Friday, September 6, 2013

Disaster Chef: Being Underprepared When Cooking (Black Bean Crunchy Tacos) Project Pinterest

It had gotten a little late last Saturday, and before I’d realized, it was dinner time and I didn’t have anything planned, let alone cooked. So of course I went right to Pinterest, and within minutes, I had found a quick, easy dish.
The recipe is from over at Endless Simmer. Here is the one I attempted to follow, not too faithfully, as you'll soon see. 

  • 2 C. black beans, cooked
  • ½ C. red onion, minced
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • 4-6 ounces pepper jack cheese, grated
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Hot sauce
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  1. 1) In a medium bowl, add beans along with red onion, cilantro, and spices. Add a pinch of salt and lightly mash all of the ingredients together. Grate your cheese and have it ready as well.
  2. 2) In a large, non-stick skillet or cast iron skillet, add a few tablespoons of oil and heat over medium-high heat.
  3. 3) Add one corn tortilla at a time and let each get hot in the oil for a few seconds. Then add about 1?4 cup of the bean filling to one half of the tortilla. Top with a sprinkle of grated cheese.
  4. 4) Using a spatula, carefully fold the tortilla over so it forms a shell. Press down lightly on the tortilla so it holds its shape.
  5. 5) As the first tortilla cooks, move it to the side and do a second one. Depending on the size of your pan, you should be able to get 2 or 3 tacos at once. If you have a griddle you can do even more at once.
  6. 6) Cook each taco for about 3 minutes per side until they are nicely browned and crispy.
  7. 7) When flipping the taco to cook on the other side, use a spatula and flip the taco toward the fold so the filling doesn’t fall out.
  8. 8) Serve tacos with toppings like hot sauce, salsa, avocados, and sour cream.
  9. Note: Corn tortillas are resilent to heat. Don’t worry about burning them. They are very flexible. Just be sure to cook them on each side long enough to get them really crispy.

I started getting out the ingredients, but of course, as soon as I did, I realized I didn’t have most of what I needed. But I’m the queen of substitution, so I stuck with it. Instead of black beans, I used a can of great northern beans, which was all we had. I thought it might be a little weird in tacos, but by the time it was all made and piled high with toppings (*see pic), you couldn’t really taste the beans, anyway.

I had no Jack cheese, so I used cheddar. I had no cilantro. Basically, I had nothing I needed! But this just goes to show that you can adapt pretty much anything in this recipe and it will still turn out great. I didn’t have a red onion, so I used a small yellow one, making sure it wasn’t too spicy before I used it, since my son won’t eat spicy food (and since my husband was out of town, I didn’t have to worry about my onion breath). Still, I was going to cook the onion, since I’m not a big fan of raw onions. But it was so sweet that I left it raw, as the recipe says. I was trying to stick to the directions, at least, since I had to substitute all the ingredients.
I minced the onion super fine, and mashed everything with a potato masher, like it says. Not too thorough, you don’t want bean soup. Also, if you use a can of beans, as I did, you should pour off most of the liquid in the top of the can, and you can skip the salt. 

I went to get the tortillas from the fridge, only to find that we had only two white corn tortillas, somewhat fused together. I live on tortillas! There are always about 3 bags of them floating around the fridge. But of course the one time I need them for a recipe, we are out. I pried apart the two remaining tortillas and cooked them as directed. I don’t know how the recipe’s original cook fit half a cup of beans in a corn tortilla, but I would like to know! I put maybe half that in each of mine, and it still spilled out while cooking.

They cooked great, though, just like she said. Nice and crunchy on the outside. And delicious all the way through.

My son moaned and groaned that he hated tortillas and didn’t want a taco, but even he admitted, as he took the last bites of his taco, that it was “kind of good.” Success!

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