Mini tacos and chilled soup

September 19, 2008 5:21:55 PM PDT
The executive chef from Taste Catering, Chris Borges, shares some recipes that are perfect your next green cocktail party -- all made with seasonal and local ingredients.

Mini Summer Tacos (Makes 24 each)

6 ea 6" corn tortillas
Oil for frying

1 ear yellow corn, shucked and cut from cob
½ red bell pepper, very small dice
1 T minced shallots
2 T minced fennel bulb
1 T olive oil
1 t chopped parsley
1 t chopped cilantro
1 t chopped fresh basil

2 T lemon vinaigrette (recipe follows)
2 T crème fraiche
½ avocado

½ head green cabbage

To make mini tacos:
Cut 4 circles out of each tortilla with 1.5" round cookie cutter. Heat frying oil in sauce pot until it reaches 350 degrees. Place each tortilla circle into the hot oil for 3 seconds until they are very pliable. While still warm, place each tortilla circle into a taco fryer basket and fry until crispy. Blot on paper towel and season.

For corn relish:
Saute the corn, peppers, shallots, and fennel in the olive oil until slightly soft (the veggies should retain a little bit of crunch). While still warm, toss the veggies with the vinaigrette and let all cool together. Add chopped herbs when cool and check for seasonings.

To serve, slightly whip crème fraiche. Place about a teaspoon of corn relish in each taco, followed by a little of the crème fraiche and a few small pieces of the avocado on top. You can shred the green cabbage finely and use that as a bed on your serving platter so that the tacos stay upright as you pass them to your guests.

Lemon Vinaigrette
(makes 1 cup)

1 t Dijon mustard
¼ t minced garlic
3 T lemon juice
1 T rice vinegar
½ t lemon zest
12 T olive oil
Salt, pepper to taste

Whisk together all ingredients except oil. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil until vinaigrette is emulsified. Season to taste.

Chilled Peach Soup
(Makes 6 cups)

3 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 0.75 lbs)
2.5 T minced ginger
2 T light brown sugar
½ cup fruity white wine
9 ea ripe peaches
3 T honey
1/3 t ground cinnamon
Juice of 1 lemon
1.25 cup water
3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 t chopped tarragon
0.5 cup crème fraiche
3 T champagne

Saute onions and ginger in olive oil until soft. Add brown sugar and wine. Reduce wine by half. Remove from heat. Peel peaches. In blender, add next six ingredients as well as the wine reduction mixture. Blend until very smooth. (If the peaches are really sweet, cut down on the amount of honey). Strain through a fine strainer. Chill.

To serve, whip crème fraiche and champagne until somewhat stiff. You should do this at the last minute to preserve the effervescence of the champagne. Put a little dollop on soup and serve.

Bloody Mags 'Mary'
Yield 10 (6oz Martini Glass)

50oz Clear Tomato Water
15oz Jalapeno Infused Vodka
15 tsp Golden Balsamic Vinegar
1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 T chopped fresh basil

Blend olive oil with basil until fully mixed. Let sit for 3 hours, then strain through finest strainer. Reduce 15 tsp of balsamic vinegar down to 5 tsp. Place ½ tsp in the bottom of each glass. Shake tomato water and vodka mixture over ice and pour over vinegar reduction. Garnish each cocktail with 3 droplets of green basil oil. Serve.

Clear Tomato Water
(yields 50oz)

6 lbs very ripe early girl tomatoes
1 T kosher salt
Cheesecloth, twine

Cut all tomatoes into wedges and add salt. Working in batches, pulse tomatoes in food processor until well chopped. Put all tomatoes into a cheesecloth lined bowl. Gather edges of cheesecloth and tie as if making a bundle. Hang and suspend cheesecloth bundle in the refrigerator over the bowl for 2 days. Avoid touching the bundle as any pressure will make the tomato water cloudy.


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