Total time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Source: Tacos: The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook Cornbread: cooksillustrated.com
Servings: Tacos: 8 or so if you warm extra tortillas, Cornbread: 10
Last week, America’s Test Kitchen posted their Fresh Corn Cornbread on their Facebook page and I had just seen that corn was on sale at Sprouts at 8 for $1, so I knew I needed to work that into our meal plans for the week. The problem was, all of my go-to pairings for cornbread are distinctly not suited for 113 degree weather (chili and the like), so I Googled “things that go well with cornbread” or something like that. Somewhere on the list was tacos, which inspired me to find this recipe for tacos that also had corn in them. A match made in heaven. And oh my goodness, this cornbread was amazing and these were the best vegetarian tacos I’ve ever had. I think. I tried really hard to remember other vegetarian tacos I’ve had and all I could remember were the cauliflower tacos from last week. These were better than those ones. And those ones were good.
The tacos are super easy to make: Mix together oil and spices, throw chopped up stuff in the oil and spices, spread them out on two baking sheets, and bake them for 30 minutes, stirring and rotating once. The pickled radishes and shallots required a tiny bit of work, the queso fresco needed to be crumbled, and the tortillas needed to be warmed on the stove (btw, way better than wrapping in a damp towel and microwaving. I knew this but had ignored it. Never again.). Altogether very easy and very tasty. The recipe said it made 12 tacos but we made 13 and still had plenty of filling left, so maybe they like very full tacos.
The cornbread was less easy but still not too difficult. My three ears of corn yielded much more corn puree than the recipe called for so it took a while to cook down, but after that it was just a matter of mixing things together and baking them. I don’t have a 10″ cast iron so I used my 12″ one and lowered the cook time a bit since the bread would be thinner. It was so beautiful when I turned it out of the cast iron, and so much tastier than cornbread without fresh corn, which is also delicious.
The adults all loved dinner and the kids did better with it then expected (older boy was grumbling about sweet potatoes when I told him what I was making and picked out the onions but kept eating more tacos).
BONUS: Math lesson inspired by storing the leftover cornbread!
Here you see a semicircle cut into pieces. The vertex is (approximately) at the center and the arcs on the outside form the circumference (in this case, half of the circumference because we had eaten half of the cornbread). If the pieces were infinitely small this shape would be a rectangle and if we hadn’t eaten half of the cornbread the top and bottom of the cornbread combined would be the circumference of the circle. Pi is defined as the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of any circle, so the circumference has to be pi * diameter. The base of the rectangle is half of the circumference, and the radius of the circle is half of the diameter, so the base of the rectangle is pi * radius. The height of the rectangle is the radius of the circle, since it is made up of a line drawn from the circumference to the center. Therefore, the area of the rectangle is radius * pi * radius, or pi*(radius)^2. The rectangle is made up of all of the parts of the circle, so the area of the circle is equal to pi*(radius)^2.