I must confess, however, that I did some cheating. Normally I'm a "from scratch" kind of person. But there were so many wonderful things to choose from at the store, I ended with a whole lot of stuff to put on my tacos that I didn't have to make! Except the cheese. I keep my own herd of cows just so I can always have homemade cheese on hand. (Kidding! :) )
I enjoy both soft and "crunchy" tacos, but one of my greatest frustrations is that when I try to eat a crunchy taco, it falls to pieces in my hands! So I came up with this "recipe" for Two-Way Double Tacos.
Here are the ingredients I bought at the store: Blue corn hard taco shells, flour tortillas, pineapple-mango salsa, guacamole 1 lb. of skirt steak Some Caribbean svaory-baked tofu And some cilantro!
At home, I had limes, shredded cheese, onions, frozen corn, sour cream, a sweet potato, a red pepper and some dried black beans.
I decided that my tacos would include Cuban-style refried black beans. My other filling ingredients would include marinated skirt steak and corn (Option 1) and Caribbean tofu and sweet potato cubes (Option 2), along with the usual shredded cheese, cilantro, sour cream and the Pineapple-Mango Salsa.
To get started, I cooked my sweet potato in the microwave for 8 minutes, then set it aside to cool.
While it was cooking, I started my black beans. I cooked 1 c. of dried black beans in 4 c. water with 1 t. salt and a bayleaf, until they were very soft. It took about an hour and a half. While the beans were cooking, I got my steak started. First, I washed the steak and patted it dry. Then I sliced it in half to make it easier to cook and rubbed each half with some garlic. I popped it into a ziptop bag. I mixed up my marinade: freshly squeezed lime juice, crushed garlic, oregano, smoked paprika, salt, olive oil, and, tequila!! Here's my finished marinade: It's in the bag!
Once the beans were cooked, I mashed them in the pot with a potato masher.
To make my refried beans "Cuban style," I made a sofrito by sauteeing onion, garlic, and 1/4 of a red bell pepper in some bacon fat and a bit of lard. Of course, you can use olive oil, but since this was for refried beans, I felt it would benefit from the rich porky flavors in the bacon fat.
My "bad" but tasty fats: Sauteeing the sofrito:
After adding some ground cumin to the sofrito, I added the mashed black beans to the skillet.
The finished refried beans:
I assembled the rest of my filling ingredients: the peeled and cubed sweet potatoes The corn Shredded cheese And the tofu, cut into slices Finally, it was time to cook the steak. I heated up my griddle and sprinkled it with coarse salt to create a nice crunchy crust on the steak. I cooked the steaks about 4 minutes per side for medium rare: And sliced it into strips:
Now it's time to assemble the tacos! To make the double tacos, I take a soft tortilla and spread it with guacamole. Next, I added some of the refried beans to a warmed hard taco shell I added tofu and sweet potatoes. I added the rest of the goodies: cheese, sour cream, salsa, and cilantro, and finally, I wrapped t the guacamole-filled flour tortilla around the filled hard taco. By wrapping the soft taco around the taco shell, I can enjoy a cruncy taco without having it fall apart. Plus, it's a great excuse to eat more guacamole!
Since DC doesn't like guacamole, I spread his flour tortillas with refried beans mixed with sour cream.
I filled his tacos with refried beans, grilled steak, cheese, salsa, sour cream and cilantro. DC loved the double tacos and said they were the most delicious tacos he's ever had. (Isn't he smart? ;) ) He remarked they tasted like a cross between an enchilada and a taco.
By taking advantage of some high-quality, premade ingredients like salsa and guacamole, our taco experience was not only delicious, but easy to prepare as well. Although I chose to make my refried beans from scratch, there are some wonderful dehydrated black bean flakes that let you whip up some pretty decent (and low fat) refrieds just by adding boiling water. And of course, you can always use canned beans as well.
Tacos are so delicious and fun to make, you can't help but get kreativ!
Some late breaking news: Donna-FFW, over at the fabulously wonderful My Tasty Treasures, has graciously shared the Friends award that she received from PigPig's Corner on to me. I am so thrilled, honored and humbled to be in such great company. Thank you, Donna! Gloria Chadwick also passed the Friends award along to all her San Antonio Foodies. Thanks so much, Gloria! Gloria's blog is a blast-- if you haven't checked it out yet, come on over and party with us!
A true Gemini, I am the product of 2 cultures: the American South (on my mom's side) and the Anishinaabe nation. I'm a librarian, a CEO, and a mom to a teenager and a greyhound. Passions include cooking, fitness, wild rice, chocolate, fine cuisine, bbq (NC-style, of course) and hot buttered biscuits.