Fusion-y Taco ThingyJune 7, 2011
When we planned out our weekly dinner menu for this week, we could never have imagined that last night’s dinner would have ever happened. Let me explain: illness befell the MHK’s executive chef over the weekend, throwing the kitchen into chaos as other staff members scrambled to create dinner for Saturday and Sunday nights. Certain ingredients weren’t used that had been planned, threatening to blow the entire week’s menu into oblivion. But last night, all became right with the world. The recipe that follows was thrown together at the last minute, and as we’ve seen before, that usually means it was a success. Mexico meets Jamaica with this dish featuring fresh ingredients and tons of flavor. The only thing you’ll need to seek out, possibly outside of your normal grocery store, is the jerk marinade. There are some brands in the supermarket, but try to find an authentic Jamaican import like this one. Ideally you’ll want to marinate the pork for 24 hours, but even after only 30 minutes it was great. We cubed the pork and then stir-fried it, but grilling and then cubing would probably be better. The super spicy meat is balanced marvelously by the sweet and smoky relish and the cool, creamy tang of the avocado and lime juice. This is summer on a plate; healthy and bursting with flavor. I’ll be blunt – it’s absolutely frickin’ awesome. Serve it with watermelon for a complete meal that your taste buds will thank you for. Enjoy!
The MHK’s Ja-Mexican Jerk Pork Tacos
1 ½ – 2 lbs. pork tenderloin
¼ cup jerk marinade
4 strips bacon
2-3 ears corn, cleaned, kernels cut off the cob
3 scallions, diced
2 tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
¾ tsp. allspice
2 avocados, halved and sliced
1 tsp. lime juice
12 corn tortillas, warmed
Coat the pork with jerk marinade and refrigerate, up to 24 hours. Oil grill and heat over medium-high. Grill 12-15 minutes per side, turning often until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. While pork cooks, make the relish. Cook bacon in a large skillet on medium heat until crispy. Drain on paper towels and then chop into small pieces. Do not drain skillet – add corn, scallions, tomatoes and allspice. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until corn is just tender, approx. 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl, add bacon and mix; let cool to room temperature. When pork is done, transfer to plate to rest. Sprinkle lime juice over the sliced avocado and place into a small bowl. Chop pork into bite-sized pieces and transfer to platter. Serve pork, relish, and avocados with tortillas. Build tacos. Eat!