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Monday, January 17, 2011

Meatless Monday tonight! -- updated

I think I am going to make black bean tacos with rice and tomatoes and a side of mixed veggies. Oh, and homemade tortillas! Check back later for details!

Okay-- now it is later. The yellow rice is cooking, the tortilla dough is resting, and the beans are heating up and getting ready to be reheated and mashed. Operation Meatless Monday is underway.

Here is my Mom's tortilla technique

Use 1 C each of all purpose and self rising flours, blend. Add to that a fat of some sort, lard or crisco, something solid. My mom's measurement is "as much as will fit in your hand, rounded up on top." My best estimate of that is somewhere between 1/4 and a half C of solid fat. Mix in into your blended flours until all the flour is coated in fat and has the consistency of "Moon Dough" (a terrible toy my daughter once suckered me into buying her.) Then get a cup full of very hot tap water and pour as much of it as you need to get a sticky dough. This varies by your location and relative aridness or humidity. I use anywhere from 1/2 C to 2/3 C depending. Work the dough until it becomes smooth and somewhat elastic, not unlike bread dough. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes before shaping it into about a dozen small round balls. Then on a floured surface roll out the dough balls very thinly. Cook in a hot dry pan until the bubble on one side and then flip. Turn a tortilla only once, or else it gets tough!

To make vegetarian re-fried beans, simply take some beans (black beans, pinto beans, red kidney beans, whatevs) and get about a half an inch of vegetable broth and a few table spoons of olive oil sizzling in the bottom of a heavy skillet. Add your beans directly to that and get them good and hot, then mash with a potato masher until you have achieved your desired consistency. Myself, I had a couple of cups of homemade black beans in my freezer so I used those. You could use canned, rinsed beans too of course. I season my black beans with Adobo spices and maybe some cumin, you can use just salt and pepper too and they will be fine.

The tacos were great! We just used the black beans as the base for your usual tacos accompaniments, chopped lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream. I was out of salsa and out of tomatoes to MAKE salsa, but it was still good. I made the rice with 2 C of vegetable broth and it was great. All in all a very successful meatless Monday.

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