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Tag: Salsa

Pork Belly Tacos with Pineapple-Avocado Salsa & Avocado Mayo

I am totally not a planner when it comes to food. In fact, I was explaining this to a friend the other day, how most days I determine what we are having for dinner by whatever I take out of the freezer in the morning. On occasion I do plan the evening before and sometimes I dream about a breakfast combination… but in general, I tend to surprise even myself, which for me makes eating and cooking so much more fun. 😉

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And many times, our meals are based around what we have available or something that I must use up, as is the case with this recipe and the pineapple that would soon have gone bad and to waste. I hate wasting food for many reasons, but I won’t go into that now.

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Here’s the combination for this dish: pork belly stripes made in the oven with a dry rub (get the recipe for the spice mix here), a pineapple-avocado-tomato salsa, an avocado mayo (recipe included below), and Paleo soft tortilla shells (get the recipe here)*. The tortilla shells can be made days in advance and frozen. I usually take them out of the freezer just a few minutes before heating them. They are easily warmed up in a hot pan with no oil or grease necessary, just a few seconds on each side.

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*For the tortilla shells this time, I halved the recipe, omitting the flaxmeal and cumin, since I knew the pork was going to be spicy enough. Plus, I doubled the amount of coconut milk in the recipe to make them slightly thinner.

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Pork Belly Tacos with Pineapple-Avocado Salsa & Avocado Mayo
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • For the pork belly stripes:
  • 1 kg pork belly strips
  • 2-4 tablespoons of Cinnamon-Chili Rub*
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon (or a bit more) of lard, cut into think slices
  • For the pineapple-avocado-tomato salsa:
  • 1 fresh pineapple, cut into slices and then diced
  • 1-2 ripe avocados (depending on size), diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • For the avocado mayo:
  • 1 medium avocado
  • juice of one lime
  • coarse sea salt, to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • For the set up:
  • fresh onions, for garnishing
  • Paleo Tortilla Shells*
Instructions
  1. For the pork belly stripes:
  2. Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
  3. Rinse and place the pork belly stripes in an oven proof dish.
  4. Sprinkle with the cinnamon-chili rub on both sides.
  5. Sprinkle with some coarse sea salt, to taste, and place the slices of lard on top.
  6. Bake for about 30-40 minutes on each side or until done, depending on the amount of meat on them. (I turn mine over about every 20 minutes.)
  7. Cut each strip into small pieces to use in your tacos.
  8. For the pineapple-avocado salsa:
  9. Mix the pineapple, avocado, and tomato and drizzle with the lime juice.
  10. For the avocado mayo:
  11. Pulse in a blender or immersion blender the avocado, lime juice and sea salt.
  12. Add the olive oil slowly and blend until all is smooth.
  13. For setting up each taco:
  14. Place some pork belly pieces on each shell (amount is up to you).
  15. Cover with some of the salsa, the avocado mayo, and fresh onions.
  16. Enjoy!

 

Guacamole

A few years ago, when I lived in New York City, I used to go often to the Rosa Mexicano for real, authentic and delicious Mexican fare. I have a lot of Mexican friends and even they loved to frequent this restaurant, so that tells you something… One of the evenings, we ordered guacamole and they made it in front of us and served it exactly as I had had it in Mexico, inside a molcajete. True guacamole is not the creamy paste you find in some restaurants or even in the supermarket. Instead it’s chunky and beautiful to look at.

The recipe below is from the Rosa Mexicano, but I use two avocados instead of the one it calls for. Make sure the avocados are ripe, as the dish will not be as tasty if they are green and not ready to be eaten.

GUACAMOLE

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped (original calls for 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno chiles
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped (discarding juice and seeds; original calls for 2 tablespoons)

Process:

In a bowl, molcajete, or mortar, using the back of a spoon, thoroughly mash the following ingredients into a juicy paste (using salt as a grinder):

  •  1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped jalapeno chiles
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Holding one of the avocados in the cup of the hand, split the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the seed. Slice the avocado lengthwise in approximately 1/8 inch strips, then across forming a grid. Scoop the avocado out of the skin with a spoon. Repeat with the other avocado.

Add the avocados to the paste and thoroughly mix together, then add the rest of the ingredients and fold. Add jalapeno chiles and more sea salt to taste.

Serve with tortilla chips and some slices of lime.

Ceviche

I literally cried, sneezed and coughed my way through making this dish. The sneezing and coughing started when I cut up the peppers (and they were only “mild”) and the crying took place with the chopping up of the onion. Onions always do this to me. I used to get away with not crying when I have my contacts on; but lately not even the contacts protect me from a bout of tears…

My mother learned how to make ceviche, when we lived in Panama. And this dish, which is traditional in a number of Latin American countries, is a favourite at home with my father and now my husband. In fact, my husband always requests ceviche when we are visiting my parents.

Ceviche can be made with shrimp, scallops or fish (the one we use the most and which provides the best results is sea bass). But whatever seafood you do use, make sure it’s very fresh and of course, raw. The citrus juices do the “cooking”.

CEVICHE DE GAMBAS (SHRIMP CEVICHE) 

Ingredients:

  • 400g fresh, raw shrimp
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeeze lime juice
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 small green chili pepper (mine, as said, were mild; however, you can substitute for poblano or jalapeno if you want a bit more “punch” in the ceviche), finely chopped
  • 1 small red chili pepper, finely chopped
  • lime wedges, for serving
  • tortilla chips

Process:

In a glass or ceramic bowl, combine all of the ingredients, except the shrimp and lime wedges. Add the shrimp and toss well to coat. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight, until the shrimp are opaque and have absorbed the flavours of the marinade. The citrus, salt and the peppers actually “cook” or macerate the shrimp. (I left mine overnight in the fridge.)

Serve cold with tortilla chips and lime wedges.

Orange-Physalis Salsa

Orange-Physalis Salsa

Ingredients
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley or cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 10 physalis, cut in fourths
  • 3-4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 guindillas (dried cayenne pepper), ground
  • salt, to taste
Process
Peel and cut the oranges, keeping the pulp only. Add all of the rest of the salsa ingredients and mix well.
Serve over your favourite fish. We ate it with orange marinated, oven-baked wild salmon filets, accompanied with sweet potato fries and moroccan spiced fava beans. Yummy!
Physalis, orange pulp, onions and parsley
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