Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Sweet Potato Tacos

Hey, it’s Taco Tuesday! I realize that this is somewhat like the sweet potato fajitas I posted about two years ago. I mean, I love roasted sweet potatoes, and I love tacos, so… these sweet potato tacos from Smitten Kitchen were right up my alley. But it turns out they were even better than the sum of their parts! They were really fantastic. I made sure that they weren’t spicy, so both kids cleaned their plate (provided that they could decide which toppings, if any, to use in addition to the refried beans and sweet potatoes). The most brilliant thing here, though, was that the refried beans acted as a sort of glue that kept most of the toppings inside the taco, making for fewer tantrums from the youngest members of the family, plus it was easier for them to eat, so really, everybody wins. I need to remember to use refried beans in tacos from now on! (For the record, I called it a “purée” and didn’t mention the word “beans”, because both my kids like hummus but they won’t eat chickpeas, so there you have it.)

I made quick-pickled onions, which I recommend, and added sliced avocados and cilantro as toppings. I would have used lactose-free sour cream if I’d had it on hand, too. I couldn’t find black refried beans, so I used red. If you want to prep all the tacos in advance, take a page from Deb Perelman’s book and nestle them in a casserole dish to serve at the table (bonus points if you warm the dish first). As for me, I let the kids decide what they wanted in each of their tacos and made them one at a time, and we ate this over two nights.

For the quick-pickled red onions
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup cold water
1 ½ tsp. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal kosher salt (or half as much Morton kosher salt)
1 thinly sliced red onion

Mix the sugar and salt into the vinegar and water until they have dissolved. Add red onion. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes; this will keep for a week or two in a jar in the fridge.

For the tacos
2 lb. sweet potatoes (about 4 medium), peeled and cut into ½ to ¾” cubes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 heaped tsp. kosher salt
1 heaped tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
1 generous pinch Korean pepper (or as much chili pepper or hot sauce as you want)
½ tsp. sweet smoked paprika
12 small (6-inch) tortillas
1 15-oz. can of refried black beans
1 lime, in wedges
sliced avocado, pickled red onions, chopped fresh cilantro, or your favorite taco toppings

Heat oven to 400 °F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (this makes cleanup easier, but your potatoes will get a bit crisper if you roast them directly on the baking sheet – if you do that, use 3 tablespoons of oil instead of 2).

Toss sweet potatoes with oil, then add salt, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, chipotle powder, and paprika and toss to evenly coat. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast potatoes for 40 to 45 minutes, tossing once or twice for even color.

Wrap the tortillas in foil and put them in the oven for the last 5 minutes of baking.

To assemble, schmear refried black beans on each tortilla. Add a big spoonful or two of roasted sweet potatoes. Squeeze a little lime juice over the potatoes and black beans (don’t skip this, please), and finish with toppings of your choice, shown here with sliced avocado, pickled red onions, and cilantro. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

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