Spicy Chorizo and Potato Tacos

(Adapted slightly from Cook’s Illustrated.)

Filling:

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ chunks

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons ancho chile powder

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

3 teaspoons ground coriander

3 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Pinch ground allspice

Salt and pepper

6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

2 garlic cloves, minced

16 ounces ground pork sausage

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Tomatillo-Avocado sauce (recipe here)

Corn tortillas

Diced white onion

Cilantro sprigs

 

Steam or boil potatoes until they are just tender. (They will cook more once added to the chorizo.) Drain and set aside.

Combine oil, chile powder, paprika, coriander, oregano, cinnamon, cayenne, allspice, 1 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is bubbling and fragrant. Off heat, carefully stir in vinegar, sugar and garlic. Let stand until skillet cools slightly, about 5 minutes.

Add pork to skillet. Thoroughly incorporate spice mixture into pork, then return skillet to medium-high heat and cook until pork is broken into fine crumbles and juices are bubbling.

Stir in potatoes, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until potatoes have fully softened and have soaked up the pork juices, about 10 minutes. Off heat, mash about 1/4 of the potatoes in the skillet and stir until the mashed potatoes are evenly incorporated. Cover and keep warm.

Spoon filling into center of each tortilla, top with Tomatillo-Avocado sauce, white onion and cilantro.

 

 

Tomatillo-Avocado Sauce

(Adapted slightly from Cook’s Illustrated.)

8 ounces tomatillos, husks and stems removed, rinsed well, dried and cut into 1-inch pieces

1-2 avocados, halved and pitted

2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed and seeded

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems

1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon salt

 

Process all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

Taste and add additional salt, garlic or lime juice to taste.

Harissa Chicken and Chickpeas

(Adapted from Bon Appetit)

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, well-trimmed of excess fat

Salt and pepper

I medium onion, chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2-15 ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup harissa paste

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/4 cup chopped, flat-leaf parsley

Lemon wedges, for serving

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.

Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, cook until well-browned, about five minutes per side; transfer to a plate.

Pour off all but one tablespoon drippings from pan. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until softened, about three minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until beginning to darken, another minute or two. Add chickpeas, harissa, and broth; bring to a simmer. Add more broth if you desire a more saucy consistency.

Nestle chicken, skin side up, in chickpeas; transfer skillet to hot oven. Roast until chicken is cooked through, 20–25 minutes.

Top with fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Spinach and Chickpeas

(Adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen)

2-15 ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 pound fresh spinach, washed

3-1″ slices crusty bread, cut into small cubes

4-5 ounces tomato sauce

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Pinch of red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Salt and ground black pepper

 

Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add half the olive oil. When it is hot, add the spinach and a pinch of salt. Stir well until leaves are just wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat 2 more tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the bread cubes for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Add in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, cumin, pepper and smoked paprika. Cook for 1 minute more or until garlic is nutty and golden.

Transfer the bread mixture to a food processor (or use a mortar and pestle) along with the vinegar and process (or mash) to a paste. Return to the fry pan, add the drained chickpeas and tomato sauce. Stir until the chickpeas have absorbed the flavors and are hot. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the spinach to the pan and cook until hot. If mixture seems a bit thick, add a little more tomato sauce or water. Taste and add additional paprika, if desired.

 

Whole-Grain Banana Bread

(Adapted slightly from King Arthur Flour)

BATTER

2 cups mashed bananas, about 4 or 5 medium bananas

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup white, all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

TOPPING

1 tablespoon raw, turbinado sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

In a large bowl, stir together mashed bananas, oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla.

Mix the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cardamom into the banana mixture. Scrape the bottom and sides and make sure ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Spoon the batter into a 9 x 5 loaf pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake bread at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes, or until bread feels set on top and a knife inserted into the center comes out relatively clean.

Remove bread from the oven and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then, turn the bread out on a rack to cool completely.