I’m a firm believer in creating your own environment. A snow storm hit this past weekend and gave us what I would call a “white out” on Saturday. There was no leaving the house. I’ve been missing California, having a bit of the winter blues, and was in need of a change in environment. So I created one. In our cozy little city flat you would not have known there was a foot of snow being dumped on us outside our window. We cranked the radiators so it got nice and toasty, put on our favorite surf films by Thomas Campbell (Sprout and The Present), made street tacos, and blended berry-licious superfood smoothies. Yep, we created a mini southern California in our Denver apartment, and it was rad. We were so happy, and totally oblivious to the snowy conditions outside. Nothing takes me back to the warm coast than sinking my teeth into spicy, fresh tacos while watching Alex Knost (from our previous home, Newport Beach) carve some waves with Joel Tudor and Dan Malloy and listening to Ray Barbie and the Mattson 2 jam in way that makes your music soul pitter patter. It was just as bleak on Sunday, but we risked or lives in a tiny Car2Go smart-car to drive to do some indoor bouldering (which was SO FUN, I want to go pro).
Back to these tacos. They are simple, as street tacos should be, with roasted baby potatoes coated in Mexican spices and topped with slices of roasted red bell pepper, avocado, and the best roasted jalapeño salsa ever. We got a little street-taco-fancy and finished them off with some fresh cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime (SO FRESH). The ingredient that got this taco train moving was the gorgeous organic yellow heirloom tomato I spotted at our neighborhood market last week. We use to grow huge yellow heirloom tomatoes in our garden back in California, and they make THE BEST SALSA. I typically would use a raw jalapeño, but after Sara’s post over at Sprouted kitchen last week I was inspired to roast the pepper and take the salsa flavor to another level. It went there, and these tacos were a little summer gift in the midst of a winter storm.
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Serves two. Makes extra salsa, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
1/4 cup fresh cilantro rinsed & chopped
1 jalapeno pepper
1 large heirloom tomato
2 cloves of garlic
1 large shallot
juice of half a lemon
salt to taste
2 cups chopped baby potatoes
drizzle olive oil
salt + pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
4 non-GMO corn tortillas
1 red bell pepper
1 lime sliced
1 large, or 2 small, avocados
Begin by preheating the oven to 400F. Lightly coat the jalapeño pepper and red bell pepper in olive oil, place on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and roast for 20 minutes.
While the peppers are roasting, wash and cut your baby potatoes into small, 1 inch pieces (I quartered mine). Toss in a light drizzle of olive oil, cumin, chili powder, and salt + pepper (to taste). When the peppers are done roasting, lay the potatoes on a parchment lined cookie sheet (can be the same one) and roast at the same temperature (400F) for 20 to 25 minutes.
While the potatoes are roasting, make the salsa. Remove the stem and seeds from the jalapeño (leave some seeds if you like it spicy, we left a few). Chop the tomato and combine the rest of the listed salsa ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until combined. I used a small bowl and my immersion blender (I swear I can use that stick blender for almost everything, best investment ever).
Remove the stem and seeds from the roasted red bell pepper and slice into 1/2 inch strips. Warm the tortillas on a plate on the bottom rack of the oven a few minutes before the potatoes are ready (cover with a towel once you remove them from the oven to keep warm).
Once the potatoes are finished baking, remove them from the oven and assemble the tacos. We evenly distributed the potatoes between 4 corn tortillas, topped them each with a few strips of the roasted red bell pepper, sliced avocado, a few spoonfuls of the roasted jalapeño salsa, some fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.