February 9, 2009

Rick's Zucchini, Mushroom, and Chorizo Tacos

After yesterdays bakefest, tortilla making, and dinner preparation, I was beat. I did not get around to my dinner posting, because I went to the couch and did not move until bedtime. Then, it was a fast transfer from couch to bed...and I conked out! I love days when I am so tired I just black-out at bedtime; no tossing and turning or insomnia for me! Anyway, I am doing last nights meal post now.

I mentioned that I was going to try a brand new recipe last night, but I think I am actually going to do that one tonight. I wanted something familiar last night, so I turned to my favorite Mexican-cuisine chef, Rick Bayless. If you read my blog with some regularity, you know I heart Rick. His Mexican Everyday cookbook is one of my favorites...definitely in my top 5 cookbooks. We have had this taco dish before, and I remembered it being well balanced and easy to put together. We used up all our tortillas, so I made some of Rick's Easy Corn Tortillas (which can also be found in Mexican Everyday) to go with it. I did not mind putting forth a little extra effort so we could have this family favorite.

Rick's Zucchini, Mushroom, and Chorizo Tacos

4 oz. fresh Mexican chorizo sausage, casing removed
1½ Tbsp vegetable or olive oil, if necessary
1 medium white onion, sliced ¼" thick
3 oz. mushrooms, stemmed and sliced about ½" thick
One 15-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes in juice, drained
1 chipotle chile (from a can of chipotle chiles en adobo), seeded
1½ tsp of the adobo sauce from the can
2 medium zucchini (about 12 oz. total), cut into ½" cubes
Crumbled queso fresco, feta cheese, or goat cheese
Warm corn tortillas
Hot sauce to taste
Salt to taste

Cook chorizo in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring regularly and breaking up clumps, until cooked through, about 4 minutes. If the chorizo has rendered considerable fat, tip off and discard all but enough to lightly coat the pan; if it has rendered very little, add the oil to the skillet and raise the heat to medium-high. Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook about 2 minutes more, stirring regularly, until their liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are beginning to brown.

While the mushrooms are cooking, pour the drained tomatoes into a food processor or blender, along with the chipotle chile and the adobo sauce; whirr until smooth.
When the mushrooms are ready, add the tomato mixture and cook, stirring regularly, until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of canned tomato sauce, about 3–4 minutes. Add the zucchini and continue to cook, stirring every once in a while, until the zucchini is cooked through but still a little crisp, 8–10 minutes. Taste and season with salt if necessary.

Scoop into a bowl and garnish with the crumbled cheese. Serve with the warm tortillas and hot sauce.

Jen's Notes:
I mixed up a fast guacamole and chopped some fresh cilantro to go on top as a garnish. I used Queso Fresco cheese, 1/2 pound of chorizo, 3 small zucchini, and 8 ounces of sliced button mushrooms as substitutes. Also, I should note that the cookbook version does indicate that the chorizo is optional...you can make these tacos with or without it. In my opinion, I think the chorizo is the only way to go. It gives it such a awesome flavor. I heart these tacos very much!

The Result:
These were fantastically yummy. As I said before, this is one of our favorite dinners. We served these more tostada-style, rather than in the form of tacos. My tortillas were not as flexible as normal, so we had to work around it. I think I goofed and put too much (or not enough...I am not sure) water in the tortilla dough. My tortillas were not as good as usual, but that was my fault. I was talking to my husband and not really paying attention to what I was doing when I was making the tortillas. Don't get me wrong...they were still yummy....just not as good as usual, from a textural standpoint. Other than that, these 'tacos' were great!!!!!

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