Chipotle Tacos

It should come as no surprise to you that tacos were on the menu this week. Don’t be fooled by the title, these tacos were nothing like the overly salty, overly expensive creations from the fast food chain. No, no, no these were perfectly seasoned and completely affordable tacos that I cooked up in my tiny kitchen using lots and lots of spicy chipotle peppers.

The goal was to use the power of spice to rid our apartment once and for all of the winter germs that have settled here. The jury is still out on how successful I was, it seems that it’s time for Nick to be deathly ill for a week. While getting ready to go to the store for taco fixings he was shouting “I’m dying! I’m dying!” over and over again. Luckily, that was a gross exaggeration.

The tacos were a big hit and could be tasted by two very stuffy nosed people, which means they must have had quite the kick to them. A more reasonable person may wish to cut down some on the chipotle. Then again, they may not. Spice lovers unite!

Lately, I’ve been able to get my hands on grass fed beef that’s 90% lean. It really makes a huge difference and looks far less gross in the cooking process. Instead of a big pool of grease forming around your dinner, there’s just a minimal amount of fat to drain and the meat itself is far more flavorful. I find that it needs less seasoning, so I didn’t add additional salt and pepper. You should be sure to taste yours after adding in your spices to see if you need another pinch or two of salt.

As a final note, I don’t usually make apologies for my photography. You should all know that these photos are taken with my iPhone camera, which happens to be the only camera I own. My lack of fancy dish ware and usable counter space also have led to some less-than-ideal photos, but I do what I can. Unfortunately, two of the three lightbulbs in the fixture over our dining room table are currently burnt out and the bulbs are on special order. As a result, the final photo is pretty gosh darn dark. I just wanted it to be known that I do not, in fact, live in a cave. We have lights! Real ones! I swear!

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Chipotle Tacos

  • EVOO
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 15 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 2 lbs ground beef, 90% lean preferred
  • 2 tbsp oregano, divided
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 3 tbsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
  • taco shells, warmed
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • arugula, rinsed
  • lime wedges, for serving
  • shredded cheese, for serving
Missing from this lineup are the chipotle peppers, which I had yet to retrieve from the freezer!

Missing from this lineup are the chipotle peppers, which I had yet to retrieve from the freezer!

In a large skillet, saute the onion in some oil and season with plenty of salt and pepper. When the onion is soft and translucent, set aside half in a bowl and keep warm.

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Add the other half to a medium saucepan along with the black beans, half of the garlic, and half of the oregano. Cook the beans over low-medium heat for a few moments until they are warmed through. Mash up the beans with a potato masher just a little bit until it is a consistency that is easily spreadable on your crispy taco shells.

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Meanwhile, in your skillet, cook the beef until it is browned and crumbly. Drain the meat and then toss in the remaining garlic and oregano along with the onion you reserved. Also add in the chili powder and the chipotle peppers. Combine everything well and simmer for a moment or two until it becomes very fragrant. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

Serve the tacos with some minced red onion, peppery arugula, shredded cheese and lime wedges. You could also put out some salsa or pico de gallo on the table.

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