Balsamic-Miso Pork Tacos with Maitakes + Mustard Greens

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We make tacos more than any other meal and never tire of them. Especially when we make our own tortillas. They are hands down the favorite meal around here, and we have found ourselves in the tradition of eating them before we leave for big trips, and when we return. They serve as a send off, welcome home and everything in between. These tacos combine a few of the tastes I’ve been noticing in recent tasty bowls of pork ramen noodles at restaurants with our favorite tried and true taco accompaniment. We ate maple-balsamic glazed pork chops the previous night and saved about 1 whole, thick pork chop for this recipe. The pork is from Cosmic Apple Gardens and is exceptionally, wonderfully tasty. The mustard greens and maitakes stand out as much as the homemade tacos and pork in this recipe, the balance is meaty, but sweet and slightly bitter from the greens. In general a damn tasty taco.

Balsamic-Miso Pork Tacos with Maitakes + Mustard Greens

1 whole cooked pork chop (or other cut of pork), cut into small pieces
1/4 white onion, chopped
1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, chopped
3 mustard green leaves, lower stems removed, chopped
1 handful maitake mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp syrupy, thick balsamic vinegar
Butter, olive oil, coconut oil or lard (we used lard my mom rendered from pigs we raised)
1 tsp Miso paste or powder
1/2 tsp tamari
Sesame seeds
Sea salt
Masa harina
Limes
Whole milk yogurt

Method: If you are making your own tacos, mix 1 cup masa harina with 1/2-1 cup water and a bit of sea salt, cover in plastic wrap and chill for about 20-30 minutes (we don’t always let them chill quite this long and have good results). If you have a buddy, put them on tortilla press, fry, make duty. Keep the tortillas warm in the oven.

Heat a skillet to medium-high heat, add the onions and cook for a few minutes, Add the ginger, stir, and after a few moments add the mustard greens, drizzle with lemon + sea salt. Add the mushrooms. From here you get to use some of your own measurements and adjust to your liking–add a pinch of miso, balsamic, and a tiny amount of tamari. I like to add add liquid directly to the cast iron pan, so it evaporates some and caramelizes and then coats the veggies. Stir everything together, add some sesame seeds, and cook until the veggies have a nice color to them and taste done. Push the veggies to one side of the pan, and add the pork-the skillet should be quite hot. Add just a little bit more miso and balsamic on the pork (this pork should be pre-seasoned). Cook until the pork is browned and the fat is a bit crisped.

Assembly: Place the pork and veggies on the fresh tortillas, top with a spoonful of yogurt (or sour cream/creme fraiche/etc) add a sprinkling of sesame seeds and drizzle with a bit of lemon juice.

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake with Brown Butter Vanilla Frosting

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This cake has a woodsy, nutty taste from the rosemary and browned butter and a bit of a crunch from the cornmeal. The quality vanilla used in the frosting is essential and it pairs with the tones of the rosemary so well and adds this kick of complexity to the nutty browned butter frosting. The cake itself is not overly sweet, and I added a splash of apple cider vinegar for lightness and a slightly acidic apple flavor. The apple cider vinegar also reacts with the baking powder and baking soda to start a chemical reaction that helps give the cake lift and lightness–a good thing when you want to cook with all whole grain flours.

Rosemary + Olive Oil Cake
1 1/4 cup sprouted whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup raw turbinado cane sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

Browned Butter Vanilla Frosting
1/2 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla

Method:

Oven 350* Start by making the browned butter. Chop up the butter and place it in a small metal pot, or stainless steel pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally, and notice that as all the butter melts a layer of foam forms on the surface. Continue to stir, paying attention to the smell and color of the butter. It will start to darken to an amber tone and smell nutty and rich. When the butter is browned, pour it into a small bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder & soda, and salt. In another bowl whisk together the eggs and sugar until well incorporated. Add the olive oil and cider vinegar and mix well. Slowly start adding the dry mix to the wet mix, and then finish by stirring in the rosemary.

Place a piece of parchment paper in a small square cake pan and bake the cake for about 30 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean when inserted into the cake. Allow the cake to cool and then mix the powdered sugar and vanilla with the butter until smooth and creamy. Spread on the cake and garnish with extra chopped rosemary.