Taste of the Week: Tacos built with flavor

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Taco Tuesday has become highly competitive. There are so many Boulder County restaurants serving what are labeled “authentic” Mexican street tacos, I checked in with Pepe and Veronica Diaz at Tierra Y Fuego Taqueria in North Boulder to refresh my tastebuds with the real, scratch-made deal. The couple’s nearby Diaz Farm supplies some of the fresh produce featured in the fare. 

My mouth was very happy about the pancita taco I started with. Soft corn tortillas filled with juicy smoked pork belly are brightened with mango habanero salsa. On the side: Mexican rice and black beans topped with cheese. Equally compelling was a pollo asado taco filled with grilled chicken thighs marinated in lime juice, onions and spices. Sprinkled on top is a smooth avocado jalapeno salsa. 

Tierra y Fuego’s cheese enchiladas caught the attention of my guest, who enjoyed two cheese enchiladas with chicken smothered in house-made red and mole sauces. We were happy to add warm tortilla chips and freshly made guacamole. 

Other menu items at the restaurant include grilled  camarones a la parrilla with green and red slaw and jalapeño lime crema. For the true aficionado, the lengua—tender beef tongue stewed in herbs and spices—is a rare treat as a filling for tacos, quesadillas, tortas, gorditas and burritos. The meatless menu star is Diaz’s zesty potatoes and carrots in green chile sauce. Wash the heat away with an iced glass of horchata or hibiscus aguas frescas.  

Boulder Recipe Flashback: A simple salad

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Before it became known as Cheese Importer’s Warehouse, with Colorado’s largest selection of cheeses in one place, the Longmont food company was known as Willow River Cheese. The company wholesaled diverse cheeses to Boulder County eateries and stores. In the late 1990s, Willow River shared a simple salad recipe requested by a fan. 

Willow River Gorgonzola Salad 

1 16-ounce jar plain artichoke hearts, drained

1/2 cup oil-cured black olives, drained

1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

1/3 cup diced red onion 

2 tablespoons herbes de Provence mixture (or other green herbs)

Gorgonzola Dressing:

1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

1/4 cup diced fresh shallots

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Mix salad ingredients in a bowl. Combine dressing ingredients, toss with salad, refrigerate and serve. 

A strawberry pie from the Jamestown pie contest.

Culinary Calendar: Pie on the Fourth

The Denver Botanic Garden has reopened its authentic Japanese Tea House for tea ceremonies weekends through September. Reservations: botanicgardens.org … Keystone’s Bacon and Bourbon Festival, June 25-26, features a wide range of bacon dishes paired with various bourbons. Details: keystonefestivals.com. … Jamestown hosts its annual cake and pie contests during the mountain town’s Fourth of July celebration. Pies may be fruit, berry or nut. No cream-based or meringue pies. They don’t hold up in the heat. Entry forms are due June 30 and pies and cakes must be delivered by 10 a.m. on July 4. Registration: bit.ly/3OBZmWm  or call Lynnie Middledorf at 303-444-0419.  

Where are Boulder County’s farm stands? 

We are assembling a comprehensive guide to local roadside farm and food stands. Please E-mail information about farm stands including hours, offerings and a detailed location to: nibbles@boulderweekly.com

The Big Spent Grain Bakeoff

In order for Colorado’s Front Range to become the epicenter of the American craft brew renaissance, dozens of breweries had to tap endless kegs for many years. To make all those tasty ales, brewers cook tons of barley, rice and wheat, which results in a veritable mountain of spent grain. Much of it goes to feed livestock and some is simply composted. Spent grain—basically hot whole grain cereal—is still quite tasty and nutritious. Through the month of June, Arvada’s LUKI Brewery has hosted a Spent Grain Bake-off—and there’s still time to get in on the game. To compete, bring a 1-gallon zippered bag to get spent grain on a brewing day. Freeze it if you won’t be baking with it immediately. Entries—along with recipes—are due to the brewery Thursday, June 30 at 9 p.m. Entries will be judged July 1 by brewery staff and staff dogs for three categories: Bread, Not Bread, Dog Treats. Details: lukibrew.com

Send information about Boulder County and Colorado food and drink events, classes, festivals, farm dinners, farm stands and tastings to: nibbles@boulderweekly.com.

 

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