On a recent trip to Colorado, not only did we enjoy catching up with our Boston transplanted friends, basking in the rays, and taking in the Rocky Mountain scape, we also took full advantage of the local cuisine. Many restaurants share an open- range attitude with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients and the mixing and matching of unique flavors. At Linger Restaurant in Denver, the abundant tapas-style menu includes Pork Steamed Bao Buns, Sesame Barbecue Kobe Short Rib Tacos, and a Roasted Beet Salad that features puffed rice and a cilantro raita. Many microbreweries follow a similar trend with such seasonal flavors as Twisted Pine Brewing Company’s Billy's Chilies Ale and Pyramid Breweries’ Apricot Ale. We love the contemporary approach that pushes the limits on simple, fresh ingredients.
On sensory overload, we put our own spin on the popular “fast-casual” Tex-Mex theme by creating the ultimate taco. Starting with an exotic meat like Bison, we add crunchy Napa Cabbage, a tangy zing of lime, and a salty bite of feta that can easily be replicated at home.
Crispy Bison and Black Bean Tacos
juice of 1 lime
2 c shredded Napa cabbage
1 T EVOO
1 14 oz can black beans, drained and mashed with a fork
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
16 oz ground bison
1 t ground cumin
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t cayenne pepper
4 T canola oil for frying
4 flour tortillas
1/2 c crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper throughout
Toss the shredded cabbage, lime juice, salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside.
Over medium heat, sautee the onion with the EVOO for 2 minutes. Add the bison and spices and cook for 5-7 more minutes, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Stir in the black beans and sautee for 2-3 more minutes until the meat is no longer pink.
In a separate sautee pan, heat 1 T of Canola oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 tortilla to the pan and fry for 1 minute. Next, spoon 1/4 of the bison and bean mixture on half of the tortilla and fold the other half over using a spatula. Cook for 1-2 minutes until golden and crisp, flip to the other side and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Keep warm on a plate atop the stove. Repeat with the remaining 3 tortillas.
Fill each taco with the shredded cabbage and top with crumbled feta.
A fresh, citrusy, crunchy take on a classic taco that will impress your Boulder buddies!