Monday, November 28, 2011

tacos with a little leftover love

”Never underestimate how much assistance, how much satisfaction, how much comfort, how much soul and transcendence there might be in a well-made taco and a cold bottle of beer.”

Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

Tacos, cheap as chips and so simple even a child can throw one together, seem to be the new “it” girl in town. From the stupidly cheap, to tad underwhelming and coolest of the cool, I’m predicting a Mexican summer in Melbourne.

Unlike spending your night queuing on the stairs of last year’s hippest restaurant, it’s more fun and easy to make tacos at home.

With a little homemade salsa anything tastes good. Leftovers can be transformed with the addition of salsa, lettuce and avocado into a Mexican inspired feast.

Sure, there have been times when I’ve sourced the best taco shells, cooked refried beans from scratch, lovingly made kick-ass guacamole and forked out for horrendously expensive/only just edible dairy-free “cheese”. But take it from me; a little leftover chili beans and a few minutes spent chopping while the supermarket-bought shells heat in the oven works just as well. Add sunshine or a warm spring evening to dine outside and you can’t fail.

You can even throw together a quick after work bit of leftover love for tasty and easy solo dining.

Simple leftover-magic tacos for one

(multiplies easily for more)

Simple tomato salsa

A couple of ripe tomatoes, diced

1 tablespoon of fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped

1 chili to taste, finely chopped

A decent squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice

A pinch of salt

Mix together in a small bowl.


Protein – take your pick leftover beans (or refried from scratch), a can of fish, some smoked tofu cut into strips or for the carnivores leftover roast chicken or turkey (hey Christmas is coming!)

Shredded lettuce – use something crunchy like cos or the humble iceberg.

Avocado – halve, remove from the shell and stone and simply slice. Squeeze some lemon or lime juice over the cut fruit to stop discolouring.

If you must – get some super-hot Mexican sauce to add a few more drops of spice but I tend to make my fresh salsa hot enough to not need it. For those with children or who dine with the heat averse, the sauce isn’t a bad idea but watch out, the hot one really will burn your mouth!

Warm the taco shells in a moderate oven for about 10 minutes or as directed on the packet. Put in twice as many as you think you’ll eat. Believe me, there are never enough once you get started.

Assemble at your leisure, it’s a messy job but sometimes the best food is the kind that gets your hands dirty.

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Blogger Cindy said...

I hear you! Melbourne's mad for Mexican (and the Mexican-inspired) at the moment. I still haven't bought a taco that's really worth it over our repertoire of home-made ones, especially on the occasions that I bother to roll my own tortillas.

1:39 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Cindy - hand rolled that could be another vegan cookfest option!

2:25 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Cindy - hand rolled that could be another vegan cookfest option!

2:25 pm  
Blogger Cindy said...

Absolutely! The more rolling hands available the better...

5:23 pm  
Blogger Johanna GGG said...

Mmmm love tacos - they are the essence of a simple relaxed summer meal

9:14 pm  

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