. Place them in the oven when the vegetables are close to finished. Then place the diced onion, avocado slices, grated cheddar, lime wedges, and sour creme in serving bowls or ramekins. Lay them out on the table so that everyone can get to them as condiments for the tacos. 
Pull out the veggies when they are done and bring to the table with warm, soft corn tortillas. 
Enjoy it.