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Fiesta Taco Bar

Tacos are an event in my home, preferring to forego the fast-food variety and instead make authentic slow-roasted cuts of meat and exotic salsas in an effort to create the wonderful varieties I experienced while living in Texas. I’ve included some easy tacos you can re-create at home using a minimum of ingredients and shortcuts that will add an Olé to your meals.

BREAKFAST TACOS
8 small flour tortillas
6-8 eggs, scrambled
1 cup Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese crumbles
Cilantro for garnish
Shredded lettuce for garnish

In a nonstick skillet, heat tortillas on both sides. While still warm, fold tortillas over to make a taco shell. Scramble eggs as desired and fill tacos. Top with remaining ingredients and serve with Black Bean Salsa. Serves 4-6.

BLACK BEAN SALSA
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
3/4 cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup whole-kernel corn, drained
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl and stir.

GARBANZO TACOS
2 cans garbanzo beans, undrained
1 packet taco seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced
8 small corn tortillas, stone ground if possible
Diced tomatoes
Shredded lettuce
Avocado chunks
Shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
Sour cream
Chopped fresh cilantro

Combine garbanzo beans with taco mix and minced garlic. Simmer over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lightly mash garbanzo beans with fork. Heat tortillas in nonstick skillet. Spread generous amount of bean mixture on each tortilla, then top with the other ingredients. Serves 8.

ROASTED VEGETABLE TACOS
Olive oil
1 cup fresh mushrooms, cleaned, sliced, and towel-dried
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
1 medium onion, cut in wedges
1 medium bell pepper, cut lengthwise into eighths
1 medium zucchini, cut to 1/4-inch slices
1 small yellow squash, cut to 1/4-inch slices
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
12 small corn taco shells
3/4 cup medium salsa
Chopped fresh cilantro
Sour cream

Heat oven to 425°. Rub 10×15-inch sheet pan with olive oil. Place mushrooms, carrots, onion, bell pepper, zucchini, and squash in single layer. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and red pepper. Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes, turning vegetables once, until tender. Sprinkle cheese into taco shells. Top with vegetables and salsa. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired, and garnish with sour cream. Serves 6.

POBLANO CHEESE TACOS
3 poblano chilies
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, grated
12 small corn tortillas
Sour cream

Remove seeds, stems, and veins from chilies. (Careful: wear rubber gloves to prevent burn from the peppers.) Soak chilies in cold, salted water about 1 hour. Combine chilies with tomatoes and onion in blender, blend to smooth paste. Add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Heat oil in skillet and cook the pureé, over moderate heat, for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Keep sauce warm while making the tacos. Divide cheese onto the tortillas, placing a spoonful of the chili pureé on each, and garnish with a little sour cream. Serve at once. Serves 6.

FISH TACOS
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Juice of one lemon
1 lb. fresh cod, cut into 1-inch pieces
12 warmed tortillas
Shredded cabbage
Tomatoes, chopped
Lime wedges
Taco sauce

In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning, and cilantro. In separate bowl, combine remaining taco seasoning mix, vegetable oil, lemon juice, and cod. Heat skillet to medium and cook fish mixture until fish flakes easily, about 4 to 5 minutes. Fill taco shells with fish mixture and sour cream mixture. Top with shredded cabbage and tomatoes. Serve with lime wedges and taco sauce. Serves 6.

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