Friday, October 18, 2013

Rosie Makes PUFFY Tortillas With Pork. And Apple Slaw. And Who Can Forget The Rum Flambéed Pineapple Slices?

Middle Hawthorne is home
and I'm trying to think of different meals
to produce for him.
Children can be difficult.
Grown children can be more difficult.

Too bad Mama Hawthorne ain't alive
to read those sentences.
She would appreciate it.

I can hear her now,
arms crossed, a glint in her eye,
and a curt, "You reap what you sow."

I remember overhearing her saying to one of friends once,
"I'd rather cook for the Queen of England than that child."

And then there was the mumbling,
which I couldn't quite make out,
about my having
"...  a child just like you."

Which brings me to this dish. 

I made it for Middle Hawthorne.

Middle Hawthorne likes variety.
He likes different.
He likes the idea of "cuisine."
He likes to experiment.
He's willing and able to try most anything I produce.

He's my little gastronomic guinea pig.
And he's hard to impress.
On Friday afternoon,
I was preparing an early dinner 
to be ready for Boy when he got home from work.

I'd been pondering this preparation 
for most of the day.

I am acutely aware that MidHaw
will not eat the same foods twice.
As in twice in two days.

He's a purist.
That is how I came up with the idea of my "Moreovers."
To pacify this child/man.

Leftovers won't work.
I must produce Moreovers.

Here's what I originally said
when I came up with the idea of Moreovers:

Nothing goes to waste in the Hawthorne Household.
And I don't refer to the remnants as leftovers.
Immediately after writing the word "leftovers,"
I knew I needed another word
that was more real, more definitive, and positive.
First I thought of the word re-do's.
But that implies it wasn't done right
the first time around
when it certainly was.
Then I considered do-overs.
But that, too, has a negative connotation.
I've put a lot of thought into this,
trying to come up with just the right word which describes
the process of what I do
in the life chain of the produce and viande
I prepare and serve and consume.

And my word is Moreovers.

Think about it:
You've already produced and served
a wonderful, satisfying, convivial repast.
So, what's next?
MORE is next.
When you say "Moreover,"
you're likely going to top what you previously said,
put an exclamation point there,
and/or put it in bold or italics.
So, I have no leftovers.

Anyhoos, like I said,
I'm acogitatin' on his dinner tonight.
I do not want to disappoint.

I think I have it.

With that in mind,
let's make this dish.

Because, I'll come back to the
"I think I have it"
part again.

Boy has had beef, chicken,
flounder, and shrimp dishes.
Every which way but loose.
He doesn't really care for sandwiches.
He won't eat anything twice in two days.
He doesn't like leftovers.

I went down to the freezer
and found a pack of 1-inch thick pork loins.

We haven't had pork in a while.

I'm thinking spicy. 
I'm thinking fruity.
I'm thinking alcoholic.

Boy liked this.
In fact, the NEXT DAY,
when his Friend visited,
he actually OK'd me to make this for lunch.
The same dish twice in two days!

There is no higher praise for me.

Like I said,
"I think I have it!"

Here's the plan:
I'm going to marinate my pork,
make an apple coleslaw,
and fry up some tortillas.
Marinade for sliced pork loins:
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp chili flakes
 (My own blend in the Gray Poupon jar)
1 tsp dried mustard
1 tsp cumin
4 garlic cloves, minced

Place all ingredients in a storage bag.
Mix well.
Add in one-inch thick pork loins and turn to coat.
Place in refrigerator for at least an hour,
massaging and turning the bag every now and then.
Let meat come to room temperature before cooking.

While the meat was marinating ...

... I started on the slaw.
I wanted slaw with a twist.

Rosie's Apple Slaw
1 cup chopped cabbage
1/3 cup chopped apple
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup chopped red onion
two small slightly hot peppers, seeds and ribs removed, and minced
3-4 mint leaves, minced
1 TB mayonnaise
1 TB sour cream
1 TB buttermilk
1 tsp dried mustard
1 TB rice vinegar
pinch of sea salt or Kosher salt
a few grinds of pepper

Give everything a fine chop.
When you chop the apple,
place the pieces in the lemon juice so they won't darken.

Mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk.

Dried mustard in.

Freshly ground salt and pepper and rice vinegar.

Toss and mix.
Cover and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes
so the flavors can blend.

Fry up a tortilla in 350° oil.

Drain on paper towels.

I placed the marinated pork
in 375° oil in an iron skillet.

These were ready in about 2 1/2 - 3 minutes each side.

Aren't they pretty?

And those are real sear marks!
I didn't use a Sharpie.

I sliced the pork into strips
and served it with rice and black beans,
apple slaw, grated cheddar cheese, 
and a sprinkling of cilantro.

This is what Middle Hawthorne had for supper.

I think I have it.
The Boy OK'd it for lunch the next day when his Friend was visiting.

And during lunch when I made this again,
 I found out how to do something
when I wasn't even trying.
Don't you just love serendipity?
I found out how to make the Puffy Taco!

I was frying the tortillas, one at a time,
and the temperature of the oil was getting hotter and hotter.
As in 400° - 425°.
When you put your tortilla in the hot oil.
press it down with your tongs
and use a spoon to pour the hot oil over the top side.

The tortilla will blow up.
Turn it on its sides and brown the edges, rotating.

Drain on paper towels.

My regular fried tortillas.

Puffy tortillas!!!

After I fried the tortillas ...
...  I started on the pork.

Please cook them perfectly.
Slightly pink inside.

Cover, set aside, and leave 'em alone for 10 minutes.
You want to let the juices be reabsorbed back into the meat.
If you cut now, you'll release all the juices.

This next part.
I really can't recommend that you do this.

I wanted rum flambéed pineapple slices.
So, I melted some butter in my skillet
and when it was sizzling hot,
I dropped the brown sugar-dusted pineapple slices in,
one at a time.

Brown on each side.

If you're following me at home,

This is just fine, as is.

However, Rosie, being Rosie, ...
... had to take this a step further.

Do not try this at home.
Leave it to the professionals and arsonists.
And I always have a fire extinguisher close at hand.
No ceiling was blackened during this.

Pineapple, brown sugar, and rum.
What's not to love?

Here's our lunch.
Seared pork.
Jasmine rice.
Black beans.
Flambéed pineapple slices.
Apple slaw.
Flat and puffy tacos!
Jalapenos and cilantro from the yard.

Pork is looking good.

I sliced open a puffy taco
and tucked in the apple slaw,
some pork strips, pineapple,
black beans and rice.
Sprinkle cilantro over top.

Everyone liked this.
I am very happy with all the flavors.
All good stuff, but special good 
when it all comes together on one plate.

This was a very harmonious meal.
I think I have it.

And you must wait until you see how I made Moreovers of this.


Marilyn said...

That looks wonderful, but maybe next time you should make your extra-picky eater cook a meal for you, so that he can make exactly what he wants. Plus, he can hone his culinary skills.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Great idea, Mar!
How's that working for you, dear?

Meredith said...

I was just perusing your blog for the apple slaw recipe, and was instantly reminded that this was the best meal I have ever had...EVER!!