We’ve been doing Taco Tuesdays for the last month or so. Our neighbors across the street do it, so Leandro decided we should too. I actually like it, because it gives me a solid plan and lets me tinker. I don’t actually do the taco thing – by the time all the accoutrements get to the table I have eaten more than my share of shredded cheese and settle for rolling a veggie wrap for myself (ripe avocado slices are my solution when I crave creaminess and am trying — quite unsuccessfully — to battle my cheese dependence).
One of the things I have been tweaking has been refried beans (which are not really refried at all). You can buy them out of a can, and I won’t deny that they taste good, but do I really need that much lard in my life? Actually, I do wish I had more lard in my life, but I would like to know where it came from before I serve it up.
Anyhoo, it didn’t seem that hard to make my own, so I tried, tweaked, and we liked it a lot. For the other taco stuffings I defrost delicious prepared meats from my freezer: Seasoned Ground Beef. Pollo Guisado (stewed chicken), or I make Flex-Mex chicken (which takes under five minutes to prep – I kid you not). We add cheese, rice, and that’s about it. I add greens and tomatoes, and of course the avocado. As it happens, Leandro likes the homemade better than the store-bought!
Ours are not traditional tacos, but we are not a traditional family. And our Taco Tuesdays are delicious by any standard.
1 Tbs olive oil, plus additional for smoothing
1 Tbs onion, minced
1 tsp minced garlic (optional)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dry oregano (2 tsp fresh) and/or 1/4 tsp dry thyme (1/2 tsp fresh)
Salt to taste (add a pinch at a time)
15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained or 1.5 cups soaked pinto beans
Water for thinning
In a small saucepan, heat olive oil at medium high until loose and fragrant. Add onions, stir to coat and reduce heat to medium. If using chopped pepper, add at this point. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally and, if using sofrito/garlic, add at this point. Add the spices, salt, and beans and a Tbs or two of water and cook, mashing beans as you go and adding water if you want a creamier texture. Once everything is warmed through and you have reached the desired texture, serve with burritos, tacos or other Mexican-style dinners.