As promised: tacos!
Now that you’ve made a fleet of corn tortillas, it’s time to put something in them, fold them up halfway-ish, and shove them into your face.
This is a pretty basic recipe, nothing special, but it’s satisfying, dammit. I’ll get to the fancy fillings and sauces and shit later on. For now, we’re gonna just have simple tacos.
What goes in a simple taco?
Let’s do it.
For the beans, you’ll need:
- 2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 yellow onion
- A few cloves of garlic
- Olive oil
- A can of vegetable broth (or water, if you’re bland)
- Salt and pepper
- Spices (I use cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, cayenne, and chili powder)
For the avocado topping (I wouldn’t call it guacamole), you’ll need:
- 4 avocados, ready for mashing
- 1 lime
- A clove of garlic
- A few scallions
- Salt and pepper and a dash of cayenne
For the cheese, you’ll need:
- A bag of shredded cheese. What, did you think I make my own cheese? I like to think I’m an ambitious home cook, but I’m not about to store sour milk in sheep intestines or whatever the fuck you have to do to make cheese.
These amounts will make enough fixings for 16-20 tacos, depending on how hefty you like your tacos.
First, the beans:
- Mince your garlic and slice your onion (for the onion, I just leave it in long thin strips, rather than dicing or mincing).
- Set a pan to medium-high heat and put in a couple tablespoons of olive oil.
- When the oil’s hot, throw in the garlic and onion. Season with salt and pepper and let them cook until translucent and starting to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Throw in the beans and season again with salt and pepper. Stir it all around, and don’t be gentle with the beans. Ideally you’ll want to smash them as you stir, but don’t worry about being too thorough.
- Pour in some of the vegetable broth and stir everything around. At this point you may want to turn the heat down to medium.
- Stir the beans periodically, smashing them with your spoon as you stir (again, don’t worry about being thorough; it’s nice if it doesn’t have a completely uniform texture). Keep an eye out for the broth — as the liquid evaporates and runs low, pour in some more broth. Keep doing that until the can of broth is gone.
- Towards the end, the broth may start puddling due to saturation and/or spite; if need be, skim the excess liquid as it continues cooking (this is what culinary school students call depouillage, and it is fancy as fuck).
- The beans are done when you’re out of broth and the mixture is neither wet nor dry. If you’re worried that putting a scoop of the beans onto a tortilla will make the tortilla soggy, then let them keep cooking until a little more moisture has evaporated.
Next, the avocado topping:
- Cut all your avocados in half, scooping their innards into a bowl. Include the pits.
- Add the juice of one lime.
- Chop up a few scallions and add.
- Mince the garlic and add. I like to grate my garlic through a microplane zester for this, since it pretty much liquefies the garlic, but a garlic press or fancy knifework will suffice.
- Throw in as much salt and pepper as you want, and throw in a dash of cayenne.
- Using a fork or spoon, mash everything up until it’s mixed and the avocado is broken up into a chunky spreadable goop.
Now the cheese:
- Open the bag of cheese.
Now, the assembly! Beans first, then avocado, then cheese. If you deviate at all from this order, a man in a black suit and a fedora will come to your house to deliver the bad news you’ve been dreading this whole time. You know exactly the news I’m talking about. About Martha.
But you forgot the sour cream! And what about lettuce! And what about tomatoes!
Sure, add them if you want, I don’t care. Do you need a recipe to tell you to do that?
Well, no, but… I mean, you included storebought shredded cheese in your recipe…
Shut up. Eat your damn tacos.
Tupperware, fridge. Reheat the beans on the stove — should only take a couple minutes in a pan on medium-high heat — or in the microwave, if you’re a coward. Reopen the bag of cheese.