Sweet Potato Tacos with Almond Chilli Salsa
Because one type of taco is never enough. I've decided to share another option for your next Mexican feast! This recipe is inspired by the popular sweet potato taco by Wesley Avila who owns the famous Guerrilla Tacos in downtown Los Angeles. However, I’ve substituted in a few local Australian additions as well as thrown in an Asian topping, fried shallots.
This taco is the perfect accompaniment to a pork style taco. It’s vegetarian friendly, yet hearty and still tasty enough for the non-vegetarian to devour and enjoy. The sweet potatoes are boiled until tender and then pan fried in butter and thyme until golden brown and served with a spicy and creamy salsa and fresh toppings. As much as I wanted to make this one plant based, there is absolutely no substitute for butter. However, if you want to make this plant based, use vegetable oil.
Cooking Time- 2 hours
Skill Level- Easy AF
- 700g of sweet potatoes (approx 3)
- 1 small bunch of fresh thyme
- 3 tablespoons of butter (Pepe Saya cultured butter used)
Almond Chilli Salsa
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil
- 1/2 cup of dried chillies, de-stemmed
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
- 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
- ½ cup of roasted capsicums (in jars from the supermarket), roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon of white sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup of water
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of white or apple cider vinegar
- 1 fresh red chilli (Buy the biggest variety and use half if you don't like your salsa too spicy), de-stemmed, seeds included
- Salt to taste
- 15 x corn tortillas (La Tortilleria used)
- 1 small bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced
- 2-3 squares of cotija or feta cheese, finely crumbled (Meredith Dairy marinated goats cheese used)
- 3 tablespoons of fried shallots
- 4 limes, cheeks cut for serving
- Optional- 1 packet of tostadas (if you want to have some on crunchy flat tostadas
- Start by making your salsa. I like to make this a day to a few days ahead and keep it in the fridge. Heat a large fry pan with the oil on medium heat. Once hot, add the ½ cup of dried chillies. Make sure they are evenly cooking in the oil by using the back of your spoon to make sure they are coated and toasted all over.
- When the chillies are browned all over and smelling toasty, add the 3 peeled, whole garlic cloves and 2 tablespoons of slivered almonds. Keep your heat on medium so that they lightly toast and don’t burn!
- When they are slightly golden brown, add ½ cup of roasted chopped capsicums, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar and 1 cup water to the pan. Cover and cook all ingredients until they are soft and mushy. They should split easily and break apart when you push them with a spoon.
Take the pan off the heat and transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor. Add 1½ tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 fresh red chilli in and blend until the salsa is nice and smooth. Taste and adjust to your liking by adding more oil if you want it to be more liquid, sugar to be less spicy, salt if it’s too bland and spice if you want to really spice up your life. The consistency should be similar to a smoothie. Place into a container to cool down and you can store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
- Now onto the filling, place 700g (approx. 3) rinsed potatoes in a large saucepan and cover them with cold water, add a generous pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes or until they're just cooked and tender. To check, stick a knife into one and if it pierces easily and comes out clean, they’re ready. Drain and set the potatoes aside to slightly cool. When they're cool enough to handle, slice them into 2 cm slices.
- Put a large fry pan on medium to high heat and add 3 tablespoons of butter, enough to coat, until it’s melted and bubbling but not burning. Add in 1 small bunch of thyme sprigs straight into the butter so they can infuse and release their flavour.
- Working in batches, add layers of the sweet potatoes to the pan. You want both sides of each potato slice to get a little browned, but not tough or crispy. Cook the potatoes until golden brown. Flip them and brown the other side. Set potatoes aside on a plate and cover with foil to keep them warm.
Wipe your pan, removing the thyme sprigs but keeping some of the butter. Now heat up your tortillas, 30 seconds each side until they are floppy and warmed. Remove from the pan and serve.
- Plate your tacos. On top of your tortilla, add in this order:
- 3-4 slices of sweet potato
- 1 tablespoon of salsa
- 1 tablespoon of feta
- 1/2 tablespoon of spring onions
- a sprinkle of fried shallots
- finally, a drizzle of lime.