SUPER BOWL BUTTERNUT SQUASH & BLACK BEAN TACOS

The helmet smashing, creative commercials, and musical halftime entertainment combine to make the Super Bowl the most anticipated American sporting event on television. With an audience of 110 million plus viewers annually and a game that lasts for three plus hours, create an opportunity for Sunday night socializing and sharing food with friends. It can be tricky, however, because no one wants to pause the game, miss an ad, or take a break during the scintillating halftime performance and risk missing some serious water cooler conversation starters for Monday morning. So, make in advance finger foods that allow people to graze when the urge strikes has become part of this annual football tradition. These slightly smokey, a bit spicy, and dare we say "healthy" snacking tacos deliver all of the elements of a pleasure inducing, prepare in advance food nibble that people just cannot seem to get enough of--oh, and do not forget to pass the limes and bottles of a wicked good local IPA. Go Pats!

Kitchen Notes
The squash should be cut into pieces slightly larger than the black beans as the squash shrinks when it roasts. The cabbage slaw may be made a day in advance. Drain the liquid that collects at the bottom of the bowl before serving--best to remove the slaw from the top down and just leave the liquid behind.

DIRECTIONS

1.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Put the squash on a half sheet baking tray and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the chili flakes, cumin, coriander, 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

3. Place in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping the squash at the half way mark (the squash should be golden and caramelized). Remove from the oven and let cool.

4. In a glass bowl, whisk the lime zest, 1 tablespoon of lime juice, honey, jalapeño, 1 teaspoon of salt, and a 1/4 teaspoon black pepper until incorporated and pour over the shredded cabbage. Let macerate for at least 30 minutes.

5. Gently stir the black beans into the squash and then toss and mix in the scallions.

6. In a small glass bowl whisk the crème fraîche, remaining lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

7. Just before serving, heat a CAST IRON SKILLET over high heat and place the tortillas in one at a time until they are heated through and a bit of char shows on the surface. Place warmed tortillas in a towel and cover to keep moist and warm (cooked tortillas can be warmed quickly in the microwave for 30 seconds--simply mist the towel with water before heating).

8. Set out all the fixings taco bar style and each person can fill their own tortilla. Encourage a squeeze of fresh lime over the top of each taco.

SERVES 8

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups butternut squash, 1/3" cubes

  • Olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 3/4 teaspoon chipotle powder

  • 1 can organic black beans, rinsed & drained

  • 2 small scallions, white & green parts sliced thinly

  • 1/2 small red cabbage, shredded

  • 2 limes, 1 zested & juiced, the other cut into small pieces

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeded & minced

  • Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

  • 1/3 cup crème fraîche or sour cream

  • 16 small round corn tortillas

  • 1/3 cup Cotija cheese, crumbled

  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves

  • 1 avocado, tiny dice

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