I was listening to a story on NPR the other day that reported that spicy food is actually really great to eat when it’s really warm outside. It raises your body temperature slightly, which ultimately leaves you feeling cooler. Given that the temperate, persistently drizzly Willamette Valley that I grew up with apparently transformed into Southern California while I’ve been living in Michigan for the past few years, I am all about finding ways to stay cool.
Seriously though — the entire month of June was in the 90s! True to my Oregonian roots, I wilted like a flower. Trudy Dog would just sit down halfway through our evening walks and just looks at me, as if to say, “Not today, lady. It’s just not happening.” And I get that, Trudy Dog. I feel you.
So for the sake of cooling off, I cooked up these grilled chipotle chicken tacos with a refreshing cilantro-lime crema. These tacos are so simple, so good, and so easy to make. I made these with chicken, but you could really sub in any type of meat you want. I think fish would be especially good. Or you could go vegetarian and stuff ‘em with some chipotle refried black beans.
Along with the cilantro-lime crema, I topped mine with a little bit of shredded cabbage, feta, and minced sweet onion. They’re chicken tacos, so let’s be honest – you can top them anyway you like. But I have to say that I reallllly liked the crunch of the cabbage, the saltiness of the feta, and the bite and sweetness of the onion.
Go forth and be cool!
- 2 chicken breasts
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 1 tsp Ground Chipotle Pepper
- 1 tsp Chipotle in Adobo Sauce
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp oregano
- salt & pepper
- ½ cup plain greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 garlic clove (roasted is great, if you’ve got ‘em!)
- 3 green onions
- handful of cilantro
- juice from half a lime
- pinch of salt
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1 cup cabbage, thinly sliced
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ sweet onion, minced
- Combine all the spices, including the adobo in a small bowl. Rub the chicken, first with the oil, then with the spice mixture. Let sit for 20 minutes at minimum. I grilled mine on the barbeque for about 5 minutes on each side, but you could just as easily pop them in a skillet or a countertop grill.
- While the chicken is cooking, mince the garlic, chop the green onions, cilantro, and stir into the yogurt along with the lime juice and salt.
- To assemble the tacos, warm up the tortillas. I like to spray them with a little bit of cooking oil and stick them in my cast iron skillet for a few minutes. Thinly slice the chicken and assemble the tacos anyway you like.