Appetizer, Mexican

On the Border – Tango with Tacos and Guacamole

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Taco is a famous food from Mexico that predates Spanish invasion and offers a very tasty bite. With a few robust veggies, taco filling can be tossed together very quickly. It is a welcome dinner in our home any night of the week. Taco is typically constructed with 3 or 4 layers. Begin with a good tortilla, top it with cheese to secure the base, add the topping picking firm veggies, finally a dressing such as a salsa. Salsa or guacamole can also be served on the side along with chips or crackers.

When picking the tortilla, there are many options available today. We particularly like the new varieties made with vegetable flours such sweet potato or potato or cauliflower. These provide a unique taste and usually are lower in carb than the average flour tortilla. Here I am using yellow corn tortilla and potato tortilla.

Pick a strong flavored cheese, we always like spicy cheeses. Today I am using cow’s milk cheese with black pepper. We were able to pickup varieties of cheese from a local creamery as part of our apple picking trip to North Georgia, a couple of weeks ago. If cheese is not your thing, it can be omitted.

For the veggie filling, I am using shitake mushrooms which are woody and hold up to high heat stir fry along with tofu for protein and squash for color.

The filling is made very flavorful by using fresh garlic and home-grown habanero. For the final flavor enhancer sprinkle some Taco seasoning. I am a big fan of Penzey’s spices and I love their ‘Bold’ Taco Seasoning. It only needs a teaspoon or less.

Enjoy Taco with a scoop of freshly mashed guacamole and whole grain crackers !

On the Border – Tango with Taco and Guacamole recipe

Ingredients –

  • Soft Tortilla – use corn or whole wheat or potato or sweet potato or cauliflower
  • Veggie mix – red onion, squash, peppers, shitake mushrooms, extra firm tofu
  • Flavor additions – garlic, habenaro, green onions, cilantro
  • Taco seasoning – 1 tsp
  • Cheese shredded

Procedure –

  1. Slice the veggies into thin long strips.
  2. Chop the flavor additions finely.
  3. In a big fry pan or wok, stir-fry the onions, add garlic and habenaro.
  4. Add peppers, squash and mushroom. Stir-fry on high heat. The flavor will be intense.
  5. Add the tofu in the middle of the pan and let sit to brown a little.
  6. Add salt and taco seasoning and combine everything.
  7. Turn off heat and add chopped cilanto and green onions.

Assembling the Taco –

  1. Heat a flat cast-iron griddle. Heat the tortilla on one side, flip and sprinkle some cheese. Spread the veggie filling in the center 1/3 area. Fold to half-moon to seal and crisp up on both sides.
  2. Serve Taco with a generous scoop of guacamole and choice of chips or crackers !

Fresh mashed Guacamole –

Guacamole is one dish which needs very limited additions to avocados since it holds it own on just the taste of ripe avocados. All it needs is finely chopped onions, garlic, jalapeno and cilantro. Season liberally with salt and fresh squeeze of lime juice. Mash the avocados and mix well.

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