Mushroom Tacos with Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce

More tacos to share! I served these full-flavored vegetarian tacos for our Cinco de Mayo celebration this year- with margaritas, chips, and guacamole, of course.

The recipe was adapted from The Essential Mexican Instant Pot Cookbook: Authentic Flavors and Modern Recipes for your Electric Pressure Cooker by Deborah Schneider. I used a stove top pressure cooker instead of an instant pot, but this filling could be prepared just as easily without using a pressure cooker at all. The creamy avocado sauce was amazing!

The original recipe is for “quesotacos” which the author describes as black-belt street cooking, made by browning a layer of cheese right on a griddle, scooping it up with a tortilla, and using that to wrap the filling. I opted to serve the filling over the shredded cheese in a traditional taco form. This wonderful filling is also used in enchiladas in this book. Yum!

Yield: Serves 4 to 6, with about 1 cup of Avocado-Tomatillo sauce

For the Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce:

  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled
  • 2 tomatillos, husked and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup diced white onion
  • 1/2 serrano chile, stemmed (and seeded, if desired)
  • 1 T water
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • leaves from 2 sprigs cilantro, chopped (about 1 T)

For the Mushroom Tacos:

  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, cut into 1-inch dice (2 cups) (I reserved 1/4 cup of the onion for the sauce)
  • 9 garlic cloves, minced (3 T)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 to 10 oz cremini mushroom, sliced or cut into quarters
  • 8 to 10 oz white button mushrooms, sliced or cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves or shredded fresh epazote
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 poblano chiles, roasted, seeded, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 12 corn or corn-wheat tortillas
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese or grated Cojita cheese
  • Avocado-Tomatillo sauce, for serving
  • chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

To Make the Sauce:

  1. In a food processor, combine the avocado, tomatillos, onion, Serrano Chile, water, and salt.
  2. Pulse until fairly smooth, about 10 pulses, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  3. Add the cilantro and pulse a couple of times to combine.
  4. Transfer to a bowl, then taste and adjust seasoning with salt if needed.

Note: The Sauce will keep well for 24 hours, covered and refrigerated.

To Make the Filling:

  1. Place poblano chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  2. Broil the poblano chiles in the oven, rotating every 5 to 7 minutes, until charred and blistered on all sides. (I set my oven to Broil Max at 450F.)
  3. Wrap the chiles in the foil lining, to loosen the charred skin with steam.
  4. When cool enough to handle, peel, seed and dice the roasted chiles.
  5. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker, instant pot, or dutch oven.
  6. Sauté the onions, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until golden brown.
  7. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.
  8. Add the water, salt, portobello mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, and white mushrooms, then stir in the cilantro/epazote.
  9. If using a pressure cooker or instant pot, secure the lip and cook on high for 1 minute. (Alternatively, cook the mixture in a Dutch oven until mushrooms have released a significant amount of moisture and are lightly browned.)
  10. Use the quick pressure release. (I rotate the valve into a perpendicular position on the top of my pressure cooker.)
  11. Set a colander in a bowl. Pour the mushroom mixture into the colander, reserving the liquid in the bowl.
  12. Set the colander aside and return the liquid to the pot.
  13. Bring the liquid to a boil, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until syrupy and very thick.
  14. Return the mushroom mixture to the pot and stir in the black pepper, pepper flakes, and roasted and diced poblano chiles.
  15. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, until heated through.
  16. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, as desired.
  17. Serve the mushroom filling in warm tortillas over shredded Monterey Jack and crumbled feta. Top with sauce, minced cilantro, and extra cheese, as desired.

For “Quesotacos”:  Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly oil, place a tortilla in the pan and toast for about 3 minutes, until golden brown. Turn the tortilla and top with 2 T of Jack cheese and 1 T of feta/Cojita. Continue toasting until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes more. Top with mushroom mixture, sauce, sprinkle of cheese, and pinch of cilantro. Serve immediately.

For a Grilled Corn & Mushroom Variation: Add kernels from 2 ears of grilled corn to the pot after adding the roasted poblano chiles.

Easy Taco Skillet Dinner

I love a quick skillet dinner- especially on a weeknight. This delicious family friendly meal is from my friend Mollie @Frugal Hausfrau. I have made it a couple of times, most recently for our Super Bowl celebration. Our meal has to complement the mandatory Super Bowl guacamole. 🙂

Even though it could be served as is straight from the skillet, we ate it in both soft and hard shell tacos. (The hard shells won as the favorite, by the way.) I think that eating it as a pre-mixed taco filling made it even more of a crowd-pleaser. I modified the recipe by using ground turkey and by increasing the beans, onions, and garlic. Great!

Yield: Serves 8

  • 1.25 pounds ground turkey or ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Sriracha
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes (I used Trader Joe’s fire roasted diced tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup salsa (I used Trader Joe’s garlic chipotle salsa)
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup white Basmati rice
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack
  • 1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • hard or soft taco shells, for serving, if desired
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions, for garnish, as desired
  • sliced avocado, for garnish, as desired
  • chopped cilantro, for garnish, as desired

  1. In a large skillet with a lid, over medium high heat, add ground meat and cook, crumbling as it cooks.
  2. As soon as it starts to give up the juices, add in the onion and bell pepper, continuing to cook until the vegetables have softened and the meat is cooked through.
  3. Add the garlic, stirring for a minute or so until it becomes fragrant.
  4. Add the chili powder, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper; briefly stir.
  5. Stir in tomatoes with the juice, salsa, black beans, and hot sauce.
  6. Toss the rice on top and add the 1 1/4 cup of water. Gently stir together, bring to a boil.
  7. Cover with lid and reduce to a bare simmer. Cook for 25 minutes until rice is just done. If possible, don’t lift the lid or stir until rice is finished.
  8. Turn off the heat. Using a spatula, gently turn the mixture from top to bottom. Add cheese to the top. Cover with lid and let sit for five minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  9. Serve in warm taco shells garnished with green onions, avocado, and/or minced cilantro, as desired.

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Five Years Ago:

Pork Chile Verde

As I love sharing recipes, I am also thrilled when someone shares a recipe with me! 🙂 My son’s swimming coach texted me the link to this wonderful dish after she made it for her family. What fun! She knew we would enjoy it too.

This recipe was adapted from Today.com, contributed by Padma Lakshmi. I doubled the garlic, reduced the pork, used large onions, and seeded the jalapeños. We ate it over brown Basmati rice with cornbread on the side. Full-flavored and absolutely fabulous!

Yield: Serves 6

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and quartered
  • 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 4 jalapeños, seeded
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, divided
  • 2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 to 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 shot tequila, preferably Alejo
  • 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lime, juiced, optional
  • rice, for serving, optional
  1. In a blender (I used a Vitamix), combine the tomatillos, avocados, jalapeños, four cloves of garlic, cilantro, lime juice, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt, 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds and 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar. Puree until smooth. (Side note: This makes a great salsa verde sauce on its own; you may want to buy double the ingredients and use the extra as a dipping sauce for other savory treats!)
  2. In a heavy soup pot, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Slice remaining four cloves of the garlic in half, and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the onions, oregano, cumin, remaining sesame seeds and red pepper flakes, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  4. Add the ground pork and cook until no longer pink, about 6 minutes.
  5. Add in the shot of tequila.
  6. Add the tomatillo sauce, beans and water or stock to the pork mixture.
  7. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often.
  8. Stir in the lime juice just before serving, if desired.

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Four Years Ago:

Chocolate-Avocado Pudding

This pudding gets its creaminess from avocados- and you would never know. It’s also made in minutes using a blender- fabulous! I love that it incorporated a vanilla bean and freshly squeezed orange juice too.

This recipe is from Gjusta in Venice, California, via Bon Appetit. Fresh and great.

Yield: Serves 8

  • 2 large avocados, pits removed
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • ¼ cup (or more) fresh orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ cups heavy cream, optional
  • ¼ cup cocoa nibs and/or chopped hazelnuts, optional
  1. Scoop avocado flesh into a blender. (I used a Vitamix.)
  2. Scrape in vanilla bean seeds; reserve pod for another use.
  3. Add cocoa powder, maple syrup, agave nectar, orange juice, and salt and blend to a coarse purée.
  4. With motor running, gradually stream in ¾ cup hot (but not boiling) water; blend, adding more orange juice as needed, until smooth and creamy.
  5. Divide pudding among eight 4–6 oz. ramekins or small bowls and chill (uncovered) at least 2 hours.
  6. Just before serving, whip cream in a medium bowl to soft peaks and spoon over pudding, if desired; top with cocoa nibs and/or hazelnuts.

Note: Pudding can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

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Three Years Ago:

Shrimp & Avocado Enchiladas in Creamy Tomato Sauce

We had a crisis situation in our house this year… my husband had to work on Cinco de Mayo. 😦 We more than made up for it by eating these delicious no-bake enchiladas on Seis de Mayo! We also had our absolute favorite tacos (Creamy Chicken & Greens with Roasted Poblano Tacos) the next night as well- if you must know. 🙂

There was something really special about this dish. It was really restaurant quality. It may have been the richness of the sauce, cooking the shrimp in butter…the combination?! It was really very good.

This recipe was adapted from Pati Jinich, via The Chew. We ate it with chips and guacamole, brown Basmati rice, and refried beans. A perfect belated celebration. (& belated post!) Perfect for Fiesta Friday #70– co-hosted by Dini @ Giramuk’s  Kitchen and Mollie @ The Frugal Haufstrau!! (but also a little belated…)

Yield: Serves 6

  • 1 1/2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Serrano or jalapeno chiles
  • 1/4 cup white onion (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (divided)
  • 1 cup seafood or chicken stock
  • 1 cup Mexican cream (creme fraiche, Latin style cream, or heavy cream,) plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (grated)
  • 3 tablespoons canola or safflower oil (divided)
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 pound large shrimp (drained, cut into 3-4 pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ripe avocado (diced, plus more for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco, farmer’s cheese or mild feta (crumbled)
  • chopped chives or cilantro, for garnish
  1. To Make the Sauce: place tomatoes, garlic and chiles in a medium saucepan, cover with water. Place over medium-high heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until tomatoes are cooked through and soft.
  2. Place tomatoes, garlic and one of the chiles in the blender (I used a Vitamix.) along with chopped onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, grated nutmeg and 1 cup stock. Purée the ingredients until completely smooth, taste and add the other chile if you would like more heat. (I only used one.)
  3. Rinse and dry saucepan, pour a tablespoon of oil and place over medium heat. Once hot, pour pureed tomato sauce and cover partially with a lid. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens, and deepens its color to a much darker red. Remove lid, reduce heat to medium-low and add creme fraiche. Stir and keep at a steady low simmer for about 8 to 10 more minutes, until it coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  4. To Heat the Tortillas: Heat them on an already hot comal or skillet set over medium-low heat, for a minute or so per side, until tortillas have lightly browned. Alternatively, “pass them through hot oil”: heat enough oil to reach 1/2-inch deep in a medium sauté pan, over medium heat until hot. Gently glide each tortilla through the oil, for about 10 to 15 seconds on each side, so they completely heat through, lightly fluff and change color. Transfer the tortillas to a paper towel-covered plate. Alternatively, place on a microwave safe-plate or tortilla warmer with lid. Cover with a damp paper towel and either a lid or plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Keep warm.
  5. To Make the Filling: Heat one tablespoon of the oil and one tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet set over high heat. Once very hot but not smoking, add the shrimp and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for a couple minutes, stirring a few times. The shrimp should be cooked, a bit browned but crisp and plump on the inside. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the bowl. Mix with the diced avocado.
  6. To Assemble the Enchiladas: One by one glide each prepared tortilla through the sauce. Place on a plate, spoon about 3 tablespoons of the shrimp and avocado mixture in the middle and fold as in a quesadilla. Place on individual plates or a platter and continue with rest of the tortillas, laying each one gently on top of the edge of the other. Once you are done, generously spoon more of the tomato sauce on top. Garnish with chives and crumbled cheese.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Grilled Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Tacos with Cabbage & Corn Slaw

IMG_9819

We were recently able to have all of my immediate family get together at our house to spend some quality time together. My mom and sister with family were able to spend almost a week here, but my brother was only able to stay one night. The special dinner to serve when everyone was able to be together had to be TACOS. 🙂 Guacamole too, of course.

I had received extra CSA chard from a friend, so I served Rick Bayless’ Swiss Chard Tacos (one of my favorites) along with these shrimp tacos for variety. It’s always more fun to be able to try different types and use tons of toppings! We set up the table so that everyone could assemble their own tacos. The chard tacos had smoky chipotle salsa, feta, and sour cream toppings, and the shrimp tacos had corn slaw and roasted jalapeño crema toppings. We also had rice and refried beans on the side. Nice. 🙂

This recipe was adapted from closetcooking.com. I modified the cooking times, used a grill basket to cook the shrimp, and used raw fresh corn in the slaw. The recipes below were doubled for my crowd.

Yield: Serves 4

For the Grilled Cilantro-Lime Shrimp:

  • 1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 limes, juice and zest (about 1/4 cup lime juice)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Marinate the shrimp in the mixture of the lime juice, zest, oil, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, salt and pepper for 15 to 20 minutes. (In the original recipe, the shrimp marinated for 30 minutes & was “cooked” by the end; I modified the cooking time so that the shrimp would not be overcooked after grilling.)
  2. Skewer the shrimp and grill over medium-high heat until cooked (pink), about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Alternatively, place shrimp in a lightly-oiled grill basket over medium-high heat and cook until pink, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.

For the Roasted Jalapeño Crema:

  • 2+ jalapeno chiles, cut in half and seeded
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • coarse salt, to taste
  1. Place the peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet with the cut side facing down, place the baking sheet on the top shelf in the oven and broil until the outer layer of the skin has blistered and blackened, about 8-14 minutes.
  2. Seal the foil around the chiles and let them cool until you can handle them, about 10 minutes, before pinching off the skins.
  3. Puree with remaining ingredients. Set aside 1/4 cup for the Corn Slaw. Place remaining Crema in a bowl for serving.

For the Corn Slaw:

  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 2 cups cabbage, shredded in a food processor
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted jalapeño crema (above)
  1. Combine all ingredients. Place in a serving bowl.

For the Tacos:

  • 1 pound cilantro lime shrimp
  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • Roasted Jalapeño Crema
  • Corn Slaw
  • 1 large avocado, diced, optional
  • cilantro to taste, optional
  1. Assemble the tacos with corn slaw on the bottom, topped with avocado, shrimp and a dollop of roasted jalapeño crema along with a garnish of cilantro.

One Year Ago:

Chipotle Shrimp Tostadas

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So messy to eat… but so fresh and flavorful!! This dish was part of our Cinco de Mayo meal this year; it was preceded by chips & Guacamole and accompanied with Margaritas! 🙂 This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Melissa Rubel Jacobson. My husband and son ate the leftover toppings in burritos for lunch the next day. A healthy and quick cooking holiday meal- GREAT!

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, plus more for frying
  • 6-8 corn tortillas
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound large shelled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix (I used a 10 oz bag of shredded cabbage)
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 Hass avocado, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium radishes, thinly sliced, optional
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Lime wedges, for serving, optional
  1. In a medium, deep skillet, heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil until hot. Fry one tortilla at a time over moderately high heat until lightly golden on both sides, about 1-2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with coarse salt.
  2. Preheat a grill. In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp with the 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil and the chipotle chile powder. Season the shrimp with salt. Grill the shrimp over moderately high heat, turning once, until they are browned in spots and cooked through, about 4 minutes. (We used a grill basket, lightly sprayed with non-stick spray.)
  3. In a medium bowl, toss the cabbage with the tomato, scallions, sour cream and lime juice and season with salt.
  4. Set the tortillas on plates and top with the cabbage slaw, chipotle shrimp, avocado, radishes and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

One Year Ago:

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