Ellen Clifford
November 14, 2015 6:34 am

You can feel the effervescence of Billy Green, creator of the popular Wit and Vinegar blog, ripple through his first cookbook: Whip It Up!. Between Green’s bright and beautiful photography and his light and breezy introduction to the recipes you will be inspired to do some whipping up (!) of your own. And possibly some kitchen happy dances. Or maybe that is just me.

Of course, it is Green’s welcoming tone that has so many people addicted to his blog. We all want to read his work because he seems like our friend. This lighthearted joy infuses his cookbook’s pages with just-barely-off-the-beaten-path flavors in many recipes. There are a lot of classic eats, but he adds a lil’ something special to them. BBQ chicken sandwiches get a ginger BBQ sauce and a slaw with sesame. Chocolate chip cookies get sea salt. Granola is brownie flavored. He never breaks the mold, just fills it with different things. Bends the rules.

Of course he doesnt mess with everything—there are some straight-up classic recipes in here for the quick fix. A standard pasta dish. Perfect pancakes. Garlic bread! You have to appreciate that. They are things you may think you don’t need a recipe for but if you follow one you will not be disappointed.

The desserts chapter also pleases me greatly. As does the fact that he has so many dessert recipes that he needed a separate chapter just for frozen treats. Maybe it is a Southern California thing, but I’ll take a good paleta or ice cream recipe in all seasons. I especially love the variations on cookies and cream ice cream Green dreamt up.

There are some fun cocktails in the Drinks chapter with names like Punch/Dance. That is what you will want to do eating and drinking Green’s creations. Dance and punch the air in glory. There is also a whole chapter for doggie treats! I don’t have a pup but if I did I’d be making (and who am I kidding, sampling) the pumpkin flaxseed dog treats. I mean, they sound like they’d be edible for humans…

There is also an entire chapter devoted to tacos. The chapter is entitled Tacos, Tacos, Tacos. I really enjoy how straight-forward Green is. The chapter begins with some recipes for taco accompaniments you might desire. I tried, and used, the recipe for pickled radish. For salsas, however I went pre-prepared being as a) I didn’t have the ingredients and b) there are some pretty tasty salsas out there. The recipe I am going to share didn’t list salsa as a topper for it, but I had this Mango Chipotle Salsa by Rojo’s that made a lovely complement to the dish. It is really fresh and the mild, mild sweetness you get from mango offsets the spices in this recipe nicely. I did not think I even really cared for mangos! But I do in this salsa. Say yes to mango. Say yes to these tacos.

Corn and Chickpea Tacos adapted from Whip it Up! by Billy Green

For Taco Seasoning:

  • 6 Tbsp. chilli powder
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp. garlic granules (I used garlic powder)
  • 2 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt (or coarse kosher salt-I used sea salt though)

Mix these things up and keep in a container with a tight lid. You aren’t using it all for the tacos but it should keep about 3 months.

For Tacos:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn (I used frozen)
  • 14 1/2 oz. can of chickpeas
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced (I used a shallot)
  • 3 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning
  • 1/3 cup water
  • pickled radish (you have to get the book for that!), sliced avocado, cilantro and cotija cheese to garnish (and I liked using this Mango Chipotle Salsa!)
  • one package corn tortillas (I actually used wheat because that is what I had on hand)

If you are using the frozen corn thaw it out by putting it in a colander and running under cold water. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan and add corn, chickpeas and onions. Cook 3-5 minutes, until onions are softened and corn and chickpeas have started to brown. Add the taco seasoning and water and stir. Cook about 5 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated.

Heat the corn tortillas either over a high flame or in a dry frying pan, around a minute on each side.

Fill with chickpea mixture as well as any of the garnishes you wish to include.

Photo from Whip it Up! by Billy Green (Hardie/Grant, £20)

I received this cookbook and the salsa for review but all opinions are my own!

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