08 May 2013
Zucchini tacos two ways
We are back from Michigan! Unfortunately, I accidentally left my camera on in my bag overnight, so I have no pictures to give you. But I do have pictures of things I made before we went to Michigan!
Traditional tacos are pretty straightforward: beans or meat, crunchy shredded leaves, and a salsa or garnish of some type. So you get things like fish tacos with cabbage slaw and pickled onions, chicken tacos with shredded lettuce, onion, and cilantro, and straight-up pinto bean tacos with more lettuce and pico de gallo.
Then you start adding more things, and the traditional tacos get blown out of the water.
Don't get me wrong: traditional tacos are amazing and I love them very much. But when the first zucchini start showing up at the farmer's market, I want to eat them every which way, and one way is in the taco of my choice.
Some of you may be saying something along the lines of "UGH! Squash in a taco is an abomination! This is what's wrong with every so-called 'vegetarian burrito' ever made. Why do you torment us so??" Fair point! Most of the time tacos and burritos filled with zucchini (and its awful counterpoint, broccoli, which I flatly do not believe can be saved here) are watery and bland, devoid of protein, and dripping with colorless juice that soaks the tortilla through before you're even halfway through. These tacos are different.
By pan-frying the zucchini with onion and herbs, you not only burn off the offensive juices, but also flavor the resulting vegetable mass beautifully. Adding scrambled egg or refried black beans takes care of the protein problem. And cooking the tortillas over open flame provide an extra element of crispness to fight against the sog factor.
I made two different kinds of zucchini tacos: one for breakfast and one for lunch. Both start out in very much the same way.
Saute chopped onion and/or garlic in a frying pan with a little olive oil or butter. While it's softening, toast as many corn tortillas as you want tacos on both sides over the gas flame. You can do this in a frying pan if you have an electric stove, but the gas burner char is really amazing. Put your finished tortillas aside, covered with a clean kitchen towel to keep them warm.
Chop up your zucchini and add it to the pan. Salt, pepper, cumin, oregano. Cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring or tossing frequently. It should take five minutes or so before your zucchini has released all its liquid and begins to turn golden around the edges. This is what you want.
For breakfast tacos: scramble a couple of eggs, either with your finished zucchini or by themselves. Add in a bit of chopped cilantro or green onion if you want. Layer your tortillas with the finished eggs, the zucchini mixture, and a scattering of the cheese of your choice. I used parmesan because we had some lying around.
For lunch or dinner tacos: Warm up some black or refried beans in a separate pan, or shove all the zucchini and onion to one side of your frying pan and just warm them in the empty spot.
Layer your tortillas with the hot beans, zucchini, and some sliced avocado. Scatter cilantro over the tops.
Hooray! Double tacos!
What have you been stuffing into tortillas lately?