Saturday, 15 February 2014

Blue Corn Tacos with Sweet Potato and Cucumber Salsa

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

The Pretenders ~ Breakfast In Bed
Anna Nalick ~ Wreck Of The Day
Dorothy Moore ~ Misty Blue
Madonna ~ In This Life
Orianthi ~ How Does That Feel? 
Camille Thomas ~ Preludes For Cello and Piano: Op47 Prelude 24
Lacuna Coil ~ Survive 
Nick Cave ~ Into My Arms
KORN ~ Helmet In The Bush 
Clare Teal ~ The Road Less Travelled 
Muse ~ Big Freeze
Natalie Merchant ~ When They Ring The Golden Bells
Adele ~ Turning Tables 
Kenny Wayne Shepherd ~ Oh Well 

I am sat at my makeshift desk (the dining table as my real one is dismantled and packed up) feeling a little bleary eyed after a fantastic night out last night. I am also awaiting the stampede of little feet when my sister's little ones arrive for their Saturday visit. I miss coffee! My late night was due to our Valentines treat which was an evening at one of our local theatres to see Lucy Porter the comedienne. Aside from ML reacting to the concentrated perfumes and aftershaves of the other attendees we had a blast and to be fair I was reacting to them as well as after living with no fragrances for nearly two years I find them overwhelming even without having a Salicylate and Nickel Intolerance. However...our evening was a very lovely one. We started with a seaside visit in the rain (which I love!), we ate and then we made out way to the theatre and before long we were sitting in the dark theatre awaiting the lovely Ms Porter. And if there ever was a definition of the saying She may be little but she is fierce Ms Porter is exactly that. She is 4ft 11" which she is quick to point out and has an 6ft 5" husband. She comes out onto the stage and entertains. She is intelligent, witty, funny and self deprecating and we enjoyed every second of her act Northern Soul. Would we go and see her next tour? Yes. Most definitely. A very lovely Valentines evening...we are so pleased we made the effort. 

Today's recipe was one I found cruising Pinterest..what did we do before Pinterest? lol. It is the creation of the Tumblr Pure Taste and to read their original post click here. However in their posting they use the standard yellow corn tortillas but the fillings are their creation and not mine. They looked so tasty I knew I had to try them for myself. Now since going Gluten Free I haven't had a taco/tortilla/burrito and it would be fair to say I have missed them...a lot. And you would think that it would be easy to buy corn tortillas in the shops andyou can, if you don't mind the fact that almost all of them are mixed with wheat flour and a whole heap of junk that I can't believe they put in them so I have abstained. A couple of weeks ago I had a massive clear out and reorganisation of my dried stocks cupboards..and believe me that was a huge task but a satisfying one. In the back of one of the large double cupboards I found a large packet of Maseca Masa Harina which I had bought online and it still had a good shelf life left on it. Bonus! I made it my personal challenge of the week to make my own tortillas/tacos. 

What I did not realise was that across the front of the packet, which in my defence is all in Spanish and Dora has not gotten as far as tortilla making yet, it had Azul in capital letters. So it was a shock when I opened the packet and was faced with an almost purple blue flour. I hastily beat a retreat to my laptop and started researching Azul Masa Harina and was enlightened about the many differing Masa Harinas. wasn't a duff batch lol. I printed off a few recipes for Corn Tortillas and I have to say I was lulled into a very false sense of security. Everyone's blog posts all stated that making your own corn tortillas was Oh So Easy! Let me tell you...they LIE! lol. My first attempt was a freaking nightmare. My dough was sticky...the second too dry...then when I got a dough that stayed together for the pressing by the time I had peeled it off the plastic it collapsed around my fingers before I could get it anywhere near the skillets. Damn! So enraged was I had to down tools and dough and leave the kitchen. I was tired, hot and frustrated and never wanted to see a darn taco again..ever! It was not a satisfying experience...ahem. lol 

That night I had dreams about making them. I had nightmares about making them. I woke up rattled and more determined than ever that I was going to master this skill. Ha! I did some more research which sadly just left me feeling inadequate. lol. Everyone else seemed to find it so easy to make them so once again I headed into my kitchen...grrrrrr! I put on some good music, resisted the urge to open a bottle of red and got to work. I made my first batch of dough exactly like the packet said...well to what I could then had to add more flour and finally got it to a point where I could make the dough balls ready for pressing which I kept covered in a damp towel. Then I squished the first taco and had my skillet ready to go. I carefully lifted off the top plastic sheet and flipped it over to peel off the second and by the time I had pulled it away it had collapsed...again. I had a perfect hand shaped taco I tried again and got it to the unpeeled stage and then when I was about to put it in the skillet it folded up. Urgh! So I cooked it off and then tried again with the next ball...and again...and again...and again...and again...some stayed in a circle shape...others well..not. lol. So out of a mix that should have yielded 14 5 1/2" tacos...I got 6! Stop laughing..this whole process was vexing! lol OK let's just say my taco/tortilla making skills are a work in progress. However I did manage to get edible ones even if they are not that pleasing to the 

The fillings were easy to make and I went with the exact recipes that Pure Taste suggested so I sliced sweet potatoes and roasted them in the oven in a little oil and black pepper. The cucumber salsa is the work of seconds really and the guac is just...guac, eh? I was a little worried that the red onion would overpower everything and as I am a raw onion hater I was amazed that I decided to use it. But use it I did..just not as much.  I enjoyed making the assembled tacos and the only niggle I had was Pure Tastes reluctance to specify amounts in the some of the recipes but I understand their method and thought process..I'm just a recipe kinda gal so below is the recipes as they originally wrote them.

The results were interesting...I've never had homemade tacos before so was expecting the hard crunch you get from the shop bought varieties but these were firm but soft. The sweet potatoes were soft and sweet, the cucumber salsa balanced them out perfectly and the guac was garlicky and held it all together...until they started to tear lol. Despite this it was a delicious lunch...

funky Blue Tacos with Sweet Potatoes and Cucumber Salsa

Blue Corn Tacos with Sweet Potato and Cucumber Salsa 
(Cucumber Salsa and filling ideas are from Pure Taste) 

2 cups of Azul Masa Harina flour
1 1/4 cups of warm water 
1/4 tsp salt 

In a bowl mix the masa harina with the salt and then pour in the warm water and mix until a soft dough is formed. Knead in the bowl for 4 minutes and then cover with a damp cloth and leave to sit for 15 minutes. Section the dough into golf sized balls and then re-cover with the wet towel. Heat a skillet over a med-high heat and leave...take one ball of dough and place it between two sheets of a freezer bag cut open...then with a heavy based saucepan press down hard on the ball. You should have a 5" disc...carefully peel away the top layer and flip it over onto your hand and then quickly but carefully peel back the second layer and place (Good luck!!) into the heated skillet. Cook for 20 seconds on the first side then carefully flip it over and cook for 1 minute then flip again to the first side for a further 20 seconds. Then remove from the skillet and place in a clean towel and wrap it up. Repeat this until the dough is used up. Allow to sit in the clean towel as it allows them to steam and become more pliable. OR buy   

Pure Tastes Cucumber Salsa  Makes one cup 
(Recipe from Pure Taste Tumblr)

1 cucumber, peeled and diced 
1/4 cup of coriander/cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp fresh lime juice 
2 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
1-2 dashes of cayenne pepper 
freshly cracked black pepper to taste 
Himalayan salt, to taste 

Place all salsa ingredients into a container with an airtight lid. Stir really well and then put the lid on the container and store in the fridge until ready to use. 

Sweet Potatoes filling:

sweet potatoes quantity as needed, peeled and cut into thick strips. 

Drizzle them in a little oil and place onto a baking sheet. Place in a hot oven and bake until soft..approx 20 minutes. 

No-Fuss Guacamole

Ripe avocado 
fresh lime juice
garlic powder (I used 1 small garlic with core removed, grated)
onion powder 

Mash the avocado and then add the rest of the ingredients and stir until its all blended. Store in a covered container in the fridge until ready to use. 


Place a warm taco on a plate and schmear with Guac, then place the sweet potato along the centre and then cover them with the cucumber salsa. Then serve...


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Saturday is a splendid one...


NB: The recipes for the Taco fillings are not mine and are the creation of the folks over at Pure Taste tumblr and theirs alone. I thank them for a great recipe. I take no credit for them whatsoever. ~R~