Yes, we like tacos. So sue us.

23 Jul

Are you bored yet? I hope not, because I’m really enjoying writing this blog! So, this is a few days late, as we had these on

Black bean tacos

It wasn't even Taco Tuesday!

Wednesday night, another veggie-dinner night. I was happy to find the tomatillos at Whole Foods, because I love a green salsa, even though The Husband usually doesn’t. But I knew if I made it from scratch I’d win him over. Which I did–he loved them, and especially the salsa. Which I must say, was quite good.

And non-vegans, please, add cheese to these tacos! We were on our cleanse, so no dairy, but they really deserved some nice cotija cheese crumbled on top. In SoCal, you can find this and other delicious Mexican cheese varieties in the cooler section near the processed cheese. I would recommend investing–it lasts for a while and is great in salads as a nice substitute for feta. Speaking of feta, those who do not live in SoCal, like my dear friend Gaby in London, should use feta on top of these tacos. Although cheddar would work in a pinch.

And Londoners, if you can’t find tomatillos, try Booths near St. Paul’s Cathedral. They have a stall at Borough Market, or at least they used to. (How I miss that market!) You can get jalapeños there too, but I’m not sure about serranos. Substitute a green Thai or Indian chili if you can’t find the Mexican variety.

So here we go with the recipe, with my notes, as usual!

Roasted Tomatillo and Black Bean Tacos

About 4 tomatillos, about regular tomato size, husks removed, washed and quartered
1 small onion, or half a large, chopped roughly
1 small red or yellow bell pepper, chopped roughly
3 large cloves of garlic, peeled
3 Tbs. chopped cilantro, plus more for serving
1 serrano chile, cut in half and seeds removed
1 Fresno chile (red), cut in half and seeds removed
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
4 corn tortillas (I used sprouted corn ones—they were surprisingly delicious!)
1 avocado, sliced from top to bottom
Shredded cabbage (I used Napa because it was in the fridge)
Cotija cheese or feta, crumbled
Sour cream (optional–we certainly didn’t use it)

If you have a broiler, get it to the hottest setting. If you only have an oven, then get the broil feature going and move the rack to the highest spot closest to the heat source. You could, if you have no other options, use a barbecue. I might try that next time.

Tomatillos
Mmmm…chilies and tomatillos!

Grease up a baking tray (ideally with a rim around the edge) and spread tomatillos, onion, peppers, chilis and garlic evenly across the tray. Broil until the items start getting charred and blackened, and keep your eye on them. Turn and rotate the pieces as needed, and stir the onions. When they are nice and charred to your taste, take everything out.

I don’t have room for a food processor, so my stick blender is one of my favorite kitchen tools (next to my mini-tongs. Love those things!). I threw the tomatillos, garlic, cilantro and chilis in a tall cup and pulsed them til they were still a little chunky, not perfectly smooth. Season with a little salt–with those chilis, you won’t need the bite of pepper.

Mix the salsa in with the beans, adding the chopped and roasted bell peppers and onions. Now you’ve got your filling. Go on to make the salad before you start heating up your corn tortillas right on the gas range, using your mini-tongs to flip them over. I put two on the same burner, and flip the top one as I flip them both over. It seems to keep them warm while getting a little crispy on the burner.

Add the bean filling, top with avocado slices, cabbage and cilantro—and cheese, if you’ve got it. I like making one at a time for TH and I. That way the tortillas are nice and hot still. Hope you like them as much as we did!

Jenn’s Favorite Creamy (But Non-Dairy) Salad Dressing

This one’s always great with Mexican food. My secret ingredient is O-Roy-O salsa, which is local to Laguna Beach, but any finely chopped, fresh salsa will do. Just don’t use El Paso from a jar. Ever.

2 Tbs. hummus
1 Tbs. salsa
The juice of 1/2 a lime
A glug or two of extra-virgin olive oil
A splash of seasoned rice wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar

Mix together with a fork. Taste for seasoning. Add to a nice chopped salad, or a salad with romaine or other hearty lettuce with veggies of your choice. We had cucumber, tomato, grilled corn, avocado, grated carrot and radishes.

I encourage you to play with hummus as a salad dressing ingredient! It’s surprisingly versatile.

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