The humble and yet gorgeous potato, Ireland's national vegetable, is without a doubt my favourite root vegetable. Mexicans have had a love affair with potatoes for a couple of centuries and potatoes feature in many Mexican dishes. So when the people behind the campaign Potatoes: More than a Bit on the Side asked me a few weeks back to take part on the campaign I was more than happy to come on board.
As many of you know, I adore potatoes; they're not only healthy and nutritious, but also delicious and super versatile. Potatoes are naturally fat-free, low in sugar, high in fibre and potassium and amazingly quick to cook. Like Susan Jane White so perfectly puts it in her foreword to Lucy Madden's wonderful book The Potato Year, 300 Classic Recipes -isn't it great to find a food you love that loves you back?-
So I threw myself to the task with gusto. There are so many great Mexican dishes that showcase potatoes at their best, I particularly love papas con chorizo or my mother's famous pickled potatoes but being January and with all that blues after the Christmas excesses, I wanted something delicious, fast and low in fat that would suit my current clean eating buzz. When I think of potatoes, I think of street tacos immediately. No self-respecting taco stand in Mexico would ignore the deliciousness that potatoes bring to a warm corn tortilla. They're a match made in heaven. So I set to devise a healthy taco recipe that would use my favourite potatoes: the Irish Rooster.
These tacos are truly tasty and quite healthy. They're vegetarian friendly and if you want to make them vegan, just take out the dairy from it. If you have good tolerance for heat, make them a little spicier by adding 2 rather than 1 chipotle chili in adobo. Remember to always start by adding a little bit of chili at a time. You can always add more if you think it's not spicy enough, but you can never go back if you add to much chili from the beginning! My advice is, taste first, add more later!
Also, if you want to go the whole authentic hogs, make some simple red salsa from my recipe here and top your tacos with it. It makes such a difference to make a salsa from scratch instead of using one from a bottle and it will only take you about 15 minutes to make! I hope you enjoy these amazing tacos as much as we did!
To learn more about this awesome campaign and to help us highlight potatoes as the original superfood, go to Potatoes: More than a Bit on the Side for ROI or Potatoes: More than a Bit on the Side for the UK, where you'll find gorgeous recipes, tips and loads of information about potatoes. Also follow the hashtags #TastyPotatoes and #morethanabitontheside on twitter and instagram, some great stuff there!
Prepare your steamer with about 300 mls of water and put it to medium-high heat. In the meantime, peel your potatoes and place them in the steamer's basket. Cover and steam for 20 to 25 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through and mashable.
Time Saving Tip: cook the potatoes in the microwave to save time if you are in a hurry!
While the potatoes cook away, get on with preparing the toppings for your tacos. Finely slice the white cabbage and wash it. Put it in a bowl and bring it to the table. Chop your tomatoes finely and slice the onion too. If you are making a salsa, this is the time to do it too.
Transfer the cooked potatoes to a bowl, add the milk and mash the potatoes. Follow by adding the chipotle chili & the adobo juice and using a fork, mash the chili well and incorporate it to the mash. Finish the spicy mash off by crumbling the feta cheese on top. Incorporate all the ingredients together and salt to taste.
Now get on with making your tacos. Put a dry, non-stick pan to medium-high heat. Once the pan is really hot, heat a corn tortilla for about 60 seconds on each side or until the tortilla becomes soft and flexible. Take the tortilla out and lay in on a plate. Take a generous spoonful of the spicy potato mash and spread it on half of the tortilla making sure not to bring the mash to the edges of the tortilla.
Fold the tortilla in half and using a toothpick, pierce the folded tortilla through on the top and back, like you would a drawing pin. The toothpick secures the taco shut. Put the tacos on a baking tray (no need to grease or anything) and set aside.
Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have used all the tortillas and your mash. Bake the tacos in a preheated over at 200° Celsius for 20 minutes (10 on each side). The tacos should be golden and crispy. Take them out of the oven making sure to remove the toothpicks before you serve them! Put all the toppings and the tacos on the table and call in the troops for dinner!
To assemble the tacos, open the taco, fill it with a handful of cabbage, some tomato, some onion and a generous drizzle of salsa. There you have it, your Potato & Chipotle Baked Tacos are ready to eat! These tacos are super tasty, suitable for vegetarians and if you take the dairy out, perfect for vegans too! They're a great way to enjoy the many amazing varieties of potatoes grown in Ireland and the UK today. Enjoy!