Monday, February 25, 2013

Cooking with the Kids {crunchy black bean tacos}

I love a good Mexican recipe.  In matter of fact my very first cookbook that I received when I was 14 was a Mexican cookbook and so my love of cooking began. 
 I am sure, in matter fact I know my mom was so tired of having tacos for dinner when I was a teen because I would make them all the time.  
 One day while on Pinterest I came across this fabulous recipe.  I however considered my children's taste buds which can be picky at times and changed it quite a bit.
The reviews were unanimous they LOVED them, absolutely loved them...there was not a crumb left and if you know anything about picky eaters you know this is a miracle. 
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This is Cooking with the Kids and they really did everything when doing this recipe,
even down to tasting and adjusting the spices. 
  I have found that when you cook with children they all want to help
 but letting them all help at once is difficult and to be honest dangerous at times so use good judgement when cooking with children.   
Assigning the jobs ahead of time and considering their strengths is key
 for no craziness in the kitchen. 
This way they all know they are going to get a turn and are prepared to help when it is their turn.
 This keeps their little fingers and other body parts safe.
  I divided the job amongst the 3 of them and so I had the one with the most sensitive taste buds be the spice adjuster and to say enough is enough. The oldest did everything with griddle.  My youngest mashed and measured while the middle child grated and sliced. 
 Was this their first time doing these jobs in the kitchen absolutely not.   I pull each one of them individually during the week to help make dinner at least once and I have a couple that would help every time if they could.  This allows me to know what they are ready to tackle with little help from myself and the more they can do by themselves the more confident they feel about their abilities and this makes for some very happy kiddos!!!

Crunchy Black Bean Tacos

Makes 10 tacos (serves 5).Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

2 C. black beans, cooked
½ peeled onion, grated (I grate the onion because my children DO NOT like chunks of onion in their food, you can dice it if you would like)
 1/2-1  tsp. cumin
 1/2-1  tsp. paprika
 4-6 ounces cheddar jack cheese, grated
2 Tbsp. olive oil
 Pinch of salt and pepper
8 corn tortillas

 Hot sauce
1 avocado, sliced
Sour cream
snipped cilantro

1) In a medium bowl, add beans and grate onion over beans, add spices. Add a pinch of salt and lightly mash all of the ingredients together with a fork or pastry blender. Grate your cheese and have it ready as well.

2) In a large, non-stick skillet or griddle add a few tablespoons of oil and heat over medium-high heat or 350 for the griddle

3) Add one corn tortilla at a time and let each get hot in the oil for a few seconds. Then add about 1/4 cup of the bean filling to one half of the tortilla. Top with a sprinkle of grated cheese.

4) Using a spatula, carefully fold the tortilla over so it forms a shell. Press down lightly on the tortilla so it stays folded in half

5) As the first tortilla cooks, move it to the side and do a second one. Depending on the size of your pan, you should be able to get 2 or 3 tacos at once or on a griddle 6-8.

6) Cook each taco for about 3 minutes per side until they are nicely browned and crispy. As a note corn tortillas are very forgiving and are resilient to heat so don't worry about burning do the 3 minutes per side to get them nice and crispy

7) When flipping the taco to cook on the other side, use a spatula and flip the taco toward the fold so the filling doesn’t fall out.

8) Serve tacos with toppings like hot sauce, salsa, avocados, sour cream and cilantro.