Saturday, June 20, 2015

Chard and Chipotle Tacos

This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market you will be able to find a wide selection of pastured meats from Fair Valley Farm, beautiful fresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art Company, and a bounty of spring produce from Good Food Easy at Sweetwater Farm.

I recommend picking up a at least one bunch of greens, even if you have no immediate culinary plans, because you will thank yourself later when you find you have the fixings for a quick weeknight dinner. For this lovely bunch of Sweetwater Farm rainbow chard, I turned to Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen for inspiration. One recipe that sounded delicious was his Tacos de Acelgas Guisadas con Crema (Tacos of Creamy Braised Chard, Potatoes and Poblanos), which starts with a base of roasted poblano chiles mixed into browned onions, then combined with braised potatoes and chard and finished with creme fraiche. 

For a quicker version of this, I replaced the roasted poblano chiles with a chipotle chile in adobo sauce (which I always have in the freezer, because I never use up a whole can), and omitted the potatoes. This creamy, smokey, spicy chard cooked up in the same time it took to warm up tortillas and some Lonesome Whistle beans I had cooked over the weekend, turning mundane bean tacos into an inspired meal.

Chard and Chipotle Tacos
(serves four)
chard topping
1 bunch chard
1 large onion
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, diced (freeze the remaining chiles from the can on a saran wrap covered baking sheet and transfer to a ziplock bag for long term freezer storage)
1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
salt to taste

for the tacos
corn tortillas
cooked pinto beans
rice (optional)
avocado slices

1. Set some rice to cook and start heating up the cooked beans. Peel and chop the onion. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil and when it starts to shimmer, add the onions. Cook the onions with a pinch of salt, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until they are soft and have started to brown.

2. While the onions are browning, rinse the chard leaves, trim off the tips of the stems, and then cut the remaining stems from the leaves. Slice the stems into 1/4 inch slices and reserve. Slice the leaves into 1/4 inch slices and reserve. When the onions have started to brown, add the chard stems and a pinch of salt and continue cooking. Meanwhile, slice the avocado and start warming the tortillas. After about 5 minutes, when the chard stems are soft, add the chard leaves and another pinch of salt. Cook for a minute, then add in the chipotle chile. Cook for another minute or so until the chard leaves are soft, then add in the creme fraiche. Cook for another minute to warm and incorporate the creme fraiche, then remove from the heat.

3. Serve the warmed tortillas topped with beans, (and rice if you like) and the chard mixture, with avocado slices on the side. Enjoy.

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