Here's lunch: I'm relying heavily these days on a slew of Mexican cookbooks, most recently Salsa Brava Cocina, from Salsa Brava in Flagstaff, Arizona. We had a wonderful lunch there on our trip out west this past fall. I'm thumbing through the pictures, drooling, and came upon a recipe called Maui Tacos. The recipe called for Carne Adovada (pork marinated in a red chile sauce), a Maui onion, and pineapple. When I told my friend Zzzadig what I was making for dinner that night, he explained to me that I was making carne al pastor. Sometimes I feel like a dull child. Let me say straight out - this is NOT a dish for the faint of palate. It cleared my nose and sinuses. It was exquisite capsaicin pain. I loved it. It was too much for Mr. Hawthorne, but that's OK by me. Just more for me. As for the progression of this dish, you're going to witness the mind of Rosie at work, in chronological order. All my pictures are in order. With that said, this is going to be a very sloppy post. You will be seeing Rosie doing everything, step by step, as she created this meal. So I won't have it all written down for you and wrapped up in a pretty little package. I think this is much more fun, don't you?I'm starting out with the carne adovada.
Salsa Brava called for chile de arbol. I've got bags of dried chiles, but no chile de arbol. I substituted chile japones. Checked it out and they're about the same range of Scoville units.
... and pulsed a few times, adjusting liquids until I had a nice paste. If you want to cut back on the heat, either use another type chile that's a bit tamer, say a guajillo chile or an ancho, or take the seeds out before processing. There's a lot o' heat in them thar seeds.
Next morning. I took out the carne adovado and left it out to come to room temperature before cooking. Since pineapple is going into this, I drained the juice into my marinade.
Cilantro from the garden, small sweet peppers which I want to grow in my garden next year, and a red onion.
Dice peppers and onion. Set aside. Now, in case you're all waiting anxiously for Rosie to pull out the Masa Harina and make her own tacos, you may exhale and relax. I'm not making them from scratch. I'm Semi-Hoing today and using store-bought corn tortillas. With a twist I think you'll like.
I took my corn tortillas and put them in my taco cage and fried them on each side. If you don't have a taco thingie, you could do this with 2 tongs.
Don't forget the Queso Fresco, crumbled. And all my toppings are ready. Now I'm ready to cook the pork.
Turn and sear the other side of the pork.
Fried corn tacos with chile-marinated pork, onions, and pineapple. Toppings of diced red onion, sweet peppers, sliced lettuce, chopped cilantro, and crumbled Queso Fresco.
This was one hot MoFo. I loved it. Mr. Hawthorne? Not so much. He couldn't take the heat. You could very easily make this without the heat. You want the chile flavor, so use a milder chile for your sauce. Add the spices and taste test as you go along. Always be aware of the flavors you're adding. If you're new to this, taste after each addition. Build layers of flavors. And all of a sudden, you're COOKING!