Easter dinner at our house this year strayed from the traditional pork roast or baked ham. The weather was so beautiful in Chicago Easter weekend, it was hard to motivate ourselves to do anything but sit on the balcony and read while the sound of the waves crashing against the shore washed our worries away. All the daydreaming left me a little short on grand Easter menu plans. I did have some tiny cooked tepary beans from Rancho Gordo and leftover ground lamb in the fridge to give me a start. The rest was improvisation, with the idea of tacos from Rancho Gordo’s cookbook.
This meal is a little more exotic than the average taco – and definitely healthier. If you’ve never seen tepary beans, they are teeny-tiny little things – adorably small, and I love them because they don’t really need soaking and cook up in about 45 minutes. Their petite size makes them a perfect taco filling.
The dinner came together in about 20 minutes – anyone who complains that cooking is too much work or takes too much time can stuff it. We all know that getting takeout can take longer than 20 minutes…and this meal is far better for you than greasy pizza or Chinese. While this certainly wasn’t the most lavish table we’ve sat down at on Easter Sunday, it was hearty, spicy and had us both going back for second and third tacos. We’ve been enjoying the leftovers for lunches this week, served over brown rice.
Tepary Bean Tacos with Lamb & Chard
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 lb ground lamb
1 T ground cumin
chipotle puree to taste
2 1/2 cups cooked tepary beans
1 cup fresh hot chile salsa
1 bunch chard, ribs removed and stems chopped and separated from leaves (chop leaves into bite sized pieces)
cilantro to garnish
corn tortillas or tostadas to serve
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Crumble the ground lamb into the pan, and brown until cooked through. Scoop the cooked meat out of the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving any fat behind. Pour off the fat from the pan, and return the pan to the heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook until the bacon is browned, but not crisp. Add the onion and chopped chard stems to the pan and saute for 5 minutes, until the onions and stems begin to soften. Add the cumin, garlic, 1 T chipotle puree and a good pinch or two of salt and stir.
- Next, add the drained tepary beans, cooked lamb and chopped chard leaves to the pan. Stir often until heated through. When the chard leaves have wilted, add 1 cup of salsa to the pan and mix together. Cook until everything is heated through – about 1 more minute. Place the pan on the table to serve family style, with warm corn tortillas or tostada chips. If you feel like going all out – make your own tortillas. Garnish the tacos with cilantro, and extra salsa or hot sauce.