Real Food for Real Life

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cilantro love...

 al pastor de pollo y chrorizo

Yesterday, before I had decided what I would be making for dinner, I posted a New York Times article to the blog's Facebook page about some people's dislike of cilantro.  No doubt influenced by the article, and the fact that I happen to love cilantro (I rank it as a favorite herb), I decided on a cilantro heavy, Mexican inspired dinner.  My favorite peurco mexicano after carnitas is al pastor,.  While I did not have the pork to make this, I really wanted the flavor, so I substituted chicken, and also threw in some chorizo (I love that too).  The chicken, chorizo, and pineapple were grilled up nice before getting a rough chop and toss together.  This was served with flour tortillas (Ben and I roll them up and eat them like bread, while the kids fill them as tacos), a chunky guacamole/pico de gallo hybrid (made with fresh cilantro), chopped cilantro and onions, lime wedges, and finally, some crumbled cotija cheese.  (Wow, did I really just get six embedded links in that short bit of writing?)

al pastor de pollo y chorizo

8 oz. orange juice
2 tbs. white distilled vinegar (yes, white distilled)
2 tbs. ancho chili powder (use regular chili powder if you don't have it)
2 large canned chipotle chilies, minced, plus 2 tsp. of the adobo sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 tbs.)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. oregano (preferably Maexican)
1 tsp.coarse salt
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts
1 pkg. Johnsonville chorizo links
1 fresh pineapple

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a gallon zip-lock bag; add the chicken and marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours (preferably longer).  When ready to cook, cut off the top and bottom of the pineapple, stand it up on your cutting board and follow the shape of the fruit to cut off the peel.  Halve lengthwise and reserve 1/2 for another use.  Cut the remaining half in half lengthwise, cut out the core, and cut each piece into 3 long spears.  Grill everything until done, with nice char, and the pineapple is caramelized (Benn grilled the pineapple as long as the meat).  Let it rest for 10 minutes or so, then chop and toss everything together.  Serve with flour and/or corn tortillas

Grilled Pineapple with Dulce de Leche

If you want something sweet to end this meal, go ahead and spear and grill the whole pineapple.  Use half for dinner and use the other half for desert.  Cut the still warm spears into bite sized pieces and drizzle with dulce de leche straight from the can (this can be purchased in the Latin section of most grocery stores). Yum, yum.

Chunky Guacamole

2 ripe avocados, diced
2 tomatoes, seeded and finely diced (discard any juice that may collect on the cutting board)
2 jalapenos, finely diced (more or less, to taste)
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
handful fresh cilantro leaves, minced
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Combine the ingredients to mix well; the avocado will blend somewhat into the other ingredients, but don't mash it.  While the lime juice will retard the browning of the avocado, when storing cover the surface (touching) with plastic wrap.

Finely diced onion and fresh cilantro, one of the best condiments ever...Ben and I even like this in the bun with a grilled hot dog and mustard (weird, I know).  Sorry for the quality of today's pictures, I obviously wasn't using the camera very well :(

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