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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pork Tacos-Dallas Gas Station Style,Austin-Style Black Beans

      Sooo a few weeks back I was asked to participate in a cookbook spotlight cook-off,I jumped at the chance to not only cook with a bunch of fantatstic fellow bloggers,but support Lisa Fain of Homesick Texan.( *This post is part of The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef*)
  I have read Lisa's blog for a few years now and have formed a real appreciation for tex-mex cuisine.She really is a homesick Texan and through her writing has made me a homesick Texan too!
             Lisa has written a phenomenal cookbook titled Homesick Texan and it is one fine cookbook.I received my copy of this darn fine cookbook and I haven't put it down since...some folks read suspense novels I read cookbooks. The recipes are simple,rich and transport you back to the heart of a Texas kitchen in no time flat.I am from the South and I love that I know recipes that are rich in southern tradition,but folks after reading this cookbook a small part of me wants to be Texan. The recipes in this book are filled peppers,tomatillos,cilantro and so much more.I love cilantro. I love cilantro almost as much as Lisa Fain loves Texas. I am thrilled that she put her love of Texas and it's cuisine on the pages of this cookbook. She has shared her heritage with us through this cookbook and the next few weeks I will share with you the recipes from her cookbook.
So let's get to it:
  First up: Pork Tacos,Dallas Gas Station Style.
        Lisa explained the in gas stations all throughout Texas there are short-order cooks cooking up amazing taco creations.Dallas,Texas is the sort-of mecca for gas station tacos and she has recreated her version of gas station tacos. The pork pieces are marinated in a rich pasilla pepper marinade,fried in a skillet and stuffed in a tortilla. Perfect.
Pork Tacos,Dallas Gas-station Style
adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook
written by Lisa Fain
For the Pork:
4 dried pasilla chiles,stems and seeds removed
2 lbs pork shoulder ( I used pork boston butt, I couldn't find pork shoulder for some reason.)
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo
4 cloves garlic,chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
small pinch of ground cloves
1/4 c orange juice
1/4 c pineapple juice
1TBL white vinegar
2 TBL olive oil
 salt,to taste
1 TBL vegetable oil
For the tacos:
6 jalapeno chiles
tortillas,either flour or corn
1/2 c chopped cilantro
1/4 c medium yellow onion,diced
1 lime cut into wedges
salsa,for serving
1. In  a dry skillet heated on high,toast the pasilla chiles on each side for about 10 minutes or just until they puff up.Fill the skillet with enough water to cover the chiles. Bring to a boil the cut the heat off and let the chiles soak until soft,about 30 minutes.
2.While the chiles soak,rinse the pork and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
3. Once the pasilla chiles are rehydrated,drain and rinse.Place the chiles in a food processor along with the chipotle chile,garlic,oregano,cumin,cloves,orange juice,pineapple juice,vinegar and olive oil.Blend until smooth,puree form.Taste and salt.
4.Toss the pork with the chile puree,place in a nonreactive bowl and store covered in the fridge for 8 hours.
5.Before cooking let the pork sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.To cook the pork,heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium heat.Fry the pork in the skillet for 15 minutes,stirring occasionally.
6.While the pork cooks,place the jalapenos under the broiler for 10 minutes,or until blackened.Serve with warmed tortillas,cilantro,onion and lime wedges . Serve salsa on the side. **I sprinkled a little cotija cheese on my tacos,perfec
And now the best black beans I have ever had... Austin-Style Black Beans:
   I really liked black beans before making this recipe,now I love them.I also love this recipe for two reason a.All of the love and flavor that goes into this recipe shows in every bite.b. I reread the recipe a few times before realizing that you don't have to soak the beans overnight.You use dried black beans,plain and simple. I understand that the beans cook for a little bit,but no need to soak them overnight.Huh...It doesn't take much for me some days.Ok on to the beans.
Austin-Style Black Beans:
adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook
written by Lisa Fain
1 lb dried black beans
1 TBL vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion,diced
1 carrot,diced
4 cloves garlic,minced
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo,chopped
1/2 c chopped cilantro,divided
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 TBL tomato paste
1/4 c lime juice
salt,to taste
1.Rinse and sort through the beans,removing any shriveled beans or stones.Place the beans in a large pot and cover with one inch of water.Bring to a boil and then cook for 15 minutes.
2.Drain and rinse the beans in a colander in the sink.
3.Return to the empty pot on the stove and on med-low heat the vegetable oil.Add the onions and carrots to the pot and stir occasionally.Cook  until the onions are transluscent and the carrots have lightened in color,about 8 minutes.Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
4.Returns the rinsed and drained beans to the pot along with the chipotle and 1/4 cup of the cilantro.Cover with 2 inches of water,bring to a boil, and then turn the heat down to low and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours.
5.After 1 1/2 hours,add the remaining cilantro,cumin,tomato paste and lime juice.Taste and add salt.Cook uncovered for 30 minutes more or until the beans are tender.When the 30 minutes is over,smash a few beans on the side of the pot or with a potato masher to thicken the broth.Stir the pot and serve.



  1. I'm so happy that you're enjoying the book and that you decided to join in this fun cook-off, Meredith. Your meal looks fantastic! =)

  2. I love my beans and these were fantastic. The picture with the cookbook open in the background is so fun--your tacos and beans look like they turned out fabulously. Great cooking along with you. ;-)

  3. Meredith, I too believe that cilantro makes everything! :) Glad to be sharing this adventure with you.

  4. I love it when people do shots of all their ingredients lined up. It's like taking a peek in someone's pantry:) I'm so happy that you love the book. I've been toting mine around at my side too, reading it like a novel.

    The pork tacos and beans look great. Nice cooking along with you!

  5. I love to read cookbooks like novels! I can't wait to get my copy in the mail. I agree, these were the best black beans I've ever tasted! :)

  6. Everything looks wonderful. I'm so happy to have met you through this new adventure! Looking forward to cooking with you this month :)

  7. glad your enjoying the book!! yummy!

    glad to be cooking along with you!