Pork Tacos With Pineapple-Serrano Salsa

Ingredients

  • For the pork:
    • 1 (4-pound) pork shoulder
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
    • 3 tablespoons paprika (we used smoked paprika)
    • 1 tablespoon ground cayenne
    • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon onion powder
    • Salt and pepper to taste (we didn’t know what amount to go with so we used 1 tablespoon each of table salt and freshly ground black pepper)
    • ¾ cup chicken stock
    • ¾ cup pineapple juice
    • Warmed corn tortilla taco shells for serving
    • Hot sauce for serving (we used Taco Bell’s Fire Sauce)
  • For the salsa:
    • 1 ½ cups finely chopped pineapple
    • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
    • 2 serranos, finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • Salt and pepper to taste (we used kosher salt)

Directions

  1. Trim any excess fat off the pork before cutting it into big 2- to 3-inch cubes.
  2. Place the cubed pork in a large mixing bowl. Pour the olive oil into the bowl as well as adding in the paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Toss to ensure that the cubed pork is evenly coated in the oil and spices.
  3. Take a stockpot out (we used a Dutch oven) and set the heat to medium on the stovetop. Once it’s hot, add the pork into the stockpot, searing on all sides until it looks nicely browned (we seared our pork in 3 separate batches so all of the pork could have a chance at getting a good sear).
  4. Pour the chicken stock and pineapple juice in, stirring to mix afterwards. Put the lid on the stockpot and cook on low so it can simmer for 4 hours or until the pork is easily pulled apart. Drain any excess liquid and shed the pork using two forks.
  5. Make the salsa simply by taking a large bowl and adding all the salsa ingredients into it, stirring to combine.
  6. Place the shredded pork in the warmed tortillas and top with scoops of the salsa and some dashes of the hot sauce.

We fell in love with this dish. The pork was nice and tender and had so much flavor. The only problem we had with it really was that it was a little salty so next time we fix this (and there’s definitely going to be a next time) we’ll try adding just 2 teaspoons of salt. The pineapple salsa, that was addictive ! You definitely get the heat in this but despite the spiciness you can still get a nice sweetness from the pineapple and it just becomes this sweet and spicy combo that you want to put on as many things as possible ! The taco’s great with or without the hot sauce but if you choose to use it then you’ll get that much more flavor and a little bit more heat.

We got this recipe from Chile Pepper magazine.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Taco Bell or Chile Pepper magazine.

Take care everybody !

Grandma’s Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and cut into 1 ½-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 onions, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (15 oz. each) cans tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup dry red wine (we used a cabernet sauvignon)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided (we used sharp cheddar cheese)
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • Chopped fresh cilantro and lime wedges to serve with the finished enchiladas (we didn’t use them)

Directions

  1. Move your oven rack down to the lower-middle position before preheating the oven to 300 degrees. Using paper towels, pat the cubed beef dry before seasoning the beef with salt and pepper. Take a large Dutch oven out and pour 1 tablespoon of the oil in, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot enough for it to just start smoking, add half of the beef in, turning the meat when necessary so that all sides get browned (the original recipe says it should take 8 minutes for this to occur but it’s better to go based off the look of the beef rather than the time). Take the browned meat out and place it in a bowl. Pour the remaining oil and repeat the process with the second half of the meat, adding it to the bowl as well once it’s browned.
  2. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot (we left all the fat in). Toss in the onions as well as ½ teaspoon of salt and stir occasionally for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions have softened. Now add in the chili powder, cumin, coriander, cayenne and ¼ teaspoon of pepper, stirring constantly for 2 minutes or until the spices get slightly darkened and become fragrant. Add in the garlic and continue stirring constantly for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in the tomato sauce* and wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Wait for the dish to come up to a simmer (shouldn’t have to wait long).
  3. Carefully add the beef back into the Dutch oven along with any accumulated juices from the bowl. Bring the dish back up to a simmer, putting the lid on the Dutch oven afterwards. Take the Dutch oven and place it in the oven to cook for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until the meat is tender. Once tender, take the Dutch oven out and scoop the beef out, placing it on a plate afterwards.
  4. Move the oven rack up to the middle position and turn the oven temperature up to 375 degrees. Take a 13- x 9-inch baking dish out and grease the inside of it (we used nonstick cooking spray). Take ¾ cup of the sauce from the Dutch oven and spread it out over the bottom of the greased baking dish. Leave the baking dish off to the side for now.
  5. Once the meat’s cooled down enough for you to handle, shred it into bite-size pieces, placing the shredded pieces in a large mixing bowl. Add ¼ cup of the sauce as well as 1 cup of the cheese to the bowl and mix until everything’s combined.
  6. Spray the tortillas on both sides with vegetable oil spray and lay them on a rimmed baking sheet, placing them in the oven just long enough to get them warm and pliable, roughly a minute (we just warmed up or tortillas in a skillet). Spread the tortillas out on a counter and place 1/3 cup of the meat mixture in the center of each tortilla. Tightly roll up the tortilla and place it seam-side down in the baking dish.
  7. Take the remaining sauce in the Dutch oven and pour it over the enchiladas, making sure to spread the sauce out evenly over all of them. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the enchiladas and cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the enchiladas are heated through and the cheese on top has melted. Serve with cilantro and lime wedges and enjoy !

*The dish becomes a vicious bitch at this point, the sauce will start bubbling and shooting out EVERYWHERE ! It got on the counter, the stovetop, the floor and especially on us (mommy almost shot in the eye by the sauce) so be careful during this part and also make sure you’re not wearing anything you’re not okay with getting stained. Take a look for yourself:

We will say that the dish is worth the mess though !

(We just wanted to show you the awesome fat distribution in the chuck-eye roast.)

So we messed up some. We were trying to clean up as we went while making this and since we didn’t read through all the way, we actually threw away the remaining sauce after getting the ¾ cup needed in step 4. We had some leftover shredded beef though and spread that out over the enchiladas to keep them from drying out in the oven. While they still tasted delicious, we know they would’ve tasted and looked even better had we been able to use the sauce instead. We’ll make this again in the future so we can take a picture and show you what it’s really supposed to come out looking like.

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Spinach Mushroom Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. baby portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. butter (we used salted butter)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup white wine or chicken broth (we used chicken broth)
  • 12 oz. chopped fresh spinach, coarsely chopped (we used baby spinach)
  • ½ tsp. seasoned salt, divided
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 ½ cups (12 oz.) sour cream
  • ½ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 in.), warmed (we only ended up using 8*)
  • 1 ½ cups (6 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (we used pepper jack cheese)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take a large skillet out and add the butter to it. Once the butter’s melted, add in the mushrooms and onion, stirring them around occasionally until tender. Toss in the garlic, cooking for an additional minute. Take half of the mushroom mixture out and leave off to the side for the sauce.
  2. Pour the broth into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add in the spinach and ¼ tsp. seasoned salt, continuing to stir just long enough for the spinach to wilt and the liquid to evaporate (we add in some kosher salt to bring out the flavors more).
  3. Take a large saucepan out and add to it the water, lime juice, chicken bouillon, garlic powder and the remaining seasoned salt, stirring to dissolve the bouillon. Turn the heat up high enough for boiling to occur. Once boiling, stir in the sour cream, cilantro and the mushroom mixture you had put off to the side (we actually turned our heat down because we were afraid of the sour cream breaking). Stir until the sauce is heated through.
  4. Get a 13- x 9-inch baking dish out and grease the inside (we used nonstick cooking spray). Take 3 tablespoons of the spinach mixture and place it down the middle of the tortilla. Roll it up and place it seam side down in the greased baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas until the filling is all used up. Pour the sauce over the filled tortillas, sprinkling the cheese on afterwards. Stick it in the oven for 14-18 minutes or until it’s heated through. Add pepper flakes on if you’d like.

*We don’t know if we packed our 3 tablespoons of filling more than they did but for some reason we only had enough filling for 8 tortillas.

As you can see from the first picture, this is a very cheesy dish. It was hard to get a good picture because this was oozing with all the cheese and the creamy sauce. While it may not be the prettiest looking, this is so delicious ! The sauce has a tanginess to it and two enchiladas were enough to have us feeling full. The enchiladas are great on their own but adding the crushed red pepper flakes brings a heat to the dish and makes it that much more scrumptious !

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Chile & Coke Carnitas

Ingredients

  • 4 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn (we left the chiles whole, stem included)
  • 2  dried chipotle chiles, stemmed (we left the stems on)
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • 1 bulb garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
  • 1 can cola (12 oz.) (we used caffeine-free coca-cola)
  • 1 Tbsp. each ground cumin, ground coriander, dried oregano, kosher salt and black pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1 bone-in pork shoulder roast (5-6 lb.)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar (we used light brown sugar)
  • Salt to taste (we used kosher salt)
  • Flour tortillas (we used taco-sized tortillas)
  • Toppings: pickled onions (we made ours using the recipe for pickled onions found in the Deviled Egg Macaroni Pasta Salad recipe), pickled radishes (we made ours based off the recipe within the Smoky Pork BBQ Sandwiches recipe), crumbled cotija cheese, cilantro sprigs and lime wedges

Directions

  1. Take a skillet out and set the heat to medium. Place the chiles in the skillet, toasting them for 5 minutes or until fragrant (we turned the chiles occasionally during that time). Take a 7-qt. slow cooker out and add to it the toasted chiles, onions, garlic and cola.
  2. Mix the tablespoon of salt, cumin, coriander, oregano, and pepper together, rubbing the mixture all over the pork, placing the pork in the slow cooker afterwards. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook the pork on HIGH for 6 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone.
  3. Take the pork out of the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board. Once it’s cool enough for you to handle, shred the meat. Don’t put the meat in the slow cooker just yet.
  4. If you left your chiles whole like us, now would be the time to remove their stems returning them to the slow cooker afterwards. Skim what you can of the fat from the surface of the liquid in the slow cooker, throwing the fat away afterwards. Take a hand blender* and puree the liquids and solids in the slow cooker. Add the lime juice, brown sugar and shredded pork to the slow cooker, stirring to combine. Take a bite and season with salt if needed.
  5. Serve the carnitas in the tortillas, adding on the toppings afterwards.

*We didn’t have a hand blender so we just put the cooking liquid, chiles, onions and garlic into a regular blender, pureed the mixture and poured it back into the slow cooker afterwards.

When we toasted the chiles, they puffed up and just had to show you what they looked like:

We’d suggest getting this going at the beginning of the day because we don’t know if it was something we did or the recipe got it wrong but it took more than the 6 hours listed for the meat to be tender enough that the bone slid right out ! It ended up taking so long that we didn’t get to actually try the dish until the next day. When we did try it though, oh my god it was so delicious ! You can’t pick any one specific flavor, you just know it’s delicious as fuck ! The meat can stand on its own for flavor but the toppings make it that much better.

We got this recipe from Cuisine at Home.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Cuisine at Home or coca-cola.

Take care everybody !

Veggie Tacos

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
  • ¾ pound zucchini, trimmed and diced
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (we used table salt)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1 can (14 ½ ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (8 ¾ ounces) corn, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • ¾ cup salsa verde (we used our Roasted Tomatillo Salsa)
  • 1 package (4.6 ounces) hard taco shells or 12 soft corn tortillas (we used hard taco shells)
  • 2/3 cup crumbled farmer cheese or queso blanco (we used queso fresco)
  • Lime wedges

Directions

  1. Take a large nonstick skillet out and pour the oil in, setting the heat to somewhere between medium to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, toss in the zucchini and scallions, cooking for 5 minutes. Add in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper, stirring constantly for one minute.
  2. Add the beans, corn, spinach and salsa to the skillet, stirring to combine. Continue to stir for 3 to 4 minutes or until the spinach has wilted (ours took less than 3 minutes)
  3. While the spinach is getting wilted, heat up your taco shells or tortillas in the microwave for 45 seconds or however long the package they came in says to. Spoon roughly 1/3 cup of the vegetable mixture into each taco shell, sprinkling the cheese on afterwards and squeezing the lime wedge over the taco. Only thing left to do now is to eat it !

We did have to season this with some kosher salt to bring out the maximum flavor in the dish. This really does taste the best once you have the cheese and lime juice with the taco filling. Choosing to go with the hard tacos shells gave the dish a crunch that’d be missing otherwise.

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Green Poblano Rice

Ingredients

  • 4 poblano chiles
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups uncooked converted white rice
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley (we used Italian parsley)
  • ½ teaspoon salt, if desired (we used it)

Directions

  1. Take the poblanos and place them over the open flames of a gas stove, turning occasionally until the skin is blistered and looks lightly charred. If you don’t have a gas stove like us, then preheat your broiler and take a baking sheet out and line it with aluminum foil. Coat the poblanos with oil (not the 2 tablespoons mentioned in the ingredients list) and place them on the lined baking sheet. Stick the sheet under the broiler (on the first rack above the middle one) and cook until they look blistered, turning the poblanos occasionally with tongs. Take the chiles and place them in food-storage plastic bags for around 10 minutes so their skins loosen up. You can take the skin off by simply running your hands down the chile and peeling the skin off. Cut a vertical slit into one side of the chile, opening it up one side, carefully removing the seeds and stems afterwards.
  2. Take the lid off your blender and place the poblanos, cilantro, 2 cups of the chicken broth and the bouillon granules into it. Put the lid back on and blend for 45 seconds or until smooth. Strain the mixture, throwing away solids (we pureed ours so we had no solids to throw away). Leave the poblano sauce off to the side for now.
  3. Take a 12-inch skillet out and pour the olive oil in, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, toss in the onion and garlic, stirring constantly for one minute. Add the rice into the skillet, stirring now and then for 5 minutes or until the rice looks lightly golden.
  4. Stir in the poblano sauce, followed by the remaining chicken broth, half of the parsley and the salt (if you’re adding salt that is). Turn the heat down to low and put the lid on the skillet, cooking for anywhere between 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice is almost tender. Mix in the remaining parsley at this point.
  5. Turn the heat up to medium, taking the lid off afterwards. Cook for an additional 3 minutes or until any liquid in the skillet’s been absorbed. Take a bite of the rice and see if you need to add any additional salt (we did). Let it stand for 5 minutes before digging in.

This recipe does take a bit of work but the flavor is so worth it !

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Refried Beans

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons bacon grease (we cooked up some thick-cut peppered bacon to get our bacon grease)
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 serrano peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (15-ounces each) cans pinto beans, including the liquid
  • ¼ cup crumbled cotija cheese (we didn’t measure how much we used)

Directions

  1. Pour the bacon grease into a large skillet, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the grease is hot, add in the onion, serranos and garlic, stirring constantly for 2 to 3 minutes or until the onions look slightly translucent. Take the serranos out of the skillet and either throw them away or keep them and chop them up to use as a topping (we kept ours and just sliced them). Add in the beans and their liquid, mashing the beans with a potato masher or wooden spoon (we used a potato masher). Mash until you reach your own preferred consistency, stirring afterwards until the beans are warmed through. Serve right away, topping with cheese and the chopped serrano.

These refried beans are so damn good ! If you choose not to use cotija cheese then you may need to add some salt to the beans but otherwise the cheese will bring all the saltiness you need. Just to give you a heads up, the blistered serranos pack a lot of heat so even just a few slices will probably provide enough spiciness for your individual portion.

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ lb. boneless pork shoulder, trimmed
  • 1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • ¾ tsp. black pepper, divided (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice, divided
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice, divided
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 dried ancho chile
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 white onion, sliced (we sliced ours about ¼ in. thick) (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 oregano sprigs
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
  • 6 Tbsp. chopped white onion
  • Cilantro sprigs (optional)
  • Lime wedges (optional)

Directions

  1. Cut the pork up into 3-inch pieces, placing them in a large ziplock bag afterwards. Sprinkle the brown sugar, ½ teaspoon pepper and ½ teaspoon salt over the pork.  Add 2 tablespoons each of the lime juice and orange juice to the bag and seal, removing as much air as possible*. Refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours.
  2. Add the hot water and dried ancho chile to a large bowl, letting it sit for 10 minutes. Take ¼ cup of the ancho soaking liquid and leave it off to the side for now along with the ancho chile. Take a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker out and add the pork to it, discarding the marinade that the pork was in. Add the garlic, sliced onion, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, oregano, ancho chile, that reserved ¼ cup soaking liquid, the remaining 2 tablespoons each of orange juice and lime juice. Put a lid on the slow cooker and let it cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours or until the meat is very tender.
  3. Take the pork out of the slow cooker and place it in a container for the time being. Take a bowl out and place a fine wire-mesh strainer over it. Pour the cooking liquid from the slow cooker through the strainer, throwing away any solids. Measure out ½ cup of the cooking liquids, throwing away any leftover liquid afterwards. Take a large cast-iron skillet out and pour the canola oil in, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, add in the pork, searing it for one minute without moving it**. Take the pork out of the skillet and place it back in the container. Pour the reserved ½ cup of cooking liquid into the skillet, scraping up any bits of pork stuck to the skillet, pouring it over the pork afterwards. Add the salt and pepper to the pork, shredding the pork afterwards. Divide the pork up afterwards among the tortillas, topping each one with 1 ½ teaspoons of chopped onions (we didn’t measure how much much we used). Serve with the cilantro and lime wedges if you’d like.

*After getting as much air out as possible, we rolled the ziplock bag up as tight as possible to help the pork absorb as much flavor as possible.

**We weren’t sure if they wanted you to sear one side only or all sides but we decided to sear for one minute on the first side and 30 seconds – 1 minute on the other sides.

The pork tasted great the first day we had this but the second day, the flavors were even stronger ! The char on the outside of the pork brings a smoky flavor to the taco and is a nice contrast against the tender parts of meat. The toppings bring a freshness to the dish and the onions offer a nice crunch as well.

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !