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I don’t even know if these are tacos. My vocabulary for meals in tortillas is limited to enchilada (baked in sauce), burrito (includes beans) and taco (everything else). I am not sure if I am labeling my creations properly, but I do know that this particular dish is quick and easy, starring portabello mushrooms and one of my favorite pantry staples: salsa ranchera. I really, really need to find a recipe for salsa ranchera and start making my own; as I transition away from using canned foods, it is something I just can’t seem to let go of, with a smoky spiciness that perfectly complements so many of my favorite dishes. But it can’t be that hard to make. I’m on it, starting as soon as I am done with the one can I have left. Promise.

Back to dinner: I had some portabello mushrooms I bought to stuff and bake, but wanted a quick and easy dinner instead. Happily, I had everything I needed to make this dish, a favorite of ours; I started making this when we first decided not to eat meat every night, since mushrooms are such a great substitute for steak. The tacos (or whatever they are) come together in less than fifteen minutes and are very tasty. If you don’t have ranchera on hand (or if you don’t like that much spice), you could very easily substitute any salsa you have on hand with good results. For toppings, I had a sad Roma tomato to use up and some perfectly ripe avocado; ideally, I would have added fresh cilantro, maybe some quick-pickled onions for crunch. But, for a throw-together meal, these mushroom tacos are yummy, and we’ll have them again.

Mushroom Tacos (makes 4-6)

  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced crosswise into lengths
  • 2 medium portabello mushrooms, stems removed, sliced thickly (1/4″)
  • 1/2 c. white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. adobo seasoning (or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder and a pinch of salt)
  • 3 T. salsa ranchera
  • 4-6 small flour tortillas
  • diced tomato, diced avocado, green onion, cilantro and/or other toppings of your choice
  • grated sharp cheddar cheese (queso fresco is also great in these)
  • sour cream

Heat your tortillas as desired; I put mine into a 250 degree oven while I cook the filling. Have all your toppings ready to go and set aside. In a medium skillet, heat the oil and cook the onions for 3-5 mins., until they begin to soften. Add all mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 mins.; sprinkle with adobo seasoning and continue to cook for 3-4 more mins. until they soften. Add the salsa ranchera to the pan and stir to coat all mushrooms and then cook for 1-2 mins. until everything is heated through. Assemble your tacos with a few tablespoons of mushrooms and desired toppings.

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