A Mexican meal

Saveur came out with their second summer Mexican issue this year (the last one was last summer) and I was inspired.  Josh and I started cooking on Thursday for our Saturday night dinner.  It was the key as there is a lot of chopping involved.  Then on the night of our dinner I got the family to all jump in on to make life easier…and fun. 

Here is the meal.  slow roasted marinated pork shoulders, guacamole, pineapple salsa, tomatillo salsa, corn salad, mexican rice, corn and flour tortillas and sliced pineapple. 

The pork was marinated for 24 hours.  In a blender I mixed up half a chopped pineapple, one small spanish onion, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 2 tsp. kosher salt, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. oregano, 1/4 large dried black chile that I had brought back from Mexico and 1/2 tsp. of canned adobe chiles.  Put this in a zip-lock bag with two 3.5 lb. tied up pork shoulders.  When the time came, I put them in the oven at 250 for about 6 hours until you could pull the pork apart.

Guacamole is my standard.  No recipe per se but just feel.  Chopped avocados, chopped Vidalia onions, chopped Italian tomatoes, chopped cilantro, chopped jalapenos, lime juice and tabasco sauce. 

Pineapple salsa.  2 cups chopped pineapple, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, 1/2 cup fresh lime juice, 1 tbsp. sugar, 2 tsp. kosher salt, 2 jalapeno peppers chopped, 1 small red onion chopped.  Mix together. 

Green tomatillo salsa.  4 tomatillos peeled, 2 medium white onions chopped, 2 jalapenos stemmed, 1 tsp. sugar, a bunch of cilantro.  Place the tomatillos, onions and jalapenos in a saucepan and cover with water about 1" over.  Bring to a boil and cook until slightly soft.  Drain and reserve 1 cup cooking liquid.  Transfer to a blender with the liquor, sugar, cilantro, salt and pulse until chunky.  I made ours more pureed.

Mexican rice.  This serves 8 people.  I doubled it for our crew.  1 cup chicken stock, 1 15oz. can whole tomatoes with the juice, 2 serrano chiles halved with seeds removed, 1/2 small spanish onion minced, 2 cups white rice, 1 cup frozen peas.  Place stock and tomatoes in a blender and puree.  Heat oil in a sauce pan and add in the onions, chiles and rice.  Saute for about 2 minutes.  Add in the tomato mixture (measure it as for 2 cups of rice you need 4 cups liquid) and peas.  Bring to a boil then down to simmer.  Cover and let cook until done.  15 minutes or so.  Fluff with a fork and add salt to taste.

Corn salad.  I grilled all the ears of corn then took it all off the husks.  I added fresh lime juice, a tiny bit of mayonaisse to stick, some cayenne pepper and grated queso blanco cheese.  We got the cheese from a local Mexican grocery store.  Not always easy to find.  I played around with the amounts until I got it right.  Really good. 

A really good meal.  What I love about the tacos is that they are interactive.  Everybody creates their own taco to their liking.  It is like when I used to take cupcakes with all the fixings to the kids classrooms when they were young.  You would get the most creative cupcakes.  Same thing with the tacos.  Everybody had a little bit of a different take.  These are Josh's above.