½, 1 or 2 jalapeños (depending on your spice preference)
1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 3 hours, then drained
1 cup water
1 tablespoon rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon minced shallot
½ teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 clove of garlic)
½ cup chopped and peeled cucumber
squeeze of lemon
generous pinches of salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped chives
2 portabello mushroom caps, stems removed
splash of olive oil
splash of soy sauce
splash of balsamic vinegar
1 large avocado, sliced
1 cup shredded red cabbage
handful of cilantro
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced, optional
6 tortillas, flour or corn, warmed or grilled
Roast the jalapeños. You can do this over a gas stove, in a dry cast iron pan, or under your oven broiler. Roast until the skin on the outside is black and blistering. Remove from the heat, place in a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. Once they're cool to the touch, peel off the skins (you can use your hands or a knife - it should come off fairly easily).
Remove the stem and seeds of your jalapeños and place them in a blender with the cashews, water, vinegar, shallot, garlic, cucumber, lemon, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding more water if necessary to get your blender moving. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt, pepper or lemon to your liking. Stir in the chopped chives. Chill until ready to use.
Slice the portabello mushrooms. Place them on a plate and drizzle them with olive oil, soy sauce, balsamic and freshly ground black pepper. Use your hands to coat the mushrooms on all sides.
Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Grill the mushroom slices on both sides until char marks form, about 3-4 minutes per side.
Assemble tacos with mushrooms, avocado, cabbage, cilantro, sliced jalapeños, if using. Serve with jalapeño sauce.
If you're sensitive to spice, start by adding ½ of a jalapeño to your sauce ingredients. You can always taste and add more. If you've made your sauce too spicy, balance it by adding more vinegar. (If it's too vinegar-ey, add a bit of olive oil).