Hannah Palmer Egan
Taco time: lamb merguez sausage, salsa succotash
In my house, meals default to tacos. They're cheap and easy and always tasty, provided you start with good ingredients.
And with All Souls Tortilleria
and Vermont Tortilla
both producing local corn tortillas, it's relatively easy to compose a taco made with 100 percent native ingredients, with a little forethought.
Forethought, for the record, was not
what I was working with last night, as I stared into an empty fridge and wondered about dinner. If I wanted to eat, I'd have to do some digging.
I started with a thawed package of loose lamb merguez sausage from Mace Chasm Farm's Butcher Shop
in Keeseville, N.Y., which I picked up while visiting breweries
in the Adirondacks last summer.
Then, a bowl of (formerly frozen) corn from our garden, leftover from last week. I pulled out a half quart of fermented salsa
from August, which is still going strong thanks to a healthy community of lacto-bacteria, which have kept the salsa fridge-stable, if a little tingly. Just fine for cooking.
I could mix the corn and salsa with canned black beans for a spicy, warm succotash. Add Cabot cheddar and tortillas — this time, the mass-market ones we stash for when the good ones run out — and voilà! We ate tacos 20 minutes later.
And the tacos were good.
Lamb Merguez Tacos With Warm Salsa Succotash
- 1 pound loose lamb merguez sausage
- 1 can or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed well
- 1 1/2 cups frozen or canned corn, drained
- 1 cup tomato salsa
- 4 8-inch corn tortillas (8 if you like to double up)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Fresh arugula or baby lettuces
- Brown the sausage and drain, reserving a quarter cup of the fat.
- Rinse the beans and place in a medium skillet with a couple tablespoons of sausage fat. Add corn and warm over medium-low heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Make a well in the bean-corn mixture and pour the salsa in the middle. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, stirring beans and corn slowly into the salsa, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Warm the tortillas. (If you have a gas stove, you can place tortillas directly over the burner on medium heat. Flip every 5-10 seconds until they soften and just begin to crisp. Stack warmed tortillas in a cloth-lined bowl and cover.)
- Build tacos: add lamb, sprinkle with grated cheese, top with succotash and greens.