The other night I really REALLY wanted tacos. Zara REALLY wanted rice (and strawberries, but that doesn’t really fit with the taco story). Since I’ve been shopping on a pretty tight budget lately (and getting tighter due to a new house purchase…hopefully…) I had bought tortillas on my last shop (corn baby ones, Zara AND my favorite) so I had the basics to get going. I decided I was going to make black bean, guac and cheese tacos.
This is what I used for the whole get up;
1 pckg of small corn tortillas
2 cans black beans
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 small yellow onion
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 ripe avocados
1 medium tomato
2 handfuls of fresh cilantro
1/4 tea agave
1/2 tea lime juice
1/2 tea pepper
This is what we did;
First we made the beans. Open the two cans and dump them into a pot. Simmer. Chop half the onion and 2 cloves of garlic and add to the pot. I like doing the onions and garlic this way instead of sauteing first as I like that it softens the onion and garlic and allows their flavor to be incorporated into the beans instead of having a secondary flavor. Cook these for about 15 minutes. I salt my beans so that I don’t have to salt the rest of the dish. I add about 1 tea of salt. Taste them once the liquid has almost evaporated to test for seasoning. While the beans are cooking, prep the guac. I LOVE a good guac, and my sister is probably the person that I know that makes it THE BEST (I’ve never been to California or Mexico, I feel like I should caveat this whole making guac thing with that statement…) First I had Zara crush red peppercorns in a mortar and pestle. We have a lightweight wooden one that she can use easily. It’s a big bonus to have your kids help you in the kitchen AND they get to play Captain distructo! She loved mashing things up! SO while she did that, I chopped up a whole tomato and half the onion and added to a bowl (I added directly to a tupperware because I knew I would not be serving this on the table). Zara then dumped the crushed peppercorns in, I peeled the avocados (When I lived in London, an Italian friend showed me how to peel an avocado so that you get every last bit of the flesh, it’s AMAZING!!) and put in the mortar and pestle for Zara to smash up. Then add to bowl. Have your child stir. Next add the agave and juice from lime and lemon. If you want to add salt, now’s the time. Taste and season per your palette, add a handful of chopped cilantro. Set aside. (The lemon will help it from browning. If you are traveling with guac and you want it to stop browning you can also leave the pit in the guac!)
Next prep your tacos. Add a little oil (use your discretion) to a griddle pan or low lipped saute pan. Heat on medium heat and then add corn tortillas, two at a time to coat and heat through. Transfer to a paper towel covered plate to get rid of excess oil. What this is doing is softening the tortilla so it is pliable and won’t rip when you add other ingredients and try to fold. Build your tacos and make as many of these as necessary. I added a bit of black beans, some grated cheddar and then a spoonful of guac. Fold and then put back on the griddle to seal. Be careful not to overfill. I served two tacos per person with a spoonful of cilantro lime rice.
When you’re starting your beans, start your rice (see, it’s important to read the whole recipe or blog before you start cooking!!- Not that I was trying to trick you!). I make rice by adding two cups water per 1 cup or rice. I was making 2 cups of rice, so I added 4 cups of water and 2 cups of rice. Put on a medium-high burner in a pot and add 1 tbsp of butter. When rice comes to a bowl, stir and reduce heat to low. Cover with a lid but not tightly, you want to steam the rice, but you need a place for some of the steam to escape. When the rice is almost done (about 15 minutes, add a squeeze of lime juice (about 1 lime) and a handful of chopped cilantro. Again, I don’t like to salt, but if you do…do. Serve with tacos!
I forgot to take a picture before I started eating…so…it’s not the prettiest picture on the planet…but I AM trying to get better with the pictures…argh