Friday, February 14, 2014

Two Tacos and a Mexican Coke!

Lucy ordering tacos from our mudroom. She's obsessed with them

As you have seen from my many recipes, I have a love of all Mexican Foods. Back in June (a lifetime ago!) The Husband and I had some friends over as a Good-Bye Dinner. I decided I was going to make tacos. As we have a few vegetarian friends, and I can't just make one dish, I decided as our final time hosting a meal in Chicago, I was going to go all out. Guacamole, Cojita cheese, Crema, Picked Cilantro, Warmed Corn Tortillas ect. The dinner was a total hit, and I've gone back to those recipes more than a few times here in Pittsburgh.

And of course, each time I do something more elaborate. Most recently I made two different salsas (Verde and a Roasted Tomato), pickled my own red onions  and made "Big Star Sauce" which is essentially Crema mixed with Sriracha. Yes, it is as delicious as it sounds, and so easy, I don't even need to give you a recipe. 

So I know you're chomping at the bit. What types of Tacos did I make? Why Papas (Potato) and a Coconut-Lime Pork. They require prep time for sure. But you can do pretty much all of it the night before. And I promise you, they're totally worth it. Even if you don't get as crazy as I do, which is most people, you'll be insanely happy with the results.

And of course, even if you're not going all out, head to your local bodega and grab a Mexican Coke. It tastes so good with your tacos!



4 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
2 Onions, halved and cut in 1/4-inch slices lengthwise
2 Red Peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and julienned
4 Poblano Peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and julienned
1 Cup heavy cream
3/4 Cup grated Mexican manchego or Monterey Jack cheese
2/3 Cup grated Cotija cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

This can be done the night before: Heat the oven to 400 degrees, roast the peppers until the skin blisters. Turn off the oven, leave the peppers in there to cool. Once cooled, peal the skin off. Cut and store for the evening. To cook the potatoes, fill a sauce pan with salted water and bring boil. Add the potatoes and cook  until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes, don't overcook, or they will crumble later. Drain, pat dry, and spread in a single layer on a tray to cool.

When you are ready to service, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions with salt and pepper until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in red bell peppers and poblanos. Pour in heavy cream, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cook 4 minutes or until cream begins to thicken. Add grated cheeses and potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until just heated through. Remove from heat.

The mixture is going to look kind of like mac and cheese. It's going to taste about 1000% better

Coconut-Lime Pork Tacos


1 LB Ground Pork
1 Onion, Chopped
1 Garlic Clove, sliced thinly
1 1/2 TSP Ground Cumin
1 1/2 TSP Chili Powder
1 TSP Oregano
1 TSP Spanish Smoked Paprika
Cayenne pepper, to taste
2/3 Cups coconut milk, stirred
2 TBS freshly squeezed lime juice,
1 15 ounce can cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
Cayenne to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and a large pinch of salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until they've softened, about five minutes. Push the onion and garlic to one side of the pan, and add the cumin, paprika, oregano, and cayenne. Let sizzle in the pan until they’re toasted and fragrant, about 1 minute. It's going to smell amazing, you'll know when they're done. Combine the spice with the garlic and onion until everything is evenly coated.

Add the pork to the pan and cook over medium high heat, being sure to break up all of the chunks of meat. Cook until is just barely cooked through and then remove any excess fat from the pan.
Finally, add the coconut milk and simmer for around five minutes. The mixture will thicken and turn a lighter color. Stir in the black beans and the lime juice and cook until the beans are warmed. Add salt and pepper to taste.

You want the pork to sit in the coconut-lime mixture for as long a possible, so serve in a bowl with a slotted spoon.

Warm some corn tortillas and enjoy!

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