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An autumn taco steals the show

I initially wanted to do a Sunday bottle posting…

But I almost forgot to drink the wine because I was busy inhaling this delicious taco I had made!

I stopped by Green String Farm last night on the way home to get some stuff for dinner. There was a bounty of autumn produce in front of me all screaming to be made into soup or roasted and served as a side dish. But for some reason the only thought I had in my mind was tacos.

Now, generally summer veg goes hand in hand with tacos; but I was set on making a sweet and spicy, fall-flavored taco. I don’t know where this idea came from, but after walking past some chickens and into the produce stand, my first and only thought was, taco. I pitched the idea to Amber who was behind it 100%.

I picked up persimmons and broccolini and various squash and greens. In my head was a rolling slot machine looking for the perfect combination of items for the jackpot. Oddly enough, it clicked when I saw quince. Ding, ding, ding, ding! Winner!

The plan: roasted delicata squash and leftover chicken soft tacos with a quince salsa and decorative kale. And it would pair perfectly with the bottle of wine I had planned on writing about.

It was one of those experiments that could have gone terrible wrong, mainly because I’ve never cooked with quince before. Instead, it stole the show.

Autumn Tacos

2 Small-medium quince, chopped

1/4 Onion, finely diced

1 Jalapeno, finely dice (leave any amount of seeds or membranes behind for additional heat)

1/2 Orange, juiced

1/2 C Apple juice or cider

1 Delicata squash (or butternut, or any heirloom variety), halved and sliced

5-6 Radishes, thinly sliced

6-8 Leaves of decorative kale

Left over chicken (or 2 cooked breasts pulled apart or chopped)

Flour tortillas

1 TBSP Honey

1/4 TSP Cayenne pepper

Olive oil

salt and pepper

Start first by making the quince salsa. Add chopped quince to a sauce pan with orange and apple juice; simmer 10 mins. Add onion, jalapeno, and honey and simmer another 5-7 mins. Season with salt and pepper & then refrigerate until needed.

Pre-heat oven to 400. Place squash on roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and cayenne. Cook 15-20 mins.

Meanwhile put kale into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Using your hands rub the leaves until the kale begins to soften. Toss radishes into bowl. Season with pepper and toss again.

Warm flour tortillas in oven or microwave. And then combine all finished ingredients into tortilla. Serves 4

*If I were to do this recipe again I would chop up the kale into maybe a chiffonade or something smaller. Also a little bit of the salsa goes a long way. Don’t overdo it or it will overpower all the other flavors.*

Now, as for the wine. I couldn’t leave it behind. I have to give it some credit, especially since it was one of those wines that I didn’t think I was going to like when I first tried it, but then I did, and my face lit up like a kid on Christmas morning.

Sokol Blosser was our first stop during our short visit in the Willamette Valley. It came highly recommended from Oregonians and wine lovers both. It turned out to be our favorite.

Sokol Blosser was started by the parents of current owners, Alex and Alison Sokol Blosser and planted their first vines in 1971. At the time, there was no wine industry in Oregon. Sokol Blosser survived and grew and prospered as a family-owned and run operation. They are mindful of the environment, practicing organic sustainable grape growing and winemaking techniques. Have 87 acres of estate grown fruit, with various plantings of Pinot Noir, as well as Pinot Gris, Muscat, Müller-Thurgau, and Riesling.

We left with several bottles, one of which was, Evolution, a blend of  9 different grapes, including pinot gris, muller-thurgau, semillon. Evolution is crisp and clean, full of tropical fruits, lime and nectarine and floral and spicy aromas – and not to mention a very reasonable $15 a bottle.

When I was about to try it at the tasting room, I read that it was an off-dry wine and thought for sure that it would not be up my alley. It was however, surprisingly clean on the finish. So it came home with us, and eventually became the ideal pairing for autumnal tacos. Funny how things work out like that.

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