Foodie In Training

Monday, April 19, 2010

Best Tacos Ever: Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Cabbage Slaw

Seriously. I'm not being dramatic, I'm not being biased. These tacos are the best ever.

I found the recipe on my FAVORITE food blog, Smitten Kitchen. Normally, this is a vegetarian dish, but we decided to add ground beef this time. The recipe says to mash the black beans (we just use a fork) so it thickens into a bit of a paste. Once the ground beef is cooked and the fat drained, we add the black beans. The heat softens the mashed beans and makes the ground beef and bean mixture thick without adding one of those taco seasoning packets. The recipe calls for cumin and we also added cayenne, garlic powder, and taco seasoning (which is just a mixture of paprika, onions, more cumin, oregano, and allspice). In the past I have also substituted the taco seasoning for chili powder, or Hungarian hot paprika.
The star of the tacos is the feta and cabbage slaw. I could seriously eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It's fresh and crunchy with a little bite from the lime and hot sauce. And, it's one of those things that just gets better the more it sits in your refrigerator. I recommend buying a large cabbage and making a big batch because you'll want more after the tacos are gone. Smitten Kitchen's adaptation of the recipe calls for about 2 tablespoons (or more) of lime juice. I'm on the "or more" team. I use the juice of about 2 whole limes..or more. I really like a ton of lime juice. I think it enhances all of the flavors and also provides a nice contrast to the feta cheese.

As you can see in the photos, we did not make our tacos crispy. The first time I made them, I pan fried each tortilla in a little olive oil and man was it good. I definitely recommend it. But, if you are feeling lazy or just short on time, regular soft tortillas are fine, or you could use the store bought hard tacos. This recipe is so user-friendly, you can do whatever you want.
Oh black bean tacos, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

1. You are so easy and fast.
2. The recipe is very simple and wide open for being creative and adding your own twist!
3. Wallet friendly- black beans, tortillas, cabbage, lime, feta, cilantro, a bit of olive oil. These are the main ingredients..trust me, they don't add up to very much $$.
4. You go so well with a tasty adult beverage...especially of the Mexican variety.
5. You are even better the next day! (If there are leftovers)

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