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Monday, November 17, 2014

Taco Sundays

Warm tortilla. Slow simmered meat. Sharp cheddar or tangy queso fresco. What's not to love about a taco?

Back in Brooklyn there were so many taco shops and food trucks to hit that very specific craving. My personal favorite was the Endless Summer truck that was parked out on Bedford Ave. What a sad day when I learned that summer is, in fact, a mere mortal season. I miss the intention of bringing home a few pork tacos but eating them along the way back to Greenpoint instead. 

Needless to say there is no taco truck here in Pullman. They say Mexican is fantastic out on the west coast, but I guess we are too inland to benefit from that. Lucky for me, they're easy to make. 

I'm sort of obsessed with America's Test Kitchen's 6 Ingredient Recipes magazine I grabbed off the racks recently. So many great and easy dinners that balance flavors intricately for a handful of ingredients. They have two pretty amazing recipes that rival those Brooklyn street taco favorites: one steak and one pork, like I used to get when I ordered a la carte. I adapted them a little to fit my tastes. Enjoy!

Spicy Chipotle Steak Tacos

I have to admit I'm super impressed with how good these incredibly simple-sounding tacos came out. It's all in that chile-in-adobo-sauce stuff. You use it as a marinade and that's it! Deeply flavored steak from a 1-ingredient marinade. Color me impressed.  


1 can chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1 (1 lb) flank steak
1 red onion
Guacamole (avocados, cilantro, red onion, lime juice, salt)


Blend chiles with salt and pepper in a food processor. Put in a plastic bag with steak and marinade for about a half hour. 

Meanwhile, make a guacamole (I like 4 avocados + handful of cilantro + good splash of lime juice + about 1/4 a red onion).

Broil steak on an aluminum foil-lined pan, about 10 minutes each side. The recipe says to broil the onions with the steak, but I found that mine got too crispy that way. I would sweat them on the stovetop instead. 

Let the steak rest before slicing against the grain. Fill warmed tortillas with steak, top with onions and guacamole. 

Spicy Pork Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

The awesome cheat with this one is kind of like the canned chipotles, only it's two canned ingredients -- pineapple and diced tomato with chiles. Granted, the recipe calls for fresh pineapple, but I went the easy route. I also found a way to use the food processor twice to quicken the prep time. And they thought I would just do all that chopping willingly. Ha!


1 can pineapple chunks
1/2 small red onion, divided
Fresh cilantro
1 10-oz can Ro-tel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
1lb ground pork


Drain juice out of pineapple and pour about half into the food processor with 1/4 onion and about 5 stems of cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste. Put salsa aside.

Pour tomatoes with their juice and the rest of the pineapple into the food processor and blend until smooth. Cook pork with the remaining 1/4 onion until no longer pink. Stir in tomato mixture and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

While pork simmers, make the guac. You can't have this without guacamole.

Scoop pork into taco shells and top with pineapple salsa and guac. You can add cheese if you like, but I think the sweet-spicy pineapple flavors work better without. 

Also I like to use Fritos scoops for taking care of the rest of that guacamole before it gets brown and unusable and who likes to waste food, right?*

*I am clearly no longer on my wedding diet

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