I was getting ready to tell you more about how spring is right around the corner, but then it started snowing again. I don’t know why it was doing that, because then it was sunny again like 20 minutes later.
Sometimes the weather in Seattle is just plain dumb.
Because of this we will eat tacos for dinner many times between now and forever. Here’s how we do it at Casa Goldberg.
Step 1). Boil up some black beans. A lot of black beans.
Step 2.) Get out some sweet potatoes and cut them into bite sized chunks.
Step 3). Remark on how much you love sweet potatoes because they are so freaking delicious and go with almost every food in existence.
Step 4). Step outside into the muck and pick the remainder of the winter chard/kale/whatever from the garden. Failing that, open up the crisper and pull out any leafy green things that need to be used up. Rinse it all up and give it a good hacking with a big knife.
Step 5). Add a lot of garlic to a pan.
Step 6). Cook everything together.
Step 7). Heat up some sort of taco delivery device. Tortillas and crispy taco shells are the go-to in our house.
Step 8). Add a gazillion delicious toppings. Sour cream, avocados, cilantro, thinly shredded cabbage, any salsas you have hanging out in the fridge, cheese in varying degrees of saltiness. And hot sauce.
Step 9). Squeeze some lime over the whole thing.
Step 10). Devour.
See how easy that was? Now you can pretend you are in Mexico and it’s not 40ºF outside.
These tacos are so simple you can practically make them in your sleep. Some days in the middle of winter, that is how I feel, and yet they still manage to be 100% delicious every time. They are endlessly variable, as long as you know what you like. Eat them in warm flour tortillas as a burrito, in little corn tortillas or crispy corn shells for a true taco, or just heap it all on a plate and call it a salad. The toppings are endless. A rainbow of salsas, crunchy pickles carrots, salty cotija cheese and spicy peppers are all probably more traditional that what we usually eat, but this is NW style Mexican at it’s best.
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos
feeds one hungry family of 5, plus leftovers
3 cups cooked (or canned) black beans
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/2″-3/4″ cubes
3 large cloves garlic, finely minced
4-5 heaping cups chopped leafy greens, like chard
3/4 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
salt to taste
juice of about 1/3 lime
olive or vegetable oil
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add enough oil to just coat the bottom of the pan. Toss in the sweet potato cubes and the garlic and add a big pinch of salt. Stir it all around to coat it in the oil. Let it sit for a minute until it starts to brown, and then stir. Repeat this step until most of the pieces have at least a couple of brown sides, then add a splash of water to the pan and cover. Let steam for 5 minutes or so, checking to make sure the water doesn’t completely evaporate or you will burn the heck out of your potatoes.
Once the potatoes have started to soften, add the black beans and the spices. Add another splash of water, give it a good stir and then let steam for a few more minutes. Again, repeat this step until the beans and potatoes start to meld together and the potatoes have softened to the point that they are edible. Taste for seasoning. Now add in the greens. Add one more splash of water and cover, letting it steam just until the greens have started to soften and cook down, and most of the water has evaporated
If you want it a bit more saucy, add more water, a tiny bit at a time, until it’s a consistency you like. Check again for seasoning, then add the lime juice.
Serve it up nice and hot with plenty of toppings and an ice cold beer. A little mariachi music might help set the mood, if you are that type of person.