I work in downtown Los Angeles, an area that is known for some great food, and I fight a daily battle with my taste buds, who would like me to go absolutely broke buying lunch out. I’ll confess some days I lose that battle entirely. Today, however, is not that day. Today I am thrilled to eat what I brought from home.
Those of you who read my April 2013 Cookbook Challenge post will know that I grew up eating Mexican-influenced food and that my cooking has always been a reflection of that upbringing. One of my favorite dishes growing up, and one of the first things I ever cooked as an adult in my very own kitchen, was beef and rice tacos, courtesy a recipe from dear, old Dad. Throughout the years, I’ve tweaked it a little, swapped some things in and others out, but it has remained a regular in my cooking rotation, in some form or other. Not only is it simple, and an excellent way to make a little ground beef go a long way, but it’s also crave-it-the-next-day delicious. These tacos are hearty and spicy and tangy and even a little chewy.
And today they’re lunch.
I’d give you a recipe so you could make them at home if so inclined, but I cook just like Dad did: without measuring, and adding “a little bit of this, a little bit of that” as I go, adjusting until it tastes right. (“Right” meaning “the way I like it”.) Figuring out the proper measurements for a dish means me taking meticulous notes while I cook, and that requires more time than I had last night while whipping up dinner. I’m happy to give you the ingredients list, though, and some basic instructions.
1 lb ground beef
1.5 (approx.) cups cooked white rice
1.5 cup (approx.) cups black beans
Brown and drain the beef, add in the rice and beans, and then start seasoning with the spices, using a little at a time, mixing them in, and tasting regularly, until it’s right. (“Right”, in this case, meaning “the way you like it”.) If you want a little kick, you can add a bit of cayenne, too, although I happened to not have put any in this version. Put a scoop of the filling on a toasted corn tortilla and then top with sour cream and green taco sauce. Quick and easy!