I was looking through one of my cookbooks a while back and came across a recipe for smoked mushroom tamales.It looked interesting and I had a whole pile of mushroom in the freezer from a very productive fall so I thought I would give it a try. Now any one who has ever made tamales knows that when you make them you better not have anything else going on that day. I thought I had enough time to get them done and of course I ran out of time. I got the hen of the woods mushrooms cooked but never even got started on the tamales. I ended up putting all the cooked mushrooms in the freezer thinking that I could always come back to it and make the tamales.
As it turned out I got busy for about a month and forgot about the mushrooms in the freezer. When I remembered they were in there I was in the middle of a Taco Trip, (See the Netfilx series) and decided to make the mushrooms into tacos instead. As it turns out I am really glad that I did because these tacos might be some of the best tacos I have ever made.
I would have never considered mushrooms as a taco filling but was really pleased with how well they fit. These hen of the woods mushrooms have a meaty texture and wonderful flavor that worked perfectly in a taco. I cheated a little and used French's fried onions to give a little more texture.
Hen Of The Woods Tacos
Adapted from a recipe by John Currence
1 quart Hen of the woods mushrooms (I used Hen of the woods but you could use any wild mushroom)
1/2 of a red onion sliced thin
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
additional water as needed
Put the mushrooms in a sauce pan and add all the other ingredients, add enough water to cover the mushrooms and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain the mushrooms completely and pat them dry with a paper towel. If you want to add a bit more flavor to the mushrooms you can throw them in a stove top smoker for ten minutes with some hickory and give them a little smokiness. If you don't have a stove top smoker you can add a teaspoon of liquid smoke to the braising liquid.
After the mushrooms are drained melt two tablespoons of butter in a skillet and give the mushrooms a quick saute. At this point you can build your tacos. I used white corn tortillas, a cilantro lime aoili, some fried onions and radish sprouts and a little bit of habanero hot sauce.