Friday, January 18, 2013

Sharing Heritage



I am one of the few lucky people that love my job.  I spent 14 years as a court reporter, but I finally became so burned out that I never wanted to look at another transcript again.  And I am one lucky woman in the sense that my husband is wonderful.  We relocated a few years ago, and he told me I should do whatever I wanted and whatever makes me happy.  And that's cooking!  I love to cook, especially for grateful eaters.

So I took a job at a restaurant/bakery, and I've enjoyed every second of it.  I also really enjoy the people I work with who have become my second family.  I've never had a job where everyone was so close and where we have a good time all the time.  Everyone says "good morning" every day and tells everyone "bye" every day.  We all ask about each other's lives, children, families, etc.  It's truly a blessing to have that.

Two of the ladies that I work with are Hispanic, and I very much embrace that.  The reason behind my embrace is that I'm actualy 1/16th Hispanic.  You wouldn't know it by looking at me because I'm blond-haired and blue-eyed.  The rest of me is mostly German with a little Norwegian mixed in.  Anyway, that's beside the point.  The two ladies I'm speaking of, Lupe and Maria, have become great friends to me and also great teachers.  They often cook breakfast for the employees, and they share their culture with us.  I've learned new dishes that my family and I love, like Fideo con Pollo, which is a Hispanic type of pasta with chicken dish, and the one in the picture above, Picadillo, which is a Mexican Hash.  We ate it in tortillas, but that's not a requirement.  We just love to eat everything in tortillas.  And I've shared things with Lupe and Maria like Chicken & Dumplings and how to roast veggies like asparagus.  It's the simple trading of heritage that brings us all together.

Now, I made this the other night, and my family devoured it.  I even made it a little too spicy, and my picky 12-year-old son loved it.  So now I'm going to share this dish, made with love, with you, along with my recipe for Homemade Tex-Mex Tortillas and Rockin' Guacamole.  Buen provecho!


PICADILLO

1 lb ground pork
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 C red onion, diced
1 serrano pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T cumin
1 T garlic powder
1 T chili powder
2 T flour
1 C beef stock
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil

GARNISHES:
Sliced lettuce
Salsa
Sour cream
Guacamole
Cheddar cheese

Coat the bottom of a skillet with vegetable oil.  Cook potatoes in the skillet over medium-high heat until tender.  The goal is not to fry them, just make them tender.  Remove from skillet and drain.

Add onions and serrano to skillet and cook until tender.  Add in the ground pork, garlic, cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until pork is done.  Add the potatoes back in.  Sprinkle the flour over the meat and stir.  Add in beef stock and cook until the liquid is almost gone.  Add in tomato sauce, and cook until the sauce is thickened.  Serve in tortillas and garnish with lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, cheese and salsa.


HOMEMADE TEX-MEX STYLE TORTILLAS

4 C flour
1 1/2 C milk
3 T real butter
2 T lard or shortening
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt

Put milk and butter in a small saucepot and cook over medium heat until butter is melted.  Put remaining ingredients in a stand mixer (you can do it by hand if you don't have a mixer).  Stir until lard is broken down.  Pour in milk/butter mixture and mix until it becomes a ball.  Cover and let rest one hour.

Divide the dough into about 12 balls and let rest 30 minutes. 

After resting, heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat.  Roll out the balls or press in a tortilla press until about 8 inches across.  You may have to carefully stretch them out by hand to get them the right size.  Place a tortilla in the skillet.  Cook on one side until bubbles start to puff up.  Flip and cook about 30-45 seconds on the other side.  Keep warm in a towel inside a tortilla keeper.  Refrigerate leftovers.

TIP:  Leftover tortillas will seem a little hard.  Microwave them in a damp towel and they will soften up.


ROCKIN' GUACAMOLE

2 Haas avacados
1-2 T red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 T cilantro, chopped
1 T jalapeno slices, chopped
Salt to taste

Scoop avacado out of the shells and remove the seed.  Slightly mash the avacados and then add in remaining ingredients and season with salt.  Let refrigerate at least 30 minutes. 

*Add in diced tomatoes if desired.

A Pinterest tip I found:  Spray the top of the leftover guacamole with pan spray to keep it from turning brown.  It works!

4 comments:

  1. Can't wait to make this! YUM!

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  2. Sounds divine ! I have one question because we don't eat pork could ground beef be a substitute?

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    1. Ground beef can absolutely be used. In fact, I think that's probably typically the way it's done. I just like to change things up a bit. Enjoy!

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