Meatless Monday: Shiitake Tacos & Two Shepherds Pastoral Blanc

We’re taking a quick break from our virtual Burgundy tour for Meatless Monday.

Today we’re trying Shiitake Tacos from the Herbivoracious cookbook by Michael Natkin.  We tried pairing the tacos with a Two Shepherds Pastoral Blanc white blend from one of our recent discoveries in Sonoma.  We loved the tacos, and we loved the wine, but next time, I would dial back on the jalapenos, or go with a wine with a bit of sweetness.  These tacos were spicy!

You won't think "Mexico" with these tacos!

You won’t think “Mexico” with these tacos!

Between the mushrooms, the bok choy and the other spices, the flavors are different and unique.  You won’t think these are just another take on standard Tex-Mex fare!  The tacos use roasted jalapeno peppers.  Roasting the peppers may soften the heat a bit, but they also allow the spicy flavor to be distributed into every mouthful.

The spicy filling is contrasted with the cool crisp slaw.

The spicy filling is contrasted with the cool crisp slaw.

The wine was very nice, offering a rich full mouthfeel without the heaviness of a lot of oak.  The heat from the roasted jalapenos, however, was just a bit much for the wine to handle.  I can only blame this on operator error in the wine choice.  We didn’t really know how spicy these tacos would be.

Two Shepherds Pastoral Blanc ($26 winery direct)
The Two Shepherds Pastoral Blanc is blended from 45% Roussanne, 20% Marsanne,  20% Viognier, and 15% Grenache Blanc.  Two Shepherds wines are all crafted to be food friendly, meaning not so ripe and very little flavor from new oak.  They also are intended to reflect both their vineyard source and the vintage.

Tasting Notes
Overall impression: Nice, nothing like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.  A very nice balance between mineral and fruit flavors.
Eye: Creamy yellow, the bottle has a some sediment (this is a good thing, just be prepared)
Nose: More mineral than fruit, rich nose, no trace of oak at all.
Mouth: Nice and lively acidity, full mouthfeel without being overly rich.

Two Shepherds Pastoral Blanc - and Timber in the background

Two Shepherds Pastoral Blanc – and Timber in the background

Dinner Preparation
You can find the recipe online at the Washington Post.  Here are a few of our experiences making the meal.  First, the raw ingredients look so nice, you know the finished product is likely to be good.  I was a little surprised my local grocery had asian pears; I thought I might need to substitute.  Asian pears taste like a cross between a pear and an apple.  They make for a unique slaw.

The ingredients just look so good.

The ingredients just look so good. The asian pear is in the front on the right.

The asian pear slaw is refreshing: cool, light and lively.

Asian pear makes a wonderful slaw.

Asian pear makes a wonderful slaw.

Roasting the jalapenos supposedly softens the spice a bit.  In the summer, I would do this on the grill.  In the winter, I just roasted/seared them in a dry cast iron frying pan.  The roasted peppers definitely spread their heat throughout the filling in a way that simply slicing and cooking in the pan doesn’t accomplish.

Dry roast the jalapenos and the garlic.

Dry roast the jalapenos

The taco filling looks so good as you cook it.  The bok choy is a unique addition and very welcome.

The filling just before the final turn to mix in the spices.

The filling just before the final turn to mix in the spices.

Meatless or not, this taco recipe will defintely be added to our regular menu rotation.  I hope you’ll give it a try!


8 Responses to “Meatless Monday: Shiitake Tacos & Two Shepherds Pastoral Blanc”
  1. I’m so glad you liked the tacos! Your photographs are terrific. Jalapenos (and, really, most hot peppers) are tricky. I’ve had jalapenos as mild as a bell pepper and others that were scorchingly hot, so you almost have to (carefully) taste and add adjust. Thank you so much for blogging about the book!

  2. Just heard about these guys the other day–gonna have to get me some….

  3. IRENA & dots says:

    Looks fantastic, both tacos and photos!

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