Asian Pork Tacos with Do Chua

June 18 - Indian take-out with the in-laws
June 19 - The Shacks came over for tacos and cocktails
June 20 - Dinner out at the Cieli Cottage
June 21 - Grilled Pizza - Feta & Bacon and BBQ Pork with Cheddar, peppers and green onions

If you follow my blog, Piccante Dolce, you'll know that I'm pretty big on canning and preserving.  From freezing seasonal produce to canning it as pickles or jam, I'm all about having some of my favorite veggies for use in the barren days of winter.

This season I've been using a book called Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff which I'm basically in love with.  When I was perusing the book I became mildly obsessed with a quick daikon and carrot pickle and the accompanying recipe for pork tacos to serve it on.  I knew it was something I had to make and when I couldn't wait any longer I invited the Shacks over for dinner for this past weekend and planned my meal.  They were an easy invite, because they love tacos and eat just about anything, plus we're long overdue to have them over for dinner.

I rarely try a new recipe when having guests over, but with this whole No ReEATS thing it's kind of a necessity.  Yes, I still have my own recipes in my stores but I also knew that the Shack's would be forgiving of however dinner turned out and the recipe sounded pretty basic and yet packed full of flavor, so I figured the worse thing that could happen was that it would be a little bland and there's always Sriracha to remedy that.

Luckily it was a hit!  We had some delish cocktails (Rhubarb Mojitos), the boys enjoyed a bunch of beers (it was Father's Day and all so we had to celebrate Shack) and the Kid had lots of play time with Stella, his favorite puggle in the whole world.

"Asia Tacos" with Crisp Braised Pork
serves 4-6
adapted from Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff

for the pork
1 1/2 cups of beef or chicken stock, or water
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsps minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
2 1/2 lbs bone-in country style pork ribs

1.  Preheat the oven the 325F.  In a small sauce pan, combine the broth, soy sauce, lime juice, ginger & garlic and bring toa  oil over high heat.  
2.  Season the Pork with salt & pepper, place in the roasting pan and pour the boiling soy mixture over the pork.  Turn to coat evenly.  Cover with foil and place in the heated oven.
3. Cook until the pork is very tender and easy to shred and pull from the bones, about 2 to 3 hours.
4. Remove from the oven and let cool before shredding into bite-sized pieces.  Can be made a day ahead.

for the cilantro sauce
1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro, including stems
1 hot green chile, stemmed and chopped
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil

1. Combine all of the ingredients in the food processor and puree until smooth

for the tacos
12 fresh corn tortillas
1 pint Do Chau, drained  - recipe below
1 Asian Pear, thinly sliced

1.  Heat a cast iron skillet or other heavy pan over medium-high heat.  Warm the tortillas, 1 or 2 at a time about a minute per side.  Reserve to a clean kitchen towel to keep warm.
2.  Once the tortillas are all heated, add the pork to the skillet and heat turning frequently until the pieces of pork have caramelized and are crispy, about 5 minutes.
3.  Fil the tortillas with pork, top with do chau, pear and cilantro sauce.  Serve.

Do Chau (Vietnamese Carrot & Daikon)
makes about 1 pint

adapted from Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff

1 lb daikon
1 small carrot
2 tsps pure kosher salt
2 Tbsps sugar
1/2 cup distilled vinegar (5% acidity)

1. Pee1 the diakon and carrot and cut into thin julienne strips (using a mandolin or peeler, peel off thin slices, layer and slice into a thin julienne).
2. Place the daikon and carrot in a bowl and toss with the salt.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes, until pieces have become limp and released water. Drain in a sieve, rinse with cold water and squeeze out as much water as possible.  Taste the vegetables and if still too salty rinse again. 
3. Stuff the vegetable sinto a jar or other container with a lid.
4. In a measuring cup or bowl combine the sugar, vinegar and 1/2 cup warm water and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Pour over the vegetables, cover the jar and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.  Keeps in the fridge for about 1 month.


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