Today’s weather was as close to perfection as anything we’ve seen in months and months. Sunny, mid-60s, barely a breeze. Big bonus—it’s the weekend! Plus, it’s Cinco de Mayo and a holiday menu was planned. Yesterday Pete spent several hours putting together the bistro high top set that was delivered on Friday. Now we had the perfect setting for a celebration meal!
As I started pulling together the marinade ingredients, I realized we had no chili powder. Google to the rescue! I found a quick and easy recipe for making my own chili powder and it’s much better tasting than the Schilling stuff that resided in the cupboard for years but got tossed during the spice drawer reorg. Once the marinade was mixed up and poured over the veggies for great big flavor infusion, it was time for a nap—a short one though—didn’t want to miss too much of this beautiful day!
All rested up, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work (my favorite kind of work!). Slaw prep was quick thanks to the mandolin, and the large quantity this recipe makes had me switching to a larger serving bowl twice in order to accommodate it all—be warned.
Next up was guacamole making. There is something so amazing about avocados; the gorgeous green interior color (it was a cruel joke to call those ugly 1970s appliances avocado!), that great big pit you can suspend in a class of water to sprout, and the almost black bumpy skin. A unique fruit that makes anything it’s added to a treat for the taste buds. I recently saw a chocolate chip cookie recipe with avocado used in place of butter—gonna have to try that soon!
Once the guacamole was put together, using the unbelievably heavy, but way cool, granite mortar and pestle Mom and Dad gave me for Christmas, it was snack time. A little guac and chips with a glass of wine for me, beer for Pete, on the bistro high top between periods of the Minnesota Wild NHL playoff game (they won—whew!).
Next it was time to fire up the grill and get some sizzle on that marinated mushroom-veggie mixture. After a few minutes on the grill, the most amazing aroma was wafting through the open patio door! Oh, man, this is going to be good!
I brushed the corn tortillas with a little olive oil and put them on the grill’s upper shelf for a little crispness while the veggies got the perfect char. Now it was time to assemble our meal and appreciate the Mexican army’s victory way back in 1862 over France at the Battle of Puebla. Buen provecho!!
Grilled Chili Lime Mushroom Tacos
12 oz. mushrooms, cremini and shitake, cut into large chunks
1 zucchini, cut into chunks
½ red onion, sliced
1 Tablespoon Homemade Chili Powder (this makes more than you need—use in place of chili powder in any recipe):
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
Crush the oregano with a mortar and pestle; then add the rest of the ingredients and mix to combine.
½ tsp. Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
8 corn tortillas
Combine 1 tablespoon of the chili powder mixture, salt, pepper, lime juice and olive oil in a small bowl. Place vegetables in a large ziplock bag and pour marinade over vegetables. Seal bag and toss it around to get the veggies evenly coated. Set aside to marinade for about 30 minutes. Heat gas grill to about 450 degrees. Spray a pan designed for a grill with cooking spray. Spread veggies on pan and grill until done, turning occasionally for even charring. Brush corn tortillas with a little olive oil and heat on upper shelf of grill until crispy. To assemble, place a couple crispy tortillas on plate, spread a little guacamole on tortillas, top with some of the mushroom mixture, and add some slaw for the finishing touch!
Zesty Lime Slaw
½ head green cabbage, sliced very thin
½ head red cabbage, sliced very thin
1 carrot, sliced very thin
1/2 Asian pear, julienned
1/2 jicama, peeled and julienned
½ red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ tsp. ground cumin
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine all dressing ingredients except olive oil in small bowl. Slowly pour in olive oil, whisking constantly until oil is fully incorporated. Place slaw ingredients in a large bowl, pour dressing over slaw and toss to evenly coat.
2 ripe avocados, mashed
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (include the seeds for a little heat)
¼ red onion, chopped
Juice of one small lime
Salt, to taste
Handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Mix everything except tomatoes. Stir in tomatoes just before serving.