FIVE FABULOUS, easy-to-make sauces that will ROCK your daily taco.
It works for me to write it all down, to canonize and archive my recipes and techniques---any little tricks I have adopted---and hope that you might get a little tickle from it all. Its not just French, Mexican or Italian cooking. This blog is about being a chef but also a mom, its about stocking my freezer and pantry to save me time later. You will find bonafide chef methodology and just as toothsome kitchen smarts from a mom who may be short on time, but is relentlessly big on flavor.
Just the other day I ‘food-processed’ homemade baby heirloom salsa in less than 2 minutes. While the chef in me cringed---the mom in me did cartwheels. It tasted great, and took no time at all. I didn't stop there:
I gave my little mini-chopper a good rinse, then used it to blitz a cilantro pesto. The third sauce (hey---I WAS saving tons of time, sort of like saving money by buying things on sale?) I made was Mexican ‘crema’ and since I couldn't ‘let it rest overnight’ I blended my own quick ‘crema’ in less than a minute. All of this because 1. I have been craving Mexican flavors, 2. Tortilla Land offered to send me fresh hand-made tortillas (Um: yes!) which I was determined to try, and 3. My boys were H-u-n-g-r-y.
I am big on flavors and knowing how to do things myself (I made my own tortillas just this past spring). As a mom, I also like to have a back-up plan. A good one. Which means I prefer fresh instead of precooked tortillas; I can still enjoy ‘made from scratch’ and ‘authentic cuisine’ even if I didn’t take [or have] the time to make them myself.
The tortillas were great; I would recommend them. I have made a few rounds of enchiladas, fish and chicken tacos (see picture, bottom), quesadillas and tortilla soup using Tortilla Land’s fresh tacos. While I was making this round of 5 sauces, I quickly browned each tortilla in a skillet (dry skillet or quick brush of oil both worked brilliantly).
I just… like better than just good food. I want each bite to count. Next time you make ‘just tacos,’ try fresh tortillas and any/all of the following condiments:
1. Chipolte Sauce I adore the Spicy Chipolte sauce from Terrapin Ridge. But its costly; a worthy, cost-saving backup would be to combine sour cream with some canned chipolte in adobo. If you have an extra minute: toss in a pinch of minced garlic, pinch of salt and pinch of sugar. Just a thought... and a worthy bite.
2. Heirloom Salsa 1 cup (plus), cherry or small heirloom [okay---almost any] tomatoes 1/3 cup red onion ¼ cup cilantro juice from ½ lime large pinch salt small pinch sugar ½ annaheim pepper, finely diced (no ribs, seeds okay)
Toss all into food processor: rough chop to desired consistency.
3. Cilantro Pesto 1 small can (4 oz) green peppers (OR roast/peel/remove stem and seeds of 1-2 poblanos… I didn’t have time). 1 cup loose cilantro 1/4 cup pine nuts 1/3 cup cheeses, preferably combo: Jack, Asiago, Manchego, Queso Fresco, cotija etc. 2-3 cloves garlic Juice of ½ lime 1/3 (plus) cup olive oil
Toss all but oil into food processor: chop to desired consistency. Stream in/whip in olive oil.
4. GuacamoleDO try this recipe; store in fridge by placing plastic wrap directly on surface to avoid browning.
5. Quick Crema ½ cup sour cream 2 T buttermilk
(Put into a squirt bottle so you can decorate the plate or quickly drizzle it over nachos or enchiladas; see pic). Put into the squirt bottle, shake hard to mix. Store in fridge.
Because taco night matters too.