Tag Archives: cinco de mayo recipes

Behold: al Pastor

8 May

Thank you Cinco de Mayo for being the perfect excuse to tinker with tacos.

We’ve been researching al pastor since gorging on them from a charming beach cantina. There is no shortage of sad online recipes (mostly involving slow cookers) but this winner is the closest to mimicking what makes al pastor so amazing minus the enormous rotisserie.

The trick is slicing the meat thinly into pieces about 3-inches-by-3-inches, and ¼-inch thick. Thread onto two parallel skewers to hold in place, packing tightly so there are no gaps (you’ll have enough to make three rows using six skewers.) Then it goes into a 250 degree oven for two to three hours.

And then you get this: succulent, chili-coated pork with crunchy bits and roasted pineapple to sweeten the deal.

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Start two days before by whizzing up this amazing marinade of guajillo chilies, garlic, avocado leaves, achiote paste, cumin, thyme, cinnamon, black pepper, kosher salt, apple cider vinegar and chicken stock.

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It makes enough to thickly coat 3 lbs of sliced pork shoulder.

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Perfect for threading onto these fantastic double-prong skewers from Lee Valley. We let these marinate for 48 hours.

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Then it’s time to set them on thick slices of pineapple and slow roast for two to three hours. The pineapple juices do their part to make this unforgettable.

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Don’t forget to flip these a few times to make sure everything gets covered in the juices while cooking.

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We scored some adorable mini flour tortillas to go with our favourite handmade mini corn tortillas from the Latin market. Bonus: they were selling queso fresco, so we grated some of that to go with chopped white onion.

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And here’s the spread, along with a molcajete brimming with guacamole and our favourite desert rose tortilla chip and refried bean dip (thank you Phoenix circa 1982).

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We are happy to report this recipe is another bulletproof keeper, just like our favourite carnitas recipe.

3 pounds boneless pork shoulder
2 dried guajillo chilies, stems and seeds removed
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 dried avocado leaves (found at Latin market but still not sure they’re necessary)
1/4 cup achiote paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (will try a smidge less)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 pineapple
12 corn tortillas, warmed (or a stockpile of mini corn and flour tortillas)

Cinco De Mayo

2 May


Cinco de Mayo is upon us.

So festive! We’ve been experimenting with slow cooked carne asada and carnitas for the past few years. We love stuffed roasted poblanos, and we’ve added a strong list of tacos to our arsenal: bright orange and cilantro chicken, sweet potato, lime and and chipotle chicken, and shrimp and fish.

And we recently acquired granite molecajete. Ole.

So, while we have a satisfying collection of tried and true recipes, here are two very basic condiments that have escaped us: pickled red onions and simple crema for fish tacos.

PICKLED RED ONIONS <
Cebollas en Escabeche from Rick Bayless
1 small red onion, peeled and cut in half
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Thinly slice the onions with mandoline. Add to a non-reactive bowl. Pour boiling water over to wilt them for about 10 seconds. Drain immediately.
Add back to empty bowl, and pour lime juice over, stirring in salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Will last for a week or more in the refrigerator.

CREMA
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream or heavy (whipping) cream
1/4 cup milk
Mix together.

SALTED CABBAGE\
1/2 very small green cabbage, coarsely grated
Juice of 1/2 lime
Pinch Maldon sea salt
Combine everything together and let it sit for 20 minutes. The cabbage will wilt slightly, but will retain its crunch.

Cinco de Mayo

2 May


Holy mother of eff. These are a revelation. Who would think butter, cilantro, chipotle and orange juice would be dynamite?

THE GREATEST CHICKEN TACOS EVER or Easy Chicken Tacos
America’s Test Kitchen
3 T. unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
3/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 c. orange juice
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp. yellow mustard
salt & pepper
12 (6-inch) flour tortillas, warmed
shredded lettuce, grated cheese, diced avocado,
diced tomato & sour cream (for toppings)

Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chipotles and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cilantro, the orange juice, and Worcestershire and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and simmer, covered, over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes (depending on thickness it might be more), flipping the chicken halfway through. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil.

Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard. Shred the chicken into bite-size pieces and return to the skillet. Add the remaining cilantro and toss until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the tortillas and top with desired toppings.