Spicy black bean and sweet potato tacos with cabbage – topped with a tomatillo-avocado sauce and cheese. Candied plantains are on the side!
Cuba is the *it* destination. The country is officially open to the US, and people are streaming in. But it’s still a little tricky in that folks here can’t just casually decide to hop on a commercial flight, rent a car, and be a DIY tourist. There are loads of organized trips, if you can afford it, and other options are due to open the country up a little more. Cuba is officially on my bucket list, and we’ve had many conversations on it with another couple, with lots of emails back and forth with links to various trips we can join. Maybe it will happen in 2017, maybe it won’t. But until we can make it happen, I’m happy to occupy myself with experimenting with their cuisine.
If you like tropical foods from the Caribbean, this is your lucky day. This month a bunch of us at Progressive Eats are featuring dishes native to, or inspired by the islands of the Caribbean. Progressive Eats is our version of a virtual Progressive Dinner Party, where dinner guests go from house to house, enjoying a different course in each home.
With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and everyone hops from blog to blog to check them out. Feel free to use our menus for ideas for your own party, a potluck, or for a family meal. I’m sure you’ll find a delicious recipe to add to your repertoire. Many thanks to our event hostess this month, Coleen, who blogs at The Redhead Baker.
Since this month’s theme is Tastes of the Caribbean, this terrific little taco recipe and some candied plantains seemed the perfect one to share. Even Carnivorous Maximus loved them! If you really have to add meat, I suggest shredded pork or chicken. But I say they’re killer just the way they are.
- 1.8 pounds (2 medium-large) sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into ½-inch chunks
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon + ½ teaspoon Chipotle Spice Rub
- ½ white onion, finely diced
- 2 cups cooked black beans
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 1 cups coarsely chopped rinsed husked tomatillos
- 1 medium Serrano chiles with seeds, coarsely chopped
- 1 large avocados, halved, peeled, pitted, mashed
- ½ cup chopped white onion
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 to 10 small tortillas (either wheat or corn is fine)
- Crumbled queso fresco (or feta)
- Shredded cabbage
- Thinly sliced radishes
- 2 plantains
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 425˚F and line and baking sheet with foil. Toss the sweet potato chunks in the 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon Chipotle Spice Rub, and roast for 15 minutes or until tender.
- Heat up 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium sauté pan, and add the diced onion. Sauté for 5 minutes or until slightly tender, and add the beans and ½ teaspoon (or more, to your own taste) Chipotle Spice Rub. Cook for 5 minutes and add the roasted sweet potato chunks, lime juice, and salt. Toss and cook for an addition 2 - 3 minutes.
- Throw the tomatillos and Serrano chili into a food processor or blender. Puree until fairly smooth.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the mashed avocado, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pureed tomatillos.
- Stuff the tortillas with the Spicy Bean and Sweet Potato Filling, add garnishes, and top with the Tomatillo-Avocado Sauce. Serve warm.
- Peel, halve (across their width), and quarter the plantains. Melt the coconut oil in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and the quartered plantains. Cook until just starting to soften, turning every several minutes, and add another tablespoon of brown sugar. Cook the plantains, turning only when completely caramelized, until very soft. They should still be easy to remove from the pan, but be very soft.
- Serve with the tacos.
Now go check out the rest of the menu!!
Tastes of the Caribbean
- Caribbean Shrimp and Grits from Creative Culinary
- Cuban Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos with Candied Plantains from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Instant Pot Jamaican Goat Curry from Spice Roots
- Easy Slow Cooker Jamaican Baked Beans from Mother Would Know
- Red Beans and Coconut Rice from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
- Bahamian Rum Cake from The Redhead Baker
- Coconut Macaroons from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Vegan Mango Pineapple Fool from Pastry Chef Online