So it was a gorgeous day in Austin and Lex and me enjoyed the beautiful 80 degree weather for most of the day, but got back this afternoon and banged out not two, not three but four delicious recipes all from Food & Wine magazine.Warm Winter-Vegetable Salad and Zucchini-and-Watercress Soup. After tasting both we were quite impressed but a full review is to come later lambies.
For dinner, we made these – what I thought were – awesome Beer-Braised Turkey Tacos with Mango-Tomato Salsa. The turkey for the tacos was pretty simple and we knew this would be delicious once we opened the lid with the simmering turkey and aromatics and got quite hungry. The salsa was a basic dump and pour (as it usually is) but Lex hates chunky salsa so we decided to dump it all in the food processor and give her a whirl until it was nice and pureed. I really liked these tacos with the salsa but if you are not a big fan of cinnamon (like Lex is) then it might be a little too overpowering for some. I loved them however so I say go for it!
I was looking forward to these tacos all week and after a pretty hectic day with no lunch to speak of, I got home and was starving! These were just what I needed, well that and a glass or 20 of wine (kidding, kidding). The salsa was amazing and instead of adding in hot sauce I put in a Serrano chili. I also served with some Monterrey Jack cheese because well, I needed some cheese.
What I always appreciate about Cooking Light is their Menu Suggestions section in the back of the magazine which are short recipes and sides to serve with a few select dishes to round out a meal. This one had a GREAT side to serve with the tacos, Smoky Refried Beans (recipe below) and I think this may turn into my refried bean staple – yes, we all need one – from now on.
For vegetarians, I could see the refried beans being spread on the tacos and served with the salsa and cabbage to make sure you have crunch. You could remove the bacon and in its place put it a little cumin or chili powder to give the beans a smoky flavor? I pulled that out of thin air!
Smoky Refried Beans
Cook 2 slices applewood-smoked bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserve drippings. Crumble bacon, set aside. Add 1/2 cup chopped onion and 2 minced garlic cloves to drippings in pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/3 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 1 (15-ounce) can drained and rinsed pinto beans; mash with potato masher to desired consistency. Cook until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with bacon and 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro.
No beef for you! Instead you get really tasty, mashed black beans that have been sprinkled with a little bit of cumin. Place some pepper jack cheese on a tortilla, and then place it flat on a hot skillet with some extra virgin olive oil. Place the bean mixture on top, fold and crisp on both sides. Voila! Yummy vegetarian tacos in no time.
I followed Crispy Black Bean Tacos
recipe from Bon Appetit except I did not have corn tortillas or feta but it was still yummy the way I made them, especially if you serve with some low-fat sour cream and homemade guacamole. I also made the Mexican Pineapple Salad
to round out the meal. And now back to our regularly scheduled beef programming…