|Looks like meat, right?|
If I were going to pick one genre of food to eat the rest of my life, it would be Mexican. And it would be nothing to do with Rick Bayless, either. It would be plain-cheese-on-flour-tortilla quesadillas and crunchy tacos. Sorry. But it's the truth. American style crunchy tacos are are my favorite food, ever.
Why am I telling you this? Because we had tacos last night. I had about a half a pound of ground turkey left over from Monday night, when I still thought I needed to ration our meat. But half a pound of turkey was not going to get us very far - did I mention I love tacos? I thought about mixing in beans, and then I thought of mixing in quinoa. I got so far as actually cooking the quinoa when I remembered the cooked pearl barley in the freezer.
Maybe there are already a million blog posts out there about making pearl barley into taco meat, but I haven't read them. It worked perfectly. I had about 2 and a half cups, and I gave it a quick couple of pulses in the food processor to give it more of a ground meat-y texture. I threw it in the pot once the turkey was cooked through, and then added the spice mixture and tomato sauce. The barley soaked up all the flavor of the spice mixture, and in the end you couldn't *really* tell what was turkey and what was barley. It was all delicious. The texture may have been slightly softer than all-meat, but it was more pleasant than the texture of tofu tacos, which are really sort of gross.
I use ground turkey in most recipes that call for ground beef, because I feel like using ground beef is usually a waste of beef. Especially in tacos, where what you really want to taste is the spicy taco flavor. I would much rather use barley, or maybe a barley-wheat berry-even quinoa combination, if all things are equal. It just seems like a good place to eliminate meat, if you're into that sort of thing.
Tonight: Mystery Freezer Sausage Pizza.