Endless possibilities; it’s the thing that I love most about tacos. Here on the West Coast you can pretty much put anything in a taco. From cod to calamari to beef tongue, and everything in between, there is reason enough to dedicate a day of the week to eating tacos. I spotted some house-made Mexican Chorizo at Bi-rite this weekend, and my brain started filling with ideas of how to utilize this tasty meat. Naturally, I wanted to take advantage of seasonal ingredients so I picked up some corn, chili peppers, tomatillos and avocado, and let the rest of the components swirl in my head until I came up with this perfect Tuesday Taco.
Chorizo Tacos (makes 10 tacos)
- 1 lb Chorizo sausage, casings removed
- 1 small white onion, finely chopped
- 10 corn tortillas
- crumbled Cotija cheese
Corn Salad (makes 3 cups)
- two ears yellow corn, husks removed
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 2 mild chili peppers, diced (such as Anaheim, Chilaca or Poblano)
- 2 TB cilantro, finely chopped
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 2 TB salsa verde
- juice from 1/2 lime
Avocado Salsa (makes about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 jalapeño
- 2 scallions
- 2 tomatillos, cut into eighths
- 1 avocado
- juice of 1/2 lime
- salt to taste
Start by boiling a large pot of water for the corn. Once boiling, add a touch of salt and the corn and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 4 minutes, then remove with tongs and let cool. Once cool enough to touch, use a large knife to slice down the sides of the ears, removing all the kernels. In a large bowl, combine the corn with the red onion, chili, cilantro, scallion, salsa verde and lime juice. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
Next, prepare avocado salsa. In a large food processor fit with a steel blade, chop garlic cloves and jalapeño pepper. Add the scallions and tomatillos and process again. Then add lime juice, avocado and a pinch of salt and process to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed, then transfer to a small bowl using a rubber spatula.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once heated, place tortillas on an oven tray and cook for about 7 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and cover with a kitchen towel to keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and chorizo and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring and breaking up the meat as it browns. If the meat renders more fat than a light coat on the bottom of the skillet, pour off extra. Continue to cook until meat becomes slightly crispy, then transfer to a serving bowl.
Arrange all of your components on the dinner table so that people can construct their tacos as they wish. My ideal taco starts with a spread of avocado salsa on the bottom, followed by a heaping scoop of chorizo, then topped with the corn salad and Cotija crumbles. Ta-da!
As for a wine pairing, you could take few different paths. A dark Rosé of Cabernet or Tempranillo would pair well with the spice in this dish, as would a bright and acidic Sauvignon Blanc or Albariño from Chile. If you wanted to go with something a little bolder, serve a plummy and peppery Zinfandel such as Storybook Mountain’s Mayacamas Range Zinfandel, or Ridge Geyserville or Ponzo Zinfandel. If it were me – and in the theme of endless possibilities – I would serve a Rosé, an Albariño and a Zin and let my guests choose!