Tacos are Better than Sandwiches
When I am not creating a specific recipe for a book, magazine article, or blog post at lunchtime, I want to eat something that takes only a few minutes to prepare and is as satisfying as a sandwich. Corn tortillas have become a favorite replacement for bread, especially as the base for quick tacos.
I discovered there are as many fillings for tacos as for sandwiches on a scouting trip to Oaxaca, Mexico for Bon Appetit magazine about 11 years ago. That was my first introduction to authentic Mexican food, and my cooking was changed forever as I fell in love with the zesty complex flavors of the moles, soups, fresh and dried chiles, and endless dishes made with corn tortillas. Little did I know then that corn tortillas would become a staple in my home when I segued to a gluten-free diet.
It is important to check the label to be certain the tortillas are gluten free. Some companies add wheat flour for a sweeter flavor, others process the tortillas on equipment used for wheat products. I currently favor Trader Joe’s Corn Tortillas because they are made with stone ground corn, water, and lime, with no extra ingredients. I’d like to hear what your favorite tortillas are in the comments.
Don’t forget to read all labels frequently, because companies change their products from time to time. My digestion was upset for 2 weeks before I discovered that a bittersweet chocolate I enjoy for snacks had changed. The label now warns, “May contain traces of wheat.” I switched to Trader Joe’s Fair Trade Dark Chocolate
, and my tummy settled down.
I can always find ingredients in the fridge or cupboards to cradle in a lightly toasted corn tortilla. I might warm leftover chicken or fish, and add a dash of hot sauce, and slices of avocado or shredded lettuce. I have sautéed sliced onion and bell pepper until tender and then sprinkled cheddar cheese over. Last week I drained a can of black beans, mashed them in a skillet with cooked onion and red pepper flakes, and topped the mixture with goat cheese and arugula. A combo I fall back on frequently is an egg scrambled with sautéed greens and then topped with a sprinkling of whatever zesty cheese I have on hand- feta, goat, cheddar, Manchego…
Excuse me while I go downstairs to make these tacos, using the gorgeous bunch of red chard I found at the farmers’ market this weekend. These tacos are even better than a sandwich.
Scrambled Egg and Greens Tacos
Use whatever greens you have, adjusting the cooking time to the sturdiness of the vegetable. Baby spinach will take about 30 seconds, chard or broccoli rabe about 2 minutes. For more rugged kale, after stirring to coat with oil, I add a splash of water, cover, and cook until wilted before adding the egg.
Makes 1 serving of 2 tacos; can be doubled
2 corn tortillas
½ tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped onion
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 generous cup (packed) baby spinach, or chopped chard, broccoli rabe, or kale leaves (about ½ bunch)
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
Toast the tortillas directly over a burner until brown spots appear, about 30 seconds per side; or heat in a dry skillet over medium-high, about 1½ minutes per side. Keep warm in a tortilla warmer or wrapped in foil.
Heat the oil in a medium-size nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and pepper flakes and sauté until the onion is almost translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the greens and stir to coat with the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until almost wilted, about 30 seconds for baby greens, 2 minutes for chard or broccoli rabe. (If using kale, sprinkle with water, cover and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes). Make an opening between the greens and break the egg directly into the skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. When the bottom of the white turns opaque, stir the egg to break up and mix egg and greens together. Divide the mixture between the warm tortillas. Sprinkle with cheese and enjoy.
Tags: feta cheese
Cooking from the Cupboard,
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