Recipe: Sweet Potato Tacos from Guerrilla Tacos, Los Angeles

During these unprecedented times, when staying at home is of the utmost importance, us here at The AU Review are going to be doing everything we can to help readers live their best lives, indoors.

As with many other media companies who typically focus on getting folks out and about, we’re shifting to adapt to the necessary lock-downs taking place all over the world. One way we’ll be doing so is simply by sharing our favourite recipes.

Over the next few weeks (or months, who knows) we’ll be publishing the cocktail and food recipes that we find most exciting, so that when you aren’t ordering in to support your favourite venues, you’ll know enough to quickly throw together some top-class concoctions.

Sweet Potato Tacos

Now firmly established as one of Downtown LA’s most formidable taquerias, Guerrilla Tacos is definitely somewhere you want to look for inventive, more-is-more tacos. Luckily for you, we’ve sourced their recipe for their super popular sweet potato tacos, a flavour-packed vegetarian treat Chef Wesley Avila has become known for.

Ingredients – Tacos

  • 3 pounds or 1.36kg sweet potatoes (Japanese sweet potatoes are best) rinsed, skins on, boiled and sliced in 3/4 inch coins of bite-sized.
  • 3 springs of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 pound or 226g Fresh feta cheese (Valbreso if you can find it), crumbled
  • 1 cup corn nuts
  • 1/8 bunch (approx. 60g) scallions, rinsed and sliced about 1/8 inch thick (just the green parts, reserve the white parts for something else)
  • Corn tortillas
  • Butter

Ingredients – Almond Salsa

  • 1 tablespoon lard or canola oil
  • 1 cup dried chiles de arbol, de-stemmed
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 3 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 1 pound or 453g tomatillos, de-sleeves and rinsed, and left whole
  • 1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers (jarred from store), rough chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup tap water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tabanero chile (use half if you don’t want the salsa too spicy) de-stemmed with seeds included
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. Place rinsed potatoes in a large saucepan or stockpot and cover them with cold water.
  2. Salt water until salty, turn up heat to gentle simmer.
  3. Simmer the potatoes until they’re just cooked to when you can stick a knife into one and it comes out clean – about 12 minutes.
  4. Drain and set the potatoes aside.
  5. When they’re cool enough to handle, slice them and set aside. You’ll reheat in pan later.
  6. While potatoes are simmering, start making the salta
  7. Heat a cast-iron pan over medium-low heat.
  8. When the pan is hot, add lard or canola oil. Once melted, add chiles de arbol.
  9. When chiles are browned all over and smelly toasty, add garlic and almonds. Careful not to burn garlic.
  10. When slightly golden brown, add tomatillos, bell peppers, teaspoon of salt, and half cup of water to pan.
  11. Cover and cook until the tomatillos are mushy – they should split easily and break apart when you push them with a spoon.
  12. Take pan off heat and, using a slotted spoon, add all solid ingredients to the blender and reserve the cooking liquid in the pan.
  13. Add olive oil, red wine vinegar, and habanero – half of it for those who don’t like it too spicy.
  14. Cover the blender well and watch out you don’t touch the hot chile seeds during this part.
  15. Blend until the salsa is nice and smooth, and season to taste with salt. You want a little acidity, plus the sweetness from the bell peppers and heat from the habanero and chiles de arbol.
  16. Check the consistency of the salsa and add some of the leftover cooking liquid from the pan to reach desired consistency. It should be like a milkshake.
  17. Put your largest cast iron pan on medium-high heat and add a few tablespoons butter, enough to coat until it’s melty and bubbling, but not burning.
  18. Working in batches, add layers of potatoes to pan. You want both sides of each potato slice to get a little browned, but not tough or crispy.
  19. Add a couple sprigs of thyme to the pan and cook the potatoes until golden brown.
  20. Flip them and brown the other side.
  21. Set the browned potatoes aside on a plate and cover with foil to keep them warm.
  22. Heat up tortillas.
  23. Plate tacos. On top of two tortillas, add – in this order – 3 to 4 slices of potato, a tablespoon of salsa, a tablespoon of feta, half teaspoon corn nuts, and a sprinkle of scallions.

 

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy Editor of the AU review and a freelance travel writer. You can reach him on Instagram by following @chrisdsingh.

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