Two words—taco night!—are music to the ears of busy adults and hungry kids alike. Our aptly-titled latest cookbook, Taco Night: Dinner Solutions for Every Day of the Week, is a guide to the limitless combinations that can fit inside a tortilla. Inside are more than 50 recipes for tacos featuring meat, seafood, and vegetable fillings, as well as salsas, side dishes, salads, and even a step-by-step on how to make your own fresh tortillas. As a bonus, you’ll find smart cooking tips, menu planning ideas and more.
Below is an exclusive peek at two of our favorite recipes from the new book. If you’re into the dishes you see here, be sure to join us along with your kids at your local Williams-Sonoma store on Wednesday, June 8 at 6 p.m. for our next cookbook club event. There, you’ll learn cooking techniques and enjoy a generous tasting of recipes from the cookbook, like Chicken Taco Nachos, Summer Vegetable Tacos with Queso Fresco and Pineapple-Jicama Salsa, prepared while you watch. Get in touch with your local store for more details.
Grilled Chicken, Mango & Green Onion Tacos
Sweet and fragrant, mangoes are even better when grilled. As their sugars caramelize, they become more luscious and juicy. A few things to note about choosing a mango: you can tell if a mango is ripe if it smells like fresh mango and is slightly soft when you squeeze it. Like an avocado, mangoes continue to ripen after they are picked, so make sure you buy them ahead of time.
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
11⁄2 teaspoons chili powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
11⁄2 lb (750 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 bunch green onions
2 firm-but-ripe mangoes, pitted, peeled,
and each cut into 4 thick slices
10–12 flour or corn tortillas, warmed
1⁄4 lb (125 g) Monterey jack cheese, shredded
Chunky Guacamole (page 19)
Lime wedges, for serving
Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
In a large bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of the oil, the cumin, chili powder, 11⁄2 teaspoons salt, and 3⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat
thoroughly. Let stand for 10 minutes at room temperature.
Meanwhile, arrange the green onions and mangoes on a small baking sheet or a large plate. Brush on both sides with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and season lightly all over with salt and pepper.
Arrange the green onions and mangoes on the grate directly over the heat and grill, turning once, until nicely grill-marked on both sides, about 2 minutes per side for the green onions and 4 minutes per side for the mangoes. Transfer the green onions and mangoes to a cutting board as they are finished. Let cool slightly, then cut the mangoes into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces. Transfer the green onions and mangoes to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Arrange the chicken on the grate directly over the heat and grill, turning once, until nicely grill-marked and opaque throughout, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for a few minutes, then cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces and add to the platter with the green onions and mangoes.
To assemble, fill the tortillas with the chicken, green onions, and mangoes, and serve with Monterey jack and lime wedges. Serve right away, passing the guacamole at the table. Serves 4–6.
Pan-Seared Scallops with Meyer Lemon–Cilantro Aioli
Sweet, tender scallops cook very fast, about 2 minutes per side in a searingly hot pan. To get them golden brown, be sure to dry them well with a paper towel before you season them. Tucked into tortillas with crunchy cabbage and lemony aioli, these scrumptious tacos are worthy of company.
1 clove garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) canola oil
Zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
1⁄2 small red cabbage, shredded
(about 3 cups/9 oz/280 g)
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
4 tablespoons (2 fl oz/60 ml) olive oil
16 medium scallops, debearded
8 small flour or corn tortillas, warmed
To make the aioli, put the garlic and a big pinch of salt in a food processor and pulse several times until the garlic is finely chopped. Add the whole egg and the egg yolk and process until well blended. With the machine running, drizzle in a few drops of the canola oil, followed by the remaining oil in a slow, steady stream until it is completely incorporated and emulsified. Transfer the aioli to a bowl and stir in the lemon zest and juice and the cilantro. Season with salt and set aside at room temperature until ready to serve.
In a large bowl, toss the cabbage with the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and let stand at room temperature to allow the flavors to blend.
Warm the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan over high heat. Season both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper. (If your scallops are very large, you may want to cut them in half horizontally through the thickness.) Add the scallops to the hot oil and sear, turning once, just until opaque throughout, 2–3 minutes per side. Remove from the heat.
To assemble, fill each tortilla with 2 scallops or 4 scallop halves and top with a handful of the cabbage and a generous drizzle of the aioli. Serve right away. Serves 4.
Reprinted with permission from Taco Night: Dinner Solutions for Every Day of the Week. Copyright © 2016 by Welden Owen.