Monday, November 9, 2015

27. Pavo Verde (Green Turkey) Tacos


I'm not going to lie.  I'm kind of proud of this one!  It's Monday night.  I wandered into the grocery store after my school day was over and just started putting things in the basket.  I knew I had to make something.

Since my last few recipes have been pretty non-traditional/weird, I decided to make one that was closer to what most people might expect from something called a "taco".

I was considering both ground bison or ground turkey for this one.  I noticed that our local Fry's had some organic ground turkey.  That was a plus.  Also, I got an idea for a "green" taco.  That called for poultry, not red meat.  My choice was clear.

I made a Trader Joe's run a couple of weeks ago and I noticed that they had boxed hard taco shells.  In general, I am extremely skeptical of that kind of thing, but I thought, "Why not?  Trader Joe's usually has their &$%# together.  I'll try them!"  I set them aside to use for a future taco recipe.

Tonight's recipe seemed like a perfect time to debut the TJ taco shells . . .

All right!  Turkey.  Green chiles.  Green onions.  Tomatillos.  Cilantro.  Lettuce.  All good, green things (well, except for the turkey)!  I briefly considered green olives, but . . . no.  That would be going a bit too far.  Ugh.

The first time I typed out the phrase "Green Turkey Tacos", I cringed inside.  I had to find a more graceful way to say it.  Pavo is the Spanish word for turkey - how about Pavo Verde?  That sounds much better.  I don't think that's actually a thing, though.  If you're a native Spanish speaker, don't laugh too hard.  I tried!  Ha ha.

Anyway, whatever you might call these, they were freaking awesome!  Make them!  Here's the recipe:

Pavo Verde (Green Turkey) Tacos

Serves 4 (about 12 tacos) 


For the green sauce:

2 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
4 tomatillos, coarsely chopped (about 8 to 10 oz.)
1 medium clove garlic, coarsely chopped
3 scallions, green and white parts, coursely chopped
1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
1/2 tsp. salt

For the turkey filling:

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, crushed in a garlic press
1 large jalapeno, roasted, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 lb. ground turkey
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
A splash or two of beer or water (I put the IPA I was drinking in the photo, but I'd probably recommend a pilsner or something like that.  But, hey - whatever floats your boat!)

12 crunchy taco shells (I used Trader Joe's Brand.)

4 to 6 oz. white cheddar cheese, grated (I used Kerrygold Aged White Cheddar)

1 or 2 avocados, sliced and seasoned to taste with salt and fresh lime juice

Shredded iceberg lettuce

Limes, for garnish


1.  Make the sauce:  Place all of the green sauce ingredients in a food processor and pulse until fairly smooth.  Taste and add additional salt if desired.  Cover and set aside.

2.  Make the turkey filling:  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook for about one minute, or until fragrant.  Add the cumin, poultry seasoning, oregano, and onion powder and cook and stir for another minute.  Add the turkey, salt, and pepper and increase the heat to medium.  Cook, stirring and breaking apart with a spatula, until the turkey is completely done.  Add a splash or two of beer (or water) if the mixture seems dry.  Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired.  Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

3.  Prepare the shells:  Preheat an oven (or toaster oven) to 375 degrees.  Place the desired number of shells on a baking sheet.  Toast until hot and just starting to brown - about 1 to 3 minutes.  This could vary depending on your oven, so watch them carefully.  They can go from browned to burned very quickly!

4.  Assemble the tacos:  For each taco, place a shell on a plate.  Fill with some of the turkey mixture.  Top with a generous amount of grated cheese.  Add some lettuce and spoon on some of the green sauce.  Tuck in a slice or two of the avocado.  Finish with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of salt, if desired.  Enjoy!

These were SO GOOD!  They were unique, but the flavors were not too far removed from a "regular" taco - if there is such a thing!

We both loved them!  As I've mentioned before, we occasionally have a dilemma with the leftover ingredients from this project.  Sometimes we don't want tacos.  I've been known to reimagine a salsa as a pasta sauce.  Or a taco filling as a sandwich filling.  Etc.  Etc.  Etc . . .

In this case, it's not a problem.  We're both looking forward to having these tomorrow!  As tacos.  :)

Note:  I am now an offical fan of the Trader Joe's taco shells.  They were tasty, and once toasted, they held up spectacularly - no shattering!  They were sturdy, yet tender - what more could one ask for?

As I said, I'm kind of proud of this recipe.  Is Pavo Verde a thing?  I don't know . . . but it should be!  It was delicious!  Also, this recipe was pretty easy.  It's Monday!  I've made the recipe, cleaned the kitchen, and almost finished the blog post - and I haven't collapsed yet!

I would highly recommend these!  Try them and tell me what you think!

Well . . . I will be taking a short break from making tacos.  It's sad, but true.  In about 36 hours, we'll be on our way to Seattle to visit my sister.  I'm so excited!  We're going to eat, drink, and go to a Glen Hansard (of The Frames/Once) concert!  :)  :)  :)

Guess where she works?  Ha ha.  Red Star Taco Bar.  Yep - we're going to eat more tacos in Seattle!  Maybe I'll get some ideas - it's a pretty legit taco joint!  :)

I'll be back on Sunday or Monday with MORE TACOS!

Please feel free to comment!  Did you try these?  What did you think?  Thanks for reading!  :)

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