Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Crispy Honey-Sriracha Tofu Tacos with Cucumber Mango Salsa (Vegetarian)

More tacos! I know you are excited! This summer I have made coconut fish tacos and steak tacos with smoked tomatillo salsa, and today I am bringing you these vegetarian crispy honey sriracha tofu tacos with a cucumber mango salsa. Hip hip hooray! How excited are you?

I recently went out to San Francisco to visit family, and I got to enjoy lunch at a favorite place, La Taqueria, in the Mission District of the city. It was hard to move in the restaurant and we had to circle like hawks to find seats to eat our food, but it was all well worth it. I tried the pork tacos there for the first time, and they were amazing. One thing that stood out about the tacos we ordered was that they were made with a double shell, with one crispy tortilla and one softer tortilla. We were given the best of both worlds, a soft taco and a hard taco all at the very same time! I tried the double shell method with these tofu tacos, but after trying a couple times, I found that the tastiest way to eat these is with one tortilla, baked in the oven to crisp up a bit. I think the best tortillas to use are* La Tortilla Factory white corn tortillas. They taste great, and they don't break! One of these days I am going to master the double shell method, though...

I topped these delicious tacos with cucumber-mango salsa, mashed avocado, and extra Sriracha sauce.  I was a little nervous about tofu in my tacos, and I was truly amazed at how good they turned out. Even if you are not a vegetarian, I am pretty sure you will find these tacos to be quite tasty. Enjoy!

Stay tuned for even MORE taco recipes!

*In the photos, I used a different tortilla than the La Tortilla Factory brand and the tacos were made with the double shell.

Recipe for Crispy Honey-Sriracha Tofu Tacos with Cucumber Mango Salsa (Vegetarian)

For the Cucumber-Mango Salsa
1 large, ripe mango, cut into 1/4-inch chunks
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and with the seeds removed, finely chopped
1/2 shallot, minced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced (with seeds removed)
Juice from 1/2 lime (save the other half for the avocado)
1/2 tsp. honey
Salt and pepper

For the tofu
12 ounces extra firm tofu, drained well, patted with a paper towel, and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
2 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce (plus a little more for adding to taco)
2 Tbsp. honey (plus a little more for drizzling)
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. of cornmeal
1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper - about 1/8 tsp.
3/4 tsp. Ancho chile powder
1/8 tsp. of sweet smoked paprika
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 - 2 Hass avocados
full-fat Greek yogurt
Good quality soft taco sized corn tortillas (I recommend La Tortilla Factory white corn)

Prepare the cucumber mango salsa. Toss the cucumber, mango, jalapeno, shallot, lime juice, honey, salt and pepper into a bowl and mix well. Cover and place in fridge until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 315 degrees. Place tortillas on a baking sheet. Rub a very small amount of olive oil all over each side and sprinkle one side with a pinch of fine sea salt. Set aside.

Put the tofu in a large bowl. Mix together the honey and Sriracha sauce in a small bowl. Pour over the tofu, and gently toss to coat well.

In another bowl, mix together the cornmeal, Panko breadcrumbs, flour, salt, pepper, chili powder, and sweet smoked paprika. Then pour 1/3 of the cornmeal mixture over the tofu, and toss gently. Add another 1/3 of the mixture, toss again. Finish with the remaining mixture and toss again to coat the tofu well. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat until hot. Then carefully add in the tofu. Cook, undisturbed, for a few minutes, then gently stir and flip over, a few at a time, until all pieces have been flipped. Cook for 3 - 4 minutes more, then gently stir again. Continue to cook and gently toss until tofu is crisped up on all sides. Add in a drizzle or two of honey, and stir. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle the tofu with salt and pepper.

While the tofu is cooking, place the tortillas in the heated oven. Cook for a few minutes, then flip. You want the tortillas to be a little crispy, but not hard. You want a very light crisp so that they still fold well without breaking. That is why it is important to buy good tortillas!

While the tofu and tortillas are finishing up, mash up the avocado. Squeeze lime juice over the avocado, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Assemble the tacos. Top each warm tortilla with desired amount of tofu, cucumber-mango salsa, avocado, and Greek yogurt. Add a squeeze of Sriracha sauce, if desired.

Recipe makes approximately 6  - 8 tacos. 

Tofu taco recipe adapted from: The Woks of Life
Cucumber-Mango salsa adapted from:  Oh My Veggies 

More taco recipes:
Potato, Chorizo & Goat Cheese Tacos with Smoky Aioli 
Simple White Fish Tacos
Paladar's Sweet Potato Tacos 
Coconut Encrusted Fish Tacos with Mango, Avocado Crema, and Sweet Chipotle Sauce
Steak Tacos with Smoked Tomatillo Salsa
Sweet potato tacos

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Steak Tacos with Smoked Tomatillo Salsa

What is the difference between a taco and a fajita? Is there really a difference? Greg said the thing that sets a fajita apart from a taco is the addition of peppers and onions, and a Google search said that fajitas are typically made with grilled skirt steak, peppers, and onions. I used peppers and onions, but no grilling was involved. I do not know if this recipe is for tacos or fajitas (I am going to call them tacos, though), but I do know that it was a delicious meal. The tomatillo salsa was so good, and I recommend the (small) extra effort of making it rather than buying jarred salsa. It is smoky and flavorful, and it has just the right amount of kick to it. Check back next week for another taco recipe! Enjoy.

Steak Tacos with Smoked Tomatillo Salsa

 3 tomatillos, husks removed and cut into halves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 small jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and sliced in 1/4" slices
1 7-ounce can chipotle pepper in Adobo sauce, divided
1 small green bell, sliced
1 small yellow bell, sliced
1 small red bell, sliced
1/2 small red onion, sliced
3 Tbsp. of Olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
pinch of sugar
3/4 pound flank steak 
Flour tortillas, soft taco size
Greek yogurt or sour cream (optional) 
Sliced avocado (optional)
1/2 lime (optional)

Make the tomatillo salsa first. Put a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Place the tomatillos, skin side down, in the skillet, and add in the garlic and jalapeno pepper. Let it cook for about 7 minutes, or until the tomatillos are softened completely through. Then remove from heat and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer contents of skillet to the bowl of a food processor. Add in 1 of the chipotle peppers from the can and 1 Tbsp. of water. Pulse until a salsa is formed. Put in a bowl and set aside. Add the remaining contents of the chipotle peppers to the food processor. Pulse until smooth. Put the steak on a large plate and brush all sides of the meat with a thin layer of the chipotle sauce. Let sit until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Arrange the tortillas on a baking sheet and brush each side lightly with olive oil and sprinkle one side with a touch of sea salt. 

In a large, nonstick pan, heat 2 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium high heat. Add in the peppers and onions, a dash of salt and the 1/8 tsp. of sugar. Cook, stirring frequently, until peppers and onions are cooked through. Transfer to a bowl or plate and cover with foil. Wipe pan out and place back over medium high heat with the last tablespoon of olive oil.

Place the tortillas in the oven.

Add the meat to the skillet. For medium, cook on one side for 4 - 5 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 4 - 5 minutes. Remove meat and place on a cutting board. Let sit 5 minutes before cutting. If you want a little more kick in the meat, once it is cut, place back in skillet and set over low heat with a little extra sauce for about 1 minute. 

Assemble your tacos. Remove warm tortillas from the oven. Place about 1.5 - 2 ounces of steak, peppers, onions, smoky tomatillo salsa, Greek yogurt, avocado, and a squeeze of lime into each and serve!

Recipe Adapted from: Annie's Eats, originally from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless

Recipe make approximately 3 - 4 servings.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Coconut-Encrusted Fish Tacos with Mango, Avocado Crema, and Sweet Chipotle Sauce

I decided that this is going to be the summer of tacos! I searched the web for some super tasty taco recipes, and I also have been dreaming up a few recipes myself. I am kicking off the start of taco recipes with these delicious coconut-encrusted fish tacos with mango, avocado crema, and sweet chipotle sauce. They are amazing! I am planning on including vegetarian tacos, crab tacos, chicken tacos, pork tacos, grilled scallop tacos, shrimp tacos, and so much more over the next couple of months I hope you are as excited about these taco recipes as I am. Enjoy!

*This summer I am also hoping to make many recipes with tomatoes and squash from our garden, as long as they do well this season. Last season our zucchini crop did not produce. I want to make lots of recipes from this list. And, of course, I will be making plenty of yummy desserts this summer!

Recipe for Coconut-Encrusted Fish Tacos with Mango, Avocado Crema, and Sweet Chipotle Sauce

4 (4 ounce) frozen filets of flaky white fish (such as Alaskan Flounder), thawed
2/3 cup of flour
2/3 cup of Panko bread crumbs
1 1/4 cup of shredded sweet coconut (such as Bakers brand)
1/4 tsp. of smoked sweet paprika
1/8 tsp. of salt
Sea salt
Olive oil
Avocado Crema
2 large Hass avocados
Pinch of sea salt 
3 Tbsp. of full fat Greek yogurt
Juice of one lime
1/2 tsp. of pure maple syrup
Sweet Chipotle Sauce
One chipotle pepper from can, minced very finely
1 tsp. of chipotle pepper sauce from can
1 tsp. of honey
1/3 cup of full fat Greek yogurt
2 mangoes, diced into 1/4-inch cubes
Juice of one lime
Pinch or two of sea salt
Shredded carrots or cabbage
4 - 6 soft taco size flour tortillas

In a shallow dish, stir together the flour, Panko bread crumbs, coconut, smoked paprika, and salt. Pat thawed fish fillets dry with a paper towel. Drizzle a little of honey over one side of the fish,  use your hands or a spoon to make sure honey is rubbed in, and then sprinkle with some sea salt. Flip, and repeat on the other side. Then dredge the fish fillets into the coconut mixture, coating each side. Place the coated fish on a plate or pan and set in the fridge for 30 to 45 minutes. Chop up the mangoes and place in a bowl. Squeeze juice of one lime over the chopped mango and sprinkle with sea salt. Place in container, cover, and put in fridge until ready to use.

Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add in 2 of the fish fillets (more if there is room in your pan, without overcrowding) in the pan, and cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Then flip, and cook for an additional 2 - 3 minutes, or until coconut is browned, but not burnt, and fish is cooked through and flaky. Remove fish from the pan. Place fish on a baking pan and keep warm in oven at 200 degrees while you cook up the remaining two fillets of fish. Before cooking the rest of the fish, wipe the pan clean with a paper towel and add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Once all fish is cooked, transfer to a plate, drizzle with a little honey, sprinkle with sea salt, and cut up.

While the fish is cooking, make the avocado crema sauce and sweet chipotle sauce. For the avocado crema sauce, pit the avocados and remove the skin. Put the fruit of avocado into a bowl. Add the juice of one lime, pinch of sea salt, Greek yogurt, and pure maple syrup. Use a fork to stir well until completely smooth.

For the sweet chipotle sauce, add Greek yogurt, minced chipotle pepper, chipotle sauce, and honey to a bowl and mix well.

To assemble, warm tortillas by wrapping in paper towel and heating in microwave for about 30 seconds. Put cut up fish in tortilla, top with avocado crema, mangoes, sweet chipotle sauce, and carrots. Enjoy!

Recipe serves 2 - 3 
Recipe Inspired by Beer Battered Fish Tacos, by Pink Parsley 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Avocado Ice Cream with Homemade Chocolate Syrup

I have been obsessed with avocados lately. Actually, I have been obsessed with avocados for quite a long time, but these days, I feel like I am eating them at least once a day. I will eat it an avocado for breakfast with eggs, eat avocados for dinner with Mexican meals, and I will even eat avocados for dessert! I dreamed up this ice cream one night before going to bed, and the next day, I made my dreams come true. Wendy helped me make the ice cream mixture. Wendy put the milk, sugar, and lemon juice into the blender, and I added in the avocado. Then Wendy ran away to another room when I turned the blender on, and then came back into the kitchen when it was time to mix in the cream. We then added chocolate sauce and some milk into the mixture that we couldn't get out of the blender, and shared a chocolate avocado shake (well, Wendy let me have two sips). Based on the smoothness of the shake and the flavor, I could tell that the ice cream was going to be a hit. I only made a small amount of ice cream in case it didn't turn out, but next time I will make the full recipe. We all loved this ice cream!


Recipe for Avocado Ice Cream with Homemade Chocolate Syrup

1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
1 1/4 cup of whole milk
3 small to medium sized ripe (but not overripe) avocados, pit and skin removed
2 tsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream

Put the sugar, milk,  avocado, and lemon juice into a blender. Mix until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Stir in the heavy cream and whisk until well combined. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for 3 - 4 hours. Then pour mixture into an automatic ice cream maker. Start ice cream maker, and let it mix for about 5 - 7 minutes, or until ice cream is formed. It will take less time than regular ice cream mixtures due to the thickness of the avocado. Then transfer ice cream into a freezer safe container and freeze for desired amount of time before serving.Serve ice cream with homemade chocolate syrup!

For the chocolate syrup:
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. of cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. of unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. water
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Put the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt into a small saucepan. Add the 2 Tbsp. of water, more if needed, so mixture is able to be stirred. Add the unsalted butter. Put the saucepan over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil.  Let the mixture boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat and immediately stir in the vanilla extract. Serve warm or at room temperature over ice cream. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.