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Cal-Mex Tacos—er, Tostadas?

January 4, 2012

Favorite quick dinner

Once every week or two, we just want a quick dinner with no fuss, and something Mexican sounds right. It’s not authentic, not even Tex-Mex— call it Cal-Mex.

Our favorite garnishes are sour cream, avocado, chopped green onions and cilantro, accompanied by a glass of cold kombucha.

Just a few quick steps and this meal can be yours:

Put a big spoonful of lard from pastured pigs (thanks to Lovers Lane Farm, also known for their honey) in a large cast-iron pan and bring to medium/medium-low heat.

Add about 1/2 pound of  ground beef from grass-fed cows (thank-you, Magruder Ranch) to the hot pan, cook on medium-low heat (depending on your stove and burner size; remember that grass-fed beef generally needs lower temperatures and a gentler touch) until browned. We liked the proportion of more meat, less bean. We’ll use the rest of the beans in soup.

After the meat is browned, add 1/2 can of Amy’s Organic refried beans, traditional style (we usually soak and cook our own beans from scratch, but I keep a few cans around for the times we haven’t planned ahead, or can’t find our beans in the freezer!)

Reduce heat so meat mixture just stays warm, season with sea salt and hot sauce such as Cholula. Don’t be shy. You can always soothe your burning tongue with cool sour cream.

In a large, flat skillet, heat 2 tbsp lard from pastured pigs or ghee made from butter from pastured cows (David used ghee tonight). Gently toast sprouted corn tortillas (Food Life brand is what we have locally) on each side, to desired degree of doneness. Two per person was plenty for us.

Top each tortilla with a big spoonful of bean/meat mixture, add grated cheese (we used jalapeno-Jack raw milk cheese), then sprinkle on chopped green onions, mashed avocado, salsa (preferably lacto-fermented salsa, which I made in August, still good in January!), and sour cream. Bonus: fresh cilantro can’t be beat (we forgot).

Cal-Mex happy meal

If you want to fold them over like tacos, use less filling; for tostada-style, leave open face.

OK, it’s not paleo or low carb, but it was all real food. Even better if we’d soaked and slow-cooked beans in our own chicken or beef stock. Next time.

What did you have for dinner?

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