Ok, I know I’ve been M.I.A. I don’t really have a good reason for you, so I really won’t give you any excuses. I just needed a vacation. Well, and there was the actual vacation that was so relaxing!
I’ve been working on many recipes to share.
Recently, I made Butternut Squash, Leek, and Roasted Corn Tacos with Asian-style Chile Salsa. Yum! It’s been so hot around here that most of the stuff I’ve been doing is on the grill, and like I’ve said before, you can do pretty much anything on the grill. I cooked the veggies for the salsa on the grill. I baked the butternut squash on the grill. You can toast the tortillas on the grill. Almost every part of this can be done outside to keep the heat out of the house.
This is a nice late summer taco filling of butternut squash, leeks, and corn. Fresh corn is preferred, but if you don’t feel like doing the work of slicing it off of the cob (see slicing instructions here) you can use frozen corn. I actually used frozen here. Which, I really like. You’ll only need 1/2 of the butternut squash for these tacos. So, you can use the other half later in the week in leftovers (try it in fritatta, salad, or soup).
The Asian style salsa isn’t hot, just mildly spicy with a nice little tingle and a sweet finish. The soy sauce gives it great saltiness without being too heavy. Use it to top hot dogs, chips, fish tacos, veggies, or fried rice. I also mixed some into a smashed avocado and it was a delicious take on guacamole. And, I love the idea of threading the garlic onto skewers for grilling. This is definitely a technique I’ll use for other dishes!
Butternut Squash, Leek, and Roasted Corn Tacos
Makes 4-6 tacos
1 medium butternut squash
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large leek, cleaned, halved lengthwise, and sliced
1 ½ cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried basil or oregano
3 ounces tofu, cubed into small 1/4-inch cubes
Lime for garnish, if desired
Preheat grill to medium-high. Place the butternut squash directly on the grill, whole. Bake for 20 minutes or until soft enough to cut in half with little effort. Scoop out seeds, and place back on the grill. Cook for about 20 minutes more, turning often until tender when pierced with a fork. Using half of the squash, cut into chunks ½ to 1-inch in size. Place chunks in a medium mixing bowl, and set aside.
Or, alternatively to the grill, Preheat oven to 400° F. Place the butternut squash directly in the oven, whole. Bake for 20 minutes or until soft enough to cut in half with little effort. Cut in quarters, place in a baking dish or large cast iron skillet, and roast for 40 more minutes or until the skin can be easily peeled away from the flesh. Using half of the squash, cut into chunks about ½ to 1-inch in size. Place chunks in a medium mixing bowl, and set aside.
In a skillet, add the oil, and heat over moderate heat. Once hot, add the leek and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Place cooked leek in a bowl with the butternut squash.
Add corn, paprika, cumin, and basil to the skillet. Cook corn mixture for about 5 minutes. Add cubed tofu, and stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, until tofu develops a soft brown crust on some of the sides, about 5-10 minutes. Mix corn and tofu into butternut squash mixture.
Toast the tortillas over a medium grill or on the stove in a dry skillet if desired.
Top the taco filling with Asian-style Salsa (recipe below), sliced avocado, and lime. Enjoy!
5 unpeeled garlic cloves
5-6 Anaheim chiles
4 unpeeled shallots
½ cup chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
Preheat grill to medium-high. Thread garlic cloves onto a wooden skewer. Place garlic skewer, chiles, and shallots onto grill. Cook, turning until softened and tender, about 10 minutes for the garlic and chiles, and 20 minutes for the shallots.
Remove veggies from the grill, and cool. Peel the garlic and shallots. Peel, seed, and remove the membranes inside the chiles (you may leave some seeds or membranes in if you want additional heat in the salsa).
Place the garlic, shallots, and chiles in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse to a coarse puree. Add the cilantro, soy sauce, and brown sugar, and pulse to combine.
Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate and serve cold.