Borrowing Barefoot: Mexican Fiesta
Okay, so if I sit down and really think about it, I feel 99% sure Ina Garten never threw a Mexican Fiesta or had a Taco Tuesday. For one, she HATES cilantro—insert tasting cilantro meme here—and for two, I feel like Mexican is pretty low-brow for her. She did have one episode of Barefoot Contessa called “Tex-Mex” during which she makes guacamole (sans cilantro) and Tequila Lime Chicken and Fish Tacos from a take-out Mexican place in Amagansett called La Fondita.
Anyway, I was basically really craving Mexican food but wanted to fit it in to the "theme" we've got going on here. I had to get creative to make this Taco Tuesday happen. I just made a recipe with alcohol so Tequlia Lime Chicken was out. I don’t do fried fish (because gluten) so that was out. Ina has a recipe buried in the depths of foodnetwork.com for salmon tacos, but like who wants salmon on a taco? One thing I did find, however, in my foodnetwork.com recipe spiral was Ina’s recipe for Zucchini Pancakes. She uses them as a side dish for dinner. I thought I could definitely adapt them to make them a little more interesting and include Mexican flavors. Zukes, as I like to call them, are everywhere right now. If you have a garden, it's probably popping out like at least one zuke a day. If you don't you're probably seeing "local squash" everywhere in your markets.
“Zucchini can be a really boring vegetable, but these pancakes aren’t boring.” Challenge accepted, Ina. Ina uses farm fresh zucchini from a farm stand in East Hampton, so I used farm fresh zucchini from a farm stand in East Hampton. Ina uses a box grater to grate her zucchini so I used a box grater to grate my zucchini. Ina leaves her zucchini water in the bowl so I…wait, what? Nope. Won’t do it.
Zucchini are suuuuuper watery. You’d be surprised. So, this is where I differ from the Contessa. I squeezed the excess water out of my zucchini and that helped to create a more dough-like texture. She’s making pancakes, so I think she wants the batter to be runny. Tortilla dough is typically much firmer, so I’m going with that.
Once you’ve drained the zucchini, you add in some arrowroot flour, some eggs, and some spices. Then, you form it in to balls and press it in to tortilla shapes with your hands. They won’t be as thin as a traditional tortilla that way, but the flavor is great and they’re better for folding around your taco ingredients that way. OR IF YOUR MOM’S HUSBAND IS SUPER COOL AND BUYS YOU A TORTILLA PRESS YOU COULD USE THAT TOO—just saying.
For our Fiesta we had broccoli and mango slaw and salsa chicken...all topped with cilantro. But you could have fish tacos, steak tacos, veggies…and top it with parsley, if you want...I won't judge...a lot.
What You’ll Need:
- 3 cups grated zucchini (takes 4 medium zucchini to make 3 cups)
- 1 cup + 3 tablespoons arrowroot flour
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp each of: paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper
- 2 tsp cumin
What I did:
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Wash and grate zucchini. Using a clean dishtowel, squeeze the water out of the zucchini. Discard the liquid.
- Add in the arrowroot flour, coconut flour, eggs and spices. Mix it all up.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using an ice cream scoop or a spoon, scoop the tortilla batter on to the baking sheet, using your fingers to press the batter until thin tortilla shapes.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until tortilla is golden brown.
- Top with your favorite fiesta ingredients! Ole!