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.

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos

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I like incorporating squash into every meal while its so plentiful and this worked beautifully. The squash is very sweet, so I like to make sure my tortillas and kale are extra salty to off set the sweetness. I put cilantro on almost everything, it just adds a level of complexity and freshness to my meals. The vibrant orange of the squash, black beans, green kale and cilantro looked really beautiful. I ate these straight from the cast iron. This is the best when the house is cold as it keeps the food nice and hot (and you don’t have to get another plate dirty).

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos

2 corn tortillas 1 small yellow onion sliced ¼ cup black beans 1-cup butternut squash cubed 1 handful kale Cilantro Raw cheddar Salt & pepper Greek yogurt or crème fraiche Olive oil Lemon juice

Method:

 Soak beans for 24 hours. I usually make a cup or two, and soak them in about 5 cups of water. After soaking, drain the water. Add new water and bring to a boil. Turn off burner once they boil, then let sit for a few hours. They’re ready when they feel soft.

Oven 400. Cut the skin off the butternut squash and cut into cubes. Drizzle these with olive oil, salt & pepper. Roast in the oven until tender, about 20 minutes or so. Meanwhile, sauté the onion in a cast iron, add the beans after a few minutes and cook on  medium-high for a few minutes. Remove the onion and beans from the pan and add more oil.

Place the tortillas in the oil and set a few slices of cheddar on them. Add the roasted butternut squash, the beans and onion, and finally rip up the kale and place it on top. Squeeze a little lemon juice on top, sprinkle with a drizzle of oil, salt and pepper. Roast the tacos at 400 for around 10 or 15 minutes, until the kale is crispy.

Garnish with plenty of cilantro and Greek yogurt.

Salmon Tacos with Fruit Salsa and Queso Fresco

Fish tacos are one of my favorite foods of all time. They are so easy, satisfying and fresh-the perfect dish to start summer with. The fruit salsa offsets the savory salmon and the spicy jalapeno is balanced by queso fresco. When I’m in Reno I get my salmon from the coop. It’s some of the best fish around and they don’t take the skin off. The skin is one of the best parts and it’s rich in all the best oils-omega 3s, Vitamins A & C, calcium and iron and all the other important nutrients that aren’t covered by nutritional science- don’t waste it!

Salmon Tacos with Fruit Salsa and Queso Fresco

Corn tortillas
Salmon filet
Queso Fresco
Salt & pepper
Lemon juice
Olive oil

Fruit Salsa
Avocado
Green onions, sliced
Oranges, diced
Jalapeno, about a tbsp, minced
Lemon juice
salt & pepper
cilantro

Method:

Mix the salsa ingredients together, you can add other fruits you have on hand, or shallots, whatever you want.

Season both sides of the salmon with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Add oil to your skillet and cook on medium high-heat, for just a few minutes on both sides. Make sure you don’t overcook the fish, or it will be dry and flavorless.

Heat the tortillas on the skillet until they are a little bit crispy. Spread the salmon and salsa on the tortillas and top with queso fresco. You can also add a bit of plain whole milk yogurt or creme fraiche if the salsa is too spicy.

Patatas Bravas with Crispy Chive Tortillas

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 My friend Cameron introduced me to the idea of huevos rancheros in this style. If you go this route, you will adjust a few steps. First, you will bend the tortillas into thirds so that they fit in the muffin tins. Then place the patatas bravas and veggies in the tortillas, crack a raw egg on the veggies, sprinkle with queso fresco and chives and broil until the eggs are done to your liking.

Patatas Bravas with Crispy Chive Tortillas
2 large russet potatoes or several small fingerlings, chopped
1 ½ cups sweet cherry tomatoes, halved
2 small shallots
2 tbsp heavy cream
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp crushed red pepper
One bunch of your favorite kale, chopped
Fresh sage
Chives, chopped
Masa harina (for homemade tortillas)
Lemon
Salsa verde
Avocado
Hot sauce of your liking
Sea salt & pepper
Olive oil & butter
Backyard eggs

Method:

Mix together the masa harina with the appropriate amount of hot water and sea salt, roll into a ball, cover with a wet towel and set aside to rest. You will need a tortilla press for thin corn tortillas.
Oven 425. Drizzle the chopped potatoes with some olive oil and a grind of sea salt and pepper. Add the paprika and crushed red pepper flakes, adjusting the amount to your liking. Let the potatoes roast for about 20 minutes and then add the halved cherry tomatoes and the shallots. Let everything roast together until the potatoes are quite soft and slightly crisp. Right before the potato/tomato mix is done, take it out of the oven and stir in the heavy cream. Place back into the oven until the cream is absorbed.
Meanwhile massage some olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt into the kale, and roast until slightly crispy.
Heat another pan. Add butter/olive oil and then throw in some chopped fresh sage and chives, crack the eggs on top of the greens and fry to your desired doneness.
Add some butter/olive oil mix to a cast iron, throw in some chopped chives and sea salt and then place the homemade tortilla in the pan. Cook until crispy on both sides.
For assembly: Start with the green onion tortillas, add a scoop of the patatas bravas, and then some of the kale. Set a fried egg on top, add a few diced pieces of avocado, salsa verde and a final drizzle of hot sauce. If you chose to use the muffin tins, follow the directions under the photographs. 

Lentil and Split Pea Quesadillas with Gruyere, Comté and Sauteed Kale

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I lose track of what is in my cupboards several times every year. So I didn’t buy groceries for a little while and decided to see what I had and wasn’t using. Millet, quinoa, amaranth, sprouting seeds, bee pollen, various types of beans, soup mixes, lentils and wheat berries and the list goes on. I have a wide variety of interesting and obscure ingredients to play with but I’ve been hooked on the first one I made from the pantry. I like having survival food on hand for when I have limited time or money. Some of the best survival food is Bob’s Red Mill soup mix with green and yellow split peas, barley, lentils and vegetable pasta. I ate it as a soup the first night cooked just in chicken broth and then I started incorporating it into other dishes. The lentil-split pea quesadilla with gruyere and comté topped with sautéed kale and lemon juice is my favorite use for the soup mix so far.

Lentil and Split Pea Quesadilla with Gruyere, Comté and Sauteed Kale

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Vegi Soup
2 cups water
2 cups vegetable broth
2 sprouted corn tortillas
Sliced Gruyere and Comté
Handful of kale
Lemon juice
Sea salt & pepper
Olive oil

Method:

Simmer 1 part soup with the 4 parts of water/vegetable broth for about an hour, until tender.

Heat a cast iron pan on medium high heat, add a tablespoon or so of olive oil, and place the tortillas in the pan. Top them with a few spoonfuls of the lentils and several slices of cheese. Top with the other tortilla, cook for several minutes on each side (until cheese is melted, tacos are crispy).

Remove the tortilla from the pan, and add the kale to the hot skillet. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon onto the kale, cover, and sauté until the kale is soft and a bit crispy (about 5 minutes). Top the tortilla with the kale and season with salt & pepper. This is a really simple meal, but don’t forget the lemon juice, it is essential. And definitely serve these with spicy chutney and Greek yogurt if you have it on hand.