Chipotle Marinated Kale and Smoky Mushroom Tacos

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

Suggested Use:
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.

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Yield: serves 4 appropriately, 2 obnoxiously

1 head (about 4 to 5 cups) curly green kale, leaves torn off
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder*
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
12 ounces mixed sliced mushrooms
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1 avocado, sliced super thin
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup diced sweet onion
1/3 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
8 (4-inch) corn or flour tortillas (your preference)

*To make chipotle chile powder, grind a dried chile in a coffee or spice grinder till a fine powder.

Place the kale leaves on a cutting board and chop them into strips, then place them in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, the adobo sauce and chipotle chili powder, tossing well. Use your hands to massage the ingredients into the kale. Set it aside (and wash your hands!)

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and butter. Stir in the mushrooms, tossing to coat in the butter, then cook until the mushrooms are soft and juicy, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped cilantro. Turn off the heat. I also like to crumble a bit of the queso fresco in here now too, but that’s your call.

Assemble the tacos by placing a handful of the marinated kale on a tortilla. Place the avocado slices on top, then some of the mushrooms, the tomatoes, sweet onion, more cilantro and queso fresco. Devour!