bacon guacamole and homemade salsa verde weren't enough, the pork tacos were juicy, flavorful, and all around amazing. I was inspired to make these after a great date night with a friend at Mercadito in the city. This small plate concept Mexican restaurant has a great energy, amazing food, and one of the best desserts I have ever had. Something they call torrejas de bolillo, which is a creme anglais soaked bread with carmel and vanilla ice cream. I will be trying to make this melt in your mouth dessert soon. When trying to replicate some of the flavors in the pork tacos we had, I wanted to simplify the cooking, but keep all the flavor. Mercadito slow braises a pork shoulder for hours, which if you have the time I would try sometime. The rub that I came up could be used on chicken or beef as well. These tacos have a great mouth watering savoriness from the pork, a sweetness from the slaw, and a great unexpected crunch from the peanuts. I served with roasted spaghetti squash and the sauces from Fiesta Part 1. To stretch this meal out I made pork quesadillas the next day for lunch with the leftover meat and tortillas.
Pork Tacos with Honey Lime Slaw and Peanuts
Forks & Amusement 2011
For the Pork:
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, and cumin
3 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced and smashed with the back of your knife to make a paste
1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin (could use 1 whole or 2 small)
For the Slaw:
2 tablespoons light sour cream or nonfat Greek yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons honey
juice of one lime
1 handful of cilantro, chopped
2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
1/2 head of cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 cup crushed peanuts
tortillas of your choice heated according to package instructions
Combine all the seasonings for the pork in a small bowl and stir to combine well. Rub seasoning all over the tenderloin, cover and refrigerate at least for 1 hour and up to overnight.
Preheat grill or grill pan on stove to medium-high heat. Grill tenderloin for 15-20 minutes (depending on thickness), turning over once until cooked through. Let rest for 5 minutes with a foil tent cover. Cut into 1/2 inch sized cubes and toss in any remaining juices from cutting board.
Meanwhile, combine the sour cream, salt, pepper, honey, lime, cilantro, and scallion in a large bowl. Mix to combine. Add the cabbage and toss to coat. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
To assemble: Place two tortillas on each plate. Fill with some of the meat, top with a little slaw, and sprinkle with the peanuts. Serve immediately.