Monday, May 2, 2011

Portobello Mushroom and Chipotle Tacos, with Tomatillo-Arbol Chile Salsa

This month's Saveur includes a few Mexican dishes that captured my attention, including the cover photo and recipe for Tacos de Papa, tacos stuffed with cumin-spiced potatoes, fried, and then garnished with green cabbage, tomatoes, cotija cheese and salsa. I looked over the recipe, but then opted to try another taco recipe from Mark Miller's Tacos:  Portobello Mushroom with Chipotle Tacos.

Since finding a wonderful brand of yellow corn tortillas, which are thick and chewy, and incredible for soft tacos, I just may try a few more healthier tacos this summer.  I also made the recommended salsa for the tacos, Tomatillo-Arbol Chile Salsa, and a pot of beans, using Rebosero beans from The Rancho Gordo Xoxoc Project.

"The earthy meatiness of portobello mushrooms pairs wonderfully with the smoky flavors of chipotle chiles. The mushrooms are sauteed in butter, which imparts a delicious nuttiness and helps the mushrooms brown. Toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds are a traditional and tasty garnish that increases the nuttiness of the dish..."  I'm kicking myself now, because I forgot to add the pumpkin seeds!  Regardless, these tacos are fantastic.

Portobello Mushroom Tacos with Chipotle
From Tacos
Makes 8 tacos

1 pound portobello mushrooms
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chipotle puree  
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup grated smoked mozzarella cheese
8 (5 1/2 inch) soft yellow corn tortillas
Garnish: Lightly toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds
Tomatillo-Arbol Chile Salsa (recipe follows)

Make the chipotle puree: In a blender or small food processor, puree the contents of a small can of chiles in adobo sauce. Refrigerate for up to a month, or freeze for later use.

Remove the mushroom stems, chop them, and reserve. If any of the mushrooms are large, scrape off the gills with a spoon and reserve. Cut the caps into 1/4-inch thick slices and reserve.

You will need to cook the mushrooms in two batches so they will brown and not steam from overcrowding.

Heat a heavy skillet for about 2 minutes over medium-high heat. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in the pan, then add half of the sliced mushrooms, and half of the chopped stems and any reserved gills. Add half the garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Saute the mushrooms until golden brown and caramelized, about 8 minutes. Transfer this batch of mushrooms to a plate, and repeat with the other half of the mushrooms, with the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, garlic, salt, and pepper. Turn off the heat and return the first batch of mushrooms to the pan. Add the chipotle puree and cilantro and stir to combine. Sprinkle on the cheese and gently stir to melt the cheese.

To serve, lay the tortillas side by side, open face and overlapping on a platter. Divide the filling equally between the tortillas, and top with salsa and toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds.

Tomatillo-Arbol Chile Salsa
Adapted from Tacos
Makes 2 cups

4 tomatillos, husked, rinsed and blackened
3 Roma tomatoes, blackened
5 dried de arbol chiles, stemmed, with seeds
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
½ teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground
½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, toasted and ground
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon peanut oil

To blacken the tomatillos and Roma tomatoes, place on a baking sheet under the broiler for about 5 minutes, rotating until the skins are charred and blistered on all sides. Cut out and discard the stem and core from the tomatillos and Romas.

In a small pan, toast the cumin seed and oregano over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until fragrant. Grind in a spice grinder.

Place all ingredients, except peanut oil, in a blender and puree until smooth.

In a large, heavy nonstick skillet, heat the peanut oil over high heat until just smoking. Turn the heat down to medium-high and carefully add the sauce. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon for 3 to 5 minutes, until it thickens slightly. The sauce will keep for about 2 months in the refrigerator.

A few other tacos from Tacos:


Anonymous said...

Your tacos look simply amazing. Fabulous post!

bunkycooks said...

I bet these were incredible. I am with you on making some healthier options for the warmer months, including less meat. Tacos are a great way to do that. ;)

Stacy (Little Blue Hen) said...

I love mushrooms but I never really though about making them the star of tacos. The potato taco recipe also looks amazing. Why did I let my Saveur subscription lapse?

Lovely photos, thanks for sharing the recipe. =)

Spike said...

I know this is an old post, but I cooked this tonigh. These are seriously great tacos, in fact, they tasted like they came from a restaurant. The salsa is excellent. The only changes I made were using some jack instead of the smoked mozzarella (it's what I had) and adding some avocado and chopped lettuce to the tacos. The only change I will make next time is not sweetening the salsa - I used agave nectar, and in a much lower amount than the recipe called for. Don't bother with the sugar, it's not necessary.