Dark Days, simple & spicy

Posted by Anita on 03.29.10 8:19 AM

(c)2010 AEC *All Rights Reserved*The first glimmers of spring are showing up at the farmers market, just as we’re on the home stretch of the Dark Days Challenge, and boy are we excited. Not so much for the strawberries; they’re still white in the center, and I’ll happily wait until they’re fully ripe. But we’re gorging ourselves on the new, tender asparagus, and we’re definitely making up for lost time in the avocado department.

We put up jars of salsa last summer to help get us through the bleak winter months — without tomatillos, tomatoes, or chile peppers, Mexican food becomes downright impossible. But avocados defy preserving, and even on those rare occasions when we break down and buy an out-of-season avocado or two (sometimes it’s a guacamole emergency, I tell ya!) we always remember why it pays to wait. The watery, wan specimens that make their way here from Mexico or Chile just can’t compare with Will’s buttery, nutty avocados. So we wait. And wait. And wait. Rather impatiently, I might add. It’s one of the few winter deprivations that actually makes me cranky.

And so this week, we celebrated the avocado’s return to our kitchen with a big mess of tacos. It’s another one of those shopping-not-cooking recipes: Once you’ve got all the ingredients on hand, it’s a little bit of chopping, and a whole lot of gobbling. And should you have any leftovers, I can vouch that this filling, along with perhaps a little cheese and a soft-scrambled egg or two, makes an exceptional breakfast taco.

(c)2010 AEC *All Rights Reserved*(c)2010 AEC *All Rights Reserved*(c)2010 AEC *All Rights Reserved*(c)2010 AEC *All Rights Reserved*(c)2010 AEC *All Rights Reserved*

Chorizo-Potato-Mushroom Tacos
- adapted from Mexico One Plate at a Time

2 medium waxy potatoes (about 1/2 pound)
1/2 pound Mexican chorizo
1/4 to 1/2 pound mushrooms, any variety, sliced
1 small white onion, diced
1/2 cup or more tomatillo salsa (homemade or store-bought)
1 ripe avocado
6 to 8 fresh tortillas

Cube the potatoes and simmer in a pot of salted water until tender; drain and set aside in a medium bowl.

Saute the chorizo and onion in a wide skillet over medium heat until the sausage is cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage and onions to the bowl with the potatoes, leaving the rendered fat in the pan. Add the mushrooms to the pan and saute until softened and beginning to brown. Return the potatoes and chorizo-onion mixture to the pan and cook until the potatoes begin to brown.

Meanwhile, thoroughly mash the avocado in a bowl, then add the tomatillo salsa. Add more salsa until the mixture is like a sauce. Season with salt as needed.

Warm the tortillas in a skillet or griddle, or by running them over an open flame. Wrap them in a towel as you go, to keep them warm for the table. When tortillas are all warmed, move the taco filling to a serving bowl, and bring to the table with the avocado salsa and the warm tortillas. Let each person build their own tacos at the table with a scoop of the filling and a drizzle of the salsa in the middle of each tortilla.

darkdays09-10_bugFarmers and food artisans who created the ingredients for this week’s meal:

Little Organic Farm, Marin: potatoes
Fatted Calf, Napa: chorizo
Far West Fungi, Moss Landing: mushrooms
Catalán Family Farm, Hollister: onion
Will’s Avocados, Soledad: Avocados
La Palma Mexicatessen, San Francisco: fresh tortillas

…and our own home-preserved tomatillo salsa

Dark Days challenge, locavore, meat, Mexican, recipes



Comment by Cooking with Michele

Guacamole actually freezes really well just make sure it’s completely airtight so it doesn’t turn brown. Those sealing bags work well, or pour a small amount of milk over the top in a covered container before freezing it.

Posted on 03.30.10 at 8:03AM

Comment by Kath

I love chorizo, and your tacos look like a great way to use it!

Posted on 03.30.10 at 9:46AM

Comment by Lesley

Yum! I swear I could eat like three avocados in one sitting… but I try to limit myself to one half. Did you know you could grill avocados? Just saw a blog post about it today; supposedly they’re delicious that way.

Also, I had no idea you could freeze avocado. Really have to try that next time hubby decides not to eat his avocado half, and then it turns brown in the fridge.

Posted on 03.30.10 at 5:06PM

Comment by Angela

I wish there was an avocado season in Michigan. Guacamole is one of those things I can’t live without. You know, like coffee? I never have trouble with the avocados going brown because I always eat the whole thing. A vacuum sealer would definitely help with freezing the avocado if you have one. If you don’t, I see them at resale shops ALL THE TIME for super cheap.

Posted on 04.08.10 at 3:14PM

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Posted on 06.09.10 at 5:33PM

Comment by Zoe

omg do those sound good! I am copying this recipe down to use very soon because the avocados on my neighbors tree (which hangs over into my yard haha) are almost big enough to pick.

I’ve found that if I’m only going to be using 1/2 of an avocado, I bag the leftover 1/2 with the pit still intact and that keeps it from turning brown.. it’s worked every time so far :)

Posted on 07.06.11 at 1:53PM

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