Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Taco Night


I think it's fun (really fun) to look at an entire meal in Bon Appetit and make the entire thing.  I was dreaming about that with the June 2012 issue on Tacos! Taco! Tacos! Like the author of this article, I was raised on tacos in a box...an entire kit for making tacos.  It was one of my favorite meals and was a bit unusual for a dinner in the midwest in the 1970s. Most of my grade school friends hadn't even experienced that level of international cuisine, so it was considered quite exotic.  I attributed it to time spent in California by my parents.  However, by the latter part of that decade it seemed to be a bit more common to have tacos on the table.  How that has evolved!

I didn't have the time to make the entire meal for a taco bar at this time, but I am going to hold that thought for the future.  It sounds great to make a number of fillings, a few salsas, and a variety of agua frescas to wash it down.  Maybe this summer we can have this party:)

For now, I made the vegetarian filling (to Paul's dismay) but sweetened the pot for him a bit by supplementing with pickled onions and really spicy salsa.  Really, what's the deal?  His comment was, "tacos without meat?".  We had meat the night before, so I don't think he'll wither away...even with all the bicycling he's been doing lately.  He even had a lot of compliments for the chef after eating these!

Rajas Poblanas
Grilled pork tenderloin was the meal the night before, so I had the peppers roasted and ready before the night I was serving this.  It's nice to plan ahead a bit when the grill is going so it can help prep a number of other meals.  I like to have peppers roasted and often grill some vegetables for panini sandwiches or chicken to freeze and pull out as a topper for a main course salad.   It just makes making these tacos a bit easier by having the peppers roasted....and having things come together in minutes rather than hours.  Good plan for a weeknight dinner!

I made it fairly close to the original but substituted some of my home made yogurt for the sour cream. 
roasted poblano peppers
It's fortunate for me that Sendik's carries the poblano peppers and that they looked good this time of year.  Typically that requires a trip to the southside of Milwaukee to a Mexican grocery store.  Generally they are a bit cheaper at El Rey grocery store, but saving the trip outside of my village border was a good idea this time.  That also meant that the cheese was feta instead of something more authentic like queso fresco.

Pickled Red Onions
This was my bonus item in trying to sell Paul on the meatless thing.  Couldn't be any easier! I was able to throw this together on a Sunday morning and have them sit until we made this meal.
pickled red onions

Toasted Guajillo Salsa
Another weekend project to assemble this and have it ready for a quick weeknight dinner.  I have no idea what kind of dried peppers I used.  We has some from the garden last year that we weren't going to be able to use, so we dried them in the oven and stored them in the pantry.  This was the variety pack of peppers that I pulled out to make this as outlined in the link. It's nice to have those cleared out of the pantry before getting more peppers this summer.
Home-grown dried peppers
roasted garlic
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