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 !

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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 !

Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa

Ingredients

  • Salsa
    • 1 mango, peeled, pitted and diced
    • ½ medium red onion, finely diced
    • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced (we left the ribs and seeds in)
    • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • Pinch of kosher salt
    • Pinch of sugar
  • Tacos
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 ½ pounds peeled and deveined shrimp (we used extra-large shrimp)
    • 1 (6-ounce) can enchilada sauce (we used hot enchilada sauce)
    • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    • 16 small corn tortillas, warmed
    • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
    • Lime wedges, for serving

Directions

  1. Let’s get started with making the salsa first. Take a bowl out and mix together the mango, red onion, jalapeño and cilantro. Now add in the lime juice, salt and sugar, stirring to mix everything together.
  2. Now for the tacos ! Take a large heavy skillet out and pour the oil in, setting the heat to high. Once the oil’s hot, toss in the shrimp*, stirring them around for 2 to 3 minutes or until they look opaque. Turn the heat down to low and pour in the enchilada sauce, stirring to coat the shrimp. Add in the cumin and continue stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes. Add in the butter, stirring just long enough to melt the butter, taking the skillet off the heat immediately afterwards.
  3. Place the shrimp in the tortillas, topping it with the mango salsa and the avocado. Squeeze some lime juice over the taco and enjoy !

*We actually split cooking the shrimp into 2 batches so they could all be evenly cooked and have a chance to get seared.

This was such a delicious taco ! You get some sweetness from the mango and heat from the jalapeño and enchilada sauce. The butter gives the sauce a silky texture. We were so excited to eat this that we actually forgot to add on a squeeze of lime but we can only imagine that it would’ve made this that much tastier ! They never did say how many shrimp to put in each taco but we didn’t end up needing all 16 tortillas. We only ended up getting about 8 tacos.

This recipe came from The Pioneer Woman Magazine.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote The Pioneer Woman Magazine.

Take care everybody !

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds tomatillos, husks removed
  • 1 large poblano pepper
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped sweet onion
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (we used table salt)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)

Directions

  1. Preheat your broil (the recipe never says to, but we’d recommend moving your oven rack up one from the middle). Take a rimmed baking sheet and spray it with nonstick cooking spray (we lined our baking sheet with aluminum foil and then sprayed the foil with nonstick cooking spray).
  2. Cut the tomatillos and poblano in half, placing them on the baking sheet (cut-side down) afterwards. Stick them in the oven to broil for 5 minutes or until they are soft and look slightly charred (the original recipe does mention that you may need to remove some pieces before others). Once soft and slightly charred, take them out of the oven an off the baking sheet so they can cool down to room temperature.
  3. Take the lid off your food processor and add to it the tomatillos, poblano, onion, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse or process just long enough for the vegetables to get chopped and the salsa becomes slightly liquid. Put the salsa in a container, put the lid on it and let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours to get cold. If the salsa is stored in an airtight container it can last for up to a week.

This salsa is like chili, good the first day but even better the second !

This recipe came from a Paula Deen magazine.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Paula Deen’s magazine.

Take care everybody !

Roasted Salsa Roja

Ingredients

  • 3 tomatoes (about 1 ½ pounds total), quartered and cored
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion (1 small) (we used a yellow onion)
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 fresh jalapeño chile pepper, stemmed, halved, and seeded (we left the seeds in)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (we used 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup snipped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ to 1/3 cup lime juice (we used ¼ cup)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt (we used roughly ½ of table salt)

Directions

  1. Make sure your oven rack is set 5 to 6 inches from the broiler. Preheat the broiler. Take a large mixing bowl out and toss the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and chile pepper together in it. Pour enough oil in to coat everything. Take a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan out (we lined ours with aluminum foil) and spoon the mixture onto the pan, spreading it out so everything is in a single layer.
  2. Broil the vegetables for 8 minutes, turning them over afterwards. Broil for another 6 to 8 minutes or until the vegetables start to darken around the edges (7 minutes did the job for us). Take the baking  pan out of the oven and let it rest on a wire rack for 10 minutes, letting everything cool down.
  3. Take the roasted vegetables as well as any juices on the baking pan and place them in a food processor, pulsing on and off until everything’s coarsely chopped. Add the cilantro, lime juice and sugar into the food processor, continuing to pulse until the salsa has reached your own preferred consistency. Season to taste with salt. You can either eat this right away or put it in a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 day.

While this tastes good, we were surprised that this didn’t taste spicy at all since we left the jalapeño’s ribs and seeds in the mixture. We really enjoyed the lime flavor. It was just a nice blend of flavors that we enjoyed. As much as you might enjoy some salsa from jars, nothing can beat the flavors of a freshly made salsa ! We pureed our salsa more because I don’t care for the texture that bigger chunks of tomatoes have but whichever texture you choose, the flavor is there !

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Southwestern Nachos Potato Skins

We came across a 2010 issue of Food Network magazine where they made a themed potato skin for every team in the NFL and their toppings for the Arizona Cardinals themed potato skins was just too scrumptious to pass up without trying !

Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potatoes (we used 5*)
  • Melted butter
  • Salt and pepper, for seasoning (we used kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
  • Salsa (mommy used Pace Picante medium chunky salsa, I used La Victoria Thick’N Chunky Salsa Verde Medium that was pureed**)
  • Pickled jalapeño slices
  • Chopped scallions
  • Cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional) (we used Kraft Mexican Four Cheese)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take your potatoes and pierce them with a fork. Stick the potatoes in the oven, directly onto the oven rack and let them cook for one hour or until the potatoes are tender. Pull them out and let them cool (we let them cool for 15 minutes and found they were still hot so we cut them in half lengthwise and found that after an additional 15 minutes, they cooled down enough). Set the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Once the potatoes are cool, cut each potato into 4 pieces lengthwise and scoop out enough flesh until it’s only a ¼-inch thick shell. Take melted butter and brush both sides*** of the potato skin with it, seasoning the skins afterwards with salt and pepper. Stick the potato skins back in the oven, skin-side up, until the skin feels crisp, around 15 minutes or so should do the trick. If you want cheesy skins, flip the potato skins over, sprinkle the cheese over them and stick them back in the oven**** for an additional 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients into the potato skins and enjoy !

*Some of our potato skins fell apart so it really is a good idea to bake an extra potato just in case something goes wrong with one of the other potatoes.

**The picante salsa is red so it really pops better against the other toppings. Mommy like the flavor of the picante salsa with the other toppings and I enjoyed the salsa verde more even though it didn’t stand out color wise since it’s green.

***We brushed both sides of the potato with the butter when we stuck it in the oven and it dripped down to the bottom of the oven and created so much smoke ! We had to turn on the fan over the oven and lower the window so the smoke could go somewhere. It really freaked our cat Ghost out (he even hissed at the stove at one point) so we turned the heat off after 5 minutes and just left them in there for the remaining 10 minutes.

****After the butter fiasco, we decided to take a baking sheet out and line it with aluminum foil. We put the potato skins on the lined baking sheet, skin-side up, and spread the cheese over them afterwards. We put the baking sheet in the oven for the 5 minutes (oven still turned off but had plenty of residual heat) and it came out with the cheese melted and no mess to clean up like we would have, had we put the skins directly on the oven rack.

This is such a great game day snack even with the problems we ran into ! The skins might have been crispier had we left the oven on but otherwise it was still delicious. You can pick it up with your hands to eat and the skin’s firm enough that the toppings don’t go spilling everywhere. You get some heat and acidity from the salsa and pickled jalapeño slices, a freshness to the dish from the scallions and cilantro, the sour cream adds a tanginess as well as tempers the heat from the salsa and jalapeño slices, and it’s nice having that cheese flavor come through as well in the dish.  You can really change up the flavor of this simply by changing the salsa ! If we make this again in the future, we’ll probably skip spreading the melted butter over the flesh side of the potato skin.

We weren’t paid in any way to mention Food Network, La Victoria, Pace salsa or Kraft.

Take care everybody !

Pork Chop With Pineapple Salsa

(Since there were three of us, we tripled all the following ingredients)

Ingredients

  • Salsa
    • 1 cup pineapple chunks (we used canned pineapple chunks that we cut into smaller bite-size pieces)
    • ½ small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
    • ½ to 1 jalapeño chile (ribs and seeds removed for less heat) (we used 1 jalapeño and left the ribs and seeds in)
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (we used kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower (we just used vegetable oil)
  • 1 bone-in pork loin chop (8 to 10 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper (we used kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)

Directions

  1. Take a medium-sized mixing bowl out and combine all the salsa ingredients together in it, leaving the salsa off to the side for now.
  2.  Take a large skillet out and pour the oil in, setting the heat to medium. Season the pork with salt and pepper, dusting the pork with the flour afterwards. Once the oil’s hot, add the pork to the skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes (we went with 4 minutes) per side until the pork chop looks browned and the pork’s fully cooked. Take the pork chop out of the skillet, top it with the salsa and enjoy !

This was a really tasty dish. You should know though that there’s going to be a lot of leftover salsa. You could probably cook up a few more pork chops and still have enough salsa to top them with.

Recipe source unknown.

Hope you enjoy life !