Monday, December 28, 2009

Pork Tacos

Well, I still haven't posted my Thanksgiving leftover recipes.  I hope to soon, since they could be useful for Christmas leftovers as well.  Speaking of leftovers, I was lucky enough to come home with some leftover pork roast from my in-laws.  I didn't have to cook Christmas dinner this year.  My sister's in law had that honor and did a fantastic job.  They did give me the honor of allowing me in their mom's kitchen long enough to bake an apple pie, which my father in law said was one of the best he's ever had.  That was my best Christmas present ever.  (Especially since it was my mom's recipe - I send a thanks to my mom in heaven.)

The huge meal the SIL's put together left far too many leftover's for my father in law and mother in law to deal with, so they were kind enough to send us home with a few things, including the rest of the pork roast.  The first thing I thought of was TACO's.  I found this great recipe at For the love of cooking: Pork Tacos with Fresh Pico de Gallo and Gaucamole and modified it to my needs.  I sliced up 4 of the chops off of the rib roast into bite size pieces.  I sliced up a quarter of a large red onion and sauteed it until it was soft.  I added the pork and about a half teaspoon each of cumin, smokey paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder and some salt and fresh ground pepper.  I added a half can of black beans and let it simmer while I made a pico de gallo consisting of 2 large tomatoes, a little over half a large red onion, a chopped garlic clove, a couple tablespoons of chopped cilantro, one chopped fresh jalapeno, 4 finely chopped radishes, some salt, the juice of half a lime, a sprinkle of chili powder and a sprinkle of smokey paprika.  I then made a sweet salsa for my kids consisting of one mango, 2 tablespoons of cilantro, 2 tsp on chopped onion, 1/4 cup of chopped bell pepper, a tsp of sugar ( the mango was quite tart), a pinch of salt, a pinch of chili powder and smokey paprika, and a squeeze of lime juice.

I then attempted to make my first homemade corn tortillas.  They were not a success, but not a complete failure either.  I used 1 cup of masa flour combined with 1/2 tsp salt.  I combined that with 1/2 plus 1/8 of boiling water that had 1/2 tsp of lard melted in it.  I had to add about 3 more tablespoons of hot water to get it to what felt like the right texture.  I formed it into 6 golf ball size balls and covered it with seran wrap.  Here is where I went wrong.  I let it sit a little too long and it got dry, so when I fried them, they were a little too dry, and not useable for tacos, but still tasted quite good.  I don't have a tortilla press, so I put the balls between two pieces of plastic ( cut from a gallon size freezer bag) and I rolled them out with a roller.  I also needed to roll them a bit thinner to get a manageable tortilla.  One thing I did realize. This is doable.  This could be a short learning curve and it won't be long before I have good homemade tortillas.  I will be practicing this process again soon.

Fortunately I bought corn tortillas as a backup (they worked better, but didn't taste quite as flavorful as the homemade ones).  I heated them, topped them  with the meat and bean mixture and the salsa of each person's choice.  I also put some fresh avocado on each, some cojito cheese, some pickled jalapeno on mine, and some sour cream on the kids.

This turned out to be a flavorful way to use up leftovers, as well as a nice change from what we'd already enjoyed on Christmas.  You just can't go wrong with pork tacos!

No comments: