Cafe Flora’s Oaxaca Tacos

Chef: Janine Doran

By Allecia Vermillion May 18, 2012 Published in the June 2012 issue of Seattle Met

Cafe Flora
2901 E Madison St, Madison Valley,

Cafe Flora turns 20 this month, and this dish has been on the menu since day one. The restaurant briefly stopped offering it a decade ago, but a guest circled the dining room with a paper petition demanding its return.

1. Greens
Either kale or collards, braised with red onion and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. “It’s similar to what tamari, or soy sauce, does to a dish; it adds a little saltiness and unique flavor.”

2. Garnish
Housemade lime creme fraiche, a sprinkle of cotija cheese, a sprig of cilantro, and some sort of seasonal element, like a chiffonade of tulip.

3. Relish
Corn and diced red pepper are tossed with salt and vinegar for bite. This was originally blended with the potatoes, but now adds both color and texture.

4. Salsa
In winter, the dish comes with a roasted tomato and chipotle salsa, in summer it switches to salsa fresca.

5. Corn Tortillas
These get coated in oil so they won’t crack, but will crisp up nicely in the oven. A toothpick helps hold the rolled-up shape while they bake. “We make sure that comes out before the dish goes to the table.”

6. Black Bean Stew
Beans are soaked overnight, then cooked slowly throughout the day until they’re tender.

7. Filling
Yukon Gold potatoes are mashed with their skins still on. And blended with sharp cheddar, smoked mozzarella, chili flakes, cream, butter, salt, and white pepper.

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