Sweet Potato Tacos with Almond Salsa Image

Sweet Potato Tacos with Almond Salsa

Behind The Dish - "Los Angeles - Rebels"

Ingredients

Sweet Potatoes

  • 1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, preferably Japanese
  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 5–6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5–6 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 2 leeks
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 7 T butter, plus more for serving
  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 3/4 lb Oaxacan or panela cheese
  • Almond Salsa
  • 1/2 C crumbled feta
  • 1/4 C toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds
  • 1 C thinly sliced scallions, green parts only

Almond Salsa

  • 2 red bell pepper
  • 1 T neutral oil
  • 1 oz dried chiles de árbol, stems removed but left whole
  • 1/2–1 habanero pepper, split lengthwise
  • 2 T pine nuts
  • 3 T sliced almonds
  • 1 lb small tomatillos, rinsed and peeled
  • 2 plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 C water
  • 3/4 t kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2–2 1/2 T red wine vinegar

Steps

Sweet Potatoes

  1. Wrap the sweet potatoes tightly in microwave-proof plastic wrap, and microwave on high until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Alternately, wrap them in foil and roast in a 400°F oven for 50 minutes.
  2. Bring the white wine, thyme, and parsley to a boil in a large saucepan and cook until it loses its raw alcohol smell, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer.
  3. Trim and discard the tough green parts from the leeks, then slice them lengthwise in ½-inch strips, keeping them attached at the root. Swirl water to remove any sand. Pat dry and salt lightly.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook until well browned, around 5 minutes.
  5. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan, flip the leeks over, and sear the other side until dark brown, around 3 to 4 minutes. Add the leeks to the wine mixture.
  6. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the same skillet you cooked the leeks in. Add the garlic cloves and cook until lightly warmed, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic to the wine and leeks.
  7. Deglaze the skillet with some of the white wine, scraping up any residue that’s stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add it back to the wine mixture and cook gently until the leeks are tender, about 30 minutes.
  8. Once cooked, the leeks can be held in the liquid off the heat for several hours.
  9. When you’re almost ready to serve, heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Pull the leeks from the cooking liquid and pat them dry.
  10. Warm the leeks briefly in the butter on both sides, about 3 minutes total. Remove, trim away the stem ends, and slice into 2-inch lengths. Wipe out the skillet.
  11. Slice the unpeeled roasted sweet potatoes into rounds a little more than ½-inch thick. If the flesh has shrunk away from the peel, remove it. Melt 2 more tablespoons of butter in the skillet over medium-high heat.
  12. Brown the sweet potatoes on both sides, about 5 minutes total, turning them carefully to keep them intact. Once they have browned, break up each slice into rough pieces to make them easier to eat.

Almond Salsa

  1. Char the bell pepper over a burner or under a broiler until it is well blackened on all sides. Place in a plastic bag and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel and seed the pepper and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the chiles de árbol and habanero and toast until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Around 2 minutes in, add the pine nuts and almonds and toast those until fragrant, too. Add the tomatillos, tomatoes, water, and salt, and cook until the tomatillos are tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a blender. Add the bell pepper and purée until smooth. Stir in the vinegar and season with salt to taste. The salsa should be thick enough to generously coat the back of a spoon. Any unused salsa will keep, covered tightly, in the refrigerator for 1 week.