Pork Tostadas with Mango and Avocado Salsa

Pork-Tostadas-with-Mango-and-Avocado-Salsa

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

These Pork tostadas recipe started one night having dinner with our neighbors, and of course, talking about food! They were explaining they had discovered this recipe of South American style roasted pork, from Bill Granger using chipotle chilies in adobo… immediately my ears perked up and from then on, I totally patronized the conversation (I can’t help myself, I swear, it is beyond me…) anyway, so much interest I showed that bless them, next thing I know they were knocking on my door with a deboned pork shoulder for me to try the recipe… and they even printed the recipe for me as well. Buuut, me being the adventurous cook I am, decided to ditch the recipe and experiment a little… using of course my new favourite ingredient… chipotle chillies in adobo, the ingredient that sparkled it all.

So “a bit of these and a bit of that” later, my pork shoulder was coated in all kinds of goodness and comfortably snuggled up in a zip lock bag, looking at spending a chilling night in the fridge. The day after I slow roasted the pork for 3 hours (next time I am trying the slow cooker, just to see the differences in texture and taste) I ended up using the oven pan juices to make a gravy/sauce to dress the roasted pork, and what a difference that made!! The fruity salsa goes so perfectly well with the stronger flavors of the smoked chilies and the pork, and the crispy corn tostadas add some crunch and a little nutty taste.

Welcome the classic Sunday roast with a Mexican twist!

Buen provecho amigos!!

Pork-Tostadas

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Pork Tostadas with Mango and Avocado Salsa

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Pork Tostadas with Mango and Avocado Salsa

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 kg (2 lb) deboned pork shoulder, tied up with butchers twine
  • 1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
  • corn tostadas to serve (deep fried corn tortillas)
  • Pork Marinade
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle in adobo paste check notes (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel (make sure to grate just the orange part)
  • juice of one big orange
  • 1/3 cup sherry
  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 dry bay leaf, broken into 3 - 4 pieces
  • Pork Gravy
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 3/4 cup beef stock, warmed
  • Mango & Avocado
  • 1 ripe mango, cubed
  • 1 ripe avocado, cubed
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • black pepper

Directions

  1. Place the first 7 ingredients of the pork marinade in a mortar, pound with the pestle until a uniform paste forms. Reserve
  2. Score pork meat slightly. Massage the reserved paste all over the pork. Place in a zip lock bag, add orange juice, sherry, sliced onion and bay leaf pieces. Seal and place in the fridge to marinate for a few hours (ideally overnight) turning the bag up side down now and then
  3. Preheat oven to 160 °C (325 °F) Place pork in an oven dish, with the marinating juices (discard some of the onion) Pour in 1/2 cup of stock. Cover with tin foil and cook in preheated oven for 1.5 hours. Uncover and cook for another 1.5 hours, basting with the juices occasionally (add more stock if the bottom of the dish starts looking dry)
  4. Gravy: get rid of most of the fat from the oven dish, reserve 1 - 2 tablespoons of the fat and juices. Place dish in the stove over medium heat. Add fat and sprinkle flour, cook for 1 minute. Stir in sherry, cook until evaporates a little, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add stock slowly. Cook for a couple of minutes. If it looks lumpy you can either strain in to a clean pan or process it until smooth. Keep warm
  5. Take pork out from the oven. Rest covered for 15 minutes. Slice and mix it with the warmed gravy
  6. Mango & Avocado Salsa: mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Reserve
  7. Assemble: place roasted pork on top the tostadas, spoon salsa over it. Simple, delicious.
http://www.danceofsaucepans.com/pork-tostadas-mango-avocado-salsa/

Chicken Pita Gyros

Chicken Pita Gyros

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

A century ago (it seems ;0) I worked as a hostess in a Greek cruise ship for 7 months… really fun times! And because I was a “hostess with the mostest” I was lucky enough to be able to get off the boat in every port, what was great as no many cruise ship staff got the same chance; my friend and I explored every corner of the Greek Aegean Islands, Istanbul & Kusadasi. Every Wednesday we stopped in Rhodes for the day, and Rhodes meant, shopping, pita gyros and beach (in that order, religiously) I soooo loved that island and I can almost still taste those glorious pita gyros… Pita gyros consists of a “barbequey” meat (usually pork or chicken) cooked in a vertical spit (like the kebabs, same thing) fresh tomato, red onion, chips and Tatziki or garlicky mayo, all rolled up in a rather soft and “pillowy” pita bread (nothing to do with the ones you buy in the store I am afraid… although, if you don’t have time to make your own pita, store- bought will have to do) this is what the stuff looks like… I had to borrow these couple of photos from Explore Crete as in my lively years all I photographed was… mmm my friends, some interesting sites and the odd hot guy, he he

Gyros---Crete

This recipe might seem rather lengthy, but do not fret, it is not bad at all; it has a few components that can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge (having a barbecue with a grill and a hot plate helps a lot, as you can cook the chicken and the pitas at the same time, while you have a cheeky glass of vino… maybe…) the pita breads almost don’t need any kneading, and anyway it is so nice and relaxing to give the dough a good beating… you will come out of this one, fed and relaxed; best therapy ever!

I tend to go a little heavy on the sauce and love making a little piglet of myself, why not? After all, this version of the pita gyros has probably a fraction of the calories of the real thing, and nothing to envy!

Chicken Pita Gyros

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Chicken-Pita-Gyros

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Chicken Pita Gyros

Yield: 8 smallish pita gyros

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe big tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped (or to taste)
  • oven fries
  • salt & pepper
  • Marinated Chicken
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (or to taste)
  • salt & pepper
  • Garlic Yogurt Sauce
  • 5 tablespoons aioli
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • Pita Bread
  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 250 ml (1 cup) Greek yogurt
  • oil spray

Directions

  1. Place the chicken thighs with the rest of the marinade ingredients in a zip lock bag, give it a little massage to distribute ingredients properly, close and marinate for a few hours (ideally overnight) in the fridge
  2. Garlic Yogurt Sauce: mix aioli and yogurt in a bowl, cover and keep in the fridge
  3. Mix chopped tomatoes and onion in a bowl. Season. Set aside
  4. Cook chicken in a medium heat barbecue or a greased cast iron pan over medium heat in the stove, turning occasioanally until chicken is cooked all the way through. Slice roughly. Keep warm
  5. Cook oven fries on preheated oven, according to packet instructions. Keep warm
  6. Pita Bread: while chicken & fries are cooking, mix the flour, baking powder, oregano and garlic salt together in a bowl. Add the yogurt and stir to combine. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured bench and knead it well until elastic and smooth (about 5 minutes) Divide dough into 8 equal balls. Roll them out with rolling pin to about 3 mm (1/8 in) thick. Heat a frying pan over medium heat (I used the flat iron tray in the barbecue while I cooked the chicken in the grill side) spray a little oil. Cook pitas for a couple of minutes on each side or until lightly golden
  7. Serve warmed pitas topped with chopped chicken, tomato and onion salsa, oven fries and a good dollop of garlic yogurt sauce, roll them the best you can and dig in
http://www.danceofsaucepans.com/chicken-pita-gyros/