“I just… I don’t understand why you keep going back to him, Jill.”
“Listen, Tamera, I don’t know, okay? All I know is that last time he was super nice to me and he made tacos. So, you know, I don’t know. I feel like it might work out.”
Fridays in late August. Short sentences only. No long stories. Just dialogue.
Silent office. Calling gulls. Blasting AC. Remnants of apple and cheese stick. Late summer is a poem. Mine would be called “Ode to Tacos.”
Go. Make tacos. Spritz lime. Warm tortillas. Tilt face upward toward sun. Enjoy.
Mushroom, Rajas and Corn Taco with Queso Fresco
2 Anaheim Chiles
1 Poblano Chile
1 Cup of fresh corn kernels (about 1 ear)
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 White onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 Large clove of garlic, thinly sliced
6 Ounces of cremini or white button mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
6 Fresh epazote leaves, chopped (about 1 tablespoon, optional)
Fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 Cup of queso fresco, cut into small cubes
6 Warm corn tortillas
1/4 Cup of grated cotixa or anejo cheese
Sprigs of fresh cilantro
1. Roast the chiles as for rajas (see below) and cut them into 1/2-inch dice.
2. Take a heavy pan (cast iron) and heat over medium-high heat until very hot.
3. In a bowl, toss the corn with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Spread the corn in the hot pan and let it blacken slightly, without stirring. Have a lid ready in case the kernels begin to pop. Remove roasted corn from the pan.
4. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Add the onion and diced chiles and cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft and beginning to brown. Season lightly with salt and remove from the pan.
5. Reduce the heat and add the remaining olive oil. Add the garlic and mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Return the corn and chiles to the pan and stir to reheat.
6. Turn off the heat and stir in the epazote, if using, black pepper, and queso fresco.
7. To assemble the tacos, spoon some vegetables onto a tortilla. Top with a generous tablespoon of salsa and sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of cotixa cheese over all. Top with a cilantro sprig.
Roasting the chiles:
Char the whole peppers on all sides, by placing them directly in a gas flame or under a hot broiler. Wrap them in a paper towel and allow to cool completely, then remove the stem and seeds. Rub off the charred skin with a towel. Do not wash chiles or you’ll lose the smoky flavor.