The New year certainly got off to a great start for me, as I resurrected my 'dish - a - day' project that I had successfully completed in 2012. This time around, I decided on a bit more of structure around the 365 dishes, each day has a theme that will be repeated 12 times around through the year, and yes recipes for each one of the dishes I make, or provide links to the recipes from other sites anlong with my photographs.
As prepared as I was. when it came to Mexican earlier this week, I blanked out. I had none of the ingredients needed for an Enchilada sauce from scratch and basically had to change plans at the 11th hour. SO the enchilada got postponed to another session while I got ready to try & replicate my favorite pick at the local healthy Mexican fast food. As with most dishes, the exact replication is simply not possible, but I must say the taste was close enough to be heartily approved by my foodie guinea pig 8 year old. The best part, I found myself making this all over again not just for the photograph but for the addictive 'I want more' factor!
Taco Bowls (Makes 4 servings)
4 fresh whole wheat tortillas (6 inch)
Any good quality Mexican or taco shredded cheese blend
2 Anaheim or bell Peppers cut into strips
3 medium sized red onions
Frozed Roast corn (I used the Trader Joes brand)
1 can black beans rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil (or any other oil of your choice)
Shredded Romaine Lettuce (which I forgot to add)
Guacamole (which I don't like much)
For the Rice:
2 cups cooked Basmati rice
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1-2 tablespoons Mexican Oregano*
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt to taste
Combine the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and fold to combine the ingredients evenly. Cover & set aside.
* Mexican oregano is completely different from the classic Mediterranean / Greek variety. In fact they're not even related to each other as families. For more information, here's a link.
For the Salsa:
4 vine tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
1 medium sized onion finely diced
1-2 jalapenos, deseeded and finely diced
Salt to taste
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon mexican oregano
1 teaspoon crushed cumin
Combine the ingredients together in a bowl. Taste, and adjust for seasoning. cover and set aside for an hour for the flavors to combine.
To make the Taco Bowl:
Preheat oven to 250 F. Wrap the tortillas in a wet kitchen towel and heat in the microwave for 10 seconds. Then using an inverted muffin pan press the tortillas gentry in between the cups as shown below.
Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes till the tortillas are crisp.
In a cast iron skillet, heat the oil till it shimmers and add the peppers and onions. keeping the heat on high allow the vegetables to saute until they begin to caramelize at the edges. Remove from the pan and then add the corn to heat up in the same skillet. Combine with the pepper/onion mix or keep separate. (the other half does not care much for corn at home so I tend to keep these apart).
If prepping the taco bowls ahead of time, you want to ensure that the bottom does not get soggy and disintegrate. To avoid this spread some of the shredded cheese over the bowl and the sides (press the cheese gently to allow it to stick). Microwave the tortilla bowls for 10 seconds until the cheese melts.
If you plan to allow everyone to make their own tacos, then by all means skip this.
Start with the rice and the beans at the bottom of the tortilla bowl,
followed by the onions/peppers & roast corn
And finally pile on the salsa, shredded cheese, lettuce & Sour cream.
Enjoy the festivities of the year to come!