Taco nights are a weekly staple menu item at our house. I don’t necessarily have taco nights on Tuesdays, but there is at least one night of the week where Eric and I MUST have tacos for dinner. It’s a simple meal to put together, fast and simple. Sometimes I want to have that authentic taqueria flavor right at home rather than heading out to our favorite taco truck. (Kogi!) We have had our fair share of taco meals at home: tequila-chile lime steak tacos, pulled pork tacos, tacos de carnitas with salsa verde, chorizo, mushroom and potato tacos and chipotle chicken tacos. We have all loved all these meals and made them countless times, too.
This recipe is a latest find from the recent issue of Cooking Light so you knew it had to be healthy and delicious. I absolutely loved the simplicity of the ingredients – lime and oregano are two of my favorite flavor combinations for tacos, too. Tenderizing the meat really helps combine the flavors together without spending too much time marinating the pork. If you are afraid of the chipotle heat from the peppers, just use the sauce to get a little bit of that subtle sweet smoky flavor. Or you can opt to not add it at all, but the little bit of sweet heat is a great bite of taco heaven. Try to find the manchego cheese instead of regular Monterey jack, it’s a great Spanish cheese that has a nice deep nutty flavor. (I found it at Trader Joes!)
Perfect weeknight “taco” meal.
Chipotle Pork Tacos
Adapted from Cooking Light April 2011
1 pound pork chops
1 ½ teaspoon grated lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoon minced fresh oregano, (or ½ teaspoon dry oregano)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 teaspoon garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup shallots, sliced (or onions)
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Mexican crema or sour cream
½ cup Manchego cheese, shredded
Place the pork chops between two sheets of parchment paper and tenderize using a meat mallet. Pound to ¼ inch thickness. Cut into small strips and place in a large bowl. Add the lime zest, lime juice, fresh oregano, brown sugar, chopped chipotle chiles, garlic and salt.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the extra-virgin olive oil. Sauté the shallots until tender. Add the pork to the skillet and cook until it is no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
Warm the tortillas in the microwave or on a hot grill and spoon about 2 tablespoons of the pork mixture, a teaspoon of Mexican crema, some manchego cheese and garnish with chopped cilantro.
Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Info: Calories: 299; Fat 9.3 g; Protein: 27.3g; Carbs: 27.4g; Fiber: 2.6g
Review: Mmmm, soooo good. These were a bit spicy for my husband, but he endured it because he loved the twist on a traditional favorite meal of ours. Eric ate 5 tacos in one sitting! Wow!