Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos

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Tacos are life. I could eat tacos every day of the week and not get tired of them, and with the very recent widespread availability of good quality soft corn tortillas in the UK; they can make a super quick after work meal (though I will post my favourite method for making fresh tortillas at a later date). This recipe features frijoles negras and oven roasted sweet potatoes coated in a habanero marinade.

The recipe involves about 20 minutes of hands-on cooking and prep time and then it’s just a case of leaving the two main components to infuse and cook at their own pace. They work well with pretty much any other Mexican dish you can imagine and taste extra special served with a nice Albariño or a couple of beers.

The tangy flavor of the sweet potatoes mixed with the spicy and robust beans make a really comforting meal,  I’d be inclined to serve three of these as a large dish with a side salad, tortilla chips and guac, but they’d work just as well in the centre of a table shared with some other dishes between friends.

Total Time: 1 Hour
Serves: 2 as a main course (6-8 tacos)

Ingredients

Sweet Potatoes
– 500g sweet potatoes, chopped to 2cm chunks
– 2 red onions cut into large chunks
– 5 tbsp of habenero sauce (I use this recipe, but shop bought hot sauce is fine)
– 3 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tsp ground cardamom
– 1 tbsp lime juice
– A handful of chopped thyme

Frijoles Negras
– 1 tin of black beans, rinsed
– 1 large red onion
– 3 Cloves of Garlic
– A handful of skinned cherry tomatoes
– 2 tsp coriander stalks
– 4 tsp chipotle paste
– 2 tsp ground cumin
– 1/4 tsp coriander seeds
– 150ml water
– Salt and black pepper to taste

Other Ingredients
– Soft corn taco shells (eg.from Wahaca or the Old El Paso Mexicana Street Market range)
– Torn coriander leaves for garnishing
– Chopped white cabbage or vegan cheese for topping

Instructions

Heat the oven to 190°C and in a large bowl, mix the chopped sweet potatoes and onion with the oil, habanero sauce, thyme, cardamom and lime juice until coated. Leave to sit through the next steps.

To make the beans, in a large pan, heat the oil over a medium heat and throw in the chopped onion and coriander seeds cooking through until the onion is soft and translucent – around 8 minutes. Crush the cloves of garlic into the pan and add the ground cumin, cooking and stirring for 4 more minutes.

Add the black beans, tomatoes, chipotle paste and water to the pan.  Bring the mixture to the boil then leave to simmer and reduce until it starts to thicken, stirring occasionally.

While the frijoles reduce, line a large baking tray with parchment and arrange the sweet potato mixture evenly across it.  Cook in the oven for around 40 minutes, turning occasionally.

When the beans have thickened and reduced, stir in the chopped coriander stalks, turn the heat on the hob right down and cover until ready to serve.

When the potatoes are cooked, heat the taco shells and mash the bean mixture a little (or whiz in a food processor).  Spoon the mixture onto the tortilla, top with sweet potatoes and garnish with fresh coriander.

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