Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hot Truck Tacos

These tacos are one of my all-time favorite homemade foods. I love them so very much. If I had to ask for a last meal, I think these would be part of it. They have a nice flavor with a kick. I love seitan. I love potatoes. I love tacos in general. A combo of my favorite things!

The original taco recipe, from Terry Hope Romero, was featured in Veg News Magazine October 2009. I made some short-cut modifications, removed the beer, and declined to use some of the toppings she recommended. I also changed the original Lime Cream sauce from a soy yogurt-base to a cashew-base. I've tried both versions but I prefer the cashew one. The recipes are a sneak peek from Terry's new Viva Vegan cookbook that will be available next month (April 27). I've never looked forward to a cookbook as much as this one.

I took a few bites out of the taco in the photo before I could get myself to photograph it. I just couldn't wait!

Chipotle Seitan and Roasted Potato Tacos

[as modified from Terry Hope Romero's recipe, originally featured in VegNews October 2009.]
Makes 8 large tacos

For the roasted potatoes:
1 ½ pounds waxy potatoes, skins left on, ½ -inch diced 1
3 tablespoons olive oil, or cooking spray as desired
½ teaspoon salt

For the marinade:
~¼ cup lemon juice (or lime juice)
3 garlic cloves, minced (fresh or from a jar)
2 chipotle peppers in adobo 2
2 teaspoons chipotle adobo sauce 2
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt

For the seitan:
1 pound seitan 3
½ cup peanut oil, or less oil as desired
8 soft white-corn tortillas
½ cup onions, diced

For the toppings (as desired):
1 ½ cups cabbage, finely shredded 4
½ cup cilantro, chopped

In a food processor, blend lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, chipotles, adobo sauce, oregano, cumin, lime juice, and salt. Place drained seitan strips into a medium bowl. Pour marinade over seitan strips, covering thoroughly, and marinate for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The seitan can easily be marinated overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a large baking sheet, spread diced potatoes and toss in oil to coat. Sprinkle with salt and roast for 18 to 20 minutes, flipping potatoes once during the roasting. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium –high heat, heat peanut oil. Add a quarter of the marinated seitan, a quarter of the potatoes and a quarter of the diced onions at a time. Fry 3 to 4 minutes per side, flipping once, until seitan is brown and crispy and onions are cooked. Mix the potatoes, onions, and seitan as you cook them together. Pile cooked seitan, potato, and onion mix onto large plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat until all seitan, potatoes and onions are cooked and mixed together.

Place one tortilla in a clean skillet. Heat tortilla about 20 to 30 seconds, until softened. Flip once and heat other side, then repeat with other tortillas. (Or you can fry the tortillas in oil and make them into taco shells.)

To assemble the tacos; on a serving plate, place the heated tortilla and coat inside of with Lime Crema (see below recipe), then arrange seitan/potatoes/onions mix down the center. Top with cabbage and cilantro as desired.


Lime Crema
[as modified from Terry Hope Romero's recipe, originally featured in VegNews October 2009.]

1 cup cashews
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon cilantro, dried (or 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped)
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
water, as needed

Soak cashews, covered in water, overnight in a medium bowl. [If you forget to soak them overnight, just try soaking them for as long as possible. They should plump up and soften to a good enough degree. You may just need to add a little more water than usual to smooth out the mix.)

Drain cashews. Blend cashews in food processor with lime juice until mixture is fairly smooth. Add a little water or more lime juice if needed to make smoother. Add cilantro, salt, and oregano. Blend all ingredients until very smooth. Chill until ready to use.

My preferred products and where you can find them:

1. Yukon Gold potatoes- Anywhere
2. Embasa Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce- Whole Foods
3. White Wave Seitan, Chicken Style (water pack)- Whole Foods
4. Dole Shredded Red Cabbage- Bashas

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