Cheater’s Tacos Verdes

April 10, 2012

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I cheated last night. Big time.

Paris, you see, has no tomatillos…or jalapeños…so what’s a girl to do when a craving for spinach enchiladas hits?

Reach for the bottle of salsa verde and start chopping cilantro, that’s what.

As it happens, I’d already cooked the spinach and leeks and they were hanging out in the fridge, so the fix-up on the cheat (along with the cilantro, I added a spoonful of sliced, jarred jalapeños) took the most time here: about 2 minutes, total, I’d guess.

You may be wondering why I didn’t make enchiladas. Sheer laziness. Sure, I could’ve rolled these babies up and put them in the oven – and you certainly may — but I wanted to eat these right away, so tacos they became.

When I’m in Texas, as I will be in just a few weeks, naturally I make my own roasted salsa verde, and I encourage all of y’all to do this, too, but if you can’t or don’t have time, this’ll work, too. And here’s a handy Cowgirl Tip: If you want more salsa for yourself, then add as many jalapeños as you can stand, because the Frenchie in the house will complain that it’s trop chaud, and do that hand-waving-in-the-air thing (which is also used for something that’s really delicious, but let’s not confuse the issue with the often nonsensical French mannerisms), meaning “Oh I can’t eat this! It’s just too spicy!”

Tant pis.

Cheater’s Tacos Verdes

Makes 6 tacos

  • 1 (9-ounce)/250 gram bottle of salsa verde
  • a handful of cilantro
  • 2 jalapeños from a can or jar (or more if you’d like)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 or 2 leeks, sliced (white parts only)
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 pound/500 grams of fresh spinach, washed
  • a pinch of garam masala*
  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 6 tablespoons of fresh chevre
  • limes, cut into wedges, for serving

1. To doctor up your salsa verde, simply pour the contents of the jar into a small saucepan over medium-low heat and toss in the cilantro and jalapeños. With your hand blender, give this a whir until the salsa’s smooth, and let this warm through.

2. Add the olive oil to your largest skillet along with the leeks, some salt and pepper. Turn the heat to medium and let cook until the leeks begin to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the spinach, garam masala, cayenne, and lemon zest and cook just until the spinach wilts — this won’t take but a minute or two. Transfer this to a colander so the water can drain off. To serve, warm your corn tortillas one by one over the flame and stuff with the spinach-leek mixture. Add about a tablespoonful of chevre to each taco, and pour a bit of the salsa verde on top. Serve with lime wedges and bottles of super-cold beer.

Cowgirl Tip: No chevre in your casa? No worries. Simply crumble some feta on top instead.

*Garam masala is an Indian spice mixture that usually includes cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin, black pepper, and coriander. I always put a pinch of this in my spinach — it’s my secret weapon to fabulousness.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mary James April 10, 2012 at 3:22 AM

Love the garam masala trick…..I do roasted pecans with curry, ginger and lots of garam masala…..a favorite. Now I have a new use for it….I’ll throw out the nutmeg I usually use in spinach….Merci!

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