Dinner in Minutes

A tip for beefier-tasting tacos: Try buffalo

Tacobout it: Ground buffalo is the filling for these tacos, topped with a toasted-cumin yogurt.
Tacobout it: Ground buffalo is the filling for these tacos, topped with a toasted-cumin yogurt. Miami Herald Staff

Tacos are becoming one of our favorite hand-held foods; the pace of new taco shops opening in South Florida rivals that of hamburger joints.

I recently tasted one I liked with a bold cumin flavor at an event to benefit Common Threads, a nationwide organization geared to teaching kids to eat well. The taco was made by chef Todd Erickson of Huahua’s Taqueria (1211 Lincoln Rd.) in Miami Beach. His secret, I discovered: using toasted cumin in a yogurt topping.

I created the buffalo taco here based on his recipe.

Ground buffalo (also known as bison) can be found in most supermarkets and gives these tacos a real beefy flavor.

Wine & Beer

For wine, Herald columnist Fred Tasker suggests, “How about a nice light-bodied red wine, like cabernet franc?”

Tacos also call out to be paired with beer. To that end, Herald food editor Evan S. Benn adds, “A brown ale will draw out the natural smokiness of the toasted cumin. Try Maduro Brown Ale from Cigar City in Tampa.”

Helpful Hints

▪ Grass-fed ground beef can be used instead of ground buffalo.

▪ The filling can be made in advance and rewarmed.

▪ The tortillas are warmed in a microwave oven. Wrap them in foil and place in a warm oven for a few minutes if a microwave is not available.

Countdown

▪ Toast cumin and make yogurt topping.

▪ Make the buffalo filling.

▪ Warm the tortillas.

▪ Fill and serve the tacos.

Shopping List

To buy: 1 bottle ground cumin, 1 bottle ground cinnamon, 1 carton fat-free plain yogurt, 1 lime, 3/4 pound ground buffalo, 1 can crushed tomatoes, 1 small container raisins, 1 small container green pitted olives, 1 bunch fresh mint and 1 package 6-inch flour tortillas.

Staples: Olive oil, onion, garlic, fat-free low-sodium chicken broth, salt and black peppercorns.

Find more of cookbook author Linda Gassenheimer’s recipes on her website, dinnerinminutes.com.

GROUND BUFFALO TACOS WITH TOASTED CUMIN YOGURT

2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon ground cumin, divided use

1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt

4 teaspoons lime juice

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 cup diced onion

2 crushed garlic cloves

3/4 pound ground buffalo meat

3/4 cup canned, crushed tomatoes

3/4 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup raisins

2 tablespoons green pitted olives

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 6-inch flour tortillas

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

Place 2 teaspoons ground cumin on a foil in one thin layer. Place in a toaster oven or under a broiler and toast about 2 minutes. Watch to make sure the cumin doesn’t burn. Mix yogurt, lime juice and toasted cumin together and set aside.

Heat oil a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté 2 minutes or until they start to look translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté 1 minute. Add the ground buffalo. Break it up with the side of a cooking spoon as it cooks. It should look crumbled. Add the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth. Continue to cook until most of the liquid is reduced, about 10 minutes. Add the raisins and olives and cook until the liquid is absorbed about 2 minutes. Add the ground cinnamon and remaining 1 tablespoon cumin. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Wrap the tortillas in a paper towel and place in a microwave oven for 1 minute to warm. Divide the tortillas between two dinner plates and spoon the buffalo mixture onto the center of each one. Sprinkle the chopped fresh mint on top. Spoon tablespoon yogurt over each taco. Fold in half and serve. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 530 calories (24 percent from fat), 13.9 g fat (3.0 g saturated, 7.9 g monounsaturated), 109 mg cholesterol, 51 g protein, 60.8 g carbohydrates, 15.6 g fiber, 757 mg sodium.

Source: Linda Gassenheimer, adapted from chef Todd Erickson of Huahua’s Taqueria in Miami Beach.

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