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Cauliflower Love Taco Cups

cauliflower mushroom taco tortilla cup
“Now let me welcome everybody to the wild, wild west. A state that’s untouchable like Elliot Ness”

Theme song by 2Pac, Dr. Dre & Roger “California Love” from All Eyez On Me
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Despite the fact Music & Food is located in Brooklyn, I have absolutely no opinion about the Biggie vs. 2Pac thing. I also don’t buy into the East vs. West shit either. Both artists made great tracks and crap tracks. Both coasts have great artists and crap artists. The only thing that matters is if it’s funky, and goddamn this is a funky as hell theme. Most certainly Top Five on my California G-Funk list. 2Pac and Dre are on point, the track bangs, and the addition of Roger doing what only Roger can do takes it to the next level. If you can listen to this without your head nodding, you might just be dead inside.

Back in my pro cooking days, I did some recipe R&D for taco cups as an appetizer. I wanted to keep the filling vegetarian for both budget and veg menu option reasons. I often default to a mushroom when planning meat substitutes, but I wanted something new that I had not made before. I love making Buffalo Cauliflower and considered it for this, but wanted something more in a Tex-Mex style. In doing some research, I came across a couple of cauliflower taco recipes and decided to combine those and make cauliflower taco cups with roasted tomatillo salsa. 

The best part of this recipe is its timing and speed. Everything roasts in about 20 minutes. The extra roast time on the cauliflower after stirring gives you plenty of time to assemble the tomatillo salsa and place the cups in the muffin pan. Drop the oven to 350°F, assemble and fill the cups, and place them in the oven to bake. While they are resting, make the lime sour cream and you’re eating in about 35 minutes. Clean simple and delicious.

CAULIFLOWER LOVE TORTILLA CUPS
Cauliflower mushroom taco crumbles, roasted tomatillo salsa, queso fresco, lime sour cream, Aleppo pepper flakes
Makes 8-10 cups

3-4 burrito size flour tortillas
Cauliflower Mushroom Taco Crumble (see recipe below)
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (see recipe below)
Lime Sour Cream (see recipe below)
Queso Fresco or shredded mozzarella
Aleppo pepper flakes
Standard muffin pan
3″ biscuit cutter

Start by making the Cauliflower Taco Meat and Roasted Tomatillo Salsa. They can both be placed in the oven at the same time. While you process the salsa, place the cauliflower mixture back into the oven for the final roasting.

Take a tortilla and use the biscuit cutter to cut small tortilla rounds. You will need three rounds for each cup. Take three rounds and arrange them in one of the muffin cups to completely line the cup. Press the tortillas firmly into the bottom of the cup. Fill with 2-3 tablespoons of the cauliflower mixture, a tablespoon of salsa, and a few crumbles of queso fresco. Place in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes or until cups are golden and cheese has melted.

Let them rest while you put together the Lime Sour Cream. To serve, place the tortilla cups on a plate, drizzle with lime sour cream, and sprinkle with Aleppo pepper flakes.

CAULIFLOWER MUSHROOM TACO FILLING

1 small head of cauliflower (about 1 1/2 cups)
8-ounces fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400° degrees F

Lightly pulse the mushrooms in a food processor until you have a rice-like consistency. Place the mushrooms in a large bowl. Remove the core and leaves of your cauliflower. Cut it into small pieces. Pulse the cauliflower to the same consistency as the mushrooms and add to the bowl. Stir in soy sauce and mix. Stir in spices and mix well, making sure everything is mixed thoroughly.

Spread mixture onto a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes. Stir lightly and continue baking for an additional 5-10 minutes

ROASTED TOMATILLO SALSA
4 tomatillos, husked, washed & halved
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno peppers, cut in half with seeds removed
1 green bell pepper, cut in half with seeds removed
1 poblano pepper, cut in half and seeds removed
1 onion, cut into quarters
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Juice of 1 lime

Preheat the oven to 400°F

Spread the tomatillos, garlic, jalapenos, bell pepper, poblano, and onion on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and toss everything to coat. Roast until the vegetables are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes.

Put all of the roasted vegetables into a food processor or blender. Process until still a bit chunky. Thin with some water if it is too thick. Stir in the juice. Let cool completely.

LIME SOUR CREAM
4 tablespoons sour cream
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Posted in appetizer, baking, bushwick, comfort food, cooking, food, foodmusic, music, musicfood, recipe, taco, tex mex, vegetarian

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