Drunken Pulled Pork Quesadillas

quesadillas

New favourite dinner, we had this 2 weeks in a row and not just because the recipe makes so much pulled pork. This was my attempt at recreating the Pulled Pork Quesadillas from Typika in Perth and I have to say, I’m pretty darn pleased with my efforts. The pork came together without too much need for tweaking and the Grilled Corn and Avocado Salsa came out right on the first go as well. Even though both elements are delicious on their own it’s unbelievable how much better they taste together, totally food BFF’s.

If you can’t face doing everything on the same day then cook the pork a day in advance and allow it to nap overnight in the fridge, then all you have to do is whip up the salsa just before you eat. You can feed a bunch of people with 1.5kg of pork or freeze half of it for a future dinner. I cooked the pork in my pressure cooker, which I am currently courting and getting to know a little better. I was scared of it to begin with but with the option of reducing meat to tender shreds in 50 minutes, I’m seriously considering ending things with the slow cooker.

Drunken Pulled Pork Quesadillas

Recipe by Ainsley Badman.

Drunken Pulled Pork:

1 cup smokey BBQ sauce

330 ml beer

1 tsp chilli flakes

2 tbsp smoked paprika

2 tbsp cumin

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp white vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp maple syrup

salt and pepper to taste

1.5 kg pork shoulder, skin removed

In a medium mixing bowl combine all ingredients but the pork, mix well and adjust flavours to your preference.

Place the pork in a pressure cooker and pour over the marinade, cook for 50 minutes (follow your pressure cooker’s instructions).

Alternatively, cook in a slow cooker with the marinade for 7 hours on low.

OR Cook in a 160 C oven for 2-4 hours with the marinade in a dish tightly covered with aluminium foil.

Remove the pork from the sauce and allow to cool slightly, shred with two forks and set aside.

Transfer the liquid into a medium saucepan and simmer until it thickens then mix it back into the shredded pork.

To serve:

grated cheese

flour tortillas

one serve of Grilled Corn and Avocado Salsa

Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat.

Cover half a tortilla with 1/2 cup of cheese and desired amount of the shredded pork, fold in half then grill for 5 minutes on each side (or until the tortilla is light brown).

Serve with Grilled Corn and Avocado Salsa.

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Grilled Corn and Avocado Salsa

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I am just crazy for anything smokey or charred, especially paired with fresh and zingy flavours. As soon as I finished making this salsa I had to test it with a few Doritos, nek minnit half the packet is gone (okay, so that happens any time that I open a packet of Doritos but on this particular occasion the salsa was to blame). It’s great as a dip or as a side, next post I’ll show you what I did with it.

Grilled Corn and Avocado Salsa

Recipe by Ainsley Badman.

1 ear of corn

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

juice of 1 lime

big pinch of salt

125g cherry tomatoes, finely chopped

large handful of coriander, finely chopped

1 avocado, cubed

Leaving the husk on the corn, microwave it for 5 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly then peel of the husk and silk.

Heat a grill pan on medium-high heat, spray the corn with oil and grill on all sides until black and blistered, set aside to cool.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the red onion, lime juice and salt, allow to sit for 5 mins.

Cut the corn off the cob and add it to the mixing bowl along with the cherry tomatoes, coriander and avocado.

Mix gently and taste for seasoning, adding more salt or lime juice to taste.

Tomato Salsa (Pico de Gallo)

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This is the first salsa recipe I tried after becoming interested in making my own, it’s so good that I haven’t got around to trying any other recipes. Coriander seems to be one of those foods that inspires love or absolute hatred, if you’re a hater then you might be reading the wrong food blog. If you don’t have a food processor then just chop everything real fine and mix it together. Slap it on yo tacos or use it as a dip, you can’t go wrong.

Tomato Salsa (Pico de Gallo)

1/2 small red onion

1 jalapeno (de-seeded if you want it mild)

1 bunch of coriander

1 garlic clove

4 ripe tomatoes (or the equivalent weight in cherry tomatoes)

juice of 1/2 lime

1/2 tsp salt

In a food processor pulse the onion, jalapeno, coriander and garlic until chopped finely.

Add in the tomatoes and pulse until they reach desired consistency, pulse longer for a smoother salsa.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add in the lime juice and salt, taste and adjust seasoning.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

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I’m not so far down the rabbit hole that I make tortillas from scratch every time but I really enjoy making them when I have a free afternoon and the inclination. They are soft, fluffy and are great as giant tacos or torn up and dipped in guacamole. I have even started using these tortillas as an easy flatbread to have with Indian food, I just brush them with melted butter and garlic. The great thing about flour tortillas is that you don’t need to own any specialised equipment, just a rolling pin. The Boyfriend had an epiphany about how to eat the leftover tortillas as a midnight snack. He reheated them in a pan on medium heat and sprinkled cheese on top to melt, then we topped them off with Tabasco. Best idea ever. Especially since I have rekindled my love affair with Tabasco after finding my long lost bottle during a pantry clean out. To the point of adding a drop to each chip when eating Doritos (HAVE YOU TRIED THIS?!).

I never seem to be able to roll my tortillas out to the full 8 inches, especially because the original recipe cautions overworking the dough. Make sure that your pan is completely heated before cooking your tortillas, they only need 30 seconds on each side if the pan is properly hot. Also, don’t get bent out of shape if they don’t puff up all the way. I did get bent out of shape the first time I made them and I left them in the pan for too long and they got a bit crispy, this isn’t a problem if you just want them for dipping but they can crack if you want to fold them up like a taco or burrito.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Barely adapted from Lisa’s Texas Flour Tortillas over at Homesick Texan.

2 cups plain flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

3/4 cup milk

2 tsp vegetable oil

Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan on low heat the milk until just warm, then add the milk and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients.

Stir until it forms a loose, sticky ball.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes, until the dough is smooth.

Place the dough in a bowl and cover with clingfilm, allow to rest for 20 minutes.

Cut into 8 sections and roll each one into a ball, place on a plate (not touching), cover with clingfilm and allow to rest for another 10 minutes.

To form the tortillas, place a ball of dough on a well floured surface, pat out into a 4 inch circle then roll out to and 8 inch circle with a rolling pin.

As the tortillas are formed place them in a stack with clingfilm between each one to prevent them sticking.

Heat a dry pan on high, cook the tortillas one at a time for 30-40 seconds on each side, they should puff up a little.

Keep cooked tortillas wrapped in a tea towel until ready to eat.

Korean Burritos (Koritos!)

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In an effort to find different ways to cram Korean food to into my mouth I’ve taken the meat and coleslaw from my Korean Burgers and Slaw recipe, slapped on some Guacamole and wrapped it all in a tortilla. I had a feeling that the spicy pork would go really well with the cool guacamole and not to toot my own horn but I was pretty spot on. What’s the best bit? Apart from the sugar in the pork marinade it’s all pretty darn good for you (just take it easy with the mayo). I cook a lot of Korean food at home because our favourite restaurant (Madtongsan 2) is nestled right in the middle of the CBD and although the food there is cheap the parking is not, meaning we have to decide if we want Korean enough to pay an extra $15.

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The Korean pickled radishes are tangy and spicy, you can find them at most Asian supermarkets but if you can’t get them try using pickled jalapenos. If you don’t like pork then just whip it up with chicken instead, just allow more cooking time.

Korean Burritos

Recipe by Ainsley Badman.

one lot of cooked Marinated Pork and Coleslaw from my Korean Burgers with Slaw post

one lot of Guacamole

flour or corn tortillas

Korean pickled radishes

Japanese mayonnaise

Warm up the tortillas then pile on the cooked pork, coleslaw, guacamole, pickled radishes and mayonnaise.

Mexican Chicken

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Or as it’s know at my house, Mohican chicken. Why? Because words are fun, that’s why. It also serves to describe the meal as a whole. It always includes grilled chicken, grilled capsicum and onion and guacamole. The seasoning for the chicken is super simple and was inspired by this recipe for Yucatan barbequed chicken. When I first came across this recipe I needed time to find the achiote paste, so I used my infallible logic to come up with a substitute. That chicken is red. What’s also red? Paprika. Bam. What spice is always used in Mexican food? Cumin. That’s it. It tastes so good that by the time I got around to using the original recipe I much preferred the simpler spice rub. This is my go-to meal when cooking for large groups or if I just want to feed a friend something delicious.

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This guacamole recipe changed my life. I’ve had a long standing love affair with good old bastardised gringo guacamole, complete with sour cream and sweet chilli sauce. I would usually feel ill from eating too much of it because the sour cream makes it so heavy and rich. But this guacamole is fresh. Fresh and light and unbelievably, actually good for you. I pile on as much guacamole as I do chicken.

When cooking the chicken don’t be scared if the chicken gets really dark, almost black. It’s the spices burning rather than the chicken and it gives it a beautiful smoky BBQ flavour. I don’t give a cooking time for the chicken because I never time it, I just kind of poke it with my tongs. Cutting the chicken open is a sure bet to check that it’s cooked all the way through.

Mexican Chicken

Recipe by Ainsley Badman. 

Chicken:

5 chicken thigh fillets, skinless

5 tbsp smoked paprika

4 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp sea salt

Place the chicken thighs between two pieces of baking paper and pound with a rolling pin until they are all of an even thickness.

Mix together the spices and salt in a bowl and coat each piece of chicken liberally.

Reserve leftover spice mix (or make more) to use on the vegetables later.

Heat a large grill or frying pan on medium-high, spray pieces of chicken with oil and cook on both sides until the chicken is firm and is white all the way through when cut (don’t be scared to get a lot of colour on the chicken).

Wrap in aluminium foil and rest for 5 mins, then cut into bite sized pieces.

Vegetables:

2 red capsicums

3 red onions

Chop the capsicum into small strips and slice the red onion into half moons.

Toss to coat in the reserved spice mix from the chicken.

Using the same pan that the chicken was cooked in, cook over medium heat in a little vegetable oil until capsicum and onion are soft and well caramelised.

To serve:

Guacamole

tortillas

corn chips

Pile the chicken, vegetables and guacamole onto the tortillas, crumble some corn chips on top and wrap up like a burrito.

The chicken and vegetables also make an awesome topping for nachos.

 

Guacamole

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This dip was an eye opener for me about how little I knew about Mexican food. I grew up eating meals made from Old El Paso taco and burrito kits and putting sour cream in guacamole. We loved it but had no idea what we were missing. As far as I can tell Mexican food is based around super fresh ingredients and there is ALWAYS coriander. I still get a nostalgic craving for the packet Mexican but every time I think about cooking it I’m always drawn back to the fresh stuff.

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I can eat a whole bowl of this stuff and because there is nothing heavy in it I don’t feel sick afterwards (like I used to with my white-people guacamole). Serve as a dip with corn chips or use it as a condiment with any Mexican inspired meal (I serve it with Mexican Chicken).

Guacamole

Adapted from Guadalupe Feint’s Guacamole dip over at SBS Food.

3 large ripe avocados

1/2 fresh jalapeno, de-seeded, chopped finely

4 tbsp coriander, finely chopped

1/4 red onion, finely chopped

1 large tomato, finely chopped

1/2 lime, juiced

1 tsp sea salt

If you prefer a more mellow onion flavour, mix the red onion with the lime juice and salt, allow to sit for 10 mins.

Halve the avocados, remove the seed and scoop the flesh into the bowl with the onion.

Add the chilli and coriander, mash everything together with a fork.

Fold in the tomato and taste for seasoning.

Best served immediately.