All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012
So – I really enjoyed the results I got from the lasagna cupcakes – and thought, “Why not try other savory cupcakes?” There really is no end to what you can prepare in the cupcake pan. And what a great way to make lots of little freezable, single-serving sized portions! So – since I had taco fixings on hand – I thought I’d experiment there. Here are the four versions that I made but do not feel you need to follow these very loose recipes much at all. It’s kinda like a Color Me Mine kitchen project where you can put anything into these taco cupcakes that suits your fancy. I made three different kinds using wontons (as I did with the lasagna cupcakes) and then one version using corn tortillas. The tortilla version came out a tad more rustic in appearance because I used tortillas cut round with a cookie cutter & therefore they had no outer shell to hold them together. The others came out a bit more elegantly – exactly as the lasagna versions had.
Here are the corn tortilla taco cupcakes:
corn tortillas OR wonton skins
Grated cheese (I used pepper jack)
Salsa – (I used mango-peach salsa and regular salsa and salsa verde)
Fish (I used tilapia)
Soyrizo or chorizo
1 7oz can chipotle peppers in adobo
1/2 poblano pepper seeded then charred over your stove burner & diced
1 15oz can black beans – drained & rinsed
1/4 onion – diced
1 carrot – diced
1 celery stalk – diced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup tomato paste
GARNISHES (your choice) – Anything you’d put in a taco –
Guacamole (recipe below)
Cabbage or lettuce – chopped
sliced jalapeno pepper
In your blender or food processor – puree
1 can chipotle in adobo
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp each S&P
Marinate your fish (or half your fish) in this for an hour or more.
Place your fish (or half if you are doing a chipotle version, too) in a single layer in a marinating dish. Squeeze the juice of two limes over it & add a lot of sliced garlic. I used about 6 cloves. You can go lighter or heavier. Sprinle with a little S&P – toss a bit & let marinate for about an hour.
In 1 TBS olive oil, saute the onion, carrot & celery until they begin to soften. Add the can of drained black beans, cumin & tomato paste. Stir around for about 5-10 minutes. Remove them from heat & set aside.
Chipotle & Garlic Lime Fish
Remove from marinade & cook either on a grill or in a grill pan or frying pan sprayed with a nonstick spray – keeping the two flavors (Chipotle & the Garlic-Lime) separate. Once cooked through – break up into smaller pieces. Set aside.
Spray your cupcake pan with nonstick spray. Line each cup with a square wonton or with a corn tortilla cut to the size of the cupcake hole – either with a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass. I used a cookie cutter & used a smaller circle for the first two layers then the larger one for the top layer in both the tortilla version & cut only the top layer in the wonton version.
I layered the wonton versions three ways:
CHIPOTLE FISH & MANGO-PEACH SALSA
grated pepper jack
Garlic lime fish
RUSTIC CORN TORTILLA TACO CUPCAKES
mango-peach AND hot red salsa
So – in each cupcake tin – layer a small amount of the ingredients you selected (or other variation). Then add another square wonton or round corn tortilla. Another layer of ingredients and then top with a large rounded wonton wrapper or a larger corn tortilla disc. Top everything with a little more salsa & top all of them with pepper jack cheese. In the case of the wonton versions – press the protruding wonton corners down into the topping so they look like little flat bundles.
Cook in the oven for 18-25 minutes – checking frequently to be sure they do not burn. Remove from the oven & let cool for at least 5 minutes before trying to remove them from the pan. The corn tortilla ones will naturally be harder to get out of the pan. Maybe use a large serving spoon to assist in the lifting.
Top with either: sliced avocado or guacamole or more salsa or cilantro or more cheese or jalapeno peppers – whatever sounds good to you.
1 large avocado
Remove the skin & pit from the avocado. Retain the pit. In a bowl – chop the avocado very fine. Squeeze a little lime juice in there & add a little salt. Mix it up until it become creamy but some small chunks of avocado remain. Taste. Add more salt or lime to taste. Once it tastes good to you – put the pit back into the guacamole. It will keep it from turning brown.