Pork Green Chile Tacos with Habanero Refried Beans

 

The effort to satisfaction ratio of this recipe makes it the perfect choice for a weeknight dinner celebrating your way to Friday.

This was always a favorite in our house growing up.  I guess I just assumed that because I loved it so much, it must be difficult to do.  It’s adapted from The Junior League of Denver’s Colorado Cache Cookbook for Green Chile Burritos.  Because we’re currently in the process of lowering our fat intake and trying to keep a handle on portion control, we adapted it from burritos to tacos.

As much as I try to stick with fresh ingredients, there’s a lot that comes out of a can here, but you’d never know and it’s completely worth it because it means you can have something delicious on a weeknight and not have to spend more than 30 minutes in the kitchen.  I mean really, if you think about it, you can’t even get a pizza that quickly.

Have to add special thanks to my Dad for dinner tonight.  I decided on this recipe pretty spontaneously and called home to make sure I wan’t forgetting any ingredients.  He dragged out the cookbook and walked me through the aisles.

INGREDIENTS

Green Chile

  • 2 pounds of lean pork diced (I used a package of pork tenderloins from Costco)
  • 32 oz carton of chicken broth
  • 2- 7oz cans of chopped mild green chiles
  • 1- 14.5oz can of chopped fire roasted tomatoes

Refried Beans

  • 1- 24oz can of fat free refried beans
  • 3 Tbsp of Habanero Pepper Plant Hot Sauce (substitute your favorite hot sauce here, but I’ll tell you, Pepper Plant is the bomb!)

Tacos

  • 1 Package of La Tortilla small tortillas (they’re half corn and half flour so you get the best of both worlds.  We’re partial to the Green Chile flavor at the moment, but there are lots to choose from or you can use any taco-sized tortillas you prefer.)
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • Fresh tomatoes and shredded lettuce

 

DIRECTIONS

Simmer pork in broth until tender and thoroughly cooked.  Add chiles and canned tomatoes and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes more.

Place beans in a small saucepan, add hot sauce and heat thoroughly.

Once green chile is done and beans are heated thoroughly, spread a layer of beans on tortilla and top with green chile, cheese, lettuce and tomato.  Serve immediately.

 

It’s really that easy and it makes a ton so there will be leftovers for lunch the next day or even dinner tomorrow.

Guisado de Pollo (Chicken and Potato Stew) with Charred Corn Salad

Guisado de Pollo

Though I haven’t posted for a very long time, I have still been finding some tasty things to cook and making them.  I subscribed to Saveur on the iPad and their Mexican food issue had some really delicious things.  This chicken and potato stew also has pineapple and chipotle peppers in it, which makes for a really amazing range of flavor.  It’s easy and delicious.  We made it twice in one week.

The second time we made it, we put a really tasty corn salad on the side that I found in Food and Wine.  Tastes just like summer!

Guisado de Pollo

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup canola oil
1 ½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 small white onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped fresh or canned pineapple
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried thyme
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 canned chipotles in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 jalapeño, quartered lengthwise
1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into ½” cubes
4 cups chicken stock
3 sprigs cilantro
1 (15-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
2 tbsp. capers, rinsed
Juice of 1 lime

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and working in batches, add to pan, and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool; using a fork, finely shred meat and set aside.

2. Return saucepan to heat, and add onion, carrot, and peppers; cook, stirring, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add pineapple, cumin, thyme, garlic, chipotles, and jalapeño, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add reserved shredded chicken back to pan along with potatoes, stock, epazote, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Add capers and juice, and season with salt and pepper before serving.

The first time we made it, the capers were a little over-powering, particularly as leftovers, so on the second round, I dialed them back a bit.  Garnished the stew with sour cream, fresh cilantro, avocado and fresh grape tomatoes.

Charred Corn Salad

4 large ears of corn, shucked
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons torn mint leaves
3 tablespoons torn parsley leaves
3 tablespoons torn cilantro leaves

Heat a large grill pan. Brush the corn with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderately high heat, turning, until crisp-tender, about 12 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the onion and lime juice and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in the syrup, jalapeño and 2 tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper.
Working in a large bowl, cut the kernels off the cobs in sections. Add the onion dressing and toss. Add the mint, parsley and cilantro and toss again. Serve warm.

Guacamole Chicken Salad, Black Beans and Taco-Seasoned Sweet Potatoes

Guacamole Chicken Salad, Black Beans and Taco-Seasoned Sweet Potatoes

As the week wears on, I occasionally find myself entering Safeway on my way home from work, weary from the week, hungry from the day, and looking for a quick and delicious solution to everything.  This dinner has become a go-to for that scenario.  It’s easy, quick and very tasty.  A quick turn through the produce aisle, a brief stop in the butcher department and  a drive by past the tortilla end-cap and you’re checked out and eating dinner before you can say “arriba!”   The original inspiration came from a blog I read on The Bitten Word 

Guacamole Chicken Salad

* 1 cup cooked, diced chicken breast (I used pre-cooked southwestern chicken strips available in the butcher’s department of Safeway)
* 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
* 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and finely chopped
* 2 roma tomatoes, cored and diced
* 1 minced jalapeno
* 2  limes,  juiced
* 4 cloves of garlic, minced
* 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
* 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper or to taste

Combine chicken, cilantro, avocados, tomatoes, garlic, jalapeños, lime juice and salt and pepper.  Mix well and refrigerate.

Black Beans

  • 1 can black beans, partially drained and mashed
  • 1/2  16 oz. jar Salsa Verde, medium heat
  • 2 Tbsp Chipotle Pepper Plant Sauce (this is optional, but gives the beans a really nice smoky taste)

Combine mashed beans, salsa verde and pepper plant sauce in a small sauce pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until piping hot.

Taco-Seasoned Sweet Potatoes

  • 1 large sweet potato, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning (use more to taste)

Preheat oven to 400°.  Toss sweet potatoes, oil, and seasoning in a large bowl until sweet potatoes are well coated.  Transfer to a cookie sheet and bake for 4o minutes.

Once everything is done, arrange on a plate with your favorite tortillas (ours are a flour-corn combination from La Tortilla Factory) and enjoy.  Though I’d love to say we had it with authentic margaritas, tonight we paired with a cheap, Merlot that shall remain nameless.