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Banana-Black Bean Tacos

I know that not every food blogger will feel this way, but I like Rachael Ray. I actually met her, albeit at a book signing, about a year ago. She’s just like she is on her shows: happy, cheerful and full of smiles. I belive that she is 37, but she seems younger. In any event, even if you aren’t a fan of her perky nature, she has done a lot for home cooking. For many years, even if people wanted to cook for their families, they couldn’t spare the time or they thought they couldn’t spare the time. Now, people are encouraged by seeing quick and delicious meals on TV and are getting back into the kitchen. I like Rachael for that.

For this Is My Blog Burning event, hosted by Too Many Chefs, the theme was make a meal in 30 minutes. I was tempted to use a Rachael Ray recipe, since I do have more than one of her books (and a signed one, no less), but I decided to go with something a little more unusual. I started browsing Epicurious and came up with their recipe for Banana-Black Bean Empanadas. It involved caramelised banana slices and spiced, mashed black beans stuffed into a golden, crispy empanada – delicious and a little out of the ordinary, with a bit of caribean flair. But the recipe took more time than I was prepared to spend, not to mention that fried puff-pastry anything is something that I would rather save for a special occasion than have as a weeknight supper. I took the filling and wrapped it into homemade corn tortillas. I’ve had a lot of practice rolling tortillas, so the whole thing took me less than 20 minutes. If you use store-bought corn tortillas, you can have dinner on the table in 15.

Did I mention that they taste good, too? I loved the sweetness of the bananas and how they moistened the bean filling. I also loved the crisp, caramel-y edges of the bananas that had been seared into the pan.
I doused the tacos with some chipotle salsa before serving. Delish.

Banana-Black Bean Tacos
(adapted from Epicurious)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium banana, firm, but ripe
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
3/4 cup onions (1 small)
1/4 cup cilantro or 1/2 tsp coriander
3/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
8 6-inch Corn tortillas
montery jack cheese, for serving
salsa, for serving

Heat vegetable oil over high heat, dice banana while heating. Add banana to skillet and cook for about 2 minutes, until golden.
While banana cooks, dice onion. Remove banana from skillet and set on a paper towel to drain. Add onion to skillet and reduce heat to medium. Cook onion until tender, about 3 minutes. Add beans, cilantro, cumin and cayenne and cook until heated through. Mash beans with back of fork and add salt and pepper to taste.
Place about 1/4 cup beans in each tortilla and top with caramelised bananas, as well as cheese and salsa, if using.
Makes 8 tacos.Tagged with: +

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15 Comments
  • V Smoothe
    March 24, 2006

    Wow, I never thought about combining bananas and black beans before, but I definitely need to try this.

  • Lauren
    March 24, 2006

    Those look awesome and easy! I can’t wait to try them.

  • Randi
    March 24, 2006

    Dang, I missed this event. I keep mean to ask you this, do you work in the food industry?

  • emily
    March 24, 2006

    Ohhh…interesting combination.

  • Kate
    March 26, 2006

    Last night I used the empanada version of this recipe (but I baked them instead of frying). Fabulous! They were a big hit.

  • Cate
    March 26, 2006

    These sound delicious, and right up our alley… we like Rachael Ray too – you’re in good company. 🙂

  • Cathy
    March 26, 2006

    Hi Nic – sounds fantastic, and frankly 30-minute (or 20-minute) cooking is just my speed these days. I’ve always enjoyed plantains in restaurants, but have never tried cooking with them and never even thought of doing something similar with bananas instead.

  • Anonymous
    March 26, 2006

    I was listening to a piece about plantains recently (on KCRW “Good Food” podcast, I think) but it looks like you used regular old bananas here, is that correct? I might have to try this when my husband’s not around (he’s slightly allergic to bananas).

  • Nic
    March 27, 2006

    Anonymous – Yes, these are bananas and not plantains in this recipe.

    Randi – I would say “not as such.” Sometimes I skirt the sides of the industry and I freelance once in a while. Whether I’ll get more into it is undecided, as yet.

  • Nupur
    March 28, 2006

    Tacos/Burritos make a regular appearance at my dinner table and this is a wonderful variation that I have to try soon!

  • s'kat
    March 28, 2006

    Definitely a different take! The thought of bananas/plantains in savoury foods has never really appealed to me, but you make it sound quite interesting.

  • Madeline
    March 30, 2006

    Well, responding to the first line of your post, there are bloggers that like her out there! We usually get shouted down by the ones that don’t. And I like her for the same reason you do – she taught me how to cook and made it approachable. I am always interested in any 30 minute recipes and this one looks like a good one (I love cumin). Thanks for the tip.

    Madeline
    http://www.rachaelrayblog.blogspot.com

  • Anonymous
    April 20, 2006

    “I belive that she is 37, but she seems younger. “

    You probably won’t see this – as I had been enjoying your site upon a recommendation. But it boils my hide to read such trite – from a woman, about another woman’s age! WTH does it matter. What are you 10 years old?

    Elizabeth

  • Nic
    April 20, 2006

    Hi Elizabeth. While everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion, I don’t really understand how you can be offended by what I intended to be a compliment to Ms. Ray. To tell a woman she seems or looks young is, to me, a compliment.

  • Lisa
    February 22, 2008

    This recipe is SUCH a winner-thank you! I swapped feta cheese for the jack, and added fresh-squeezed lime to the beans. Yum!

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