Not posh

November 9, 2009

Remember when I wrote how Glasgow has the highest per capita Indian restaurants of anywhere outside of India? Well, you know what they must have the lowest per capita of? Mexican restaurants. Or anything Latin American. I nearly succumbed to burrito-deficiency-itis when I lived there for a semester in college, after living off of Anna's Taqueria for two years. One day my friend Sue and I decided to make regular old ground beef tacos in my windowless dorm kitchen. We got all the goods: crunchy yellow shells, that scary "seasoning" packet, salsa, sour cream, orange cheese, and even a green tub of goo labled "guacamole." So there we are, assembling our comfort food that I'm sure 1 million other Americans were eating at home in Iowa, Pennsylvania and Florida. And the Scottish girls who shared the kitchen start talking about how posh our dinner is. Because they had never witnessed taco preparation before. Um, Ortega taco kits are really anything but posh. I would even declare them the exact opposite of posh.

I won't lie. I still make the occasional ground beef taco. Why not? They are kind of awesome. But I now have about 15 other favorite tacos in front of it. Here's one.

Crunchy black bean tacos - adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe
Makes 6 tacos

6 small corn tortillas (don't use flour tortillas)
vegetable oil
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
2 cups shredded cabbage (either from a head or coleslaw mix)
2 green onions, finely sliced
juice of half of a lime
2 tablespoons cilantro OR mint

To serve
homemade guacamole (mash an avocado with some minced garlic, salt, pepper, lime juice, maybe some cilantro)
chipotle hot sauce

Mix the cabbage, green onions, lime juice and herb of your choosing together well. Season with some salt.

Mash the rinsed and drained black beans with the cumin, vinegar, and garlic.

Preheat toaster oven to 250, or set your oven on "warm." Heat a large skillet with 2 teaspoons vegetable oil over medium heat. Swirl the oil around so it covers the skillet evenly. Put three tortillas down in the skillet. It's ok if they overlap a bit. Using one half of the bean mixture, divide it among the three tortillas in the pan, spreading it on one half of each tortilla. Top with some of the feta cheese. Using tongs, fold over the other half of the tortilla and press down, making the tortillas into half moons. Once the tortilla is crispy and light brown on one side, flip it over and brown the other side. (I think tongs are easier to use than a spatula here.) Keep the first batch warm in the toaster or oven while you repeat with the last three tortillas.

Shove some of the cabbage mixture into each taco, and then serve with the guacamole and chipotle hot sauce. Heaven, I tell you. Crunchy, beany heaven.


Henry Coppola said...

Nice, and by the way you're getting great (like really impressive) photos of the food too.