Tag Archives: New Mexico

Grilled Pork and Pineapple Tacos

Grilled_Port_and_Pineapple_Tacos1 (1 of 1)There’s nothing better than grilling outdoors when it’s hot, humid and buggy, as it’s been here the past several days. Here’s a great taco recipe for that perfect back yard picnic, featuring marinated, grilled pork and pineapple. For this outdoor recipe, you’ll need to plan a bit ahead, as the pork needs to marinate overnight. It’s well worth it, because the pork turns out very tender and flavorful, and the grilled pineapple adds a nice sweetness. I hope you’ll try it!

1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch slices
8 dried red chili peppers (such as pasilla), stem and seeds removed
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup white vinegar
4 garlic cloves, very finely shredded or minced
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 lbs boneless pork loin, cut into 1/2-inch slices
16 6-inch corn tortillas, wrapped tightly in aluminum foil
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
Sour cream (optional)
Lime wedges
Hot pepper sauce (such as chipotle-flavored Tabasco sauce)

Place chili peppers in a medium bowl;  cover with boiling water and let stand for 30 minutes, until soft. Drain and set aside.

In a food processor, add the chili peppers, one of the pineapple slices, orange juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, cumin and cloves. Process until smooth.

Arrange pork slices in a 3-quart baking dish. Spread chili pepper mixture evenly over the pork, ensuring that every slice is completely covered. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to cook the meat, prepare the grill. Remove the pork from the marinade (discarding marinade).

Place the pork slices on the grill, cover and cook for 7 minutes (turning once in between).Grilled_Pork_and_Pineapple_Tacos2 (1 of 1) Remove pork and place pineapple slices on the grill. Cover and cook 7 minutes (turning once in between). If there’s room, also place the tortilla packet on the grill (the tortillas cook 7 minutes, as well).

Cut the pork and pineapple into small chunks, then combine in a large bowl. Fill the warm tortillas with the pork/pineapple mixture. Garnish with the green onions, cilantro, diced red bell pepper and a dollop of sour cream. Serve with lime wedges and chili pepper sauce.

Serves 8 to 10.

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Grilled Steak and Romaine Salad

Steak_and_Romaine_Salad1 (1 of 1)The perfect dish for grilling outside on the 4th of July, this steak salad is full of flavor from the rub and the spicy chipotle chili dressing. It’s a fresh and satisfying meal for a hot summer evening. The grilled romaine is delicious, and adds an interesting touch. I hope you’ll try it!

1 1/2 – 2 lbs flank steak

Rub
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper

Dressing
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely grated or minced
1/2 cup beef broth
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 canned chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce, minced
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Romaine
3 hearts of romaine, washed and sliced in half length-wise
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely grated or minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Garnish
2 avocados, pitted, peeled, thinly sliced (placed in a small bowl, with the juice of 1 lime squeezed over them)Steak_and_Romaine_Salad2 (1 of 1)
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced in half length-wise
1 1/2 cups cilantro leaves
1 cup (4 ounces) queso fresco, crumbled
4 scallions, thinly sliced

Score both sides of the steak in a diamond pattern by making shallow diagonal cuts 1 inch apart. Combine ingredients for rub. Place steak in a shallow baking dish; sprinkle rub evenly over both sides, rubbing in with your fingers. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare dressing by heating oil in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, stirring for 30 seconds. Add beef broth, lime juice, chipotle chili pepper, smoked paprika, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 7 minutes. Remove from heat.

Prepare grill.

Prepare romaine halves by whisking together the garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Brush each of the romaine halves, front and back, with the olive oil mixture. Set aside.

Grill the steak, covered, for 6 minutes on each side. Remove from heat. Cover loosely with foil and let stand for 10 minutes. Thinly slice steak across the grain.

Grill the romaine halves, covered, for 1 minute on each side. Remove from heat.

Assemble salad by placing 1 romaine half on each of 6 serving plates. Divide steak slices and avocado slices among the plates. Sprinkle each with the tomato halves, cilantro leaves, queso fresco and scallions. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Serves 6.

New Mexico Chili Mac

Chili_Mac3 (1 of 1)While searching on-line a while back for an “American Chop Suey” recipe (a classic New England comfort dish), I stumbled upon this recipe for “Chili Mac.” I didn’t search any further, and ended up trying this — it is delicious! I highly recommend using New Mexico chili powder, as it has much more flavor than grocery store chili powder (thus, “New Mexico Chili Mac” — I believe Texas is the true origin of this dish!).

2 tsp olive oil
2 medium onions, finely diced
2 jalapenos, minced
1 Tbsp salt
2 lbs lean ground beef
5 Tbsp New Mexico chili powder
1 Tbsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 28-oz can whole plum tomatoes, well-squeezed with your hands (don’t strain out juices)
2 15.5-oz cans kidney beans, drained
1/2 cup water
1 lb dried macaroni
1 lb shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
Sour cream for garnish

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Add onions and jalapenos, salt, and saute  until onions are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add ground beef, chili powder, oregano and garlic, and stir, breaking up beef with the back of a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, and 1/2 cup water. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until chili is thick, about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook macaroni according to package instructions.

Combine 1/3 of the shredded cheese with the chili and cooked macaroni in a bowl, then pour chili mixture into a 9 x 13.5-inch casserole dish. Top with the remaining cheese, and place casserole in oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Garnish plated servings with a dollop of sour cream each.

Serves 6.