Kitchen Confessions: Taco Tuesday any night of the week

Red Deer food columnist Shannon Yacyshyn talks tacos

Hello. My name is Shannon and I’m a tacoholic.

I will literally follow a stranger into an unmarked food truck for a taco. I will trade miscellaneous goods and services for a taco. I have no discretion when it comes to tacos; beef, pork, fish, shrimp, even cauliflower tacos. And I’m not talking about the pre-fab taco kits that come in a red and yellow box at the grocery store that contain little packets of sodium enriched flavouring and salsas that have an infinite expiry date. I’m talking about real food — creating real flavours with real ingredients that you buy or even grow!

You can make tacos in a hurry on the stove top or with a ready prepared protein, such as the rotisserie chickens found at the local market, or you can slow it down and assemble everything in the slow-cooker — ensuring the most tender, juicy tacos ever! Fresh add-ins that make a good taco a great taco: avocado, cilantro, red cabbage, limes, white onion, sliced jalapenos, tomatoes — there are no rules for taco night.

One of my favourite tacos is made with pork tenderloin and reminds me of a street taco one would actually get when travelling to Mexico — made in the slow cooker, this is easy to throw together and have ready when you get home from work.

The fun part: assembling your tacos! Serve on soft corn tortillas, warmed as per the package direction. Salted sliced radishes, cabbage, sliced jalapenos, avocado slices, more tomatoes, a bit of cheese and sour cream and you’re ready to chow down. Variations of this recipe would be by changing the protein and the type of salsa you add to the slow cooker, based on your preference.

Make sure you have lots of napkins on hand and bon provecho!

Slow cooker Pork Taco Verde

Ingredients

  • 1-2 lb pork tenderloin, cut into cubes
  • Olive oil
  • 6 or more cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp oregano, 2 tsp chili powder, 2 tsp cumin, separated
  • 1 bottle salsa Verde (President’s Choice brand is so good!)
  • 1 small can of sliced green jalapenos (optional)
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped grape or heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 large green pepper, seeded and chopped

To make:

Lightly coat a large non-stick skillet with olive oil and bring the heat up to medium.

Prepare the pork by cutting the meat into cubes and tossing them with 1 tsp each of the seasonings. Add 3 cloves of garlic to the hot skillet and heat – basically you are flavouring the oil here; careful not to get it too hot, or you will scorch the garlic and ruin the flavour (the rest of the garlic will go into the slow cooker).

Next, take your seasoned cubes of tenderloin and brown on all sides – don’t overcook!

Now, add the rest of the ingredients to your slow cooker, along with the browned meat and juices and stir.

Set your slow cooker on low for six hours. Depending on the size of the cubes you have cut the meat into, you could shred the pork, or serve in chunks – I leave that to you, but I like it shredded.

Shannon Yacyshyn is a recovering food blogger (the original Red Deer Foodie) who is passionate about trying new ways of cooking healthy foods in her kitchen.

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