Chick’n Tacos with Peach Salsa

Fall is now in full swing.  At the market, blueberries have been replaced by blackberries, the stone fruit only have a couple weeks left and mushrooms have a whole entire stall.  Enthusiastic is a huge understatement.  These tacos use magical oyster mushrooms, which freakishly replicate chicken, and a knock your socks off peach salsa that can be made using any seasonal fruit.

Last October, whilst helping my dear friend and former boss prepare the most incredible vegan winter menu, we caramelised a whole bunch of oyster mushrooms and onions together to top a sweet potato tart.  Every part of that tart knocked was incredible, but what stuck with me the most was how much the mushroom topping reminded me of chicken – freakishly so.  Fast forward five months, and I was still thinking about it every time I looked at mushrooms.  I bought a bunch of the same beautiful oyster mushrooms, held back the balsamic, and instead added thyme and rosemary.  Let’s fast forward another 2 minutes, and the whole pan was gone.  Both the texture and flavour of sautéed oyster mushrooms, and oyster mushrooms alone, is scarily similar to chicken, and although I know I haven’t tasted real chicken in over two years, this stuff is a game change.

For the real party in your mouth you’ll want to make the rest of the taco fillers too. Toasted tortillas are topped with a fiery apple sweet potato puree, grilled corn, chick’n and a rocking peach salsa.  Peach season is almost done, so I’ve been trying to use the stuff as much as humanly possible, but if you’re reading this past peach season, and more into fall, try swapping the peaches for grapes or any other seasonal fruit.  The sweet and salty sweet spot is hard to get wrong with this one, so you’re formally invited to get extra creative…


Chick’n Tacos with Peach Salsa

Ingredients
(Serves 4)

Sweet Potato Puree:
3 medium sweet potatoes
1 apple
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
Juice 1/2 lemon
1/8-1/4 tsp paprika (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)

Peach Salsa:
2 peaches, finely diced
1 red pepper, finely diced
2 large tomatoes, finely diced
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp sea salt

Mushroom Chick’n:
1 tbsp coconut oil
250 g. oyster mushrooms
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp chopped rosemary

Preparation

To make the sweet potato puree, you’ll need to roast the sweet potatoes whole.
You can either pop them in the oven whole (at 180˚) let them cook for 40-50 minutes and then scoop out the filling into your food processor OR cube them up, cook for 30 minutes or so, and toss them whole into the food processor – up to you.
While the sweet potatoes cook, dice an apple. Over medium heat, cook down the diced apple with coconut oil and a pinch of salt. Cook it for 5-6 minutes until the apple is soft and then remove it from the heat. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, toss them in the food processor along with the cooked apple, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and paprika. Blitz for 1-2 minutes, until smooth and creamy.

To make the peach salsa, throw the peaches, red pepper and tomatoes into a bowl and stir. Add in the cilantro, lime juice and sea salt and mix until fully combined. The salsa can be stored in a glass jar for up to 2 weeks when refrigerated and up to 3 months when frozen.

To make the oyster mushroom chick’n, heat up the oil in a large pan (large to not overcrowd the mushrooms) on medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, add in the mushrooms, salt, thyme and rosemary and stir lightly to coat them all. At this point, step away from the pan and fight the urge to touch and stir the mushrooms. Let them cook for 4-5 minutes, and when golden and slightly crispy on one side, turn them over. Again leave them, and let them cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove them from the heat when they’re tender and golden.

Put it all together!  Heat up your tortillas, scoop up some apple sweet potato puree, chick’n, salsa and grilled corn and eat it all up.