Thursday, December 27, 2012

Black bean fajitas

We just got back from our holiday in Mexico and got addicted to the wonderful cuisine with its various salsas. We were adding it to almost anything we ate there, starting from eggs to just smearing soft bread rolls with it.

We ate our fair share of tacos, fajitas, enchiladas and more. The typical vegetarian fajita filling was sauteed vegetables, and there was a trio of sauces - guacamole, chopped tomato and onion salsa and a lovely vibrant green tomatillo and serrano chili salsa. But my favorite remains the black bean filling topped with sauteed onions and peppers cooked al dente. The crunch in the vegetables complements the soft tortillas. These tortillas are finally garnished with shredded iceberg lettuce for freshness and some more crunch. I would have liked to make a salsa, but didn't want to do the work. If you like, there are many salsa recipes on the web which would work well.

Black bean fajitas

One pack small soft flour tortillas (I like the Mission brand tortillas)
One large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
One large white onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano (optional)
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
Black bean filling (recipe below)

  1. Heat a large saute pan with 1 tablespoon canola oil. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook for a  few minutes over medium high heat till the onions are just beginning to get translucent.
  2. Add the bell peppers, and the oregano if using and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes till the onions and bell peppers are cooked but still retain their crunch. Add the freshly ground black pepper and cook for 1 more minute. Transfer immediately to a serving bowl to stop the cooking.
  3. Warm the tortillas for 20 seconds in the microwave or wrap in aluminum foil and warm in a 350 F oven for 10 minutes.
  4. Take a tortilla, spread with a tablespoon and a half of the black bean filling, a tablespoon of the onion and pepper mixture and some shredded lettuce and enjoy!
Serves 4

Black bean filling

1 14 oz can of organic black beans
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4 teaspoons canola oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoon taco seasoning (I used Trader Joes) or you can make your own. Click here for recipe.
7 oz San Marzano crushed or pureed tomatoes (½ a small can)

1. Heat a 3 qt saucepan over medium low heat with canola oil. When the oil starts to warm up, add the chopped onions, garlic and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook over low heat covered for 10 to 12 minutes stirring occasionally till the mixture is soft and mushy.
2. Drain the can of beans and add it to the onion and garlic mixture. Add 1 ½ teaspoons of taco seasoning, half a can of the crushed tomatoes and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and cook covered over medium low heat for another 10 minutes. By this time, the beans would have been well seasoned and the tomato will be absorbed by the beans. Stir halfway through to ensure that the beans don’t stick to the pan. (I used a non-stick pan but it might still stick since the mixture is not very wet).
3. Allow to cool and serve.

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