Cornerstone Cooking: Crunchy Black Bean Tacos

We love us a good blog-to-book success story (hellooooooo, agents — what ver happened to Friday Fuck-Ups, the novel?) So I was excited to get my copy of Cornerstone Cooking, the new cookbook from Nick Evans, sometimes ES contributor and the man behind Macheesmo.

Of course, leave it to a blogger to come up with the first cookbook I’ve seen in eons that is actually useful. The concept behind Cornerstone is one we can get behind: “learn to love your leftovers.” In each of his eight chapters, Nick offers up one “Cornerstone recipe” — the simple things that you should just know how to make perfectly (roast chicken, spicy black beans, grilled flank steak, baked potatoes, marinara sauce, lentils, homemade bread and vanilla ice cream). Then for each one, he gives you about a dozen more directions for how to use that cornerstone dish up over the course of a week. For example, how to turn those spicy black beans into black bean burgers, black bean soup, huevos rancheros, black bean salad, and our favorite — fried tacos!

Check out Cornerstone Cooking on Amazon, or keep reading for the recipe.

Crunchy Black Bean Tacos

Makes 8 tacos (serves 4).
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

2 C. black beans, cooked
½ C. red onion, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
4-6 ounces pepper jack cheese, grated
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 avocado, sliced
Pinch of salt and pepper
8 corn tortillas
Hot sauce
Sour cream

1) In a medium bowl, add beans along with red onion, cilantro, and spices. Add a pinch of salt and lightly mash all of the ingredients together. Grate your cheese and have it ready as well.

2) In a large, non-stick skillet or cast iron skillet, add a few tablespoons of oil and heat over medium-high heat.

3) Add one corn tortilla at a time and let each get hot in the oil for a few seconds. Then add about 1?4 cup of the bean filling to one half of the tortilla. Top with a sprinkle of grated cheese.

4) Using a spatula, carefully fold the tortilla over so it forms a shell. Press down lightly on the tortilla so it holds its shape.

5) As the first tortilla cooks, move it to the side and do a second one. Depending on the size of your pan, you should be able to get 2 or 3 tacos at once. If you have a griddle you can do even more at once.

6) Cook each taco for about 3 minutes per side until they are nicely browned and crispy.

7) When flipping the taco to cook on the other side, use a spatula and flip the taco toward the fold so the filling doesn’t fall out.

8) Serve tacos with toppings like hot sauce, salsa, avocados, and sour cream.

Note: Corn tortillas are resilent to heat. Don’t worry about burning them. They are very flexible. Just be sure to cook them on each side long enough to get them really crispy.

From: Cornerstone Cooking

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  • Sarah February 3, 2013  

    so yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! omg

  • jenny February 13, 2013  

    YUM! I just made these and they are fantastic!

  • paula February 23, 2013  

    I make these but I fold two sides of the tortilla in and then fold the two ends up. Brush the side with the folds first with oil and put the folds down in the pan. Brush oil on the side that is up. When the underside is nice and brown and crispy flip it over. You will not lose one bean…….made one tonight for my husband but made it with tuna and pepperjack cheese…..yumm-o

  • Kelly February 24, 2013  

    Thanks for sharing! These are amazing!

  • Andi February 25, 2013  

    Can you make these with flour tortillas?

  • Dotty March 3, 2013  

    Made these tonight — they were spectacular! Just added some finely diced green pepper as we had some extra on hand, and my husband threw together a really tasty Spanish-style rice to have as a side. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Gray March 6, 2013  

    I wish the cookbook was still available but it is out of print! Boo

  • ruth March 9, 2013  

    really? is the use of the “f” word necessary?

  • Melissa March 14, 2013  

    These were fabulous! I marinated the chicken beforehand, and the whole family loved them. And as an aside, fuck.

  • Stephanie March 20, 2013  

    Absolutely delicious! Will make again and again!

  • breia April 4, 2013  

    just made these but didn’t use oil; just let the pan brown them til crispy. and i only used beans, cumin, and pap w/ hab pepperjack cheese on flour tortillas. they are yummy!!! i made extras and froze them. hope they reheat just as good!!!

  • Savannah April 10, 2013  

    These are insanely AMAZING!! I loved every bite. I used flour tortillas and cheddar cheese instead of pepper jack. Thank you so much! Yummy!

  • Joelle April 26, 2013  

    Would you consider these spicy? With kids, I’m wondering if using Monterey Jack would be best?

  • Tacos May 8, 2013  

    The best thing ever! TACOS!!!!!

  • Michelle May 19, 2013  

    Thanks for the recipe — this is now a family favorite! I also add shredded zucchini and frozen corn to the mix.

  • Chelsea June 3, 2013  

    Making these fucking tacos tonight! I’ve been wanting to make them since I pinned it! These comments had me laughing my ass off. God forbid you read a bad word O.O

    And then there’s Lori. You’re racist and you disgust me.

  • Jessica June 13, 2013  

    I’ve been incorporating black beans more into our meals so I was excited about this recipe. I used canned black beans, flour tortillas, Monterrey Jack cheese, and eyeballed/substituted some of the spices. It was delicious! We served it with avocado and sour cream. This will definitely be a go-to lunch/fast dinner!

  • Chantel June 24, 2013  

    This may be a dumb question, but I just want to make sure lol…do the black bean need to be drained before I make the mixture?

  • Stella July 8, 2013  

    These are a winner! Thanks so much for posting!

  • Tiffany July 9, 2013  

    Is it canned black beans or dry black beans cooked??

  • Wendy August 13, 2013  

    Yes, you always drain and rinse black beans.
    And pepper jack cheese is not spicy.
    I just had a request to make these for the second time. 🙂

  • Jennifer August 29, 2013  

    Was there truly a need to drop the fbomb in the post much less within the first few lines! Keep it kid friendly!

  • megan September 21, 2013  

    Well I misread the recipe and when I saw crispy, I bought hard shell tacos, oops! But wanted to let everyone know it still worked out great! Instead of cilantro and onion, I just popped in some store bought Pico, and added some queso fresco to the pepper jack. Delish!

  • Kristen September 21, 2013  

    I felt like my tacos turned out a little dry. Did anyone else have that problem?

  • Miss.Sami.B October 9, 2013  

    LOL about the F~bomb, just shows the lower vocabulary of some. Hold your heads high ladies <3

    Anyway, just wanted to post when I make this type of stuff that's SO TERRIFIC (thank you ma'am). I have to make a boat load, I'll pre-heat my oven at 350, grab a cookie cooling rack or two depending on how many your making, put that right on the oven rack. As you finish a skillet full, put them on the rack & they will stay hot w/ out burning. if your worried about the filling dripping, put a cookie sheet under the lowest rack to catch any drips so you won't have to clean your oven!

    Awesome recipe!

  • Vania November 1, 2013  

    I’ve made these several times! Absolutely love them! I like to add shredded chicken to mine too. 🙂

    ^Woohoo! A comment that only discusses the recipe!

  • Aerica January 15, 2014  

    I found this on Pinterest. Had to try it. These are very very good!!! We have tried this with other ingredients like chicken and shredded pork. Will never make regular tacos ever again!!

  • Hannah January 18, 2014  

    This is one of the best things I ever made! The tacos are pretty heavy, so I would make a smaller batch and pair it with a huge salad next time. But the advice that the corn tortillas can stand a lot of heat without burning is key. They came out great, super crispy.

  • Leah Ann January 26, 2014  

    these were awesome.. great idea for many change ups. Add shrimp.. do refried beans and taco meat. I fixed as written.. very yummy. Will be a rotation favorite.

  • Leah Ann January 26, 2014  

    Kristen, mine were not dry at all… don’t be afraid to coat the bottom of your skillet with plenty of oil. I used coconut oil… they were crispy and I could have cooked longer with no problem.

  • v April 30, 2015  

    Where did the recipe go?

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