My New Year’s Resolution has failed: keeping my loyal readers up to date with fresh and yummy things I am cooking up is not going well.
With that being said, this one will be my much overdo apology and I will include three different recipes! Do you forgive me??
With Cinco de Mayo around the corner, it is only appropriate I take on the cuisine of our neighbors to the south. This is definitely my favorite type of food, and I enjoy it in all its forms! And of course there is my love of guacamole, that can almost go without being said at this point, and if you didn’t know, well consider yourself informed. I. Love. Guacamole. Furthermore, if you have not had my guacamole, here ya go. Guacamole: It’s All About the Avocado
I honestly cannot say when I first realized I loved spicy, Mexican food. My mom never made anything of the like growing up, and certainly my frequent visits to Denny’s and Chili’s in high school didn’t exactly broaden my palate’s horizons. If I had to guess, it would be from watching countless seasons of Top Chef. It has been like my own version of cooking school, really, as I have a wealth of knowledge about foods, cooking techniques, and cuisines I never had before. The show and its talent have really been an inspiration for me to just start playing around with food in the kitchen! It helps I’m not a picky eater, so there really are very few restrictions when it comes to what I will attempt to cook.
So you’re saying at this point, ‘Alright, enough already, give us some food!’ Okay, okay, message received!
First up: Pork Carnitas. We bought a whole pig this year, so our freezer is STOCKED with different cuts, and I’ve been trying to get creative. Admittedly, I am not a pulled pork fan. However, the prospect of some Carnitas definitely piqued my interest. So, I found myself on Pinterest, scouring for a recipe. Generally, I like to create my own recipes or just use someone else’s as a launching point. This time, though, I did not want to take the chance of ruining a five pound pork shoulder by not following someone else’s directions. I will include the link to the recipe I used – and honestly, I would not change a thing! So. Damn. Delicious. It’s a crockpot recipe I prepped the night before, so when I left for work in the morning, I just popped on low and let ‘er go all day!
We had the Carnitas in tacos one night, over rice the next, then I made a taco salad with the last bit. I topped my salad with charred corn, black beans, Greek yogurt, guacamole, tomatoes, and salsa verde. If heaven had a taste, this would definitely be it!
The next two recipes are my own, and super simple. Who doesn’t love a 10 minute taco recipe?? Or less, really.
Next on the menu: Cajun Tilapia Tacos topped with charred jalapeno, fresh mango and finished with an avocado crema:
3 corn tortillas
Pan searing flour
2-3 tilapia fillets (I use frozen fillets)
Mango slices (1/4 of a mango)
Half an avocado
1/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
1t each emon juice, lime juice
4T olive oil, divided
Dash of chili powder
In a food processor, puree avocado, sour cream or Greek yogurt, lemon and lime juices, water, and remaining olive oil. Blend until smooth, add extra water or olive oil to thin to desired consistency, I prefer mine thicker.
With the broiler on high, place jalapeno slices on a piece of foil and char for 5 minutes.
Generously season both sides of the tilapia with the cajun seasoning, then dust both sides with a light coating of pan searing flour. Swirl half the olive oil in a heated pan. On high heat, cook fillets about 3 minutes per side, they will get a nice blackened crisp on them. Set aside.
In the pan used to cook the fish, turn heat to medium-high. Spray the tortillas with cooking spray and dash with chili powder on both sides. Cook for 1-2 minutes per side, until warmed and browning.
Then construct! Layer fish on the bottom of each tortilla, breaking into smaller pieces, top with mango, jalapenos, and finally the crema. This time I used two fillets for the three tacos, because they were massive!
Last but not least, I have a vegetarian option: Smashed Black Bean Tacos topped with guacamole (weird), Greek yogurt, grapefruit, sriracha mayo, and fresh parsley.
3 corn tortillas
3/4 cup black beans
3 slices grapefruit
1/2 cup guacamole
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
Drizzle sriracha sauce, or sriracha mayo
Dash chili powder
Warm the black beans in the microwave until soft, then smash. Top with guacamole, grapefruit, Greek yogurt, and sriracha (or sriracha mayo). Use the same preparation for the tortillas as the previous recipe. And done! Seriously, this took maybe 5 minutes? I got home from the gym one day and wanted something SUPER fast, and this definitely got the job done and was a great post-workout meal.
Phew! You all are now fully prepared for the upcoming holiday of Cinco de Mayo, you are welcome! My Mango Strawberry Salsa would also be delish on any taco as well..gah! So many ideas flying around in my head! Guess I better get back to my workshop, aka kitchen. I have work to do.
Please let me know if you enjoyed everything. Cheers, friends, and don’t forget the tequila!