Coriander Spiced Calabacitas Tacos with Chipotle Crema

Coriander Spiced Calabacitas Tacos

Coriander Spiced Calabacitas Tacos with Chipotle Crema

Yields: 12 servings

 

Chipotle Crema:

1 cup organic sour cream

2½ tablespoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

 

Tacos:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium red onion, peeled and diced small

1 medium poblano pepper, seeded and diced small

1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeds and veins discarded, diced small, or to taste

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds

5 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced

½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

5 tomatillos, husked, rinsed and diced small

2 medium zucchini or summer squash or mix of both (1 pound), diced small

½ bunch fresh cilantro, leaves and stems, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (juice of 1 lime)

 

Toppings:

12 tortillas, warmed on a griddle, nonstick pan or directly over a flame

Salsa of choice

Cotija Cheese, crumbled

Fresh cilantro leaves

 

Mix Chipotle Crema ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning by adding more salt or making more spicy with additional adobo sauce. Set aside.

In a large sauté pan set over medium heat, add the olive oil, onions, poblano and jalapeno and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are beginning to soften.

Add the cumin, coriander and garlic and season with salt and pepper.  Stir, and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant.

Add the tomatillos, zucchini and cilantro. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is soft and cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in fresh lime juice. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper and/or lime juice.

Assemble tacos by putting a dollop of chipotle crema on a taco, then adding the calabacitas followed by salsa, cheese and cilantro. Repeat – repeat – repeat!

 

Drought Friendly Elote: Mexican-style Grilled Corn

OMG. This recipe is so delicious. Need proof? Super Sous and I grilled 7 ears of corn when developing this recipe and devoured them all within 15 minutes. In fact, Super Sous exclaimed, “this is the best grilled corn dish I’ve ever had!” when all was said and gone, I mean done.

Elote or the Mexican-style street food version of corn is common to see here, being sold, in LA. Vendors in parks or on street corners set up camp with their makeshift grills, tub of mayonnaise, chili powder and cojita cheese, serving the sweet and savory cobs to eager customers.  It’s pretty fantastic; a pleasure on the taste buds.

Since Super Sous and I have been creating Drought Friendly Recipes, we realized that we could still enjoy this creamy crunchy corn on the cob, sans egg and cheese by doing a swap out with soymilk aioli (aioli is normally made with an egg, but soymilk acts as an emulsifier) and using a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for the cheesy creaminess. Add to that a special spice mix blend we created (take that, chili powder!) and fresh chopped cilantro and you have a winner.

This recipe serves 12, but you may need to double or triple the batch. Trust us. It’s addictive.

 

corn shucked

Shucked corn with one layer of husk left

corn grilled

Grilled corn

Drought Friendly Aioli

Vegan Aioli

Elote with Aioli

Slathering on the aioli

Elote finished

Time to dig in

Drought Friendly Elote: Mexican-style Grilled Corn

Yield: 12 servings

 

12 ears of corn, whole and unshucked

Vegan Aioli (recipe below)

Elote Spice Mix (recipe below)

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 cup packed roughly chopped cilantro

 

Preheat your grill to medium-high.

Shuck the corn, leaving 1 layer of husk covering the cob. Cut off the silk at top of corn.

Place the corn on the grill, close the lid, and grill for a total of 15 minutes, rotating the corn ⅓ turn every 5 minutes, until the corn is cooked and the husks are slightly charred.

Remove the corn from the grill, carefully shuck the corn (hot!). Brush with aioli, sprinkle some of the spice mix and yeast on the corn and top with cilantro.

Serve, enjoy, repeat.

 

Drought Friendly Vegan Aioli

Yield: 1 cup

 

1 large clove garlic, pressed (1/4 teaspoon)

3½ teaspoons lime juice

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup organic soy milk

2/3 cup organic grapeseed oil

 

Mix all ingredients except oil in a small container or bowl with high sides. (I used the glass container that goes with my French Press.

Using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients thoroughly.

Keep the immersion blender a bit raised in the container, to where the liquid is churning vigorously. Slowly stream the oil into the vortex of the churning liquid. Don’t rush this step. The slower the oil stream, the better. The liquid will thicken and form to the consistency of mayonnaise. Refrigerate until use.

 

Elote Spice Mix

1 tablespoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon chipotle powder

1¼ teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ancho chile powder

 

Mix ingredients together in a small bowl.

Spiced Oven-Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Remember that Date Apple Chutney recipe I posted last week? Ya, well, this pork tenderloin is that recipes best friend. Try them both together for a delicious dish. Or just make the pork, because it’s darn good on its own!

Spiced Oven Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Spiced Oven-Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Yield: 4 servings

 

Tenderloin:

1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon chipotle powder

1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 pound pork tenderloin, silver skin removed (see note below)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

 

In a small bowl, mix together the cumin, chipotle, paprika, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Pat the tenderloin dry and season it with the spice rub. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Dust off any excess spice rub.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Heat a large, oven-safe sauté pan (large enough to accommodate the pork) over high heat until very hot. Add the olive oil, swirl the pan to distribute the oil and heat until shimmering. If it begins to smoke, that’s okay.

Add the tenderloin and allow to cook for 2 minutes, undisturbed, until nicely seared. Using tongs, rotate the tenderloin ¼ turn and continue to sear, again for 2 minutes. Once seared, rotate again another ¼ turn and sear for another 2 minutes. Upon rotating the tenderloin to the fourth and final side, hold the tenderloin off the pan with your tongs and insert the digital probe of an oven-safe meat thermometer from the end of the tenderloin into the center. The tip of the probe must reach approximately halfway into the tenderloin.

Replace the tenderloin in the pan on the fourth and final side, and transfer the sauté pan, uncovered, into the oven. Set the digital thermometer to 145ºF.

When the thermometer beeps, after about 15 minutes, transfer the tenderloin to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil, and allow the tenderloin to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Note: Similar to the iridescent color of a pearl, silver skin is the inedible connective tissue that covers a small portion of the thicker end of the tenderloin. Too tough to pull off with your bare hands (unlike a layer of fat), the silver skin can be removed, using your knife of choice, by simply filleting it off. Do this by cutting just under the silver skin with the tip of your knife, angling your knife slightly upwards, then cutting the silver skin off in strips. Alternatively, you can ask your butcher to remove the silver skin.