Tacos: black beans, roasted corn and agave-lime slaw
We came back from a long hike on trails around a local mountain with spectacular views of the Okanagan lake. We left for the hike early morning and the parking lot at the foot of the mountain was nearly empty. It tends to fill up quickly later in the day and especially on weekends. We started with our regular route to the top of the mountain but three quarters of the way up decided to take a detour to the back of the mountain, walking along a narrow trail winding through a beautiful pine forest. We were rewarded with gorgeous meadows, ponds, view points and lush vegetation, all different than what we see on our regular route. Eventually the trail connected back to the steep slopes above the lake and we made our way down towards the shore before climbing back up the west face to return to our vehicle. My iPhone app advised that we walked about 13K steps for a distance of 10k and climbed the height of 33 floors. It’s kind of fun to have these apps keeping track of your activities.
I took some fruits along on the hike but of course came back hungry (when am I not ready for food?) and after a shower I was ready to make something to eat. Today I thought bean tacos with tangy slaw as a topping would be nice. As my fridge is always full and my pantry stocked, I had all the ingredients on hand. I usually have a stack of white corn tortillas in the fridge (they last a long time), so making tacos is easy and quick. In addition I had a can of black beans, a couple of corn cobs that were already cooked, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers and red and green cabbage, so I was all set for the quick production.
I cooked the tomatoes and jalapenos in a little oil in a skillet and once the tomatoes released their juices I added the beans and warmed them up in the skillet for a few minutes. (I first chopped up 3/4 of the beans in the food processor, leaving about 1/4 of them intact). While the beans were warming I grilled the cooked corn cobs directly over the flame of the gas stove to char them a bit and then sliced the kernels off the cob.
The tangy slaw was easy: slice the cabbages thinly and drizzle with a dressing made with lime juice and agave. After that assembly is simple. Grill the taco shells over direct flame or in a skillet, fill with beans, corn and slaw and there you have it, a simple and delicious black bean tacos.
White corn soft taco shells
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 can black beans
A small handful cilantro or parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon ancho pepper chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
2 corn cobs
3 cups shredded cabbages, red and green
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoon agave syrup
A pinch of salt
Mexican style hot sauce (try Valentina)
Shredded romain lettuce optional
Place the corn cobs in the microwave in a dish with a little water and cook for about 7-8 minutes until cooked through.
Warm up the oil in a skillet, then add the tomatoes and jalapeno and cook until the tomatoes break down and release their juice.
Place about 2/3 of the beans in a food processor and pulse a few time to roughly chop them but do not puree into a paste.
When the tomatoes are juicy add the chopped and whole black beans to the skillet together with the chili powder and cumin and warm the mixture up on low heat, stirring occasionally. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Remove from heat when the beans are heated through. If the mixture seems dry add a tablespoon or so of water.
While the beans are warming up place the corn cobs over direct flame or a grill to char the kernels a bit. Once cooled enough to handle cut off the kernels with a knife. Stand the corn cob upright and cut with a knife from top to bottom. Season the corn kernels with salt and pepper.
To make the slaw shred the cabbage and toss together with the dressing.
Cook the tortillas over direct flame or in a hot skillet until charred in spots but still soft.
Fill each tortilla with the mixture of beans, top with corn and the slaw. Add shredded Romaine lettuce if using.
Drizzle your favourite hot sauce and serve immediately.