Zucchini Crispy Taquitos with Blistered Red Chili Crema.
I often talk about my feelings of missing my home country on Instagram, I mean it’s been almost 10 years since I left and even though I feel very blessed for having a beautiful family and home here, missing the place where you were born and grew up, your family, friends, culture and food, it’s a feeling that never goes away, so much so that it’s been such an inspiration into continuing doing Life Limon y Sal and @holasus, it’s like a kind of therapy for me .
This year it’s been a good one because I have been able to connect and meet people who love Mexico and Mexican food, I was very happy to meet the owner of a little company here in London that are making nixtamal tortillas, for those who don’t know what nixtamal is, it’s the ancient and traditional method of making tortillas in Mexico where the corn kernels are boiled and soaked in an alkaline solution (basically water and lime or cal), this is what gives the tortillas their special and distinctive flavor and texture, this process it’s so amazing that it even unlocks the nutritional values that corn tortillas have, but in simple words is the proper and artisanal way to make corn tortillas.
Tortillas are such an important part of the Mexican diet you cannot have a complete meal without a tortilla, so it’s been great to discover that my friends from True Masa have started to do that here in the UK, and even better that I to got to use them in my home, I truly wish them all the luck and I’m happy to support little companies like this that believe and care about what they do, if you too want to check what these guys are up to follow the links to their website and Instagram.
I know that for my friends in the States is not that difficult to find a good tortilla but in London that movement and appreciation for Mexican food is just starting.
By the way I haven’t stopped loving making my own tortillas I’m working on new recipes, this will always be very special to me and something I can share with Lily and hopefully James one day, but for now it’s been great to have access to good quality tortillas here in London, oh yes and their totopos!
Now going back to these taquitos, when I started thinking on this recipe I wanted to make a snack or appetizer that would be easy to prepare but that also makes use of the beautiful zucchinis or summer squash that are currently in season, (in Mexico you can use normal calabacitas), I feel like sometimes veggies are not appreciated as they should be so I’m giving the humble squash a center stage on this one.
And what’s not to love about crispy taquitos right?, something about the delicious corn tortilla that is fried until golden and crispy filled with something tasty and then served warm with a salsa or in this case a crema, uff it’s pure joy!
1 tbsp rapeseed oil or olive oil for cooking.
2 courgettes or zucchinis (remove the ends and slice them in half moons) .
1 white onion, (finely sliced).
1 garlic clove, (minced).
1/4 tsp crushed coriander seeds.
1 tsp ground pasilla or guajillo chili.
1 tbsp butter.
1 tsp of agave nectar.
Salt and pepper to taste.
10 corn tortillas.
1 cup of rapeseed oil for frying.
Blistered Chili Crema.
2-3 red jalapenos or red chilies.
1 tsp rapeseed oil.
1 1/12 cup of greek yogurt.
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
1/2 lemon juice.
Salt and pepper to taste.
1 - 2 cups of fresh salad leaves .
Heat up the rapeseed oil into a pan, add the finely sliced onion and garlic, cook slowly and once they have soften up you can add your zucchini , the ground coriander seeds, pasilla chili, a pinch of salt and black pepper, cook briefly and add the butter and agave syrup at the end stir lightly, check seasoning, and remove from the heat, set aside.
For the crema add a drizzle of oil into a small pan, then pop in your jalapenos let the skin to get some color and soften up turning them from time to time with some kitchen tongs. When they are ready remove them from the pan and cut the stems off if you haven’t already, pop them into your food processor with skins and all with the rest of the ingredients and blend smooth, taste and reserve.
Prepare one medium size pan add the oil for frying and heat it up, you know is ready when you add a little piece of tortilla and it starts bubbling immediately.
While the oil is heating up, warm up your corn tortillas slightly over another hot pan (with no oil) this is so that they get softer and easier to fold, ( this step is not necessary if your are using freshly made and still warm tortillas); remove the soft tortilla from the pan carefully and add a good spoonful of the zucchini filling, place a sage leave on top and fold your taquito in half (as seen in the picture below).
Place the taquito directly into the frying pan with the hot oil, fry on each side until they get golden and crispy, remove it from the hot oil with kitchen tongs ( carefully) , shake any excess oil and place over kitchen paper , repeat the same procedure with the rest of your tortillas and filling.
Serve them while they are still warm and I like to add fresh salad leaves inside each taquito and a good drizzle of crema, but you can just serve the crema on the side if your prefer, enjoy! and please let me know what you think, I’m always happy to read comments below.