Pork Tacos

BAHN0MI-TACO

As you all know Instagram is “the go to” for all teenagers. My 17-year-old-foodie found this recipe for Bahn-Mi Puffy Tacos from Tastemade on Instagram, and of course wanted to make it. I jumped at the opportunity to spend “quality time” with my son. It was actually a super simple recipe, and didn’t take that long to prep or cook! Thanks, Tastemade, and thank you, Lucas! These tacos were amazing!  (Video link below).

For the pork: 

  • 1/2 pound boneless pork chop cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic finely minced and ground black pepper to taste

For the pickled vegetables:

  • 1 carrot peeled and shredded
  • 4-5 few radishes thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium cucumber thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Taco Shells and Garnishes:

  • 4-6 corn tortillas
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • cilantro, to taste
  • spicy mayo (equal parts Sriracha and mayonnaise)
  • oil for frying

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine pork and marinade ingredients. Allow to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Make the pickles: in a bowl or sealable container, mix vinegar, sugar, and salt. Then mix in the vegetables and let sit for at least 1 hour.
  3. Drain off the pork marinade. Heat a little bit of oil in a pan, and cook the pork until caramelized. Should take about 5 minutes.
  4. In a shallow pot, heat oil to 375°F – Carefully lower one tortilla at a time into the oil. Once the tortilla begins to puff up and rise to the top, gently push the edge of a metal spatula into the center, bending it in half like a taco shape. Hold in place and cook until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and repeat the process.
  5. To assemble: Fill the puffy taco shells with the caramelized pork, and top with the pickled vegetables, jalapeño, cilantro, and a drizzle of spicy mayo.

Here is the instructional video from Tastemade Pork Tacos

 

Fish Tacos

Well, after experimenting with different ways to use Open Blue’s Cobia (aka Black Kingfish), I decided to create a new fish taco recipe. After spending 10 days in Mexico with my family, I really felt like I had tasted ample local flavor, in order to attempt to create something that my family would be proud of… and the verdict was… “This is, by far, the best fish tacos I have EVER had”, a direct quote from my foodie (a try food snob) 16-year-old son! Wahoo!!! It truly warmed my heart. Well, so here it goes:

Cobia Fish Marinade*:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 pound of Cobia (black kingfish) cut into 4 pieces
  • Salt
  • 2 limes cut into quarters

Pickled Onions:

  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • About 1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar

Tacos shells:

  • 8 fresh corn tortillas (We love the brand Mariposa)
  • 2 cups of canola oil

Avocado Crema:

  • 2 avocados
  • ½ Tsp salt
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup sour cream

Pico De Gallo:

  • 1 ⅓ cup of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 chopped green chili
  • juice of ½ lime
  • ¼ Tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp seeded and minced jalapeño (optional)

Bean and Corn Salsa:

  • 1 cup of sweet corn (organic canned)
  • 1 cup black beans (organic)
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 1 tbsp cilantro
  • ¼ Tsp salt

Preparation:

Marinate the Onion: Put the onion in a small bowl and pour in enough red wine vinegar to cover well. Set aside for at least 30 minutes or up to several weeks.

Marinate the Fish: Pour the olive oil into a small bowl and add the ancho chile powder, cumin, and chopped cilantro. Mix well. Place the fish in a plastic bag and pour the marinade over it, making sure to massage and coat the fish well on all sides. Allow marinating for at least 20 minutes. I marinated mine for 2 hours.

Avocado Crema: In a food processor, add the avocados, salt, and cilantro. Puree until smooth. Remove from food processor and stir in the sour cream.

Pico De Gallo/Salsa:  For both the Pico De Gallo and the Bean salsa. Mix all of the ingredients together. (I kept them separated).

Cook the Fish: Heat a nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Remove the fish from the marinade and place in the hot pan (there is no need to add more oil). Season the fish with salt. Cook the fish for 4 minutes undisturbed, then turn over, and cook for another 2 minutes or until cooked through and opaque. Remove the pan from the heat and flake the fish into the pan with a fork, making sure to mix in all the marinade that has stuck to the bottom of the pan. Check for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Set aside.

corn-tacosMake the Tortillas Tacos Shells: In a large deep pot, add the oil and cook on medium-high. One by one, place the corn tortillas into the oil, flip over after 10 seconds and make sure both sides start to puff up and brown, crease the middle and bend the tortillas in half, and submerge them until they are crisp. Place them on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Assemble and Serve: To assemble the tacos, place a heaping spoonful of the marinated flaked fish onto the center of a tortilla, add a squeeze of lime. Top with the both the Pico del Gallo and the bean salsa, and marinated onions. Serve with a dollop of avocado crema and cilantro.

*Inspiration from a fish taco marinade I found on Epicurious – made some modifications to the ingredients – the rest of the ingredients are my creation.

Balsamic Glazed Pork and Peaches

Pork and Peaches

I’m always trying to find new and different flavors to combine with pork chops, other than the traditional apple. So, I reached for my ever trustworthy and inspirational book, “The Flavor Bible“. It had all of these ingredients listed in the “affinities” section. And I actually did get the thumbs up from my hyper-critical-foodie-son to add it to my blog. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 4 Pork loin chops
  • 3 organic peaches or 1 bag frozen peaches (thawed), chopped into 1/2″ chunks
  • 12 fresh sage leaves, fried
  • 12 leaves, small slices
  • 2 tbsp of butter (if Paleo and avoiding dairy, use olive oil)
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Drizzle of balsamic reduction (recipe here)
  • salt and pepper to taste

In an iron skillet, on high heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter. Salt pork chops. Add the pork chops and cook 5 minutes on each side until internal temperature reaches 135 degrees. Remove pork chops and let rest. Add in 1 tbsp butter, balsamic vinegar and reduce down, cooking about a minute. Add in the chopped peaches, and sliced sage, stir around to cover and cook until semi-soft, approximately 3 minutes. Remove peaches and place on top of pork chops. Drizzle balsamic reduction over peaches and pork. Add salt and pepper to the dish and place 3 fried sage leaves. Serves 4.

(Cobia) Fish Tacos

fish-tacos-home1
pico-de-gallo bean-corn-salsa avocado-crema2

Well, after experimenting with different ways to use Open Blue’s Cobia (aka Black Kingfish), I decided to create a new fish taco recipe. After spending 10 days in Mexico with my family, I really felt like I had tasted ample local flavor, in order to attempt to create something that my family would be proud of… and the verdict was… “This is, by far, the best fish tacos I have EVER had”, a direct quote from my foodie (a try food snob) 16 year old son! Wahoo!!! It truly warmed my heart. Well, so here is goes:

Cobia Marinade*:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 pound of Cobia (black kingfish) cut into 4 pieces
  • Salt
  • 2 limes cut into quarters

Pickled Onions:

  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • About 1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar

Tacos shells:

  • 8 fresh corn tortillas (We love the brand Mariposa)
  • 2 cups of canola oil

Avocado Crema:

  • 2 avocados
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup sour cream

Pico De Gallo:

  • 1 ⅓ cup of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 chopped green chile
  • juice of ½ lime
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp seeded and minced jalapeño (optional)

Bean and Corn Salsa:

  • 1 cup of sweet corn (organic canned)
  • 1 cup black beans (organic)
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 1 tbsp cilantro
  • ¼ tsp salt

Preparation:

Marinate the Onion: Put the onion in a small bowl and pour in enough red wine vinegar to cover well. Set aside for at least 30 minutes or up to several weeks.

Marinate the Fish: Pour the olive oil into a small bowl and add the ancho chile powder, cumin, and chopped cilantro. Mix well. Place the fish in a plastic bag and pour the marinade over it, making sure to massage and coat the fish well on all sides. Allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes. I marinated mine for 2 hours.

Avocado Crema: In a food processor, add the avocados, salt and cilantro. Puree until smooth. Remove from food processor and stir in the sour cream.

Pico De Gallo/Salsa:  For both the Pico De Gallo and the Bean salsa. Mix all of the ingredients together. (I kept them separated).

Cook the Fish: Heat a nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Remove the fish from the marinade and place in the hot pan (there is no need to add more oil). Season the fish with salt. Cook the fish for 4 minutes undisturbed, then turn over, and cook for another 2 minutes or until cooked through and opaque. Remove the pan from the heat and flake the fish into the pan with a fork, making sure to mix in all the marinade that has stuck to the bottom of the pan. Check for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Set aside.

corn-tacosMake the Tortillas Tacos Shells: In a large deep pot, add the oil and cook on medium-high. One by one, place the corn tortillas into the oil, flip over after 10 seconds and make sure both sides start to puff up and brown, crease the middle and bend the tortillas in half, and submerge them until they are crisp. Place them on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Assemble and Serve: To assemble the tacos, place a heaping spoonful of the marinated flaked fish onto the center of a tortilla, add a squeeze of lime. Top with the both the pico del gallo and the bean salsa, add marinated onions. Serve with a dollop of avocado crema, and cilantro.

fish-tacos2 fish-tacos-home

 

 

 

 

 

*Inspiration from a fish taco marinade I found on Epicurious – made some modifications to the ingredients – the rest of the ingredients below are my creation.

Bresaola Arugula Panini with Balsamic Reduction

brassoula-arugula-press-A1

So I finally purchased my first Panini press, and it has transformed my world of sandwiches! My son returned from his month away at camp and asked me to make him lunch… so out came the press that we have both wanted forever, The Brevile Panini Duo! This creation of came together with the help of the balsamic reduction I made for my Buffalo burger.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces of white sandwich bread
  • 8 thin slices of Bresaola
  • 4 slices of manchego cheese
  • 4 slices of gouda
  • ½ cup of baby arugula
  • 1 tsp. balsamic reduction + ⅓ cup for dipping
  • 1 fried egg

Directions:

Be sure to butter your bread on the outside so it gets a nice crispy and moist exterior. Place the cheese closest to the bread one type on either side, and layer the arugula and bresaola on top of the cheese. Drizzle the 1 tsp. of the balsamic reduction. Merge the 2 halves and place on the panini press. Close the lid and slide the setting to toast. Meanwhile fry one egg in a non-stick skillet. Cook so whites are fully cooked, but the yolk is still runny.

Remove the melted sandwich after 4 minutes and cut in half. Place egg on top, and serve with the side of balsamic reduction.

brassoula-arugula-press1 brassoula-arugula-press2 brassoula-arugula-press-A1 brassoula-arugula-press3

Gourmet Buffalo Burger with Balsamic Reduction

Buffalo Burger with Balsamic reduction and fried egg
Buffalo Burger with Balsamic reduction and fried egg

I can honestly say I think my son should be a food critic. My 16 year old, came up with this masterpiece and it’s probably one of THE best burgers I have ever tasted. It has the peppery taste from the Arugula, the sweet from the balsamic reduction, the fruity and nutty taste of parmesan, and then… there’s the fried egg! Seriously?

Make Balsamic reduction – Cook 1 cup of good quality balsamic vinegar + 1 tbsp sugar on medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce to simmer (low heat with small bubbles along the edges) and let simmer for about 10 minutes until vinegar has reduced down. Stir occasionally. It should be able to stick to a spoon, with it’s thick consistency. Let reduction cool and serve. Save the remaining sauce in a Tupperware and store in refrigerator. If reduction hardens after being in refrigerator for too long just place container in a bowl filled with warm water to soften it up.

INGREDIENTS (per serving)

  • 6-8 oz ground buffalo meat
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6-8 leaves of arugula
  • 6-8 slices of parmesan
  • 1 fried egg
  • 1 brioche bun
  • 1 tbsp of softened butter

DIRECTIONS

Turn on your grill or grill pan on high. Make the buffalo patty by gently working in the Worcestershire, salt and pepper to the buffalo meat. (Do not compress, or smack the buffalo patty). Make the center of the patty thinner than the edges, and place on the grill. Cook the buffalo until the internal temperature is 130 degrees. Remove and let sit. Meanwhile, add your egg to an small non-stick skillet and cover. Flip over without breaking the yolk, and be sure to not overcook, as you want the egg yolk still runny. Remove from heat. Add the butter to all side of the brioche bun and grill for 10 seconds on each side. Assemble the burger onto the bun, adding the patty, the egg, arugula, parmesan cheese, and finally drizzle on the balsamic reduction onto the burger and the top half of the bun. My husband actually had a dish of the reduction to dip in the burger into. Enjoy!

Polenta with Mushrooms

mushroom-polenta

Wow, how time flies! Sorry for not posting any new recipes these past several months. I have been busy with kid activities and overall… just trying to be a “good parent” to my two teenagers! The ups and downs of being a full-time mom can definitely take it’s toll on a person. But all in all, I am grateful for this new chapter in my life. I am still cooking a ton, but haven’t posted anything, so I thought I would spend some of my summer sharing some of my favorites.

I have tried this recipe several times, and both my husband and son agree this is one of their “top 5” faves! This is a recipe I found on the NY Times website, but made some minor modifications to it. I hope you enjoy! Serves 8-10

FOR THE POLENTA

  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups polenta (I love Bob’s Organic Red Mill Polenta)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan

FOR THE MUSHROOMS

  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup of home-made chicken broth (or store bought)
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pats, divided
  • 3 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a large deep pan over high heat, bring the milk and water to a boil; add salt, and gradually stir in polenta. Reduce heat and summer gently, stirring frequently to prevent clumping and sticking, until mixture is very thick (approximately 30-45 minutes). If the polenta becomes quite thick, thin it with 1/2 cup water, stir well and continue cooking. Add up to 1 cup more water as necessary, to keep the polenta soft enough to stir. Stir in butter and the parmesan cheese.

Meanwhile, boil the chicken broth; add in the dried porcini mushroom. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the mushrooms, and pat dry, then chop roughly. Reserve the mushroom/chicken stock.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a sauté pan set over high heat until it has melted. Add the garlic and cook until it starts to sizzle, about 30 seconds. Do not let the garlic brown.

Add the fresh and reconstituted porcini mushrooms and thyme to the pan, and sauté 8 minutes, turning until browned. Add about 1/4 cup of the mushroom stock to deglaze the surface, using a wooden spoon to scrape at the browned bits. Allow the stock to reduce by half, then turn the heat to medium-low and add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, whisking to combine, followed by the soy sauce, cream and olive oil. Allow mixture to cook until it thickens a little, then remove from heat. Taste for seasoning, adding black pepper, salt or more parmesan cheese, if desired.

Place the polenta into warmed bowls, then top with mushrooms and the sauce. Serve immediately.