Easter Dinner Fiesta!
I know this is quite belated, but as they say, whoever They are, better late than never! Once again, my family decided to go against the norm, as we have for a couple of years now, and have a Taco Bar for a major holiday. Tacos are right up my alley, so I immediately went to work. Marinated, seared and braised pull pork, ground beef (my mom's request) and sides, such as my Green Chile, Refried Bean and Cheesy dip. This is not a recipe-by-recipe blog post as my varied pulled pork taco recipes are littered throughout my entire blog.
I marinated two pork shoulder butt roasts in a mixture of fresh orange and tangerine and grapefruit juices (to make a citrus Pibil), along with fresh crushed garlic, grated onion and fresh chile ancho paste, mirin and extra virgin olive oil. I let that work its tenderizing and flavoring magic overnight before searing the roasts. I placed the roasts in two dutch ovens over a bed of thick sliced onions (which you can see I saved some and placed them in the Pibil) and topped with fresh orange discs. The balance between savory, heat and sweet and tart juices was just incredible, if I don't say so, myself. I felt that I had done "good". In in small, taco truck sized corn tortillas, they are awesome with fresh made salsa verde!
My mother, as I mentioned, above, loves hard shell tacos, and she has fallen in love with the flat-bottomed shells. I made her ground beef tacos, at her request. I used my Mexican Spice Blend with fresh onion, garlic, diced, roasted green chiles. My Mexican Spice blend is a mix of smoked paprika, chipotle powder, pasilla powder, dried, crushed oregano, ground time leaves, salt and pepper, granulated garlic and granulated onion and crushed cumin and coriander seeds (which I grind in my spice grinder or my mortar and pestle). I toasted my spice blend before grinding it and using it in my taco meat.
This photo was taken before my spice blend was added, except for salt and pepper.
Next, a dip recipe my mom and I concocted together. My family loves our "ancient family secret" recipe, which I have blogged several versions of: "Stuff on Fritos". Started off back in the old days as venison with wild onions and wild garlic on corn bread. Its other incarnation is currently "Indian Tacos" on fry bread (which I have blogged; you can find the recipe here!) and for modern times, Stuff on Fritos. For the fun of it, I call it our Ancient Family Secret. With that said and aside, mom and I decided to mix refried beans with diced green chiles, two heaping tablespoons of my Mexican spice blend, onion and garlic. We layered it. In a bread baking pan, I placed a layer of the refried bean mixture, a layer of cheddar cheese (I would have used Oaxaca or a Mexican white cheese, but my mom wanted cheddar) and repeated until it had all been used. Finally, we topped that with a thick layer of cheddar, green chiles that had been left over, and a mix of my spice blend and lemon pepper. We baked it at 350-degrees for forty minutes. Wonderful dip for Any occasion!
The Layered Bean Dip
And now for a short narrative of the entire spread.....
Other than the usual condiments, tomatoes, sour cream and cheddar cheese, I made guacamole with cilantro, red onion and oregano. I also made my citrus salad with mozzarella and balsamic drizzle. In the center are two small dishes. One is my layered bean dip, and the other is shredded chicken with chipotle in adobo, onion, garlic, thyme, cilantro and my spice blend for tacos.
Easter Spread is complete!
I love it when my family, who, for fifty years, was stuck in tradition, steps and thinks out of the box and enjoys colorful, flavorful non-traditional dishes on holidays! Perhaps YOU can start your own traditions, too!
Thank You for your time and readership, gentle readers!