There’s a new restaurant in town called B.S. Taquiera that has a fun, chill environment and good tacos and margaritas. But the one thing that keeps me going back again and again is their cauliflower al pastor. Before my experience there, I’d never had any vegetable that had been “al-pastored.” I thought it was a pretty clever idea so I figured why not give it a go!
Al pastor is usually meat (beef or pork or chicken) cooked on a spit with a pineapple on top. The marinade is full of chiles, pineapple juice, onions, garlic, anchiote paste and various spices. They shave the meat off the spit and add it to tacos and top it with minced cilantro and white onion; it’s very rich in flavor in spice, though not exactly spicy.
This iteration is veggie-driven, using fall and winter’s most unsung vegetable: the carrot. The past few weeks, I’ve been roasting carrots with simply olive oil and a bit of salt, but I’ve been looking for ways to liven the mood a bit.
This is pretty easy and straight-forward. The chiles are soaked in water for about 30 minutes. After that everything is added to a blender to combine. The carrots are tossed in the marinade and then cooked in the oven until tender. The last bit of marinade is added to the carrots just before serving. I love topping this with Mexican crema or yogurt, pomegranate seeds and plenty of cilantro. It’s a perfect side dish to any dinner with unexpected and delightful flavors.
Most Mexican or Latin American super market will have dried guajillo chiles and anchiote paste.
Carrots al Pastor
- 2 dried guajillo chiles
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice or orange juice
- Juice from 1 lime
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 of a white onion, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Pinch of cinnamon
- .75 ounces achiote paste
- 1 pounds carrots (about 2 small bunches), tops trimmed and split in half if on the thicker side
- 2 tablespoons yogurt or Mexican crema, for garnish
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
- 1 lime, sliced, for serving
- Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside. To a small skillet, set over medium heat, add the dried chiles and toast on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the chiles to a medium bowl filled with water and allow to soak for 30 minutes. Transfer the chiles to a cutting board and cut off the stems and remove the seeds, if you’re adverse to heat. Add the guajillo chiles, pineapple juice (or orange juice), lime juice, garlic, onion, salt, oregano, cinnamon and anchiote paste to the blender. Pulse until very smooth, about 1 minute.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the carrots on the baking sheet. Pour most of the marinade on the carrots, reserving about 1/2 cup. Toss the carrots until thoroughly coated (I used some tongs). Transfer to the oven to roast for about 25 to 35 minutes, until tender when poked with a fork. (This cook time will vary depending on the thickness of your carrots).
- Remove from the oven and pour the reserved marinade on top, tossing it one last time. Transfer to a serving plate and top with a drizzle of yogurt or crema, pomegranate seeds, cilantro and serve with a few wedges of lime.
Adrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.