Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Simple, quick and tasty!

Black bean salad, fried potatoes and crispy cheddar corn tortillas with oil cured olives
I needed to make something quick and simple last night and resorted to a favorite pantry bean salad. I don't usually use a recipe, but toss canned black beans, corn, and tomatoes, (I used fire roasted, diced, but any kind will do), chopped green chiles (don't have to use the whole can), with a combination of olive oil, vinegar and lime or lemon juice. I add some spices, usually chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper (sometimes cumin) and fresh herbs if I have them. Last night I added chives and mint from the garden. Fresh garlic and minced onion are great, but if you're short on time, just use the powdered variety. You can also use a prepared salad dressing and spice it up a little. If you don't have fresh lemon or lime juice on hand, just use extra vinegar - I like to use cider vinegar.
The corn tortillas are also a favorite. I happened to have some oil cured olives in the fridge, so I fried up the tortillas in a little veggie oil, topped them with the olives and a little grated cheddar cheese. Bake at 400F until cheese is melted and the tortillas are nice and crispy. For a lower calorie version, brush the tortillas with a little olive oil and bake until almost crisp, then put on the toppings and bake until the cheese is melted. The toppings can vary according to what you have on hand.
Lastly, I fried some potatoes that I had boiled whole a few days earlier. Precooked potatoes are great to have on hand- I just place them in a big pot, rinse, fill with cold water to cover, bring to a boil and simmer until fork tender. Remove the potatoes from the water, cool, and refrigerate until needed. They'll last quite a few days in the refrigerator. To prepare, just cut into chunks or slices and fry in a little vegetable oil or butter and season (I like to use Hungarian paprika, marjoram, salt and pepper). I had fresh red pepper on hand, so I diced some and threw it in the pan with the potatoes.
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