Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pork And Pineapple Tacos Adapted From Salsa Brava Cocina.

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.
I added the chiles (2 cups?) to my Blue Ninja, some water (4-5 TB?), and some oil (4-5 TB?) ...
... 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.
Some Kosher salt. 1-2 tsps
1 TB (?) granulated garlic
1 TB cumin
About 1/4 cup chile powder.
Bunch of garlic cloves ...
... minced.
Process, adding water and oil to adjust level of pastiness. You want it kind of pourable.
I happened to have a pork roast I just bought for $1.98 a pound.
I trimmed my pork loin and cut it into 8 nice chops, 1 roast, ...
... and dices of the rest for my carne adovado.
I put the diced pork in a zip-lock bag and added in the adovada, or chile paste.
Smelling good.
Manipulate the meat (heh 12) and work in the chile sauce/paste. I marinated this overnight.
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.
Ingredients for the taco filling: carne adovada can of pineapple onion
Mince the onion and set aside. Here are some of my ingredients for the toppings:
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.
Fry each side until golden brown.
Invert over paper towels and drain.
Tacos are ready for filling. Rosie continues her stream of consciousness:
I chopped up the cilantro and sliced some cold iceberg lettuce.
Diced red onion and peppers.
Don't forget the Queso Fresco, crumbled. And all my toppings are ready. Now I'm ready to cook the pork.
Heat up some oil in the skillet. Add the pork pieces one at a time.
Add in the chopped onion.
Turn and sear the other side of the pork.
Add in drained pineapple chunks. Fill tacos.
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.
Oh, and plop some sour cream in the back there. You might find you will need it.
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!

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