Charred Corn and Mushroom Tacos/Firestone Walker Luponic Distortion/War Cloud “War Cloud”
Vegetarians (and those that like to eat vegetarian once in a while) celebrate! We’ve got a killer vegetarian taco recipe for you tonight. Grilled sweet corn and sautéed mushrooms serve as the taco filling inside charred corn tortillas that gets topped with a cornucopia of goodies, like a lime crema, cilantro & onions, queso fresco, salsa verde and fresh avocado and jalapeño slices. These healthy tacos were paired up with yet another outstanding beer from California’s Firestone Walker, their Luponic Distortion IPA. For the tunes, we stayed in the Golden State and cranked up the self-titled good time rawk & roll from Oakland’s War Cloud.
Charred Corn and Mushroom Tacos – Let’s start off with this recipe’s namesake, the corn and mushrooms, which means out to the grill we go. In a grill safe pan we warm a couple tablespoons of olive oil then toss in a pint of mushrooms that we season with a couple solid shakes of La Curandera (or other Mexican seasoning).
We toss the mushrooms in the hot oil for about 5-7 minutes until soft then shift the pan over to the cool side of the grill.
As the mushrooms finish cooking in the hot pan, we can throw down our sweet corn over the hot part of the grill. We’re looking for nice charring in spots and for the color of the corn to go from pale yellow to bright yellow.
Remove the veggies from the grill, scrape the kernels from the cob, combine the corn and mushrooms and keep warm.
Ok, before we can start building these vegetarian tacos, there’s a little bit of prep work that needs to be done for a couple of the toppings starting with the lime crema. All we need to do is mix 1/2 cup of sour cream with the juice of 1/2 a lime and a tablespoon of La Curandera. Mix well and keep cool.
Next we combine 1/2 of a sweet onion chopped with a handful of chopped cilantro.
Ok, NOW we can build these puppies. We take 2 corn tortillas and char them over an open flame and layer in the mushroom and corn topping along with the cilantro & onion mixture a some crumbles of queso fresco.
Next up comes the lime crema, avocado and jalapeño followed by a drizzle of salsa verde.
That’s it. These south of vegetarian tacos are bursting with flavors, you honestly won’t even miss the meat with these babies they were that good.
Firestone Walker Luponic Distortion – We honestly can’t say enough about this Cali brewery, we’d put it up there with Half Acre as one of our favorite all time breweries. Like Half Acre, they make really, really, really killer IPAs and tonight’s feature, Luponic Distortion is no exception. The beer pours pale yellow and clear with a light foamy head. The aroma is super dank and resiny, so in other words totally inviting. The flavor does not disappoint, bringing the hop wallop while maintaining a really light mouthfeel. There’s a lot of hop bang for your ABV buck going on here, as the beer clocks in at just under 6%, making it a pretty sessionable choice. IPAs and tacos aren’t usually our first choice when it comes to pairings but this one worked really well as the beer was light and crisp enough to handle the stacked tacos without overpowering them.
War Cloud “War Cloud” – On every album we feature we can easily proclaim “Rock and Roll is Not Dead! Listen to this and you’ll see why!”. There may no easier album to proclaim this sentiment on than the self-titled debut from Oakland’s War Cloud. The influences are many and the execution is always perfect as the band slays through 8 songs of rawk and roll perfection. The album begins with a nod to the grittier southern stoner style of rock and roll picking up where Halfway to Gone left off on the opening track “Give’r”. A total road tune that would be right at home on any of HTG’s albums with the same textbook groove, riffage and whiskey-soaked vocal stylings. It’s an amazing way to kick off the album. That same vibe is carried through on “Chopper Wired”, another quintessential road tune with a dusty, dirty swagger tied to it. “Divide and Conquer” turns the clock back about 35 years as “The Number of the Beast” riff gets mixed with vocals that combine early 80s Scorps with early 80s Priest. It’s all about the metal groove and guitar prowess that kicks off “Hurricane” before the songs speeds into thrash/punk territory. “No Man’s Land” is a darker albeit no less rocking tune that is one of the best on the album. The same can be said for “Red Witch” as the band turns to their doomier side on this sludgy, groove-laden beast of a tune. With a song title like “Speed Demon” can it be anything but a fast paced, high tempo road song? Answer? No, it can’t and this one in particular could easily make it on any road song compilation cassette you’d pick up at an interstate gas station (back when you could buy road song compilation cassettes at the interstate gas stations). The album’s closing tune is yet another killer track, “Vulture City” is also dark and sludgy and is reminiscent of the newer Pepper-less COC mixed with the NWOBHM riffage. It doesn’t get much better than this for a debut record, stellar from start to finish.