Chipotle pulled pork and pineapple tacos

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While I’ve not yet travelled to Mexico (and any long-distance overseas travel is probably not on the cards anytime soon) I really do enjoy Mexican food. Perhaps it is because it is relatively simple to create, with a focus on lots of fresh and interesting flavours? Or perhaps it is the spice-factor, that keeps my palate happy?

And these chipotle pulled pork tacos did not disappoint – in  both flavour and spice factor.

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Created with the help of my trusty slow cooker  and time. Lots of time.

With 8 hours taking a large piece of pork shoulder from this…

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To this!

IMG_5565We loaded up the soft tortillas with the pork (of course) and a variety of other toppings – including red cabbage, a spicy green coriander sauce, lime mayonnaise, and grilled pineapple. IMG_5568 And our craving for Mexican food was thereby sated!
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Chipotle pulled pork and pineapple tacos

  • 5 chipotle chillies in adobo
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 150g pineapple, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp ground cumin + 1 tsp
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs white vinegar
  • 1.5kg boneless pork shoulder
  • a bunch coriander
  • 1 green chilli
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • To serve: soft corn tortillas, mayonnaise (mixed with a splash of lime juice and sprinkled with lime zest), shredded red cabbage, grilled pineapple slices and lime wedges.
  1. Place pork into the bowl of a slow cooker.
  2. Process the chillies, orange juice, pineapple, tomato, garlic, 2 tsp cumin, oregano, salt and vinegar until combined. Pour over the pork, turning to coat.
  3. Cover and look on low for 8 hours. Remove pork and shred, then return pork to the sauce to keep warm.
  4. Meanwhile, make a spicy green sauce by processing the coriander, chilli, spring onions, ground coriander, juice/zest and oil – until well combined. Season to taste.
  5. Serve the pulled pork in tortillas, and top with cabbage, mayonnaise, spicy green sauce and grilled pineapple – and finish with a squeeze of lime juice.

What about you? Do you have a favourite Mexican dish?

Mexican-inspired soup

IMG_4564 I have this feeling that our household is feeling the strain of what has been a rather big year. Everyone is a tad under the weather  and Little J is, we think, cutting a new tooth (and waking up hourly overnight as a result).  The bags under our eyes grow, as does my reliance on caffeine, and we are definitely counting down the days until we can all take a nice holiday together! In the meantime, though, we are trying to keep healthy and happy. At least in the kitchen – where dinner time is a lovely constant amongst the chaos. Not that it needs to be fancy, though. For this meal was inspired by little more than a tin of condensed soup. IMG_4554 We’d had limited sleep the night before, and the littlest member of our family took only a short nap during the day. The change in season had also brought with it a barrage of sniffles and sneezes, and a general lack of energy.  But dinner time was fast approaching, so I decided to get creative with that humble tin of soup. And it didn’t take much to turn it from a “plain jane” tomato soup, into something more exciting! Onion, garlic and corn were added, as was a good amount of chilli. Blended until smooth, then finished with beans and more corn. And more chilli. IMG_4560 Topped with all the good stuff too – avocado, coriander, sour cream and spring onions.  Served alongside some cheese-topped corn chips that we’d oven baked for 10 minutes or so. IMG_4561 Who says canned soup has to be boring!! Mexican-inspired soup (serves 2 – 3)

  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 corn cobs, kernels removed
  • 2 red chillies, sliced
  • 1 300g tin of condensed tomato soup (+ 1 tin of water)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tin 4-bean mix, drained and rinsed
  • Toppings: avocado, sour cream, coriander, spring onions
  1. Sautee onion and garlic in a little olive oil in a medium saucepan until soft.
  2. Add half of the corn kernels, chillies, soup and water. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes or so. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add the remaining corn, chilli powder and beans, and stir to combine. Heat through, and season to taste.
  4. Divide among serving bowls, and top with avocado, sour cream, coriander and spring onions (or a selection of these!)

What about you? Do you like to jazz up the humble tinned soup?

Enchiladas, two ways

IMG_8607 I am hopelessly behind in posting about our recent meals. Again. But it seems that as my ‘real job’ gets busy, time for blogging disappears. The time for cooking, however, does not. And I aim to make a home- cooked dinner at least 6 days a week. This meal, or should I say meals, came about when I had too much of a spicy chicken enchilada mixture left. IMG_8601 The first night, we went the traditional route…enclosing the spicy chicken mince mixture in wholemeal tortillas… IMG_8604 Topped with some extra tomato passata and a good amount of grated cheese. IMG_8605 Baked to perfection, and enjoyed with a salad on the side. IMG_8608IMG_8616 But the second night, we went down a different path. Same spicy mince mixture, but this time it was stirred through some cooked macaroni and spinach leaves, IMG_8623 Topped with some cheese (yes this girl loves cheese)… IMG_8629 And baked until brown and bubbly. Then, in a moment of brilliance(?!) I found a use for the last tortilla we had leftover from the night before. Simply – cut into squares and placed on the pasta bake for the last 5 minutes of cooking. IMG_8634 Into a bowl – and topped with avocado, coriander and a little spoonful of sour cream – we had ourselves an enchilada pasta bowl! IMG_8636 Randomly delicious indeed! What about you? Are you a fan of enchiladas? ps. stay tuned for a few changes on the ‘blog’ in the next week or so. I’m thinking its time for a lil’ bloggy makeover…..

Tortilla party for two

IMG_6717 I was taking a look back through my 2014 photos, and discovered this series that was yet to make it onto the blog. But it really was such a delightful little meal, easy to prepare and packed with flavour, that it would be sad to overlook it. IMG_6712 For courtesy of a random buy – we now have our very own tortilla warmer! A gadget that I think would be perfect for a Mexican-inspired dinner party – or as it was on this occasion – a simple tortilla dinner for two! IMG_6711 We seasoned and fried some beef strips, then set out the remainder of the fillings…. IMG_6710 Lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, coriander and spicy salsa sauce. Then got creative and built our own tortillas! IMG_6714 Oh boy this took me back to dinners when I was growing up. Although back then there was no fancy tortilla warmer – just a mad dash to make and eat our allocation before the bread became cold and unworkable. IMG_6715 So I was rather chuffed on this occasion that we didn’t have to make them all at once, and could go back for seconds (thirds….) whenever we felt like it. IMG_6716 I see a mad Mexican party sometime soon! What about you? Are you a fan of tortillas?

Salmon with ‘Mexican’ rice

IMG_4051 Its been a rather creative week in cafe BBB, as I attempt to create dinners using what ingredients we have on hand, rather than stick to any specific menu plan. Not intentionally (for my this ‘plan’ loving girl will always prefer structure), it just seems to have worked out that way. One such meal was this salmon with ‘Mexican’ rice – inspired by some leftover rice from the weekend’s apricot chicken dinner, and upon realising that I had a lovely avocado sitting in the fruit bowl. So into a pan went the cooked rice, garlic, chilli, fresh diced tomatoes and corn. Heated slowly, until the rice had warmed through. IMG_4050 Meanwhile I had some frozen salmon fillets doing their thing in the oven, and 20 minutes or so later it was ready to ‘plate up’! IMG_4054 The spicy Mexican rice, grilled salmon, topped with diced avocado, aioli and fresh coriander. IMG_4055 And, truth be told, I was pretty happy with the result. It looked pretty, was packed with flavour, and helped me use up some leftover ingredients. IMG_4057 A meal that almost certainly should make a more regular appearance! What about you? How do you like to use up leftover rice?

A BBB Mexican Fiesta

IMG_1329 With fond memories of the wonderful Mexican food we indulged in while travelling through the USA last month…. IMG_1336 I wasted no time on our return to Australia in attempting to recreate the wonderfulness at home. Corn tortillas, marinated meat, fresh ingredients…. IMG_2266 A little Mexican fiesta if you please…. BBB style. I figured that our regular Sunday night family dinner would be the perfect opportunity to spread my love of tacos and guacamole. But, rather than rely on the boxed old ‘el paso concoctions, I wanted to go gourmet. Just a little gourmet. So in place of the regular minced beef / seasoning taco filling, I had a lamb shoulder simmering in tomato, spices and citrus all afternoon, until the meat literally fell off the bone, and was able to be shredded with ease. IMG_2246 Back into the sauce (that I had reduced until it was more of a syrup than sauce), and we had ourselves the first taco filling… IMG_2252 Pulled pork…BBB style! And in case pork wasn’t your thing, chicken thighs poached with onion, then shredded and stirred through a coriander onion pesto, resulted in our second taco filling…. IMG_2237 Coriander chicken (recipe to follow!) IMG_2241 But no Mexican fiesta would be complete, of course,  without a big range of tasty and fresh fillings. And, when they are all laid out in a ‘build-your-own-taco’ production line, well it is easy to keep all hungry mouths (and all fussy tummies) happy. IMG_2260 The selection? Cinnamon sweet potato puree, guacamole and chopped pineapple…. IMG_2262 Tomato, red onion and lettuce…. IMG_2253 Sour cream and grated cheese…. IMG_2255 With a little coriander and leftover cheddar olive cornbread, to make the meal complete. IMG_2257 But what about the edible bowls and plates? We settled on two choices of tacos – hard corn shells…. IMG_2269 As well as soft corn tortillas. IMG_2271 While the meats for this fiesta may have taken a while to put together, the meal itself could not have been simpler. Just chop and display – and let the family go taco wild! A little dinner fun for all concerned 🙂 IMG_2258 I stuffed two taco shells with the rich pulled pork, together with as many of the fresh fillings I could fit in…. IMG_2264IMG_2265 And a soft corn tortilla, loaded with the coriander pesto chicken and fresh salad. IMG_2263 It was actually hard to pick a favourite between the two taco varieties, but I did really enjoy the pulled pork. Sweet, rich, and delectably tender. Made all the more delicious by my other taco must have ingredients – guacamole, cheese and fresh coriander. IMG_2267 Our little Mexican Fiesta turned out to be a perfect send off for the weekend. And, having a tonne of ingredients leftover has certainly made my lunch choices easy over the next few days! Oh yeah…..and did I mention dessert???? IMG_2199 Stay tuned! What about you? What is your favourite taco ingredient?