I joined a food co-op called Bountiful Baskets and picked up my first basket of fruits and veggies last Saturday afternoon. There's no question, it's a good value, but I wasn't sure if it was the right fit for me. I received a large bunch of green chard and two butternut squash. To me, the squash is a "cool Fall food" perfect for soup and mousse during the harvest and to be honest, I'd never prepared chard before. I also got red grapes, nectarines, bananas, red pears, a melon, carrots, iceberg lettuce, broccoli, and tomatoes, all foods I eat and enjoy often. Watch for a nectarine specialty coming soon!
I roasted the two butternut squash for 1 hour at 400 degrees, flesh side down and let them cool.
I scooped out the squash, mashed and bagged it, freezing it for Fall delights. It feels great too!
Next, what should I do with the green chard? I know it's a Southern tradition, loved by many. Then I remembered a taco recipe, a favorite of chef, Rick Bayless. I'd seen his tutorial on a TV show. He first tasted tacos with chard filling at a market stall in Toluca, Mexico, where they are considered to be good old-fashioned peasant food. I went through my recipe notes and decided to give his chard idea a go! With the temps at 97 degrees outside, I had roasted chicken breast in the fridge I warmed and salsa left from the 4th. After all, who doesn't love a rustic, earthy taco that's good for you?
Chicken Tacos with Garlicky Mexican Greens was absolutely divine and a new favorite at our house. I followed Rick's recipe adding tender roasted chicken strips. Shrimp, fish, beef or pork would be terrific too, or no add-ins at all. Here's the how to.
Warm corn tortillas and break up some Mexican Cotija cheese.
Fry sliced onion about 10 minutes over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic and warm for about 1 minute and then add greens stirring for about 1 minute and season with salt.
Pile the chard filling, cheese, roasted chicken (if desired) and salsa onto warm corn tortillas.
These taco are so different, flavorful and delicious, easy to serve with lots of love. I'm excited to pick up my basket this coming Saturday, anxious to try, "out of my comfort zone", new to me foods again. It feels a tad like Food Network's contest, "Chopped!" I just have to figure out how to use my Bountiful Basket while it is at the peak of freshness and most likely, I won't be chopped around here!
Chicken Tacos with Garlicky Mexican Greens
- 8 to 10 corn tortillas (plus a few extra, in case some break)
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for blanching
- 6 cups loosely packed sliced green or red chard leaves (one 12-ounce bunch)
- 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
- 1 medium white onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 roasted or grilled chicken breast, sliced on the diagonal (optional)
- 1/4 cup finely crumbled Mexican Cotija Cheese
- 3/4 cup My Three Boys Salsa
- Prepare salsa early in the day and refrigerate.
- Roast or grill chicken breast and keep warm while preparing tortillas and filling.
- Warm the tortillas: Place a vegetable steamer in a large saucepan filled with 1/2 inch of water. Bring to a boil. Wrap tortillas in a heavy kitchen towel, lay them in the steamer, and cover with a tight lid. Boil 1 minute, turn off the heat, and let stand without opening for about 15 minutes.
- Prepare the filling: While tortillas are steaming, bring 3 quarts salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add greens, and cook until barely tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain in a colander, and spread out on a large plate or baking sheet to cool. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, stir for 1 minute, then add greens, and stir for about 1 minute, just long enough to heat them through. Season with salt.
- Prepare the tacos: Scoop the filling into a deep, warm serving dish, and sprinkle with cheese. Serve with the warm tortillas, chicken, and salsa. Makes 8-10 yummy tacos.
What's new to you?