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Thursday, May 06, 2010

Turkey Picadillo Tacos and Black Beans

This is a pretty simplified version of a Rick Bayless recipe for smoky, slightly sweet picadillo I've made and loved many times. Among other adaptations, I use ground turkey instead of braised and shredded pork, canned tomatoes instead of fresh, and I don't precook the sauce. Also below is a stripped-down pot of basic black beans—no soaking, no pork, no epazote, so don't let the lack of time or extra ingredients stop you from making them!

Turkey Picadillo Tacos
Serves 4.

1 (14.5-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes
1 to 2 chipotle chiles in adobo (2 will make it pretty spicy)
1/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds, toasted
Corn tortillas
Lots of fresh cilantro, some crumbly cheese (this time I used feta), and lime wedges

In a mini food processor or similar, puree the tomatoes (with their juices) and chipotle(s). Transfer to a bowl and add the raisins and cinnamon. Set the sauce aside.

In a medium skillet or sauté pan, heat the oil over high heat. Add the turkey and cook, breaking it up with a spatula, until no longer pink. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until tender and the turkey is just starting to brown and become dry in the pan. Add the sauce, stirring to loosen any browned bits, and lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer until thick, about 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste, then stir in the pine nuts.

Meanwhile, heat the tortillas one or two at a time in a heavy skillet and wrap them in a clean cloth to keep them soft and warm. Serve the picadillo with the tortillas, cilantro, cheese, and lime wedges.

Basic Black Beans
Serves 8.

1 pound dried black beans (the more recently bought the better; old beans will take much longer to cook)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced

Rinse the beans well and set aside to drain in a sieve or colander.

In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until translucent. Add the beans and cold water to cover them by at least 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are soft but still hold their shape (try not to let the pot boil, which I think can toughen the skins, and don't add salt yet), about 1 1/2 hours, adding more water if necessary to keep the beans covered. Season with plenty of salt, then, if you'd like, use an immersion blender to puree some of the beans in the pot. Serve.

Also, T. and I made some hula hoops. Yep, we're Athenians.


Anonymous said...

Two things:

# 1 - these tacos look delicious. We've had a free-range turkey vendor crop up at my local farmer's market here in Richmond, so these are going to be on my menu next weekend (today was devoted to pastured pork).

#2 - I wanted to say hello and that I saw your pantry over on Lydia's blog. It's amazing! The colors and everything are just gorgeous. Moving is hard, but best of luck during the process. Hopefully your new kitchen will be just as bountiful.

clare said...

hula hoops!!! you made these!!! how in the world do you do that? the food looks marvelous...i sure need some cooking classes...i totally recognize the first of my favorite things in india! and thanks sooo much for asking about the skating this evening..we thought we might come but now josh is sick too! we just can't kick this!!!!! we keep playing during the day but are just TIRED out at night! anywho...hope to play soon clare