Saturday, February 18, 2012

Building a Better Taco - From Leftovers!

Some of the best meals come from leftovers because, at least in my opinion, many foods seem to reach their peak of flavor a day or even two after cooking. In our house, with only the two of us to eat what we cook, there are almost always leftovers - this makes me happy.

The other day I wrote about the Spicy Pork Tenderloin that we had for Valentine's Day dinner. There was plenty of pork left over that we knew would only get better after a few days. On Thursday we decided to make tacos using the pork, but in keeping with our commitment to less meat in our diets, we decided to use  the pork more as a flavoring than as the featured element.

So, we waded into the refrigerator and started pulling out a little of this and that to construct our tacos. It didn't take long to realize we would need tortillas and that we didn't have any - that's when Cyn decided to make them from scratch. It was actually a pretty simple matter of combining flour, salt, non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening and water to make a dough. It was then divided into golf ball size pieces and allowed to rest. When it was time to eat, the rounds were rolled out into flat circles and cooked on the stove top on medium high heat in a DRY pan.

The first side took about 30 seconds and the second side less. Cooked tortillas were moved to a damp kitchen towel in a 200 degree F oven to keep them warm.
OK, back to the taco fillings. We found an avocado, some onion that had been picked with beet juice added for color, fresh pineapple, radish, red cabbage and yellow pepper. Our refrigerator is often a minefield of little covered dishes, plastic containers and  partially used veggies. To us, that's a good thing.

We blended the avocado with Meyer lemon juice and sea salt to make a spread and simply chopped everything else into manageable pieces. Prior to construction it looked like this.

Putting together a taco like this is great because you can pick as many or as few of the ingredients as you like. Mine went together like this....a generous helping of the avocado spread went down first. A modest amount of the pork (I'm sure it was no more than 1/2 ounce) was followed by cabbage, pickled onion, yellow pepper, radish and my personal favorite, pineapple. 

Each bite of the taco had distinct notes of sweet, sour and spicy. The cabbage and the radish added a great crunchy texture too. Here is what Cyn's looked like.

We each ate a whole, really stuffed taco and split a third. All in - probably 1 1/2 ounces of meat for two people. Not vegetarian, but clearly we were using meat more as a flavoring in this dish.

We often eat our salad course last, and that's what we did for this meal. It was a simple plate of roasted red and yellow beets, blood orange sections and Cherry Glen goat cheese, all drizzled with our homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

See, aren't left overs great?

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog. I found a new way to use leftover roast lamb.


Pea on this, Pea on that

Peas have a reputation.  And it ain't good - starchy and a weird color, very often the color of something a babe has recycled. But in fa...