Pork in green sauce (Puerco en salsa verde)

I have been waiting for an order of art materials to arrive in the mail.

Not being able to work on my projects has left me with lots of time to do other things, like cooking and getting the house in order and clean, also lots of sketching to learn more about drawing anatomically correct human form.
The rain has not stopped and the weather turned surprisingly cold for the season, which is nice but also disconcerting for the body.

A hot meal was in order, some comfort food with nurturing qualities.

My mom’s pork in green chile sauce.

 

Ingredients for the green sauce:

  • 2 lbs. tomatillos
  • 10 jalapeño peppers (you can use as many or as few as you like)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ a big white onion
  • 1 bunch of cilantro (what you can grab with one hand as a bouquet
  • ¼ of an iceberg lettuce
  • Salt or bullion powder to taste
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In the picture you can see double the ingredients that the recipe calls for. I made a big batch and freezed half of it for later use.

Instructions for the green sauce:

After washing the sticky off the tomatillos set them aside in a big pot. Wash the jalapeños and cut the “tails” off then put them with the tomatillos and cover them both with just enough water, set them to boil. Once they are tender, turn off the heat, drain the water, and pinch them with a fork or with a knife once, this will release the steam and prevent them from exploding when in the blender.

 

 

 

After letting them cool for a while (if you don’t the steam will accumulate inside your blender and you will end up covered in sauce) put them in the blender with the rest of the ingredients and puree it all until it’s smooth. It may take a few batches, if your blender is small like mine.

Pour the sauce in the same pot you used to boil the tomatillos and chiles, and add a spoonful of powdered bullion, or salt to taste.

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Simmer it all for 5 minutes in high heat stirring occasionally.
Turn off the heat and set aside.

 

Ingredients for the pork in green sauce:

  • 2 lbs. pork butt cubed
  • 4 cups of mushrooms of your choice
  • 6 small zucchinis
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 green sauce recipe (explained before)
  • Oil for frying (not pictured)

 

Instructions:

Salt the cubed pork, set a pan to high heat, add the oil and brown the pork until it’s very golden all over. When the pork is almost done browning add the chopped garlic cloves and stir. The pork will finish cooking in the sauce so don’t try to make it tender in the pan.

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Wash and chop the zucchini and the mushrooms, set aside.

 

Put the green sauce in high heat and add the pork, cook for about 20 minutes or until the meat is tender and stir so it doesn’t stick to the bottom, once the meat is tender add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes more, once the mushrooms are cooked add the chopped zucchini and let it simmer until the zucchini is cooked to your liking.

 

You can serve this dish alone, or you can serve it with white Mexican rice on the side, or with refried beans or with both! You can have it with corn or wheat tortillas, and even bread.

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I hope you try this and enjoy it.
If you do, let me know how it turned out.

Thank you for stopping by. Come back soon!

~ Martha Idalhí.

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Crispy Golden Tacos. (Tacos Dorados)

If you like to cook and do so often, you find yourself with leftovers taking up space in your fridge.
It happens that we forget about them and later surprise ourselves by finding them when looking for something to eat late at night. Sometimes this surprise is less than pleasant.

This has happened to me too many times over the years and to be honest it’s annoying. Not to mention that normally nobody is happy about having to eat said leftovers.
So, I developed a plan.
Literally, I plan my weekly menu loosely but I always keep in mind my leftovers, it could be from takeout or from homemade meals, it doesn’t matter, I always have a plan, and I would like to help you come up with a plan too (if you want to, I mean is totally fine if you don’t, you can also do this from non-leftover sources).

My go to recipe for leftover rotisserie chicken, mash potatoes, or ground taco meat.
Tacos Dorados:

(Crispy Golden Tacos. . . Oh yeah baby!)
Ingredients:

  • Corn tortillas (as many as the number of tacos you are making).
  • Oil for frying. (Not pictured)
  • Iceberg lettuce cut in thin strips.
  • Roma tomatoes sliced (seeded if that’s how you roll).
  • A good salsa, canned, fresh, bottled it’s all fine.
  • And your left overs which can be; Shredded chicken, Mashed potatoes, or Cooked Ground beef.

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Instructions:

Gather your ingredients, you’ll need the filling(s), the tortillas, a deep pan for frying,  and the oil.
Warm up the tortillas, I like to heat them up in a pan or on a gridle just until they become flexible and soft. You can also zap them in the microwave according to your settings, set them aside in a kitchen cloth so they don’t get dry on you.

Now, if you are using shredded chicken, make sure your chicken is dry, that it doesn’t have chunks of gelatinous broth attached to it because when heat hits it it’s going to turn liquid and oil plus water equals disaster. Same for the meat or the mashed potatoes, if your mashed potatoes are runny, this is set to fail, they must be thick, chunky mashed potatoes. You can even mix your cooked ground beef and your mashed potatoes together if you want, I do this so the tiny chunks of beef don’t go floating away in the oil,  throw a little garlic powder in there, some little more salt, season is key because these are very simple ingredients. It must be thick though.

Once you have your filling(s) and your warm tortillas, you want to get a spoon and spoon your filling just in one middle of your tortilla and not too much, just a couple of even tablespoons will do, fold the tortilla and press the edges together a little like you would with a pastry, do this until you have the desired or available number of tacos. Now get ready to fry.

Carefully place the tacos one by one in your pan, set them in a way they can’t unfold on you while they are getting crispy, I use kitchen tongs for this. Let them fry until golden hence the name, on one side, then carefully turn them over to the other side and wait until they are golden all over.

This image shows you how Not to fry your tacos, I used too much oil and the tiny chunks of potato were swimming away in it. Use less, don’t be like me.Jul_10

Set them on paper towels to drain while you fry the rest of your tacos.
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Now, once they’ve cooled just enough to handle with your hands, crack them open just the tiniest bit, to get them filled with the lettuce and the tomato slices.

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This is a cheap, tasty meal, ideal to please a crowd while staying on a budget or to end a craving.

What’s best is that after this you have no leftovers to worry about and everyone is happy about eating them!

~Martha Idalhí