Thursday, April 5, 2012

Portobello "Street Tacos"

Mr. Wendy and I have a tendency to fall into food ruts.  We'll get on a roasted cauliflower kick, and eat it twice a week for months.  Or we'll start obsessing about chili, and pretty soon we'll have leftovers from three separate batches in the fridge at the same time.

So every now and then, I try to shake things up.  This time, I didn't have to look for an opportunity:  opportunity found me!

We belong to a produce co-op (members contribute about $15 every other week, the money gets pooled, and the organizers get fantastic bulk deals ... then divvy up the produce among all the members).  When I put in my last co-op order, I asked for a regular basket plus a bonus "Mexican night" basket.  We ended up with all sorts of goodies (including a killer pineapple that formed the basis for next week's recipe).  The Mexican bonus pack included tomatillos, a bunch of poblano peppers, cilantro, green onions, garlic, and a whole mess of limes.

Fresh green onions and cilantro!

And from that delightful bounty, the idea for roasted pepper and tomatillo salsa was born.  But what to serve it on??  How about street tacos?

OK, I guess technically "street tacos" are tacos from a street vendor.  But I associate them with small, soft tacos that are filled will particularly vibrant ingredients.  These little bundles definitely fit the bill.  The tequila/citrus marinade for the mushrooms gives them a subtle kick that partners beautifully with the creaminess of the beans, cheese, and sour cream and the bright heat of the salsa.

Portobello Street Tacos with Roasted Pepper and Tomatillo Salsa


1/4 c. oil
3 Tbs. orange juice
3 Tbs. lime juice
2 Tbs. tequila
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. liquid smoke

4 portobello mushroom caps, stemmed, de-gilled, and sliced into wide pieces
fresh flour tortillas
grape tomatoes
cheddar or Mexican cheese, grated
refried beans (we used canned)
sour cream
tomatillo and roasted pepper salsa*

Combine all of the marinate ingredients in a bowl, toss with the sliced mushrooms.  Cover and allow to marinate at room temperature for about an hour.  Heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are nicely browned.  (Meanwhile, heat beans in a small saucepan over medium low heat.)

Heat tortillas in the oven or toaster oven until just warm.  Create tacos by spreading a spoonful of beans on a tortilla, top with some sliced mushroom, cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, and a dollop of the brilliant salsa.

*Tomatillo Salsa:

About 6 large peppers, mostly poblano
10 tomatillos, husked and rinsed, patted dry
large bunch of cilantro leaves (3/4 c.?)
lime juice to taste (probably 1/4 c.)
heaping Tbs. minced garlic
5-6 green onions, white and light green parts only
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. sugar

Tomatillos and peppers under the broiler

Charred nicely

Preheat broiler.  Put tomatillos and peppers on a baking sheet and broil until starting to blacken (about 5 minutes per side).  Put peppers in a large bowl, cover with plastic, and let steam about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile coarsely chop green onions, garlic, cilantro, and tomatillos.  Remove peppers and de-stem, peel, remove seeds, and coarsely chop.  Add to the other ingredients, then throw in the salt and sugar.  Pulse in a food processor until blended but not pureed.


Wendy is the author of the Mysteries a la Mode. Visit her on the web or on Facebook. She also writes the Pet Boutique Mysteries under the name Annie Knox; you can follow Annie on Facebook, too!


  1. Wow i think its a tacos day coz i saw it every blog i visit hihi.
    this is good. great job looks so delicious..

  2. I am sick with jealousy over your Mexican bonus pack Wendy! All my favorite things...

  3. Wendy, I think you were very creative with the ingredients you received. It reminds me of Top Chef and other shows where contestants are given a basket of ingredients they must incorporate in a dish. I'm always afraid of signing up for produce co-ops. What if they send me lots of things I don't like? Has that happened to you?

    ~ Krista

  4. Wow, looks delish! I'm going to check into food co-ops around the idea of surprise produce!

  5. Thanks all ... it really was yummy. @Krista ... almost every basket contains avocados, and neither Mr. Wendy and I are fans (I know that's sacrilege among foodies to admit, but it's true). So I give them away! Suddenly, I'm the avocado Santa. ;)