First in a Series of Superiores Tacos Vegetarianos
Garlicky Green Chard & Shiitake Tacos Seared Onion, Cana de Cabra Spanish Goat Cheese, Chiffonade of Epazote Corn & Whole Wheat Blend Tortilla, Chipotle Tomatillo Salsa
It was worth a drive down to the Bestway Supermercado to pick up fresh epazote for these extraordinario vegetarian tacos. These tacos are not your traditional tacos sans carne. This flavor profile stands on its own. In fact, the addition of chicken or pork or steak couldn’t improve on their fresh earthy robust sabor.
You’ve heard the expression “like a kid in a candy store?” Well that kid was me this past weekend at the Farmers’ Market in Palos Verdes. If it looked tasty, I bought it. No restraint whatsoever. From Japanese eggplant to okra to heirloom tomatoes. And asatsuki, carrots, red serranos, beets, patty pan squash, spinach, garlic, Anaheim chiles, Thai basil, mitsuba…I had no plan, no recipe in mind. I was simply vegetable-crazy.
8-layer farmers’ market fantasy
curried fresh carrot juice sauce with blanched okra & mitsuba
grilled green & yellow patty pan squash
sautéed spinach with sesame, garlic, soy sauce
crispy polenta cake
fire-roasted anaheim chile
fresh goat cheese & asatsuki
cumin dusted grilled beet
spicy smoky heirloom tomato & thai basil
roasted japanese eggplant, maldon smoked sea salt flakes
Last May we traveled to Paris to celebrate my sister-in-law’s 40th birthday. And recently I went to visit my family in Chicago. Of course we had to get together and have a dinner party with “the gang who went to Paris for Kristy’s birthday weekend.” And I was more than happy to be the chef.
Form goat cheese into medallions and refrigerate. Dip chilled goat cheese medallion in a beaten egg, then in panko breadcrumbs. Fry in hot peanut oil turning once. When the breadcrumbs are golden, transfer to paper towel. Season with sea salt.
My favored Dijon Vinaigrette comes from Jacques Pepin:
2 tsp chopped garlic
3 Tbs Dijon-style mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 c red or white wine vinegar
1 c extra virgin olive oil
I also a 2 tsp minced shallot. Put all ingredients in a jar, screw on the lid, and shake very well.
This salad is named for my sister-in-law Kristy. Several years ago I made this salad for her and it became one of her favorites. Now, like enjoying a Chicago-style hot dog or having lunch at Joe’s Stone Crab, this salad is also one of our culinary traditions. I make it every time I come to town.
Dip chilled goat cheese medallion in egg white, then in panko breadcrumb/black sesame seed mixture. Fry in hot peanut oil until golden, transfer to paper towel. Season with sea salt.
Soba Noodles with Edamame:
Toss cooked chilled soba (buckwheat) noodles, edamame (shelled boiled green soy bean) and sliced scallions with dressing.
Creamy Sesame & Sweet Soy Dressing:
Heat ½ c. each low-sodium soy sauce and mirin (rice wine) in a sauce pan, with 1 t. each minced garlic and ginger. Reduce by half. Add honey to taste. Let cool then mix with 1/4 c. tahini (sesame seed paste).
Assemble Goat Cheese Katsu Salad:
Place baby leaf spring greens on a platter, drizzle with dressing. Place soba noodles alongside the spring greens, top with warm Goat Cheese Katsu medallion.
I used the delicious Ile de France Goat Cheese. It is an indulgent, fresh, tangy, snowy white rich cheese made from milk of goats grazing in the French Alps. Looking for ideas for the next time you serve goat cheese? There are many creative cheese recipes in the Ile de France Spring Follies here.
The inspiration for this cheese served with an Asian-style twist came from my favorite local restaurant, Gina Lee’s Bistro, owned by my dear friends Scott & Gina Lee. They serve a delicious Chicken Katsu over Soba Noodles with Asian Vegetables. And if you are a fan of chèvre chaud you might enjoy this pumpkin seed crusted version as well.
Roasted/salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) are ground in a food processor then mixed with panko breadcrumbs.
A peppered goat cheese medallion is dipped in egg then coated with the pumpkin seed breadcrumb mixture.
The medallion is fried in peanut oil until golden, then transferred to a paper towel while the salad is composed. Sprinkle the hot medallion with a little sea salt.
Combine equal amounts of pumpkin seed oil and walnut oil with balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and salt & pepper for the dressing. Toss with mixed greens, roasted pepitas, walnuts, then serve with roasted beets.
Another tasty salad using this walnut oil can be found here. This pumpkin seed oil is from the Styrian region of Austria. I seem to be on an Austrian kick lately, first with my new favorite wine, GrünerVeltliner and now this oil. And if you visit Merisi’s blog, I’m sure you will fall in love with Austria too.
I am submitting this dish to Lore of Culinarty blog for her Original Recipes ongoing event. I’ve made ChèvreChaud many times but never used pumpkin seed as a coating. Very happy with the result.
Have you tried pumpkin seed oil? I just recently found it at the market and would be interested to hear how you are using it. A terrific product for Fall, I’m excited to experiment. La Tourangelle’s website has a recipe using pumpkin seed oil with salmon sashimi. Hmmm…