BY CAMILLE MACNAUGHTON
From the Chocolate Throwdown
Trying to beat the winter blues? Here’s how The Foodie Collective does it! Get some good friends together and try your hand at making tacos. Fish, pulled chicken (or any slow cooked meat) and veggie tacos are delicious, reasonably healthy and get everyone making their own to taste. Paired with margaritas and some funky beats, you won’t feel the cold winter chill… mind, you might not feel much of anything after a margarita or two!
There are many recipes that one can try out, but one of my all-time favourites is Chris’ slow-cooked chicken and mole sauce taco, made for our most recent Chocolate and Candy Throwdown. The mole sauce is a chili-based (ancho, chipotle, etc.) savoury sauce that has incredible depth and an earthy richness. Chris generally takes his time when prepping a dish for throwdowns and this is no exception. The chicken and mole sauce both need to be slow-cooked and simmered for a couple of hours minimum. For a quick and easy shortcut, (because the point of this fiesta night is to dance the winter chill away!) buy a ready-made roasted chicken and pre-cut slaw.
Yield: 20 tacos
½ green cabbage
3 limes (freshly squeezed juice)
1 red pepper sliced finely lengthwise
Dry rub to taste (black pepper, Mexican chili powder, smoked salt)
2 small yellow onions diced finely
½ head of garlic diced finely
½ cup of unsalted/plain pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. cumin powder (add more to taste)
1 tbsp. chili powder (add more to taste)
1 pinch of ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. of cocoa powder
1 large can of pureed tomatoes
1-2 cups of water
2 tbsp. sour cream
Handful of cilantro, chopped
Ancho, de arbol and/or ghost peppers (use sparingly, to taste)
Corn tortillas (1-2 packages)
Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse chicken and pat dry. Make the dry rub to taste and thoroughly massage into the chicken.
- For the desired “pulled” effect, place the chicken in a cocotte or oven-friendly dish with a proper seal for 3 hours, at 350F. Once cooked, remove from dish and discard the skin. Allow chicken to cool before disassembling with two forks.
- For the slaw, shred cabbage, slice the red peppers lengthwise, add lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Meanwhile, sauté the diced onions, garlic, spices (chilis and cinnamon) and pumpkin seeds in vegetable oil.
- Add 1 can of pureed tomato, 1-2 cups of water, and cocoa and allow to simmer at low heat for a couple of hours, adding water and seasoning to taste as required.
- Blend the sauce and add sour cream once the desired flavour has been achieved.
- Add chopped cilantro at the end.
- In a hot skillet, heat some vegetable oil and fry corn tortillas for about 40 seconds per side.
- Wrap in a tea towel or in tin foil to keep warm until served.
- For plating, mound pulled chicken in the middle of a corn tortilla and pour sauce over. Place slaw and fresh cilantro on top and serve.
1 -2 ounces of premium tequila
2 ounces of freshly squeezed lime juice
½ ounce of triple sec (If you want a bit of sweetness, add ½ an ounce of simple syrup)
Rock salt for rim and lime wedge for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, mix all the ingredients and add ice cubes. Take a cooled margarita glass and rub the rim with a lime and dunk in a plate of rock salt. Pour and savour!
Note: For a frozen margarita, mix all the ingredients in a blender with extra ice and pulse to desired consistency.