Tacos de Chili Relleno(sort of)


Taco de Chili Poblano vsvevg (1)This is the last in my series of vegetarian tacos . As usual I had to tweak the recipe. Generally chili poblano is charred and cut into strips, for tacos. Sometimes bathed in crema(Méxican sour cream)* for rajas in crema, or, a la Méxicana, with tomato and onion, with the poblano as the chili portion of this basic recipe. For the full blown rellenos taco, the chili is stuffed with cheese and batter fried, then wrapped in a tortilla. I am not afraid of fat, but a deep fat fried anything in a tortilla is a little heavy even for me. So because I love rellenos and portable food, I devised this slightly lighter version.
Tacos Rellenos de Queso Frito, con Salsa Ranchero
Charred, and peeled chili poblano, cut in half. Each chili will make two tacos.
Queso cincho , ar any cheese that fries well; kasseri , provolone are good choices.
Vegetable oil
Heat the oil, and fry the cheese until brown outside and creamy inside, warm the chili in the pan as you do this. Place the cheese in the chili and the chili in the tortilla. Eat immediately, fried cheese gets tough when it cools. Dip in salsa ranchera.
Salsa Ranchera
This recipe comes from, you guessed it, Diana Kennedy’s, The Essential Cuisines of Méxican! She mentions the debate about whether or not to broil the tomatoes; I’m with her, I prefer them broiled. This salsa is standard with Huevos Rancheros, Queso Flameado and Chilies Rellenos. It’s a good standard recipe to have in ones repertoire. It makes about a cup.
One pound roma tomatoes broiled until some of the skin is blackened
4 serrano chilies charred, I do this in a pan with oil, again to blacken the skin
1 clove garlic roughly chopped
2 Tbles vegetable oil
2 Tbles finely chopped white onion
½ tsp salt, or to taste
Blend the tomatoes, chilies and garlic until fairly smooth.
Heat the oil and fry the onion gently without browning, until translucent. Add the blended ingredients and salt and cook over a fairly brisk heat for about five minutes, stirring and scrapping the bottom of the pan until the sauce is reduced a little and well-seasoned.

Taco de Chili Poblano vsvevg (2)
These are the links to the rest of my vegetarian taco recipes; in the case you missed one 
Tacos de Haba(fava vean)
Tacos de Nopal(cactus paddle)
Tacos de Hongo(mushroom)
Tacos Dorado(ricota)
Tacos de Papa (potato)

*I mention crema in several of these posts. You can buy Méxican style crema, but it’s overpriced. The most authentic way is to make it by adding 1 Tbles sour cream to 1 cup of unpasteurized heavy cream and let it sit in out for a couple of days. It’s pretty warm here so it doesn’t take mine more than a day usually, but be sure your crema is in a warm place, say near a pilot light. Then, pull the heavy top portion back and pour off any whey that may be at the bottom, add some salt and refrigerate.
Or, you can use regular sour cream, which is perfectly delicious. I hope you enjoyed my veggie taco series. Our next foray into the authentic cuisine of Morelos features– Chicharron!

Good and Good for You

Havesting Nopales

Nopales are a super food.  We have a stand in our garden and I prepare them as a side dish, a salad and a taco filling. Nopales can be purchased ready to cook in most latin groceries both here and in the U.S.  Lucky you, because cleaning them is sort of a pain, but I don’t mind because they’re easy to grow, delicious and free!

Nopales al Vapor (this recipe is roughly from Dianna Kennedy’s Essential Cuisines of México)

2 Tbles vegetable oil

2 cloves of garlic chopped

1 pound nopales, cleaned and cut in strips or cubes (I prefer strips)

2 Tbles chopped onion

1-2 serranoes thinly sliced


2 large sprigs epazote or cilantro, roughly chopped

2 eggs

Heat the oil, fry the garlic until translucent and then add everything but the epazote. Cover the pan and cook over low heat, stirring from time to time until the nopales are almost tender: their viscose juices will exude.

Uncover and raise the heat a bit cooking until the sticky liquid has dried up.  At this point I like to whisk in a couple of eggs, though it’s not traditional. They make the nopales hang together and easier to eat, also the richness offsets the acidity of the cactus paddles.  Add the herb in the last couple of minutes, stir, and fill your tortillas.

Nopal Tacos

I chose machine made tortillas this time. The traditional condiments are queso fresco, and a dollop of sour cream. I also added Salsa de chili Arbol, which I buy because it’s brutal to make. The frying and blending of chili arbol chokes the air with capsicum!  But the tacos don’t really need salsa, I was just in the mood for major heat.





Haba Tacos

Haba Taco

Ok, I’m fudging the authenticity on this a little. We do have fava bean tacos here but they’re made with dry habas…and are usually quesadillas. But I love favas and they’re in season, so I couldn’t resist and I’m glad I didn’t because the tacos were delicious.

Haba Taco Filling
2 lbs favas, cleaned of pods, blanched and peeled
2 Tbles olive oil
2 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
Sauté the garlic until tender, add the favas and sauté one minute. Add water to barely cover, simmer until tender, varies according to the age of the beans, 5-15mins. Uncover and raise heat to med-high and cook out the fluid, the beans will be soft and creamy, but intact. Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
soon to be salsa
I served mine with salsa cruda because I wanted a very light spring flavor. I used my food processor rather than my molcajete because I like the texture, and I char the vegetables for molcajete salsa, technically cook, thus it’s not salsa cruda(raw).
Salsa Cruda
3-4 roma tomates (about two cups)
1-3 serrano chilies
1 clove garlic
1 tbles onion
a handful of cilantro, I like a lot about a ½ cup
process until its juicy but not juice

Salsa Fresa

I chose a bit of queso cincho, as garnish and my hand made corn tortillas, but I think I’ll make flour tortillas next time, or buy machina tortillas(processed corn tortilla) something a little more innocuous that doesn’t compete with the favas.




Mushroom Tacos

Mushroom Tacos

I have a friend who’s partial to Taco Johns bean tacos as a hangover cure. When I learned this, many years ago, I thought to myself, why would anyone ever eat a bean taco? It’s amusing to me now because beans and tortillas are the foundation of my diet.

When I moved to Mexico I discovered many authentic non-meat taco fillings.  For the next few weeks I’ll share some of the more interesting veggie taco recipes.  I like this recipe because the salsa is cooked into the filling. It’s very simple, very easy, and very good, indeed.

I’m lifting (though not the exact recipe) this recipe from the Essential Cuisines of México, by Dianna Kennedy because my goes something like…chop up some mushrooms throw’em in a pan with some chilies and tomato… Oh, don’t forget the oil!

Tacos de Hongos

The original recipe calls for huitlacoche but any wild or cultivated mushroom could be used.


3 Tbles Vegetable oil
¼ cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
2 cups tomatoes finely chopped
3 serrano’s cut into strips with seeds and veins
1 Ib. mushrooms roughly chopped
2 sprigs epazote or parsley (I use cilantro is I don’t have epazote) roughly chopped
Sour cream or,  I add 4 Tbles of heavy cream


Heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic gently, do not let them brown.

Add tomatoes, chilies, mushrooms and salt. Cook over medium heat uncovered, stirring from time to time,  until the mushrooms are soft and the juices reduced—about 15 minutes.

If you’re using the heavy cream add and cook on high heat for two minutes to reduce the fluids, then toss in the epazote and cook at medium heat for 1 min.  If not using the heavy cream, garnish your tacos with sour cream if you wish.

Fill tortillas of your choice, I recommend corn. You can see I put some Queso de Cincho on mine; it’s a salty cheese that doesn’t melt, its similar to Romano. I don’t recommend a melting cheese because the tacos are really rich and can be unctuous with too much creaminess.