Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shredded Pork Tacos

I love Mexican food. It's not that dissimilar from Costa Rican food........ we eat a lot of tortillas, picadillos, beans, rice, salsas, etc. but Costa Rican food is not spicy - at least nor the way my mom made it. Mexican food usually means chillies - and spicy- which I love. Last night I was craving some truly Mexican style tacos. I threw together this lovely dish - which was delicious - with what I had laying around. I used Rick's Bayless's cookbook, Authentic Mexican as my guiding light. It's a great cookbook, but a lot of the recipes are much too time consuming. So, I take short cuts and take note of the spices and flavors he uses as guidance. The results? Fantastic. This really isn't a recipe so much as an explanation of what I came up with.

PORK TACOS (serves 2-3 people - but can easily be doubled or tripled)

Shredded Pork

Bone in pork loin chops
Left over Mojo (see recipe on my previous post)
Apple cider vinegar - about a tablespoon for two huge pork chops
Dried thyme, parsley and oregano -about 1/2 teaspoon each
1/4 teaspoon ground Chipolte powder
Fresh ground Allspice- about 1/4 teaspoon
Salt and pepper

Mix the Mojo with the remaining ingredients. Marinate the pork chops in the Marinade all day or over night. Cook in a stove top skillet, browning lightly in a little olive oil. Remove and let cool to the touch. Shred the pork and add to the chipolte sauce (recipe follows). Use as a filling in tacos. I used store bought soft corn tortillas which I browned in a little olive oil. (You can also make homemade tortillas if you are ambitious- use Masa to make them.) Very spicy and delicious!

Chipolte Sauce

Canned fire roasted tomatoes - about 1/4 cup - chopped fine
About 2 tablespoons canned Chipolte in Adobe sauce - chopped fine
1 Tablespoon chopped onion
Olive oil for sauteing - about 1 teaspoon
Water - about 1/2  cup or so.
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Saute onion briefly in olive oil. Add tomatoes and chipolte in adobe sauce. Add a bit of water. Add shredded pork and stir to mix. Add enough water to sauce the meat lightly. The chipolte sauce is meant to season not drench the meat. Serve in corn tortillas, lightly browned in oil.

Shredded lettuce (I used Romaine)
Pico de Gallo (recipe follows)
Sour cream
Queso Blanco or Feta cheese, crumbled
Sauteed onions and peppers *

*( I sauteed a mixture of red and sweet onions, red and green bell peppers with a sliced garlic clove in olive oil with salt and pepper) Remove to a bowl and proceed with the pork chops in the same pan.

Pico de Gallo (Rooster's Beak)

Chopped red onion - 1/4 cup
Chopped plum or ripe and juicy tomato about 1/2 cup
1-3 Serrano peppers, seeded, deveined and minced
1 garlic clove, minced
Lime juice, about 1/2 a lime
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
a drop of honey
Salt to taste - about 1/4 teaspoon
A drop of strawberry balsamic vinegar (optional) Brings out the tomato flavor.

Mince onions and set in bowl with lime juice and salt while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Add all the ingredients and mix. Let sit for the flavors to blend while you prepare the rest of the taco ingredients.

To make tacos, layer in this manner:
Shredded pork, sauteed onions and peppers, lettuce, sour cream, pico de gallo, feta cheese or queso fresca. These are truly amazing tacos! Very authentic. You will never find anything like this in a restaurant or take out!

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