I honestly cannot recall the first time I scarfed down a taco.
My Mom’s predictable ‘taco salad’ made an appearance every week, but a bowl of shredded lettuce, soggy tortilla chips, simmered fajita-powdered beef and slopped beans isn’t exactly the same bite. This miniature hammock of corn [flour tortillas are for burritos thank you very much] cradles a dynamite balance of crunch to tenderness, gracing several late night snack attacks and family dinner outings. Is there really an improper occasion to gorge on a few of these mexican sandwiches? [The answer is no if you were wondering]
Being a California native raised under Norcal’s fog and Socal’s smog, my palette has had the pleasure of meeting truly authentic versions. As a youth panting up and down a muddy soccer field, savory fumes would waft into my nostrils stealing my focus from the ball to the sidelines. My cleats would be stabbing the short grass field, resisting every urge to head toward the nearby taqueria truck. Oh, the joy of a steaming taco, accompanied by a Capri Sun, and orange segments after defending a goal post for an hour.
Tacos aren’t just about taste however, but rather the smells of ingredients swirling into your mind. Try recalling a recent entry into your kitchen or passing that favorite restaurant downtown. It’s primetime cooking hour. Disregarding the playful energy of the environment or rumblings of an angry saucepan, the aroma is what triggers a memory several months later.
It’s simple really; servings of food are memories on a plate.
Friends often ask me how I became so passionate for artful food. It’s simple really; servings of food are memories on a plate. As the associated smell is dispensed, reality blurs during your transportation back to a time. An authentic dining experience will channel this reflective sense, adding to past run-ins with the ingredient[s]. Subtly note the smile waking muscles around your mouth.
With hopes to add yet another chapter into my foodie hall of fame [and maybe even yours], the recent trigger unfortunately met me with defeat and disappointment. Having built massive hype for Seattle’s very own Taco Truck showdown, my week-off mistake left me with an extreme craving in need of satisfaction. My only solution was to high tail it to the land of fresh inspiration.
A taco’s fold crosses borders, with the promise of varying textures, and a protein proposing to the veg; how could this paycheck stealing market of organic goodness not meet my expectations? Whole Foods really is the perfect destination for the “little bit of this, little bit of that” meal.
Perusing the aisles among lululemon sporting Moms, and beard-clad Seattleites, my heart was set on a taco down under. Fish tacos have been attempted by many, often battered in beer and sloshed by flavored mayo, but despite brownie points in taste, they lack an avoided food coma. That tightening knot in your core echoing the, “You should not have eaten that” mantra. That’s what I intended to one up, and let me tell you, upping the flavor profile transformed me into my own personal cheerleader…damn, these tacos deserve the spotlight at many more party of one’s.
Although the trend soaring through chef’s kitchens is driven by simplicity, sometimes it just takes quite a few ingredients to define a harmonious mix. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, this taco literally is overflowing, but for those seeking a flavor bomb to impress, give your kitchen the by the sea aromas it deserves.
Complemented by a chilled bottle of Crispin’s Blackberry Pear cider dripping in tart berry notes, the Gluten-free chia specked tortillas are toasted enough to hold Whole Foods mapley-smoked salmon nuggets, crunchy zucchini-carrot slaw, the put on everything Miso Mayo(seriously, go buy it), and top with 0% greek yogurt dollops, shredded cilantro, roasted seaweed and a sprinkle of Sesame seeds. Sounds like a lot, but each piece is essential to perfecting a close runner-up to Mexico’s finest.
Can you smell dinner already?
Miso Salmon nugget tacos with zucchini-carrot slaw & cilantro yogurt
4 gluten-free Chia corn tortillas (Mi Abuelita Bonita)
4 oz. about 6 Whole foods smoked salmon nuggets
1/4 cup zucchini
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1/8 cup asparagus spears
3 tb. Miso Mayo, available in the vegetarian section
2 tb. nonfat plain greek yogurt (Fage)
one bunch of cilantro
3 mini sheets roasted seaweed snack
Take two chia tortillas, and place in a toaster / 350 degree oven. You want a slight golden brown hue, and enough crunch to hold the filling without turning into a chip.
Shred the salmon nuggets and place across the bottom of the tortilla fold. Layer the “slaw”(mix the zucchini, carrots, and asparagus spears) on top, followed by the miso mayo, greek yogurt dollops, torn seaweed snack, and sesame seeds to taste.