These “tacos” are actually made with jícama slices instead of tortillas. The jícama must be cut paper-thin so that it can be rolled. A trick we use at the restaurant, when the jícama is tough, is to cut it and then coat the slices with melted butter, place them on a sheet pan, and bake them for 5 minutes or until softened. Jícama is in season from September through May, during which time it is at its juiciest and sweetest.
Time: 45 minutes
For the tacos
30 very thin slices of jícama (from a whole jícama that is more oval than round in shape, peeled and cut with a mandoline or knife)
1/2 cup chapulines
1 cup Oaxacan string cheese, shredded and chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the salsa
6 mil tomates or tomatillos, boiled in water for 8 to 10 minutes or until they soften and turn yellowish green
2 tablespoons onion, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, roughly chopped, stem included
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the guacamole
1 tablespoon onion, roughly chopped
1/2 tablespoon cilantro, roughly chopped, stem included
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
For the huitlacoche
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup diced onion2 cloves garlic, minced
11/2 cups huitlacoche4 epazote leaves, sliced (or dried, if fresh is not available)
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup queso fresco (or feta cheese), crumbled (for garnish)
2 corn tortillas, julienned and fried (for garnish)
20 cherry tomatoes (for garnish)
10 radish slices (for garnish)
Cilantro sprouts (for garnish)
To make the tacos, place the jícama slices in a bowl filled with ice water and set aside. Before using, pat them dry with a clean dish cloth.
Meanwhile, to make the salsa, purée all the ingredients in a blender and set aside.
To make the guacamole, blend all the ingredients and the 1/4 cup water in a blender and set aside.
To make the huitlacoche, heat the oil in a pan and add the onion, garlic, huitlacoche, epazote, and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
To assemble the tacos, take two jícama slices and place one over the other so that their edges overlap, forming a longer, oblong shape. Make a horizontal line of filling using: 1 tablespoon huitlacoche, 1 tablespoon chapulines, and 1 tablespoon of string cheese. The filling should be placed off-center, toward the lower third of the jícama.
Roll up the tacos starting from the edge closest to you. In batches of no more than three, brown the tacos in a pan with a little butter. Seal each taco by placing the side of the taco with the end of the jícama slice in first; this will prevent it from unraveling as you turn to cook it. Let it brown for about 2 minutes without moving it, then turn it over and repeat so that it browns on all sides. Repeat for the remaining tacos.
To serve, pour some salsa onto the middle of each plate and place three tacos on top. Garnish with guacamole, queso fresco (or feta), tortilla strips, cherry tomatoes, radish slices, and cilantro sprouts.
Copyright © 2021 by Alejandro Ruiz. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.