Sunday, April 8, 2012
Traditional Easter Tacos. For Nine.
Say you have a whole whack of people to cook Easter Dinner for. And say a bunch of those people are vegetarian. Also, the ones who aren't vegetarian might be kind of picky. Oh, and maybe you're pregnant and can't quite manage the spend-all-day-on-your-feet-in-the-kitchen deal as well as you used to. What do you do?
Tacos. You do tacos.
Tacos mean very little cooking, since what makes tacos awesome are the garnishes that you heap onto them. The only real cooking I did was make refried black beans using this recipe from the New York Times as my guide. The other dish I actually cooked is the one pictured above which was a lightly fried combo of potatoes, sweet and spicy peppers, corn, and onions. I added some soup stock, lime juice, and chili powder for flavour and it was a great addition to the meal.
In addition to that, I chopped up tomatoes, lettuce, jalapenos, and cilantro. I grated some cheddar cheese and put out a dish of sour cream for the non-vegans (read: everyone but me). The two different kinds of salsa were store bought, but at least they were healthfood-store-bought and not the bland fare that is often the only choice at the big supermarkets.
I didn't quite predict everyone's tastes accurately. What surprised me the most was how everyone went for the soft taco shells instead of the hard ones. I'd thought the soft shells, which look a bit more rough around the edges than the boxed hard shells, would be too weird for everyone, but they went fast. I didn't even get any myself. I was also surprised by how much cheese we had leftover. For some reason I thought people would pile on the cheese, but that didn't seem to be the case.
And above you see the full spread. It looks impressive, but didn't really take a lot out of me. I did the shopping on Saturday and cooked the soaked back beans that same day. On Sunday I started doing prep at noon, and worked in 1-2 hour jags with plenty of time for sitting down with a novel in between so I didn't wear myself out. By the time everyone arrived just after five PM everything was totally ready to go and I had enough energy to socialize. Done! Tacos for the win.