Meg’s Cooking Corner

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pork Soft Tacos

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I don't have a fun green recipe for you, although there are green avocados in this dish! We are preparing to put our house on the market so I have not had as much time for cooking lately as I would like. After a hard day of remodeling bathrooms, organizing closets, and worst of all, going through the dreaded paper piles, I'm tired! This recipe makes a great weeknight dinner that's interesting and quick to make. I adapted it from a Rachael Ray recipe. My previously posted Mexican Rice and a green salad would be great side dishes to serve with this. Find more recipes at Tasty Tuesday and Tempt my Tummy Tuesday.

Pork Soft Tacos

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped (divided)
1 pound ground pork
1 Tbsp sweet smoky paprika
1/2 Tbsp chili powder
salt and pepper
eight 6-inch flour tortillas
one 10-ounce pkg frozen corn, thawed (or one 8-oz can corn, drained)
2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime (about 1 Tbsp)
shredded monterey jack or cheddar cheese
2 avocados, cut into wedges

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add half the onion and cook until softened. Add the pork, paprika and chili powder. Cook and break up the meat until browned and cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If you want to warm your tortillas, place them in a 300 oven for about five minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the corn, remaining onions, cilantro and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, top each warm tortilla with cheese, meat, corn salsa and avocado wedges.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Classic Buttermilk Waffles

Last week our family had the stomach flu. While my kids bounced back quickly, I didn't feel well the whole week. Consequently, we ate a lot of simple food. One of our favorite comforts is having breakfast for dinner. In fact, we eat breakfast for dinner so often that my four year old son is a bit confused. He spent the night at my mom's and she made him waffles for breakfast. He looked down at the waffles and said, "grandma, we eat waffles for dinner, not breakfast!" Oops... Well, enjoy this recipe for buttermilk waffles from The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion. They are simple to make and delicious no matter if you decide to have them for breakfast OR dinner!

Why use buttermilk instead of milk? The acidity in buttermilk tenderizes the gluten (protein) in the flour and helps it to rise better. TIP: If you don't have buttermilk on hand, try these substitutes. For 1 cup buttermilk: Mix 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar with 1 cup milk and let it sit for five minutes. Or mix 1/4 cup milk with 3/4 cup plain yogurt. They also sell powdered buttermilk that you mix with water. Find this recipe and more at Tasty Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday and Kitchen Tip Tuesday.
Classic Buttermilk Waffles

2 large eggs
1 3/4 cup (14 oz) buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temp (*important to cool it first)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (or can use 2 cups {8 oz} pastry flour)
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup pecan meal (optional, I haven't tried but would be good to add a nutty flavor)

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients; combine the wet and dry ingredients just until smooth.

Spray the waffle iron with a nonstick cooking spray and preheat it. For an 8-inch round waffle, pour about 1/3 cup batter onto iron. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the iron stops steaming.