Blackened pork tacos with a poblano tomatillo salsa

porktacos

This last week I haven’t had any time to make a meal plan. I’ve been too busy with sick children, being sick myself and trying to catch up on sleep.. So a meal plan was the LAST thing on my mind. So I did what any regular person would do- go to the grocery store and buy whatever is on sale or looks good! That is when the idea of these taco’s were born.

Poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, tomatillos… All green everything. It should be called the mean green charred salsa of the west. Right, there’s pork too. Blackened pork which is delicious. But the SALSA. I mean come on, this batch makes over a litre of salsa so you have an excuse to eat nacho’s smothered in cheese later.

The secret to this recipe that keeps the pork moist and tender is a DRY rub and an over night marinade. Or at least over an hour. Preferably 2. Ok the secret is baking soda. Why? because google said so. “Baking soda is an antacid. In other words, it works to neutralize acid. Rather than “denaturing” the meat as salt does, baking soda raises the pH on the surface of the meat, making the outside of the meat more alkaline. This chemical reaction makes it more difficult for the proteins in the meat to tighten up together.”

porktacos5

You’ve got to char these bad boys. (Jalapeños orange and extra lime not shown, oops.)

Blend it up and BAM – a deliciously fresh salsa with a citrus-y kick and the heat comes right after you get that citrus kick. It hits alllll the right spots on your tongue. I’m going to stop blabbing now, and post the recipe. You have GOT to try this.

porktacos3

Ingredients: Serves 8-10

For the rub/marinade:

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 1 TBSP baking soda
  • 2.5 TSP oregano
  • 1/2 TSP cumin
  • 1 TSP coriander
  • salt and pepper

For the Mean Green Salsa:

  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 8 tomatillos, shucked and washed
  • 6 scallions, ends trimmed
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 large red onion, quartered
  • 1 large lime, or 2 small limes halved. (1/4c fresh squeezed lime juice.)
  • 1/2 large navel orange
  • EVOO for drizzling
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 loosely packed cilantro, rough chopped
  • 1/2 TBSP honey or agave

For cooking the pork:

  • 2 TBSP EVOO
  • 1c red wine preferably, or chicken stock
  • 10 organic volcanic stone ground corn tortillas

Optional toppings:

  • Radishes, Avocado, diced tomatoes, cilantro, cheese

Directions:

  1. For the dry rub marinade: mix baking soda, oregano, salt, pepper, cumin and coriander in a small bowl. Rub all over your pork tenderloin. Put in the fridge to marinate uncovered for 1 hour up to 24 hours.
  2. For the salsa: Turn your oven to the broil setting. (about 550F) Place your poblanos, jalapeños, tomatillos, scallions, garlic cloves, onion, and limes on a baking sheet. drizzle with EVOO, sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked peppercorns. Put in the oven for 2-4 minutes. put a timer for 2 minutes, and check to see if they need an extra minute. It depends on your oven. there will be a bit of smoke. You’re charring the veg after all. Once the veg are slightly charred, remove from the oven.
  3. In a blender or food processor, juice your limes and your orange. Rough chop your charred vegetables and add to the blender. Add cilantro, honey and season again with salt and pepper. (not too much, I would blend ingredients first and taste. adjust your seasoning accordingly.)
  4. For the pork: Preheat your oven to 400F. In a well seasoned cast iron skillet over med-high heat, add your EVOO. Once hot, add your tenderloin. Blacken on all sides. This does not take long, I swear it’s the baking soda. once blackened on all sides, de-glaze the pan with your wine or stock. Swish (can I say swish?) your pork around to soak up and roll around in all those black bit flavours stuck on the pan. Remove from heat and put in the oven for 15 minutes. (Or until cooked to 145F)
  5. Remove pork from the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes while you chop up your Avo’s, radishes, cilantro and char your tortillas. I do this right on my gas burners. if you don’t have a gas stove, use a stainless steel skillet over med-high heat and add your tortillas to toast them. (not a non-stick, it’s dangerous to heat food with no oil or fat.)
  6. Slice your pork and assemble your tacos. YUM.

Thai chickpea & cauliflower taco’s with coconut peanut sauce

I said yesterday in my last post that I would be posting a micro green slaw recipe soon – that day is today! I decided to do a vegan dinner tonight, and what better protein replacement is there than chickpeas? Throw in some cauliflower and you’ve got a hearty taco filling! This isn’t a 30 minute dinner by any chance, especially when you have two tiny children under the age of 2.. but it is so worth it. This can be taco’s as shown, or make some rice noodles and have as a stir fry or even just eat it as a salad. I’m not the boss of you, do whatever you want with it! It is delicious either way!!

cauliflower chickpea tacos

Ingredients:

for the filling:

  • 2c chickpeas
  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into small florets
  • 1 tsp each of garlic powder and coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp evoo
  • 12 corn tortillas

For the slaw:

  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of green onions (greens only) thinly sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, grated or mathsticked
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 small handful each of these micro greens: cilantro, cabbage, onion and basil. (you can easily substitute regular herbs and cabbage for this. I am only using what I have on hand.)
  • salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper.)
  • 1/2c rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil (regular sesame oil is okay too.)
  • handful of raw cashews or peanuts  (throw them in when youre ready to eat.)

For the peanut sauce:

  • 1/2c natural peanut butter (nuts to you is my favourite.)
  • 5 tbsp coconut cream (do not shake your can of coconut milk. simply open, and scoop the cream off top.)
  • 5 tbsp coconut water (now you can stir your can and mix it together.)
  • 1 1/2 limes juiced
  • 1″ knob of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sriracha, plus more to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F.
  2. In a large bowl, add your cauliflower, chickpeas, evoo, salt, pepper, garlic and coriander. toss together. Place on a baking tray. bake for 26-30 minutes.
  3. in a medium sized bowl, add all slaw ingredients except for the nuts. let it sit for at least 10 minutes. mix frequently.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together all peanut sauce ingredients
  5. add peanuts to your slaw mixture.
  6. Once your chickpeas and cauliflower are cooked, it is time to assemble your taco’s. heat your taco shells on your stove (or microwave or oven) add your cauliflower mixture, then your slaw, and then smother with your peanut sauce. and enjoy!

Flank Steak Taco’s with a Tangy Avocado Sauce

I love taco night because it’s one of the quickest dinner ideas when you’re tired and need to get dinner on the table…. And because I love taco’s. Also, flank steaks are so large that in my tiny family, they feed us for days… I suggest if you’re not serving at least 4 to 5 people these taco’s, use the left overs in a stir fry. I used them in my other recipe Sticky & Sweet Pork Noodle Bowl. Obviously I just replaced the pork with the steak. Or, use it in Philly cheese steak sandwiches. mmmm. It’s a great way to use up the left overs instead of leaving them in the fridge to throw away later.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Ingredients: (makes about 10-12 taco’s)

  • 1 Flank steak, pounded to the same thickness
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • 10-12 corn or flour tortillas

Steak Rub:

  • 1/2 TBSP each: smoked paprika, chili powder, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, coriander
  • salt and pepper to taste

Avocado Sauce:

  • 1C Cilantro, rough chopped (doesn’t matter if there’s stems in there.)
  • 1 avocado, halved and divided
  • 2 small limes or 1 large lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 4 TBSP plain full fat greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat your outdoor grill to medium heat.
  2. Mix all of your steak rub ingredients together in a small bowl, then rub generously over all sides of your flank steak.
  3. Put your steak on the grill and cook on one side for about 5-7 minutes and then flip and continue cooking for another 5-7 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 125F.
  4. Once your steak reads 125F, remove it from the grill to a cutting board and cover it with tin foil and let it rest.
  5. While your steak is resting, take out a blender or food processor. Add all sauce ingredients. blend until a chunky smooth consistency. This is going to be a thicker sauce. If you need, feel free to add oil to thin it out a bit.
  6. Assemble your taco’s and garnish with pickled jalapeños and the other half of the avocado that wasn’t used in the sauce.

Flank Steak Taco’s with Cilantro Puree

IMG_20150625_194702

I love taco’s! This is plain and simple – but whenever I eat flank steak, I am sure to marinate it for at least 24 hrs up to 3 days. So in a baggie, add some evoo, red wine vinegar, garlic cloves, salt, pepper and whatever flavourings you prefer – thinly slice your steak AGAINST the grain a couple times, then add the steak and marinate.

Ingredients:

-1 medium sized flank steak

-10-12 corn tortillas

-salt + pepper to taste

-1 tsp cumin

-1 large bunch cilantro, washed – keep the stems.

-1/4-1/2c EVOO

-1-3tbsp lime juice

-1 tsp zest from a lime

-handful of any cheese you like! It is delicious enough without the cheese though!

Directions:

Season your flank steak on both sides with salt, pepper and cumin. Add a tbsp of EVOO to a frying pan over med heat. Add the steak. Brown on both sides until the internal temp reaches at least 125F (for medium rare, Feel free to cook to your own preference.)

In a food processor or blender, add your cilantro,  a pinch of salt and pepper, lime zest and 2 tbsp lime. Pulse. While pulsing slowly add in the 1/4c of oil. Taste. If it needs more seasoning or lime juice, add it. Add in the EVOO until you get to your desired consistency.

Serve over the beef in your taco’s!


Cajun pulled pork taco’s

If there is something that I love more than anything, it’s taco’s. Throw some pulled pork in those bad boys and I am in love entirely. This is a great recipe for pulled pork taco’s, you must try it!

11265206_10155556769330099_3571421412127651994_n

Ingredients:

10-15 corn tortilla shells

For the pork:

-1/4-1/2 c of your favourite cajun seasoning

-1 1lb pork tenderloin

-1 1/2c BBQ sauce

-1 1/2c chicken broth

For the slaw:

-1 large english cucumber, match sticked

-1 large carrot, peeled and grated

-1/2 bunch of cilantro, fine chopped

For the slaw dressing:

-1/4 c evoo

-1/4c rice wine vinegar

-2 tbsp honey – adjust to your taste

-salt and pepper

Directions:

Pat the pork tenderloin dry. season liberally on both sides. Place in a slow cooker. Add your bbq sauce and your chicken stock to the bottom of the pot. Do not pour over the pork as you want to keep that seasoning there. Cook on low for 8 hours. once the pork is finished cooking, you can shred it with two forks.  Reserve some of the cooking juices for mixing in to the shredded pork.

For the slaw: mix all of the dressing ingredients together, pour over the slaw. Toss.

Build your taco’s. These are really good with a sriracha mayo on them. Just mix sriracha, mayo and fresh lime juice!


Greek Lamb Taco’s with a chunky tzatziki sauce!

Taco  night is every night, right? Instead of an asian or mexican inspired taco, I wanted a greek inspired taco. Luckily there’s a “Real Deal Meats” just down the road that always has fresh ground lamb!

Ingredients:

-1 tsp canola oil

-1 lb ground lamb

-a pinch of salt, pepper, oregano

-1 garlic clove, minced

-1/4 red onion, minced

-1/4c red wine

-1tbsp tomato paste

-8-10 flour tortillas

-tzatziki + tomato relish

[For the tomato relish, dice up 1 roma tomato, 1/4 english cucumber, 1/4 of a red onion. Mix with 1 tbsp of evoo, 1 tbsp red wine vin and salt and pepper.]

[For the chunky tzatziki- 1/4 cucumber diced, 1/4 red onion diced, 1 garlic clove minced, 2 tbsp mint chopped and 1 c greek yogurt.]

Directions:

Heat your oil in a pan. Add your lamb, onion and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook 5-7 minutes until browned. Add in your red wine, stir. once the red wine has reduced, add in your tomato paste. Stir to incorporate and wake up the tomato paste. Remove from heat.

Assemble your taco’s, and add the tzatziki and tomato relish!

*This dish made it to the Edmonton journals “Gastropost” section!