Today we’re celebrating Taco Wednesday, because oops, I missed Taco Tuesday. I know this because Jack has this new favorite t-shirt that says “Taco Tuesday,” and he gets a kick out of wearing it weekly when the event comes around.
But, really, we’re up for tacos any day of the week so here we go…
If mushrooms aren’t your thing, don’t stop reading because this recipe is ALL about this sauce. I was going for a vegan cool ranch sort of thing with cashews, onion, garlic, roasted jalapeños, and cucumber (the cool part)… and while it’s not exactly a replica of everyone’s favorite midwestern condiment – it’s darn tasty.
It was delicious on these grilled portobello tacos. It was equally good on the fish tacos I ate the next day… and it was also good as a dressing on the kale & avocado salad I ate the day after. I always love a “blend once” eat 3 times kind of sauce.
What I like about this creamy sauce is that you can make it as spicy as you like. Use 1/2 of a jalapeño for a mildly spicy sauce, 1 for medium, 2 for extra spicy. Start with less and taste, you can always add more. Pictured is a mild version (which is why it’s pretty white) because Mr. Taco Tuesday is a little sensitive about spice.
- ½, 1 or 2 jalapeños (depending on your spice preference)
- 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 3 hours, then drained
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 clove of garlic)
- ½ cup chopped and peeled cucumber
- squeeze of lemon
- generous pinches of salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup chopped chives
- 2 portabello mushroom caps, stems removed
- splash of olive oil
- splash of soy sauce
- splash of balsamic vinegar
- 1 large avocado, sliced
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- handful of cilantro
- 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced, optional
- 6 tortillas, flour or corn, warmed or grilled
- Roast the jalapeños. You can do this over a gas stove, in a dry cast iron pan, or under your oven broiler. Roast until the skin on the outside is black and blistering. Remove from the heat, place in a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. Once they're cool to the touch, peel off the skins (you can use your hands or a knife - it should come off fairly easily).
- Remove the stem and seeds of your jalapeños and place them in a blender with the cashews, water, vinegar, shallot, garlic, cucumber, lemon, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding more water if necessary to get your blender moving. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt, pepper or lemon to your liking. Stir in the chopped chives. Chill until ready to use.
- Slice the portabello mushrooms. Place them on a plate and drizzle them with olive oil, soy sauce, balsamic and freshly ground black pepper. Use your hands to coat the mushrooms on all sides.
- Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Grill the mushroom slices on both sides until char marks form, about 3-4 minutes per side.
- Assemble tacos with mushrooms, avocado, cabbage, cilantro, sliced jalapeños, if using. Serve with jalapeño sauce.