I love it when a cookbook practically oozes excitement, expertise and enthusiasm for its subject, and Vegan Tacos by Chef Jason Wyrick does just that. His passion for this classic staple of Mexican street food is infectious, and VT is beautifully executed with snippets of taco history, ingredients and techniques nestled between tons of carefully researched and creative taco recipes.
I love tacos, but trying to order vegan tacos in a restaurant can be hit or miss. Sometimes the beans are soaked in lard or pork and sometimes there is nothing notably creative about vegan options offered on the menu. Because of this, I prefer to make my own tacos at home, but it’s easy to get into a taco rut.
This is why Vegan Tacos has already become a well-used part of my cookbook collection even though it’s only been out for less than a month. My favorite recipe so far has been Jason’s mushroom tacos (see recipe below). I love how oyster, cremini and shiitake mushrooms are carefully layered to create a richly textured taco that offers an unexpected and complex pop of flavor and smells absolutely amazing once assembled. I also love that these are so simple to throw together in just a few steps.
Hungry for more? Want a chance to win your own copy of this taco-ey tome? Lucky for you, the kind folks over at Vegan Heritage Press have kindly offered to give away one free copy of Vegan Tacos through this post!
To enter, just leave in the comments section below your favorite taco filling. If you’d like, also share this post on facebook, pinterest, twitter or instagram and tell me you did in a separate comment for a bonus chance to win! I’ll randomly draw a winner on September 25. Shipping is limited to US only, and please leave your email or some way to contact you in case your comment is drawn as the winner. Good luck!
Congrats to Amey, winner of this giveaway … thanks to all who entered!
Mushroom Tacos (Tacos de Hongos)
From Vegan Tacos by Jason Wyrick. ©2014 Jason Wyrick. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.
The mixed mushrooms are the stars of this taco, so I leave them fairly unadorned so their flavors can shine. Oyster mushrooms give the taco a heavily browned flavor; the shiitakes add earthiness; and the creminis a sort of mellowness, all working together to provide a complex flavor in every bite.
The taco is topped off with roasted habanero sour cream for a piquant bite. For less bite, omit the habanero. These tacos can be a little light, so I sometimes add a cup of cooked black beans at the end of the recipe to make the filling heartier.
Makes 6 Tacos
Heat Level: 7
1 guajillo chile (to make guajillo powder) or 1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups oyster mushrooms, chopped into big 2-inch pieces
10 to 12 small fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and cut in half
10 to 12 cremini mushrooms, quartered
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped epazote, optional
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 (5 to 6-inch) corn tortillas
1 cup vegan sour cream or cashew cream
1 roasted habanero, optional
Raw pine nuts
Heat a dry skillet over a medium heat. Add the guajillo and toast it for 30 seconds on each side. Use a spatula to press it flat on the skillet to maximize the area that gets toasted. Remove the stem. Grind it into powder and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Stir in the oyster mushrooms only, then let them cook for 1 to 2 minutes until they begin to brown. Stir again, and let them sit again. Continue to do this until they are greatly reduced in size and heavily browned and crispy. This will take 10 to 12 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the shiitakes and cremini mushrooms. Sauté until soft. Add the garlic, epazote, if using, reserved guajillo powder, and salt and sauté another 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
In a blender or food processor puree the roasted habanero, if using, with the sour cream and transfer to a bowl. Warm the tortillas. Fill each taco with the mushrooms, then top with the sour cream or cashew cream, and finish them off with a sprinkle of pine nuts.