I struggled with taco night as a kid. My tacos never stayed together after one bite and I almost always ended up eating with my fork…or my hands, oops. These tacos cut to the chase – no tortilla! Instead, cabbage provides a healthy crunch. Harissa, a middle eastern condiment, is amazing with the corn and avocado. Roasting corn is one of my favorite preparations – so easy and it imparts an amazing smoky flavor. Adapted from Alice Water's The Art of Simple Food.
5 dried ancho chilies
1 red bell pepper
4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt, to taste
2 ears corn, husked
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup parsley or cilantro, chopped
1/2 cabbage, chopped
2 avocados, sliced
2 chicken breasts (optional)
1/4 cup harissa
1/4 cup feta (optional)
Step 1In an oven turned onto the highest temperature, toast the ancho chiles until fragrant, 5-7 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Remove the seeds and stem, and put them in a small bowl filled with boiling water. Let this soak for about 20 minutes.
Step 2Meanwhile roast the bell pepper over a flame until the skin is blistered. Make sure the skin is nearly all blistered – I made the mistake of only partially doing my own, which made my job lots harder in the end. Put the blistered bell pepper in a paper bag and let this sit for 5 minutes.
Step 3Take that pepper and discard the stem, seeds, and skin. In a food processor, puree the chilis, pepper, garlic, olive oil and spices.
Step 4 Roast the ears of corn over a flame, charring them. Note that the corn will get a little violent and there will be loud popping noises – don’t be alarmed! All very normal.
Step 5Once roasted, shave off the kernels.
Step 6In a saute pan over medium heat, add half the olive oil and onion. Cook the onion for around 10 minutes, until just beginning to brown. Add the garlic, for about 1 minute, then the corn, for about 5 minutes. Season with lime juice, salt, and chili powder to taste.
Step 7Take corn mixture off the heat and stir in chopped herbs.
Step 8(Optional) While the corn is cooking, season the chicken with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Over medium high heat, add the remaining olive oil and cook the chicken, about 4 minutes on each side.
Step 9Serve chicken, corn and harissa with cabbage, avocados and feta.