Two Taco Tango: How One Thing Leads to Another

A two taco tango. These lively and loaded vegetarian tacos tick off all the flavor boxes! The cool plate is by the talented local clay artist, Gwen Fryer.

During last weekend’s holiday cookout involving the peach ice cream for dessert, our friends brought over some fantastic homemade pico de gallo that featured heirloom tomatoes, mango and mint. It was so delicious and such a nice blend of flavors that a desire for more haunted me into this week. And of course, I had peaches on hand and needed to use them.

Naturally, making pico de gallo was the first thing that came into my mind, substituting peaches for the mango. And what goes so well with pico de gallo? Why tacos of course! And since this same friend (nice, nice friend) also brought me some hand made corn tortillas she’d found in a local market, making tacos was a no-brainer.

This Peach and Heirloom Tomato Pico de Gallo is terrific on it’s own, and a lovely addition to tacos.

My first thought was along the lines of fish tacos, which I love and so rarely have. Off to the market I went, securing some tilapia (the cheapest of the fish I could find) and I put together a pretty nice spice rub for it. We grilled it, built our tacos with the fish and topped it with shredded lettuce, the pico and some Cojita cheese crumbled on top. The spice rub was good and an easy keeper, and the pico was good with it, but something was missing. I kept thinking how the addition of a chipotle slaw would have been really amazing with all that smoky flavor, but I didn’t want to go out and buy any more ingredients…like slaw makings or more fish. (I’ll perfect the fish tacos and share the rub at a later date!) We still had a good bit of my lovely pico left, waiting to be the crowning glory of some tasty dish, and more of those hand made tortillas as well. So what to do?

I danced around my kitchen and pantry and found some black beans…ah ha! I always have canned chipotles in adobo sauce on hand and happened to have some sour cream and limes, too. So the next night, here’s what we had: Spiced Black Bean Tacos with Peach and Heirloom Tomato Pico de Gallo and Chipotle Lime Crema! A true taste bud tango of savory, sweet, heat, sour, spice, a little salty kick…all rolled into a neat little package. A vegetarian delight…but no missing the meat here, no sireee.

We served these easy, filling and absolutely delicious tacos with shredded lettuce and some crumbled Cotija cheese, but you could also use Queso Fresco, or even Feta as a substitute. These make a wonderful quick meal any night of the week, with very lively and satisfying flavors. Below are the recipes to try, and you may find that each one of these individual recipes leads you to another dish entirely, and that’s the idea. Just keep on dancing, have fun and enjoy!

Note: My last post that featured chipotles in it was the Chipotle and Orange Glazed Salmon, and it generated many questions from my readers outside of the U.S. about finding chipotle peppers (smoked jalapeno pepper) or chipotles in adobo sauce. You’ll find great information about these wonderful peppers and how to prepare them, including chipotles in adobo sauce, right here.

Spiced Black Bean Tacos with Peach and Heirloom Tomato Pico de Gallo and Chipotle Lime Crema
Makes 6 tacos, with leftover Pico and Crema to make something else, or just dip into! 

Spicy Black Beans
Makes about 1 3/4 cups

1 15 oz. can black beans, no salt added, drained and rinsed, or the equivalent amount of home cooked black (turtle) beans
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Two tablespoons of juice from your Pico de Gallo, or water
2 teaspoons of adobo sauce from chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, or some hot sauce to taste, or chipotle salsa
1 teaspoon tomato paste

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over low, stirring until the flavors meld, about 5-10 minutes. Serve as a base for tacos, using a slotted spoon to scoop them into your tacos.

Peach and Heirloom Tomato Pico de Gallo
Makes about 2 cups
3 small peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped (no peaches? use mango or plums)
3 medium heirloom tomatoes, cored, seeded and chopped
1 generous teaspoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 Tablespoon minced shallot or red onion
1 teaspoon serrano pepper, seeded, membrane removed and minced
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
A pinch of kosher salt

Gently combine all ingredients in a small bowl and allow the flavors to blend for about an hour in the fridge. Serve on tacos or as a dip with tortilla chips. This would make a nice topping for bruschetta, too, just strain some of the liquid before topping your toasts! Note: this is a juicy pico, and hence why straining some juice to use to flavor your beans is suggested!

Chipotle-Lime Crema
Makes about 1/3 cup
1/3 cup sour cream
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 teaspoon of adobo sauce from canned chipotles in adobo, or a bit more to taste

Combine all in a very small bowl and serve a dollop on top of your tacos. This would also be wonderful on roasted corn on the cob, or on a baked potato!

And, to make the tacos you’ll need:
6 good quality soft taco sized corn tortillas
Spicy Black Beans
1 3/4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
Peach and Heirloom Tomato Pico de Gallo
Chipotle-Lime Crema
1/2 cup crumbled dry Mexican cheese such as Cojita or Queso Fresco (Feta is similar, but creamier)

Heat your tortillas according to package directions. Layer each item in the order above and sprinkle on the cheese. EAT! Dance! EAT!

Advertisements

52 thoughts on “Two Taco Tango: How One Thing Leads to Another

  1. Wow, Betsy! 3 great recipes combined to make some pretty tasty tacos. I need to get some people over here so that I can serve these, although I just might make your Peach Pico de Gallo to enjoy all by my lonesome! And you’re right. That’s one cool plate you’ve chosen to server your tacos from. I took a look at Ms. Fryer’s gallery website and it’s full of some fantastic looking pieces. She certainly is talented. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    • Thank you so much for your kind compliments, John. Actually as you stated it, it occurs to me that plain peach pico de gallo made this way would be great, too! I hope you’ll try it. I just realized that there are two Gwendolyn Fryer’s on the web. “My” Gwen is on Etsy, and that may have been where you saw her. She does some amazing majolica work, and as one might guess, is a former graphic designer. You can find her here, if that’s not who you saw already! 🙂 http://www.etsy.com/shop/GwenFryarPottery

      Like

      • Thanks, Betsy. I did go to the wrong artist’s gallery. I enjoyed this artist’s pottery and that it’s functional as well as quite beautiful to look at. I hope she does well.

        Like

    • Thanks, Tanya! The flavors all together were wonderful with the beans, and with the fish, though as I said I think it would have been better to have the crunch of a cabbage-based slaw with chipotle dressing for the fish. That one is still a work in progress. 🙂 Yay for peaches coming in. Ours are supposed to last well into July this year.

      Like

  2. Love the peach and tomato pico de gallo. What refreshing flavors all nicely melded together over fish! Yum! Definitely some of my fave flavors. Brilliant Betsy!

    Like

  3. Sounds absolutely beautiful Betsy – my first experiences with pico de gallo weren’t good – the restaurant that used to make it somehow managed to make every batch taste of dish soap :p

    I love this variation on the regular plain tomato variety!

    Like

    • Hey Barb…I un-spammed you…and you weren’t alone! Thanks for the heads up on that and I will post that warning on my next post, too. I’d wondered why comments had dropped off and found a bunch in my spam folder that were innocent. I am on a serious peach-kick. This is the first year since I’ve lived in Atlanta (30 years now) that the GA peaches have been this good! 🙂 Do try the crema…it’s wonderful on tacos.

      Like

Tell me what you think... I love comments! :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s