Monday, May 5, 2014

cinco de mayo: coconut-lime-pineapple pork & black bean tacos

I'm not wasting away again in Margaritaville (salt! salt! salt!) this Cinco de Mayo, but instead am gearing up for a busy week--my sister Steph is graduating from college this Friday! 

(Congratulations, Steph!)

She's graduating from my alma mater this Friday and my impending trip back down South for her graduation in conjunction with Cinco de Mayo today has had me reminiscing about spending the Cinco de Mayo before my undergraduate graduation with some of my BFFLs.  I may or may not have celebrated that Cinco de Mayo with a margarita or two.

We went out to a little Mexican restaurant near campus for margaritas and, after evidently being too charming by practicing the use of our Spanish skills, we unintentionally ended up with a free second pitcher of margaritas.  That free second pitcher lead to a plethora of excellent photos with the statue of our university's founder.  It also begged the question from one of my friends, whom I think had never had a drink before in her life, as to whether or not it is normal for one's legs to go numb when drinking.

Moments that I am unlikely to relive now that I'm all grown up.  Then again, there's always the promise of another May graduation next year? ; )

1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt & black pepper to taste
1 pound ground pork
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
Cayenne pepper, to taste
one 13.66-oz can Thai Kitchen full-fat coconut milk
3 tablespoons pineapple juice (I use the juice from a small can of pineapple chunks and then reserve the pineapple for topping the tacos)
1 lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
one 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
Flour tortillas for serving
Toppings:  Pineapple chunks, cubed avocado, sour cream, shredded white cheddar cheese, sour cream, cilantro

  1. In a large skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.  Add chopped onion, minced garlic, salt, and pepper and cook until the garlic and onions have softened (about 3 to 5 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, mix cumin, chili powder, oregano, paprika, and cayenne together in a small bowl. 
  3. When garlic and onion have softened, add pork and spices to the skillet.
  4. Cook pork mixture over medium heat, breaking pork up into small chunks, until pork is cooked through.  Taste and adjust cayenne pepper/salt.  Drain excess fat from the skillet.
  5. Add the coconut milk, and stir until combined.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes until thickened or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  6. Stir in black beans, pineapple juice, and lime juice.  Simmer for an additional two to three minutes.
  7. Serve immediately or allow to continue to simmer over low heat until ready to serve.
  8. Serve by using a slotted spoon to distribute over flour tortillas.  Top with cubed avocado, pineapple chunks, sour cream, shredded white cheddar cheese, and cilantro if desired.
Served approximately 4 people.  Adapted from Food52.

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