Double helping of taco filling

img_0048As previously mentioned, I’m a big fan of Mexican food (I also like Tex Mex, but preference is towards Mexican).  Starting about a year ago, unless I’m in the mood for a naughty, quick and easy Old El Paso taco kit, I make my tortillas from scratch using masa harina.  It takes a bit of extra time, but I think it’s well worth it – particularly if you’re making quesadillas or tostados as the corn base which is masa harina gives the most spectacular crunch when it’s fried.  The basic instructions will be on the back of the pack of masa harina, but essentially you mix the correct amount of masa harina with water, let it rest and then dry fry the little discs that you press out.

I probably make this every four to six weeks, so it’s not super often, but a complete staple of the yearly food routine in the kitchen.  There are so many different variations of fillings that you can do and I haven’t even started to explore the half of them, but here is one new one that I tried and a classic.  One is a vegetarian option and the other is most definitely not.

Pulled smokey jackfruit

I saw an article in the Guardian recently about jackfruit and was completely intrigued.  It’s apparently an absolutely enormous fruit that grows on a tree and the fruit is fibrous, relatively protein rich and is being used as a substitute for pork in any recipe where pork is pulled.  The version that I got was pieces in a small tin from the shop (had to go to Whole Foods for this one as it wasn’t in Sainsbury’s, Waitrose or Co-op) and I have to say that it worked quite well in the tacos, but it didn’t taste as good on its own two days later.  Next time, I’ll probably try a Pibil type version for it.

Ingredients

  • 1 tin jackfruit pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red tomato, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 chipotle chilies
  • 4 chile de arbol
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 3 dl water

Method

  1. Add the red onion and garlic to a medium pot with vegetable oil
  2. When softened, add chillies, herbs and honey
  3. Stir in chopped tomato and jackfruit
  4. Cover with water, bring to a boil and then simmer
  5. Cook until jackfruit is soft and then pull apart into threads
  6. Cook until reduced and most of the liquid is absorbed
  7. Serve in tacos with salsa fresca, hot sauce and pickled radishes or red onions

Classic roadside chicken tacos

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs, deboned
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 chipotle chilies
  • 4 chile de arbol
  • 1 ancho chili
  • 3 tsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • 2 limes, squeezed
  • 1 – 1 1/2 dl olive oil
  • 1 tsp allspice

Method

  1. Place everything except for the chicken into a blender and blitz to a fine paste
  2. Marinade the chicken in the mixture for at least an hour in the fridge
  3. Using a cast iron grill (or if possible a BBQ) cook the chicken until the juices run clear
  4. Rest for 10 mins and then chop into cubes or strips as you wish
  5. Serve in tacos with salsa fresca, hot sauce and pickled radishes or red onions

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