Dinners

Recipe—Ground Pork Tacos with Corn Salsa & Cilantro Lime Crema

Okay, here we go, first recipe post of 2020! I feel like it should be something super extreme and mind blowing since you have all been waiting for so long but here we are in the middle of a pandemic and that just seems unrealistic. How are you all doing? Are you cooking at home more than ever? I know I am. I’m trying to use this as an opportunity to eat at home more and save some moolah.

These pork tacos were one of the first meals I made when we went into official “lock down” a couple of weeks ago. When all this really started I did an inventory of what we had in our box freezer and noticed we had TONS of ground pork so I wanted to do something different with that. Ground pork is just not a typical protein to cook with since it has such a different flavor compared to ground beef or ground turkey.

Not to go tooting my own horn or anything, buuuuuut these turned out so freaking good! There are so many great flavors wrapped up in the tortilla. You have the sweet corn salsa, the tangy cilantro lime crema, and then the savory pork cooked in a tomato sauce that has a nice little kick to it thanks to the jalapeño. Nothing too crazy heat wise, my ten-year-old chowed down on them. If you are looking to spice up your typical “Taco Tuesday” give these a try.

Hang in there folks! We are all in this together! Huge virtual hugs (and more recipes) coming your way! xoxox—Diva di Cucina

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CORN SALSA
1 tbsp olive oil
15.25 oz canned corn
2 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
1/3 c cilantro, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CILANTRO LIME CREMA
1/3 c sour cream
2 tsp lime juice
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp water

INGREDIENTS FOR THE PORK
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground pork
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
1/4 c red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
6 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp cumin
1/3 c water
salt and pepper

OTHER INGREDIENTS
tortillas (I loved these with white corn tortillas)
cotija cheese
cilantro, chopped

STEPS FOR CORN SALSA

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat and add the corn.
  • Cook the corn for about 5 minutes stirring every minute or so.
  • Transfer the corn to a medium sized bowl and add the remaining corn salsa ingredients.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir and set aside.

STEPS FOR THE CILANTRO LIME CREMA

  • In a small bowl, whisk together all the cilantro lime crema ingredients and set aside.

STEPS FOR THE PORK

  • Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan the corn was cooked in and turn up to medium-high heat.
  • Add the pork to the skillet and break apart using a spatula.
  • Once the pork has started to brown, add in the jalapeño, red onion, and garlic.
  • Continue to cook until the pork is all brown and cooked through and the onion and peppers are tender.
  • Mix in the tomato paste, cumin, and water and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook for another 2–3 minutes allowing the sauce to thicken up.

TACO ASSEMBLY

  • Warm up your tortillas and top each one with a scoop of the meat, a scoop of the corn salsa, a drizzle of the cream, some cotija cheese crumbles on top, and finish it off with a sprinkling of cilantro.

Enjoy!

Dinners

Recipe—Crock-Pot Pork Ramen Bowls

Recipe—Crock-Pot Pork Ramen

Last year for our anniversary dinner, my husband took me to this swanky restaurant in downtown Sacramento. Their special of the night was a spicy pork ramen bowl. It is totally not something I would typically order but that chilly October night, it just sounded so good. And it was. The spicy broth warmed me right up and it was just so rich and flavorful. Not at all what I had expected. I thought it would be similar to a beef broth but it had so much depth to it.

Ever since then, I have been experimenting with perfecting my version of a pork ramen bowl. I think I have the delicious meal pretty much dialed in. The broth is flavorful and the meat so juicy and tender. This dish warms you from the core out and is a perfect dinner as evenings start to cool with the seasons.

Note: This recipe will make between 4–6 ramen bowls.

Recipe—Crock-Pot Pork Ramen

INGREDIENTS
3 lb boneless pork shoulder
salt and pepper
6 c chicken broth
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp miso broth concentrate
8 tsp chile garlic sauce (4 for the broth, 4 for finishing)
2 tsp ginger paste
2 c shiitake mushrooms
large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 (3 oz) packages ramen noodles (dispose of flavor packets)
4-6 boiled eggs, peeled and halved
1/2 c green onions, chopped

STEPS

  • Season the pork with salt and pepper and place in a crock-pot.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the broth, soy sauce, miso broth concentrate, 4 teaspoons chile garlic sauce, and the ginger paste.
  • Place the mushrooms and sliced onions around the pork shoulder in the crock-pot.
  • Pour the broth mix into the crock-pot.
  • Cook on high for 4–5 hours or low for 7–8 hours.
  • When ready to serve, carefully transfer the pork from the crock-pot to a cutting board.
  • Allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes and then shred using forks.
  • While the meat is resting, cook the ramen per package instructions and drain completely.
  • Distribute the noodles among 4–6 bowls.
  • Top each pile of noodles with a scoop of the shredded pork.
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove the onions and mushrooms from the crock-pot and place around the bowls.
  • Using a ladle, top off each bowl with broth from the crock-pot.
  • Add two boiled egg halves to each bowl.
  • Place a teaspoon of the chile garlic sauce on the top of each pile of meat.
  • Garnish with green onions.
  • Serve with chopsticks and enjoy!
Dinners

Recipe—Chile Verde Stuffed Poblano Chiles

Trying to squeeze in another Mexican dish before Cinco de Mayo this Sunday. This recipe has got to be one of the best Mexican dishes I have ever made! Mind blowing good! The roasted poblanos have a mild roasted flavor that goes great with the green chile sauce and salty pork. Veggies stuffed with meat of any kind are great if you are watching your carbs or restricted to a gluten free diet. My only regret with making these was that there weren’t more! They were a little bit more work then most of my recipes but completely worth it. Take a break from the ordinary Mexican dish and try this extraordinary one.

Note: My recipe calls for Del Real brand chile verde but you can use any shredded meat. I have been using Del Real products for several years because it is so quick, convenient, and affordable. 

INGREDIENTS
4 poblano (pasilla)chiles
16 oz package of Del Real Chile Verde
1 1/2 c pepper jack cheese, shredded
sour cream
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp red onion, diced
1 tbsp jalapeño, diced

STEPS
Note: If you have never before roasted peppers see this previous post on how to roast peppers for some additional guidance.

  • Prepare the chile verde per package instructions.
  • While the pork is cooking place the poblano chiles on a baking sheet.
  • Broil in the oven and turn every 5–7 minutes until all sides begin to blacken.
  • Remove from the oven and transfer the roasted peppers to a large bowl.
  • Cover the bowl with saran wrap and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Set the oven to 350º.
  • While the peppers are sitting use a slotted spoon to remove the pork from the green chile sauce and transfer the meat to a cutting board.
  • Use a fork to shred the pork and place it back in the sauce and let it sit.
  • Gently peel the skin off the peppers.
  • Using a sharp knife make a slice down one side and carefully remove the majority of the seeds.
  • Holding the pepper in your hand place a handful of the pork inside the pepper and top off with a handful of the shredded cheese and fold the pepper around the filling.
  • Place the stuffed pepper in a large baking dish open side up and secure with a toothpick or two to help hold it closed.
  • Continue stuffing the remaining peppers.
  • Drizzle the peppers with half of the green chile sauce that the meat was in.
  • Bake the stuffed peppers in the oven for 15–20 minutes or until all the cheese is melted.
  • Place the peppers on a plate and garnish with the sour cream, cilantro, onion, and jalapeño.
Dinners

Recipe—Pork Chops with Apples and Stuffing

Fall is just around the corner and I can taste it. Literally! I have been in the mood for fall for a couple weeks now and I’m loving all the seasonal recipes, this one especially. It is a seared pork chopped topped with apple pie filling and stuffing and finished of fin the oven to give the stuffing just a little bit of crunchiness. It goes great with some mashed potatoes and green beans. This is an all time fall favorite in our house and I love that it is really quick and easy. I use a little bit of cinnamon and rosemary to bring in some bold flavors. It’s like having apple pie with a side of pork for diner. What’s not to love!?!

INGREDIENTS
4 boneless pork chops
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
salt and pepper
1 1/2 c water
4 tbsp butter
6 oz box Stove Top pork stuffing
2 tbsp olive oil
21 oz can apple pie filling
cinnamon

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • Season the pork chops with the garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  • Place the water and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the stuffing, cover, and set aside.
  • In a large skillet heat up the olive oil and sear the pork chops over medium high heat for 3–4 minutes on each side.
  • Place the seared pork chops in a baking dish.
  • Top pork chops with apple pie filling and place any extra around the pork chops in the baking dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Uncover the stuffing and gently fluff with a fork.
  • Place a mound of stuffing on top of each pork chop and put any extra around the chops in the baking dish.
  • Cover and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Remove foil and cook for an addition 10 minutes.
  • Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Dinners

Recipe—BBQ Bacon Wrapped Pork Chop with Grilled Onions

So the other day I realized that I had yet to post any grilling recipes. What have I been thinking!?! A good amount of the protein prepared in our household is done on our grill thanks to my hubby. Well to make up for a lack of bbq recipes I will give you one of my favorites. These pork chops wrapped in bacon are sure to get your taste buds going and are relatively easy to prepare. The two pork elements truly complement one another both flavor wise and visually. That delicious salty pig topped with the grilled onions saturated in bbq sauce, oohhhhh it is just so good! The bacon really helps to trap in all the juices so you end up with a moist and tender pork chop. Just be sure not to overcook them as pork chops can dry out quickly. This truly is a great grilling recipe to kick start the summer. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
8 strips thick sliced bacon
4 boneless pork loin chops, at least 1” thick
2 tsp McCormick Grill Mates bbq seasoning
1 c of your favorite bbq sauce  (I love Tony Roma’s Original with this recipe)
1 yellow onion
olive oil
salt and pepper

STEPS

  • Wrap one edge of the pork chop with a strip of bacon and then wrap the other edge with a second piece so that the ends overlap.
  • Using a toothpick, secure the bacon where it overlaps by stabbing the toothpick through the bacon and into the chop.
  • Season both sides of the pork chop with bbq seasoning and then drizzle with half of the bbq sauce.
  • Preheat grill to 400º while meat marinades.
  • Cut your onion into 1/4” thick slices.
  • Using toothpicks spear each onion slice going through the layers. This will help keep the onion from falling apart on the grill.
  • Drizzle onion slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Grill pork chops and onions over direct heat for 10 minutes turning once.
  • Transfer the grilled onions to a large sheet of heavy foil and remove the toothpicks.
  • Top onions with remaining bbq sauce and fold the foil like an envelope leaving some air inside.
  • Place foil envelope on the grill and continue to cook it and the pork for an additional 10 minutes turning once more. Pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145º and onions should be nice and tender.
  • Remove toothpicks from pork chops and top with the grilled onions.