Tag Archives: Southwestern Food

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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Roast Turkey Panini with Spicy Chipotle Mayo

Panino4 (1 of 1)For those of you who have panini presses at home, this is a quick and yummy recipe for a mid-week dinner. What makes it is the chipotle mayo — it’s pretty spicy, so add less of the chipotle pepper if you prefer less heat. Chipotle chili peppers are smoke-dried jalapeño peppers, and for this recipe, you want to use the variety that you purchase in a 7-oz can, in adobo sauce.

1 small chipotle pepper (see my notes above about using chipotle peppers that come in adobo sauce), minced
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 pinch salt
1 loaf fresh ciabata bread, cut into 4 sections, then sliced horizontally in half
1 ripe tomato, thinly sliced
Fresh romaine lettuce
Deli-style (thinly sliced) roast turkey
White American cheese slices
Prepare the chipotle mayo by whisking together minced chipotle pepper, mayonnaise, ground cumin and salt.

Spread the chipotle mayo on the tops and Panino5 (1 of 1)bottoms of the bread slices. Build sandwiches by placing on each a few ounces of turkey, followed by a couple lettuce leaves, a couple slices of tomato and a slice of cheese. Cook panini (sandwiches) in hot press until bread is light brown and crunchy.

Serves 4.

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.