Recetas deliciosas to transport your tastebuds south of the border.
This taco, featured in Sara Deseran and Joe Hargrave's new cookbook of recipes from their San Francisco restaurants, Tacolicious, only goes to show how versatile and inspiring a waiting tortilla can be. Sure, you could fill it with braised pork or charred chicken, but it can be equally good piled with well-seasoned veggies. It seems the trick is to be thoughtful about the flavors, of course, and also the textures. There's only a few bites to a taco, and you get all the components in each one, so you don't want a messy jumble. What you do want is sweet squash and kale, creamy, tangy cashew crema, and toasty, spicy pumpkin seeds, each element distinct but harmonious. It's a vegan taco, but only incidentally.
Why I picked this recipe: It seemed so California, and a nice respite from all the meaty fillings in the book.
What worked: I loved the interplay of flavors and textures, and appreciated how healthful and nourishing it was.
What didn't: The instructions read to cook the squash a minute beyond the point of when it begins to soften. This left too much crunch for my taste. I understand they don't want it mushy—a little firmness should remain—but it just felt a tad undercooked. I also found the crema to be aggressively tangy.
Suggested tweaks: I would cook the squash until it is just soft throughout, then proceed with the recipe. I'd also dial back the lime juice in the crema to 1/4 cup, and add more to taste. And just to note: the recipe calls for chile powder, which is referring to ground dried chilies, not the seasoning mix labeled chili powder.
Thanks to our friends at Ten Speed Press, we have 5 copies of Tacolicious to give away this week.
Reprinted with permission from Tacolicious, by Sara Deseran and Joe Hargrave, copyright © 2014, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.