Looking for recipes featuring garlic and onions and craving tacos, I turned to Rick Bayless for inspiration. I found a recipe for Pickled Red Onions on his website. I thought the tangy lime flavor of the pickled onions would work well as a condiment for tacos and decided to make his recipe for Mushroom Tacos with Onions and Garlic. It's not the first time I''ve made this recipe (as you can see here I made them last year) but it was what I was craving and they make a great meat-free Friday dinner.
The pickled onions are simple and I liked that they used lime juice and salt instead of vinegar. I kept the taco recipe pretty much as written--just replacing the chicken stock with garlic broth and replacing the hard to find epazote with oregano and cilantro. My changes are in red below.
Pickled Red Onions
Recipe from From RickBayless.com
(Makes about 1 cup)
1 small red onion, peeled and cut in half
1/2 cups fresh lime juice
With a knife or food processor, thinly slice the onions. Scoop into a
Pour boiling water over them, count to 10, then
immediately pour the onions into a strainer. Shake off all the water,
pour the onions back into the bowl, pour on the lime juice and stir in
the 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. The
onions will last for a week or more in the refrigerator.
Mushroom Tacos with Onions and Garlic
Slightly Adapted from RickBayless.com
(Makes 4 to 6 Tacos)
12 oz fresh mushrooms, washed and chopped into 1/2 -inch pieces (I sliced them)
1/2 medium white onion, diced
1 or 2 fresh green chiles (roughly 2 serranos or 1 jalapeño), stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
2/3 cup chicken stock or water (I used garlic broth)
1/2 small lime, juiced
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large ripe tomato, roasted or boiled, cored, peeled and roughly chopped OR 3/4 of a 15-oz can tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp epazote, chopped (optional) (I used 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro & 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano)
salt to taste
Place the mushrooms, onion, chile, broth or water, lime juice and
lard or other fat in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil over
medium-high heat, cover and cook 3 minutes. Uncover and cook until all
the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms begin to fry in the fat.
While the mushrooms are cooking, puree the tomato with the garlic in a
blender or food processor.
When the mushrooms begin to fry, add the
tomato mixture and optional epazote and cook until the liquid has
reduced and the mixture is thick, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and
scrap into a serving bowl. Serve with tortillas on the side for making
Notes/Results: I like these tangy pickled onions with their strong lime flavor. They added a bright bite to the meaty mushroom tacos and I think they will be excellent with fish tacos this weekend, as well as with avocado toast or sandwiches. Between the boiling water, salt and lime juice, they don't have the usual red onion bite and they paired well with the sweet yellow onion I used in the tacos. Quick and easy--and I love their bright color too--I will happily make them again.
As a bonus, some of my other favorite allium-centered recipes from IHCC chefs are:
Jacques Pépin's Garlic Soup:
Garlic Soup with Harissa by Yotam Ottolenghi:
Jacques Pépin's Onion-Crusted Mahi Mahi:
Diana Henry's Cabbage & Leek Colcannon:
Nigel Slater's Leek and Camembert Risotto:
And back when I ate meat and poultry--Nigella Lawson's Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic:
I could keep going with many more delicious allium dishes from IHCC chefs but the above were some of my very favorite.
This post is linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where it is October's Monthly Featured Dish/Ingredient Challenge: Alliums! We are featuring recipes from any of our current or past IHCC featured chefs that use any member of the allium family such as onions, garlic, leeks, chives, and shallots. You can see what everyone made by checking out the picture links on the post.