The best tacos I've ever had were served to me at a gas station in the mountain town of Glenwood Springs, CO. Let me guess.... you thought I was going to say something like, "on the streets of Mexico City" or "at this hole in a wall restaurant in Texas, just north of the border." Nope. A gas station in Glenwood Springs, while waiting for a bus. I know, that's just not as cool. But they were $1.00 each and simple. Super simple. Just a bit of shredded chicken on a 4-inch corn tortilla topped with this Mexican cabbage slaw that added acidity, crunch and freshness. That was my first taste of Curtido, and my last--at least for some time.
I didn't happen across curtido again until I visited Nicaragua, and then, boy, did I eat curtido. Many people credit El Salvador with this brilliant recipe, but it's eaten all through Central America. In Nicaragua, it came with virtually every dish I ate. Finally, towards the end of my stay, I attended a cooking class where sure enough, we learned to make curtido from a well seasoned abuela. Everything was done by hand: what most of us would do in a food processor, she did with ease on a small cutting board. She sliced that cabbage with more finesse than I've ever sliced anything in my life. The result was ribbons of cabbage were the most delicate, long and beautiful pieces of cabbage I had ever seen. (Every time I slice cabbage now I think of her, and attempt to mimic her motions. I still haven't mastered the skill).
When Latin American Paleo Cooking cookbook showed up at my front door, and this recipe sat within its pages, I knew I needed to make it stat. Taco night anyone?
Getting your fair share of veggies on taco night is not always easy (some days you just don't feel like taco salad). But curtido! It's the answer. When you make curtido, you put your veggies in your taco, and it's the most delicious taco you'll eat. It's the crunch, acid, and spice your taco needs. And the recipe in this cookbook is awesome... along with the rest of the recipes in there. Want to hear a few?
- Mofongo Relleno de Camarones - Mofongo Stuffed with Shrimp
- Empanadas al Horno - Baked Meat Empanadas
- Pupusas con Chicharrón - Pupusas stuffed with sausage (or cheese!)
- "Arroz" con Dulce - Grain-free rice pudding
- The list goes on...
So, if you have been on a grain-free diet for a while (or not that long) and are seriously craving some real Latin American food, this cookbook is for you. (I can relate to your cravings... case in point: those tacos in Glenwood Springs! And enchiladas. And tamales. Don't get me started on tamales. This cookbook is totally the answer to your cravings).
You can get it on Amazon, here!
YC Media sent me this cookbook to review. Thoughts and opinions are all my own.
Serves: 4-6 | Total Time: 20 minutes
- 1 small head green cabbage, sliced very thinly or grated
- 4 carrots, grated
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced and cut about 1" (2.5 cm) long
- 2 fresh jalapeño peppers, diced and seeded, or 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp (12 g) fine Himalayan salt
- 2 tsp (4 g) dried oregano
- ½ cup (120 ml) filtered water
- ½ cup (120 ml) apple cider vinegar
- In a large, nonreactive bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir well. Depending on how large your cabbage is, you may need to add a bit more vinegar and water. Place it in the fridge for 15 minutes before serving. The flavors will continue to develop as it sits. Serve a generous portion alongside Pupusas con Chicharrón o “Queso” (page 63 of the Latin American Paleo Cooking cookbook)
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
- AIP compliant: Simply omit the jalapeño peppers and substitute minced garlic.