5.03.2016

Roasted Veggie Tacos with Hibiscus Tortillas


 It's going to be a very colorful Cinco de Mayo this year.


I went to a fun restaurant in Denver with my daughter that had a vegetarian taco made with hibiscus corn tortillas.  It has taken me a while, but I finally achieved the bright hibiscus color that I was wanting.


Homemade corn tortillas are pretty simple to make.  Homemade tops store bought any day, and I doubt it's possible to find hibiscus tortillas and a local supermarket.  If your not up to making tortillas, just purchase the best brand you can find.  


For the tortillas you will need:
1 cup dried hibiscus flowers/blossoms (I purchased a large bag from Amazon)
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup instant corn masa flour
1/4 teaspoons salt

Side note:  I always have dried hibiscus flowers around because I love making hibiscus sun tea during the summer.  I love the tartness of the blossoms.  If you can't find bulk hibiscus flowers, then tea bags will make a good substitute.


Pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over 1 cup dried hibiscus blossoms.


Allow to steep for about 30 minutes.  You will want the water to become very concentrated with the hibiscus color.  If the color is weak, then the result will be a gray/lavender tortilla that doesn't look very appetizing.


Drain off the water and save the hibiscus blossoms to put into the taco later.  Make sure they are kept hydrated.  Don't let them dry out.



In a small mixing bowl and 1 cup masa flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt.


Pour 2/3 cups of the hibiscus liquid into the masa.


Mix well.  If the mixture seems dry, add more liquid 1 tablespoon at a time until you have a nice soft dough that holds together and doesn't crumble.


Color perfection!


To make my tortillas uniform in shape, I like to use an ice cream scoop.


A tortilla press comes in handy and makes tortilla making a snap.

I use a ziplock bag so the tortilla dough doesn't stick.  Simply cut the sides of a gallon size ziplock bag so the bag opens completely.

Place the dough on the plastic.  Cover with other side of plastic bag.


Close down the tortilla press.


Presto!  With one press you have an almost perfectly round tortilla.  I'm sure you will be more talented than I am about making your tortillas perfect.  I just not that much of a perfectionist.


Place tortilla on a hot griddle and cook for about 1 minute per side or until just beginning to brown in spots.

Remove from griddle.  I like to stack the tortillas in a clean dish cloth to keep them warm.  Tortillas can be made in advance.  Allow to cool then refrigerate in a resealable bag or cover with plastic wrap.

Repeat the process until all of the dough has been used.  You should have about 8 perfectly bright tortillas.


Dang.  I'm missing a photo of all my ingredients.  (I wonder what where I put that?  I'll find it somewhere, someday in an obscure folder).  Anyway....

For the vegetable filling you will need the following:
1-2 tablespoon coconut oil (depending on how many veggies you are roasting)
2 cups diced zucchini
2 cups diced sweet potatoes or yams (I love Garnet Yams the best)
2 cups fresh corn cut from the cob (frozen may be substituted)
2-3 poblano peppers
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder or favorite chile powder
1 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper
1/2 lime
Avocado slices
fresh cilantro
Queso fresco
reserved soaked hibiscus blossoms

Let me not here that other veggies may be used.  I love adding cauliflower and broccoli as well.


Make sure the veggies are pretty uniform in size.  I like a small dice.  If you are going to use cauliflower or broccoli make sure they are cut very small as well.

I ordered a veggie taco at a local taqueria and the veggies were cut so big that they broke through the tortilla and I ended up with a crumbled taco in my hand.  No bueno!

Place all of the prepped veggies on a baking sheet.  Toss with 1 - 2 tablespoons coconut oil.  Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder.



Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoons salt and fresh ground pepper.

Stir to evenly coat the veggies.


Place veggies in a preheated 400 degree oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until the veggies re beginning to brown and crisp up a bit.


Meanwhile, fire roast the poblano peppers.  You can roast them on a grill or I like to place them over the flame on my cook top.

Char the outsides of the pepper.  Once charred, place the peppers in a resealable bag and close.  Set aside for 5-10 minutes to allow the peppers to steam.  This makes remove the charred skin a snap.


Remove peppers from bag.  Using a paper towel, remove charred skin.


Remove the seeds from the inside.


Dice the peppers.


Once the veggies are browned, but not overcooked, remove from oven.


Toss with the juice from 1/2 a lime.


Stir in Poblano peppers.



Fill your beautiful tortillas with the roasted vegetables, avocado slices, fresh cilantro, queso fresco and reserved hibiscus blossoms.


How bright and beautiful.  Hands down the best roasted vegetable tacos I have had so far in life.


Roasted Vegetable Tortillas with Hibiscus Corn Tortillas

Hibiscus Corn Tortillas:
1 cup dried hibiscus flowers/blossoms (I purchased a large bag from Amazon)

1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup instant corn masa flour
1/4 teaspoons salt

Roasted Vegetable Tacos:
1-2 tablespoon coconut oil (depending on how many veggies you are roasting)
2 cups diced zucchini
2 cups diced sweet potatoes or yams (I love Garnet Yams the best)
2 cups fresh corn cut from the cob (frozen may be substituted)
2-3 poblano peppers
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder or favorite chile powder
1 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper
1/2 lime
Avocado slices
fresh cilantro
Queso fresco (omit if Vegan)
reserved soaked hibiscus blossoms

To make tortillas: Pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over 1 cup dried hibiscus blossoms.  Allow to steep for about 30 minutes.  You will want the water to become very concentrated with the hibiscus color.
Drain off the water and save the hibiscus blossoms to put into the taco later.  Make sure they are kept hydrated.  Don't let them dry out.

In a small mixing bowl and 1 cup masa flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pour 2/3 cups of the hibiscus liquid into the masa.  Mix well.  If the mixture seems dry, add more liquid 1 tablespoon at a time until you have a nice soft dough that holds together and doesn't crumble.  Divide into 8 equal portions and form into balls.  Press each ball on a tortilla press that has been lined with plastic.  Place plastic on top of tortilla and press.  Place pressed tortilla on a hot griddle.  Cook for about 1 minute on each side.  Place cooked tortillas in a clean dish cloth until all tortillas have been cooked to keep warm

For Tacos:

Place diced and cut vegetables on a baking sheet.  Toss with coconut oil.  Sprinkle with chipotle chile powder, cumin, salt and pepper.  Place in a preheated 400F degree oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown, but not overcooked.  Remove from oven and squeeze juice from 1/2 lime.  Toss again. To serve fill tortillas with vegetables.  Garnish with sliced avocado, cilantro, queso fresco and reserved hibiscus blossoms.  Makes 8 tacos

#vegetarian #vegan

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4.05.2016

Coconut Cream Chocolate Cupcakes


I went to Orange Theory today and worked my guts out.  I had my husband drop me off at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon for a 4 mile tempo run home.  I was feeling pretty good about myself. I had burned about 1,000 calories. I made myself a healthy protein shake.  

THEN, I ate this!  

All of it. 

IT. WAS. SO. DAMN. GOOD.

Worth it.


I was refueling and I'm sticking with that story.


Coconut and Chocolate.  The perfect marriage.  

Let me take you through the step-by-step details of making this amazing cupcake.  The steps are worth the final pleasure you will receive with just one bite.

The cupcake uses two of my favorite chocolate cake batter recipes.  I have the links further down in this post.  There is a coconut filling, much like a macaroon, that is baked in.  The coconut topping is not a typical icing.  It's not overly sweet and is made from coconut milk.  Topped with coconut chocolate ganache.  This is why I call it Coconut Coconut Chocolate Cupcakes.

This is a lengthy post.  Brace yourself and enjoy.

The Prep:


I'm having to resort to making my own today.  Because I'm out of this particular type of cupcake liner.  

I'm using a 6 1/2-inch square of parchment paper and molding over the back of a cup to form my cupcake paper.




This really works when I'm in a pinch.  

Set the lined cupcake pans aside while prepping the remaining steps.

Coconut Cream Topping:




For the Coconut Cream Topping you will need:

1 cup canned coconut milk
12 oz. white chocolate (baking chips work well)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut (unsweetened may be used)


In a sauce pan, bring 1 cup coconut milk to a simmer.




Add 12 oz. of white chocolate.  Let stand for a few minutes to allow chocolate to melt.


Whisk until completely smooth.


Stir in 1/2 cup sour cream until creamy and smooth.


Add 1/2 cup softened butter.  I'm using Kerigold Irish butter.  I love it.  It's golden and beautiful.
Whisk in butter until mixture is smooth without any lumps.


Stir in 2 cups flaked coconut.


Transfer to a medium size bowl.


Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or until firm and will hold it's shape.


For the coconut filling:

Coconut Macaroon filling:


I like to make the filling before making the chocolate cake batter.

You will need:

1 1/2 cups unsweetened finely grated coconut
1 tablespoon flour
1 egg white
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


Add 1 tablespoon flour to the 1 1/2 cups of coconut.


Set aside.

In a medium size mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy and mounds start to form.




Add 1/2 cup sugar and continue beating until the mixture is very thick.


Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix.




Stir in the coconut flour mixture.




Cover with plastic wrap and set aside, while the chocolate cake batter is being prepared.

Prepare one of the following:

Chocolate Cupcake recipe OR this Chocolate Cake recipe.  Either recipe is easy and delicious.  Both are tried and true and found here on my blog.

 

Filling prepare cupcake wraps with 1/2 full with cupcake batter.  Add a tablespoon of the coconut filling, then cover with more batter to fill the cupcakes 3/4 of the way full.  

Place in a 350F degree oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until the cake springs back when pressed on.  Allow cupcakes to cool completely.


Cool completely.  The cupcakes can be frozen for up to a week at this point and completed before serving.

Coconut Chocolate Ganache:


To make the Coconut Chocolate Ganache you will need:

2/3 cup canned coconut
8 oz. dark semi-sweet or bitter sweet chocolate


Place the 8 oz of chocolate in a small bowl.  Heat the coconut milk until it begins to simmer.


Pour over chocolate and let stand for about 3-5 minutes to melt the chocolate.



Whisk until smooth.


Set aside to cool completely and to allow the ganache to thicken slightly.

Now we assemble:


 Remember the coconut cream mixture we made and put in the refrigerator? Now is time to use it.

The mixture should be thick and hold  it's shape.


I like to use an ice cream scoop that holds about 2 tablespoons.  


Plop that scoop right on top of the cooled cupcake.




Drizzle with about 1-2 tablespoons of cooled ganache.



Sprinkle with a few chocolate shavings if desired.


I have no will power when it comes to coconut and chocolate.  

NONE.





Coconut Coconut Chocolate Cupcakes

Prepare one of the following chocolate cake recipes:
Grandma's chocolate cake recipe or Chocolate Cupcake recipe

Coconut Macaroon Filling:

1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut
1 tablespoon flour
1 egg white
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix coconut and flour together in a small bowl; set aside.  In a medium size bowl beat egg white until foaming and holds a soft peak.  Add sugar and beat until ribbons form.  Add vanilla and coconut flour mixture.  Cover and set aside until ready to use.

Coconut Cream Icing:

1 cup canned coconut milk
12 oz. white chocolate (baking chips work well)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut (unsweetened may be used)

In a small saucepan, bring coconut milk to a simmer.  Remove from heat and add white chocolate. Let sit for a few minutes to allow chocolate to milk.  Whisk until smooth. Add sour cream and stir until mixture is smooth.  Add softened butter and whisk until smooth.  Mixture should be completely smooth without any lumps.  Stir in coconut flakes.  Transfer to a medium size bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours until topping is firm and can hold it's shape.

Coconut Chocolate Ganache:

1/2 cup canned coconut milk (heavy cream may be used)
8 oz. chopped dark semi- sweet or bittersweet chocolate (I like 72%)

In a small saucepan bring coconut milk to a simmer.  Add chopped chocolate and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.  Once chocolate is melted, gently stir until mixture is smooth and creamy.


To assemble Cupcakes:

Line cupcake tins with paper lines.  Fill each 1/2 full with batter then add 1 tablespoon of reserved Coconut Macaroon filling.  Top with more cake batter until 3/4 of the way full.  Bake it a 350F degree oven for 25 - 30 minutes or until the cake springs back when pressed on.  Allow cupcakes to cool completely.  Makes 18 - 24 cupcakes.

After cupcakes have cooled place an ice cream scoop (approx 2 tablespoons) of the Coconut Cream icing on top of each cupcake.  Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of cooled Coconut Chocolate ganache. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate, if desired.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.