V. Tacos and the Special sauce

November 15th 2016

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Let's just skip over the election shall we? Yeah had enough of that on Ye olde' Facebook feed. But just to not be without a bit of snark....today I made tacos! VEGAN TACOS! I gotta try and preach some plant based love, I feel like anyway I can take the edge off the heat of the world I should. I'm an omnivore, I am not trying to say different, but there is really no reason I shouldn't be focusing on plant based recipes....really good ones, I think that its the way the world has to go to sustain life. I have kids, and "footprint" guilt, I want them to be better than me...so I need to do what I can by making plant based eating a normal option for dinner at least 50% of the time.
This recipe may be the best vegan recipe I have ever made. I had several inspirations for this recipe, one of them being an arbol salsa I had at a local burrito hut on Division st. The burrito sucked to be honest....but one of the salsas was incredible. I googled my heart out trying to find "Taqueria orange colored salsa" so I read about 20 versions then I decided to mix and match a few and came up with this "Special sauce", its sexy....and it tops these vegan tacos to perfection. You won't miss the animal....I promise you.
Sexy salsa:
3 roma tomatoes
4 tomatillos
3 shallots
1/2 lime juiced
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least two hours to overnight
two cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt, maybe a bit extra
20 dried chile de arbol, stemmed seeded and place in bowl with hot water poured over.
2 T. Tahini
2 T. nutritional yeast flakes
Broil the tomatoes, tomatillos, and peeled shallots, I cut them all in half and sprayed them with coconut oil spray, broil for 5 minutes check on them, if the outer skin of the tomatoes are blackened they are good, if they aren't broil for 2-5 more minutes. When they are out of the broiler and cool enough to handle remove skins and puree with other ingredients, using only a few Tbsp. of the water from the chilies. Add a bit of water if the mixture is too thick, it should be creamy and pour-able.
Fillings:
I made a black bean and corn relish:
1 can drained and rinsed black beans
1 cup corn kernels
4 radishes sliced thin
other half of lime, juiced.
1 shallot, sliced thin
1 red pepper
a handful chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
Potatoes:
4 russet potatoes boiled skin on for 12 minutes, drained and peeled and broken apart with hands (it makes them crispier then slicing)
1/2 cup cooking oil, I did a mix of canola and olive
Salt and pepper
Place oil in a small sauce pan, heat over high until shimmering, cook potatoes in small batches until golden and crispy, place on a plate with a paper towel, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Warm tortillas of choice, and top with potatoes, relish, and special sauce. The nutritional yeast adds a bit of "cheese" taste to the sauce. My kids didn't even realize these were vegan till I told them. A great way to serve vegan dishes is to make them approachable with foods kids are already fans of, this one was a winner for family meals. A good salsa can make a simple thing like potatoes entree appropriate!