The markets in Mexico, for me, are the heart of the country with all the wonderful women who come in from the countryside in their colorful attire to sell foods they have painstakingly prepared at home. Three quarters of giant tamales cooked in banana leaves, handmade tortillas, and all manner of fruit and vegetable dishes. The tacos in the markets in Mexico, usually found at stands arranged like little open-air cafes complete with brightly painted tables and chairs, are always fresh, local and cooked to order.
My taco recipe contains feta and chipotle chiles, which are smoked jalapeños. They have heat and a smoky flavor. They are available dried and also canned. When they are canned, they are packed in a red chile sauce called adobo. You can easily find them in the Mexican section of your supermarket.
8 ounces fresh mushrooms (portobello, shiitake, oyster, or a mixture)
2 tablespoons chile-flavored oil or olive oil
2 fresh poblano chiles
1/2 medium white onion, thinly sliced
8 ounces feta cheese, cut into 8 slices
2 ripe tomatoes, cut into 16 thin slices
8 lettuce leaves, washed and chilled
1 avocado, cut into 16 thin slices
8 (6 inch) corn tortillas
Salt, to taste
2 chipotle chiles in adobo, cut in strips, for garnish (optional)
4 sprigs fresh cilantro, for garnish
Heat a gas or charcoal grill or a broiler.
Brush the mushrooms with oil, and grill until brown on both sides. Remove, cut into thin slices, and set aside on a plate. Place the poblano chiles near the heat and roast until the skins blackens on all sides. Remove, place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to steam until cool. Remove the skins, stems, and seeds and discard. Cut into thin strips and set aside on the same plate with the mushrooms.
Place the sliced onions in a colander and run under cold water. Place on paper towel to drain, and pat dry with paper towels, and place on the plate with the mushrooms. Place the feta, tomato, lettuce leaves, and avocado on a clean plate.
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat.
Place the tortillas in the dry skilled and warm on each side until they become pliable. Remove to a flat surface. Fill each with 1/8 of each of the ingredients. Begin by placing a lettuce leaf on the tortilla. Top it with 2 tomato slices. Lay strips of mushroom, poblano, onion, avocado, and cheese on top. Sprinkle with salt and roll up into a tube.
To serve, place two tacos on each serving plate. Garnish with 1 chipotle chile and a sprig of cilantro. Serve immediately.
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