Sunday, August 2, 2015

1. Andouille Sausage Tacos with Apple-Cabbage Slaw and Spicy Aioli


Andouille Sausage Tacos with Apple-Cabbage Slaw and Spicy Aioli - The Taco Project

I may have just started a really impractical and unnecessary project.  I'll explain later, but here's an unusual, completely inauthentic taco recipe that I came up with today.

I was trying to think of crazy takes on tacos.  It's not that I don't like regular tacos - this IS Arizona, after all.  I just wanted to come up with a taco that most people wouldn't see as an obvious combination.  I knew I wanted to do something with andouille sausage, so I tried to think of some other New Orleans flavors.  I wanted to keep the cabbage component and the creamy sauce of a fish taco, but take it in a different direction.  I decided to use components of a New Orleans remoulade sauce to flavor a slaw and aioli to enhance the sausage filling.  So, here's what I came up with:

Andouille Sausage Tacos with Apple-Cabbage Slaw and Spicy Aioli

Makes 8 generous tacos (4 servings)


For the spicy aioli:

½ cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or pushed through a garlic press
2 sour cornichons, finely chopped, or about 1 tbsp. finely chopped dill pickle
1 tsp. capers, rinsed and finely chopped
½ tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
a dash or two of Tabasco
a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Andouille Sausage Tacos - Ingredients - The Taco Project

For the apple-cabbage slaw:

3 cups shredded cabbage
1 apple, peeled, cored, and shredded
2 scallions, both green and white parts, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
I tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
½ tsp. kosher salt

For the sausage filling:

1 tbsp. olive oil
½ sweet onion, thinly sliced
½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced
¼ tsp. kosher salt
12 oz. andouille sausage, each link sliced lengthwise and then into ¼ to ½ inch pieces

Andouille Sausage Tacos - Ingredients - The Taco Project

Corn tortillas (The number will vary, depending on how thick they are, whether you double them up and how much filling you prefer.  I bought a pack of 18.)

Lemon wedges and Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning (optional)

Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning - Andouille Sausage Tacos - The Taco Project


1.  Combine all of the aioli ingredients in a small bowl.  Set aside.  You can refrigerate it if you wish, but I prefer the aioli to be room-temperature when serving.

Spicy Aioli Remoulade Sauce - The Taco Project

2.  Combine all of the slaw ingredients in a medium bowl.  Set aside.  Again, you can refrigerate, but cold slaw will equal cold tacos!

Apple Cabbage Slaw - The Taco Project

3.  Make the sausage filling.  In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.  When the onions begin to brown, turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to cook the the onions for several more minutes until they are nicely colored and beginning to carmelize.  Add the salt and the red pepper, and continue to cook until the red peppers are almost tender, about five more minutes.  Add the sausage and continue to cook the mixture until the sausage is browned, the pepper is cooked through, and the onion is sweet and tender, about ten minutes.

Andouille Sausage and Red Pepper Filling Mixture - The Taco Project

4.  While you are cooking the sausage mixture, prepare the tortillas to your liking.  There are a few different ways you can do this.  When I am making tacos with soft corn tortillas, I heat a dry cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  I place a large sheet of aluminum foil near the pan.  I heat each tortilla in the skillet for about a minute or so on each side, or until it softens and begins to brown.

Corn Tortilla in a Skillet - The Taco Project

After each one is done, I place it on the foil and immediately start the next one.  I stack them on top of one another as I work.  When I'm done with the whole batch, I wrap them completely in the foil and place them in a 250 degree oven until I'm ready to assemble the tacos.  They always stay hot and soft!  I would only heat as many tortillas as you are planning on eating.  You can always heat more tortillas tomorrow for leftovers!

5.  When all of the components are ready, assemble the tacos.  For each taco, place one or two tortillas on a plate.  If the tortillas are thin, as mine were, you should double them up.  Place a small amount of the sausage mixture on the tortilla(s).  Top with some of the slaw.  Serve the slaw with a slotted spoon to avoid adding liquid from the bottom of the bowl to the taco.  Top the slaw with a moderate drizzle of the aioli.  If desired, you can garnish the tacos with a squeeze of lemon and a shake of Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning.

Andouille Sausage Tacos with Apple-Cabbage Slaw and Spicy Aioli - The Taco Project

So, that's it!  It sounds like a lot of ingredients, but it comes together pretty quickly.  I would say this recipe serves four moderately hungry people.  My husband and I each had two generous tacos (as pictured) and were very full.  We have plenty for four more tacos tomorrow!  I think the slaw and the aioli will keep just fine for one or two more days.

Well, what did we think?  Were they good?  Well . . . yes!!!  I would recommend them!  The flavors all blended nicely and there were some great tangy/spicy/savory flavors going on!  Now, that doesn't mean they are necessarily low-fat or healthy or anything else in particular.  The sausage and aioli made for a rich combination.  However, there was also a certain amount of freshness, and a moderate portion left us feeling just fine!

I could see myself taking this idea and running with it even more.  If you wanted to have a fun, sort-of-fake-and-not-very-authentic New Orleans taco night, you could serve these with some good red beans and rice on the side.  Add a couple of healthy hurricanes (per person) to start and end with cafe-au-lait and powdered-sugar-topped beignets.  O.O  I love this idea.  I'm about ready to pass out just thinking of it.

Thanks for reading!  Let me know what you think if you try them.  This is a first run for me - I make no claims that this is a tried-and-true recipe, but I was pretty happy with it!  :)

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