Sonoran Tacos

Tacos Estilo Sonora

 

Sonoran cuisine has a strong affinity to the Southwestern U.S. and this taco is no exception. It uses a flour tortilla instead of the more typical corn tortilla. The preparation is very simple and straightforward, creating a taco with a few strong elements that create several layers of flavor in each bite. I’ve provided three variations, because I can’t decide which one is my favorite! If I have some extra time, I turn these into tacos de asador (tacos grilled over an open flame) and grill the filling instead of sautéing it.

 

Makes 8 Tacos

Heat Level: varies with hot sauce

 

Ingredients:

The Filling (choose either the beans, portobello, or seitan)

·         1 tablespoon olive oil

·         1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch strips

·         2 cups cooked pinto beans, rinsed, or 2 large portobello mushrooms, chopped into bite-size pieces, or 2 cups cubed seitan

·         2 cloves garlic, minced

·         3/4 teaspoon salt

·         3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

·         4 Anaheim chiles or any long green chile, pan-roasted and cut into strips (pan-roast the chiles while you caramelize the onion)

 

The Tortillas

·         8 (6-inch) flour tortillas

 

The Toppings

·         Hot sauce of your choice

·         Chopped avocado

 

Preparation:

1.        Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until well caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the onions from the skillet and return the skillet to the heat. Add the filling of your choice (either the beans, mushrooms, or seitan).

2.        Pintos: Lower the heat to medium. Add the beans and garlic to the pan and sauté for about 2 minutes. Season them with the salt and pepper, and then remove them from the heat.

2.        Portobellos: Keep the heat at medium-high. Add the portobellos to the pan and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic about 1 minute before you are done cooking the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

2.        Seitan: Keep the heat at medium-high. Add 1 more teaspoon of oil to the pan. Add the seitan and sauté it for about 5 minutes, until it is well browned. Add the garlic and sauté this for 1 more minute. Season the seitan with salt and pepper and remove it from the heat.

3.        Warm your tortillas. Add the filling and onions, followed by the sliced roasted chiles, then the salsa, and a scattering of avocado.

 

MAKE IT SIMPLE:

Instead of pan-roasting the chiles, just remove the stems and seeds and cut them into strips. Add the chiles, onion, the garlic, the filling, salt, pepper, and oil to the pan all at the same time. Turn the pan to a medium heat and cook this until the onion is lightly browned. It will take you about 10 to 15 minutes to get everything done, but you don’t have a bunch of different steps to take and you only need to stir the food every couple of minutes.

 

Make It Low-Fat:

You can cook the onions without adding any oil to the pan. Just sauté them over a medium high heat in a dry pan, stirring them every minute or so. Once they are browned, add 1/4 cup of water to the pan, give everything a quick stir, and then add your filling of choice, along with the garlic, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the filling is done, about 2 minutes for the beans, 3 minutes for the mushrooms, and 3 minutes for the seitan.

 

How to Pan Roast:

Turn a dry iron skillet or heavy pan to medium heat. Lay the chiles on the pan. When they blister on the bottom, flip them over and repeat until all sides are blistered. Peel the blistered skin away from the chiles and discard the stem and seeds.

 

From Vegan Tacos by Jason Wyrick. ©2014 Jason Wyrick. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.