Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Black bean and potato tacos. ¡├ôrale!

Hey there, a real post with food!
I don't know where this idea comes from.  It's probably not original but I've been wanting to do it for a while.  Part of the reasoning is that ever since I became a vegetarian, potatoes took on a totally new role for me, almost even replacing meat.  Don't ask me how, but they can be really satisfying. 
There's no standard recipe for what I did here, but hopefully I'll have something slightly more specific in the future once this is perfected.  So yeah, this isn't a recipe per se, but I'll give some tips as to how to make these (I'm hearing the voice of Donald Kaufman in Adpatation - "Not rules, Charlie, principles"). 

Step one: beans
I start out with my standard bean recipe which I will make forever and ever.  I love it.  It's the basis for refried beans, chili, you name it. 
2 cups of black beans, rinsed, picked through.
1 onion, quartered
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 bay leave

Put all ingredients into a large pot.  Add 8 cups water and one bottle of beer.  I had some skunky beer lying around which did me just fine.  Bring to boil and then put to a low simmer for about 5 hours.

Step two: potato.  In the meantime, cook a potato.  My microwave potatoes generally end up like shriveled little lumps but it turns out the microwave actually has a potato function.  Who knew?  Anyway, you want a cooked potato.  Get there however you like.

Step three:  Refried beans.  Whenever you have beans that you are ready to work with, take a good three cups of beans and add a cup of broth.  I like better than bouillon beef, but be sparing with the flavor (a scant teaspoon can go a long way).  Mash over the stove and cook on a low heat until liquid has been absorbed.  Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and something spicy (I used powdered chipotle).  Okay, how is chipotle not in bloggers spell-check?  Come on...

Step four: Saute potato and mix everything.  When the potato is cool, cube it, and then saute it in butter seasoning with salt, pepper and oregano.  Mix it well into beans.  The mixture should be thick and stick together pretty well.  

We garnished our tacos (soft shells with corn tortillas heated on the comal), with salsa, vegan sour cream, and avocado.  Pretty awesome. 

Queue mariachi song end 'duh-duh-DUH, duh-duh'.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Like a phoenix from the ashes...

Yikes.  How long?  A year and a half?  I haven't really forgotten about this blog but it just seems like so much has gotten in the way.  I think I originally used this blog as a place to redirect my energy away from my dissertation.  The summer when I started this blog I did very little academic work.  After that summer I came back to my dissertation, wrote all year long and into the next summer and then defended the dissertation in August of 2011.  So yeah, now it's Dr. Elitist Taco.  We'll see if any of the recipes retain any kind of academic flare...
Throughout this time, I probably used the blog at least once a month, in particular for the enchilada sauce recipe.  I'm still interested in coming up with a better one, but it's one we like and it's one I will keep coming back to for a while.  So it was never really out of my mind.
But there are some big changes ahead.  This summer we'll be moving to Dallas where I'll start a job as a university professor at the University of Dallas.  I'm excited.  I love Bloomington, but access to Mexican groceries, warmer weather, and a real job sound great.  I don't know what it will be like to live in Texas but I'm bringing two pretty important people with me so I'm sure it'll be great.
That second person, after my lovely wife, is our newborn son Diego who turned 8 days today.  It's been an indescribable week of joy, exhaustion, and awe.  I'm happy to have the new motivation to work a little harder and be a bit more organized.  Looking to the weeks, months, and years ahead I feel nothing but enthusiasm.  Welcome little D!
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