Taco Sauces

Preparation of Rich pepper sauce.You want a pungent base for your taco, particularly if you’re not using meat.  I like the rich flavors of locally grown, small organic peppers.  Many of these varieties look like hot peppers, but they’re not hot.  Combine these sweet peppers with locally gown hot peppers.  You’ll have to experiment to get the right combination, because peppers vary in intensity.  (So do the people eating them).

Preparation

Wash the peppers, cut them lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds.  Cut the peppers in 1/4 inch slices and set aside.  You want to end up with about two cups of sliced peppers. Dice 1/2 of a medium sized red onion. Dice 1 complete head of garlic. Saute the vegetables in a generous amount of olive oil over a very low heat.  You can do this at the same time you cook the beans.  They don’t require a lot of fussing.  But you may have to add liquid as they cook over a low burner in a covered saucepan.

Add 1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce (optional). Add 1 tablespoon Mirin (optional). Add water or chicken, vegetable or beef stock as needed to prevent burning.  The vegetables will break down and you can stir them together with a spoon with the texture of marmalade.  They’re ready.

Preparation of Cilantro/Garlic Sauce. This is an exceptional sauce for fish tacos.  In Ensenada Mexico, the self-proclaimed home of the fish taco, they deep fry the fish in a batter.  It’s tasty, but I lightly coat talapia with flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder and saute in olive oil.

Preparation

In a small electric blender, chop four cloves of garlic, add two or three jalapeno peppers (without their seeds) and one head of cilantro (minus stems), blend with 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/4 cup olive oil, the juice of one lime and enough water to make a spreadable paste. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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