Asia de Cuba

I am less than a week away from becoming a homeowner.   This is exciting for all number of reasons, particularly because I want to start throwing more dinner parties and will finally have some proper space to do so, including a balcony with lots of room for summer barbecues. But before any of that good stuff can happen, there are a lot of things to be done.  Including using up as much of the food in the house as possible.  Given the random collection of items in my freezer, this has led to some unusual dinners over the past few weeks.  Some more successful than others.  But this is one that I might actually try again: a Mexican-Chinese mash up that worked surprisingly well.  Also very quick and easy for nights when you don't feel like putting a lot of effort into cooking but don't necessarily want to buy takeout.

Chinese-style tacos

4 taco shells/soft tacos
1 red onion
1 green pepper
500g diced beef steak
4 tbsp black bean stir fry sauce
sour cream
handful of grated cheddar cheese, to serve
guacamole, to serve (if desired)

In a large saucepan or wok, heat a splash of oil and fry the onion in until it starts to turn golden.  Add the diced beef (you could substitute with other types of meat here) and then cook until there is no pink showing.  Drain the fat from the pan, and then return to the heat and throw in any other vegetables you like.  I used a green pepper for colour contrast and texture, but you can definitely be creative with alternatives here.

Here's where I deviated from a more traditional taco - by adding a few tablespoons of garlic black bean sauce to the mixture.  Cook for a few minutes, during which time you can heat the tacos, if desired.  I would recommend doing it in an oven if possible - I warmed mine up in the microwave and they went a bit soggy.

To serve, scoop a few spoons of the beef mixture onto one side of the taco, and either serve plain, or with condiments.  I had sour cream, grated cheese and guacamole, so I used a little of each.  Slight overkill perhaps, but it was delicious.  I also chopped up a few cherry tomatoes and threw them on for good measure.  Et voila, a slightly unusual but still very good fusion taco!

Suggestions welcome on what to do with the remainder of my freezer: a fillet of lemon sole, half a ciabbata loaf, frozen vegetables galore, and some frozen bananas. Preferably not all in the same recipe!

p.s. Apologies if a half finished version of this post showed up in your inbox last week.  I had it saved to post later, but Blogger decided to publish the draft on its own schedule!

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it always the way....in these one-off situations, where your back is to the wall and you have to use up strange combinations of ingredients, you come up with brilliant combinations? I can remember some memorable meals created this way: French-style Chile con Carne, or Thai-Spanish risotto. I remember a book that featured an establishment called "Paddy O'Leary's Tandoori Trattoria." It was a fictitious restaurant frequented by some odd characters, but sometimes, it sounds like the description of our usual evening meal.