Roasted Vegetable and Black Bean Tacos

Ready

Ya know, it’s much harder to come up with vegetarian meals than initially thought … especially with slightly picky teenagers.

When I saw this recipe I figured it would be something new, in a crunchy shell (which makes everything better) and can have chicken added for my dear carnivore.

LOTS OF CHOPPING! But after the chopping prep there’s just stirring and eating!

  • 1 medium yellow squash, chopped into small chunks (1 cup)
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped into small chunks (1 cup)
  • 1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, de-seeded, ribs removed and chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium sweet potato or yam, peeled and chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • One (10-ounce) can original Ro-Tel (tomatoes + chiles)
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t smoked paprika
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 to 12 taco-sized corn tortillas
  • canola or vegetable oil
  • To serve with tacos: avocado, shredded cheese, lettuce, sour cream, lime wedges

NOTE: I used crunchy taco shells, the ones that stand on their own … it’s the preferred thing here, and I have enough battles without taco shells being one of them.

NOTE NOTE: Nope, next time there will be NO Ro-Tel, but a can of diced tomatoes. This packs enough flavor without all the heat which makes some of the delicate palates here frown!

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a large, rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Veggies

Add all of your vegetables to a large bowl and toss with the olive oil. Spread the veggies on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 15 minutes, stir, roast another 15 minutes, stir again, and roast one more time for 15 minutes (45 minutes total). The veggies can be roasted ahead of time, just refrigerate until ready to make the tacos.

In a medium skillet, heat the black beans and tomatoes over low heat.

Spices

In a small bowl, combine the spices (cumin through pepper). Sprinkle the spices over the beans and tomatoes and stir to combine. Add the roasted veggies, stir to combine and continue to heat until the mixture is completely warm.

All that’s left is to assemble the tacos! Around here the veggies were int he pan with bowls of avocado slices, limes, lettuce, and shredded cheese. Grilled shredded chicken on the side for those who like more protein!

 

Baked Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

Baked

All the back and forth in my life, coupled with the Dear One’s travels, make my ability to blog … well, hampered, to say the least.

This recipe was one I made with my brother, Nick, for a Super Bowl party he was attending. You may remember the other recipe we made together, Buffalo Chicken Bites. Snarky comments aside, the chicken bites were fab.

These were good, but I think if they were to be made again, I would change these slightly.

First, canned chicken? It was okay, but if you’re going to cheat, you may as well buy a rotisserie chicken. A poached chicken breast would be best.

Smaller tortillas, more blue cheese, more hot sauce, maybe some chopped celery.

But, changes aside, these were easy, taste great, and are good for a Super Bowl party when grab and go food is called for!

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/8 C buffalo sauce
  • 1 C shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/8 C blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 can (12.5-ounce) Swanson® Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
  • 8 8-inch flour tortillas
  • coarse Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Filling

In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and buffalo sauce. Mix well. Stir in the Monterey jack cheese, blue cheese crumbles and chicken; mix well.

Stuffed

Place 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture down the center of each tortilla and roll up. If needed, microwave the tortillas for about 30 seconds to make them soft and pliable enough to roll. Place on a baking sheet. Spray the taquitos with cooking spray, then sprinkle with coarse salt.

Rolling

Bake in the preheated oven for 17-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with blue cheese dressing for dipping, if desired.

Ready to Bake

NOTE: These definitely needed more of a kick. Maybe a little more buffalo sauce. Perhaps a few dashes of hot sauce. Maybe a bit more blue cheese. And while I like the 8″ tortilla, I really think the smaller ones would be better.  They would be crisper. And as my pal Sandra would say … I like crunchy!

Pork Carnitas #SundaySupper

dressed

Around here we don’t need Cinco de Mayo to have a passion for Mexican food! But it certainly doesn’t hurt! A roasted pork shoulder soaking in a citrusy marinade is enough to make my son and Jeremy and Jeannie and I absolutely giddy. This time I decided to take this dish a step further and take the delicious slow roasted pork shoulder and turn it into carnitas tacos.

A few toppings, some tortilla, rice and beans, and cold beer and you’re all set for a Cinco de Mayo fiesta!

Fixings

First, you need what my darling friend Nanner refers to as a big honkin’ piece-o-pork shoulder. I use the same marinade ingredients regardless of the weight of my piggie.

  • Pork shoulder (mine was 7+ pounds)
  • 1 bottle of Goya Naranja Agria (bitter orange) marinade
  • 4 or 5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1 t coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 C olive oil

Everything into a gigantic ziploc bag and into the fridge overnight.

Preset the oven to 350 and take the pork shoulder out so that it comes to almost room temperature.

Ready to Roast

Line a roasting dish with foil (you’ll thank me at washing time). Place the pork shoulder in the roasting pan and add about half the marinade (keep the other half). Cover with foil and roast for 3 to 4 hours (this is going to depend on the size of your roast). Remove the foil and roast for another 45 minutes to an hour.

Roasted

Let the roast cool.

Chop a medium sized onion.  Once the roast has cooled to the point where you can handle it, shred it with your hands. This is a messy affair.

Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to a pan, over medium high heat. It should be large enough to hold all the meat. When it’s hot, add the meat and cook until the pork starts to get crispy.

NOTE: We like ours very crispy on the outside. Also, if it seems to be drying out a bit while it’s crisping, add a bit of the reserved marinade to the pan.

Ready to dress

When I serve this I place queso fresco, sliced radishes, sliced avocado, limes, cilantro, and red onion on a platter, wrap warm flour tortilla in a tea towel, put all the pork in a bowl, ice cold beer, and tell everyone to jump in. I pickle the onions and cilantro a bit by placing each in a bowl with about a 1/2 cup red wine vinegar and a 1/2 teaspoon cumin and let it sit for a while.

Enjoy!

If you want to keep the theme through this meal, make some of these FABULOUS Maya Galletas de Chocolate! Deep and rich in chocolate goodness with just a hint of kick at the end!

This week’s Sunday Supper Movement, Cinco de Mayo, is being hosted by Jen over at Juanita’s Cocina

Cinco de Mayo Appetizers & Sides {Aperitivos}:

Cinco de Mayo Main Dishes {Platos Principales}:

Cinco de Mayo Desserts {Postres}:

Cinco de Mayo Drinks {Bebidas}:

Tinga de Pollo

Not quite sure what it is, but I am on a Mexican kick. I can’t get enough ~ and to top it off, it can’t be spicy enough!

And I have been waiting ever so (im)patiently for Marcela Valladolid‘s show Mexican Made Easy to start its new season!

Finally it starts and wouldn’t you know it, second show of the new season and there are three recipes I HAVE to try! Sigh. Expect to see a lot of Marcela here!

First to try – Tinga de Pollo. You could practically smell this dish through the TV screen. It looked so good and so simple. I had to run out the next morning and purchase all the ingredients.  Then again, Marcela has a way of making everything look to amazing!

Wow! So good. So simple. So flavorful. So chicken for you know who. So spicy for the other you know who. They’ve already asked for it again!

Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 medium white onion
  • 1 bay leaf

Tinga

  • 4 ounces raw pork chorizo
  • 1/2 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tomatoes (about 1 pound), boiled 30 seconds, peeled and seeded *See below
  • 1 cup chopped tomatillos (husked and rinsed first) * See below
  • 2 tablespoons pureed chipotle
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 sprig fresh marjoram
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 10 store-bought tostadas

NOTE: Take the chipolte in adobo and just chop it up finely. I used my handy dandy mini chopper. You can tone down the heat little by adding ess of the chipolte in adobo – I used a teeny bit more than the 2 tablespoons.

For Garnish:
Sour Cream
Avocados
Lime wedges

For the chicken:

Place the chicken, peppercorns, salt, garlic, bay leaf and onion in a large heavy saucepan with 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Turn the heat off and remove the chicken from the liquid. Reserve the broth for later use. Using 2 forks or clean hands, shred the chicken into a bowl and set aside.

NOTE: Or cheat, as I did, and buy a rotisserie chicken!

For the tinga:

In a large heavy saute pan, cook the chorizo over medium heat until fully cooked, about 6 minutes. Add the onions and saute until translucent and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatillos and cook for 1 minute. Add the chipotle, salt, pepper, Mexican oregano and the sprigs of marjoram and thyme.

Add the shredded chicken. Continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Add between 1/2 cup and 1 cup of the chicken cooking liquid, depending on the thickness of the sauce. Cook for 5 more minutes. Remove the marjoram and thyme sprigs.

Place 2 tablespoons of tinga on each tostada. Serve immediately.

NOTE: There’s a lot of chopping – my least favorite thing to do! Get everything chopped and prepped before you start. This goes pretty quickly once you begin!

NOTE NOTE: Tommy used flour tortillas (not a crunchy kinds guy). Tom had his over rice. You aren’t tied to the tostadas – except I loved the crunch it added!

NOTE: In case you haven’t seen them before, these are tomatillos. They come in a papery type skin. Peel off the papery layer. They’re sticky so rinse them off before you chop them.  And surprisingly enough, these have nothing  to do with tomatoes! They are part of the gooseberry family! (Ya learn something new every day!)

NOTE: To get the skins off the tomatoes, cut a small X on the bottom of the tomato. A very shallow, not much deeper than the skin X. Bring a pot of water to boil, lower to simmer, and dip the tomato in for about 30 seconds. Take out and let cool until you can handle them. The skins slip right off. Make sure you take all the seeds and goo out of the tomato before chopping.

Avocado Cream

And so the last component of this fantastic birthday, Mexican fiesta was a recipe I was inspired by by at a fellow foodie’s blog. They had used this for enchiladas, but I thought this would be perfect on top of the Burgers al Pastor I was making – and it was!

Creamy, bright, fresh, rich – perfect on burgers, enchiladas, tacos, or to just scoop up greedily with tortilla chips when everyone else has gone to bed!

  • 1 1/2 avocados
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 T cilantro
  • salt to taste
  • 3 heaping t sour cream (add a little more if you want his a little looser

NOTE: The lime, salt and sour cream can be adjusted to your own taste.

Everything into the food processor, blender or even a bowl and mash by hand. Done!

I halved this recipe and it made enough for the burgers and for a cook’s secret treat later! Although, it is really hard to eat crunchy tortilla chips quietly!