It's been a little while since I've included a food-based post here! Ok, ok, there was that one foray into salading along with some other, more relevant content... But this is my first purely food-related post in awhile.
Today, I am going to share with you some homemade tacos that my boyfriend and I had a couple of weeks ago. These are probably our favorite homemade meal... They are soooo satisfying, and very easy. Unfortunately, not the healthiest meal ever, but they're a good once in awhile treat.
What you see here are fried corn tortillas with black bean filling, homemade fresh salsa, and homemade guacamole. I topped them with feta cheese, since I didn't have any authentic Mexican cheese; the feta is nice and tangy and flavorful, and provides a nice counterpoint to the spicy flavors in the bean filling.
I'm no going to give you the recipes for the guacamole or the salsa, since we don't really have these perfected. Suffice it to say we threw together tomatoes, lime juice, jalapeno and serrano peppers, and salt and pepper. I used all the same ingredients in smaller quantities for the guacamole. They were good, but not great; once I get the details of these recipes hammered down, I will be sure to share them.
For the taco shells, we just fried corn tortillas in a bit of hot corn oil for about 15-20 seconds on each side, and then bent them into shape. As you can see, they're not as perfectly U-shaped as what you get at the store, but the texture is satisfyingly chewy with crispy edges. You can adjust the cook-time to get them crispier if you like them that way; I rather enjoy the bit of chewiness. Of course, if you're watching your waistline, you could always use unfried corn tortillas, but I think it's worth making this a once in a blue moon sort of meal to be able to enjoy the crispy-chewy homemade fried tortilla shells!
Now, the star of the show: the black bean filling!
Black Bean Taco Filling Recipe:
2-15 ounce cans black beans
2/3 cup red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup salsa verde
2 tablespoons HOT red salsa
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon lime juice
Dash chili powder
Dash garlic powder
Cayenne pepper to taste (you may not want any after the hot salsa!)
salt and pepper to taste
(Note: I am not an "exact measurements" kind of person; I urge you to tweak these amounts to suit your taste preferences. Start off with small quantities, and if it's bland, add more of the flavors you like most! For instance, with the recipe as listed above, I'd recommend adding more cumin if you don't think it's flavorful enough, but if you don't want to add any heat.)
Drain your black beans and rinse them well. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium sized pot (I think I used a 4 or 6 quart). Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add the diced onion and minced garlic, and saute for about 3-5 minutes; you want the onion to get translucent and soft, but you don't want either the garlic or the onion to brown. Once the onion/garlic mixture is done, add your beans and stir it all together. Add your liquid ingredients (salsas, lime juice), and then the herbs and spices (cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, cayenne, salt and pepper). Turn your heat down low and let the mixture simmer for 20-30 minutes to allow some of the beans to loosen and for the mixture to get just a little creamy. Stir it every once in awhile as it simmers to make sure it doesn't burn to the bottom of your pan!
Another really good topping for this black bean mixture that I haven't shown in the photo is lime sour cream. I took a couple of tablespoons of light sour cream, mixed in about a teaspoon of lime juice, and a dash of cayenne. It was really surprisingly good! As a lime-lover, I really enjoyed this on my tacos.
As I've mentioned here before, I am not a vegetarian, but my boyfriend is and we tend to eat vegetarian when we cook at home. These are so flavorful and good, I actually prefer the black bean mixture to any kind of meat taco filling. This is a great meal to serve to mixed vegetarian and omnivore crowds; I bet your meat-loving friends won't even miss the meat in their tacos! This is easy to make vegan as well, if you don't use cheese or sour cream as toppings. If you want some crunch on your taco, try this with shredded cabbage!
One final disclaimer: I am not claiming this is in any way an authentic Mexican recipe. Just that it's really tasty!
Hope you enjoyed this!