Street Tacos in Quarantine + Double Desserts!

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Hello! Like always, I hope that you’re all safe and doing well. I have to admit, I’m excited to share with you guys this post…

Before I begin, I just want to give a shoutout to my Aunty Lena for submitting a recipe.

She shared with us a really fantastic cake recipe that can be made without milk, butter, or eggs. It’s perfect for vegans and isn’t too dry on the inside either. Apparently this cake recipe was created in the Great Depression, because it didn’t require fancy ingredients. It was meant for times when we have limited access to foods, in her words, “kinda like now”. To make it healthier, she suggests halving the sugar. Feeling creative? Feeling inspired? Try it out!

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As much as it might seem so, I’m actually not much of a chef. I definitely enjoy eating food and learning about it, but besides fixing avocado toast in the morning and heating up leftovers for lunch/dinner, I’ve never really gotten into making it. This realization hit me hard last week when I was wondering what to do. “Let’s just try to cook something!” I thought. The idea was so obvious I almost missed it…

For some reason, I was craving Mexican food, so in a flash, I came up with a plan to make street (soft) tacos. Taking inspiration from a couple of taco caterers  as well as the all time great, Chipotle, I managed to find a couple of recipes online to help me make the components required to simulate the street taco experience. Note: the following description is my take on street tacos. It may be too much food or too little, depending on how you you like them.

To start off, my mom got a flap steak (basically flank steak) as well as 1-2 pounds of pork shoulder. After marinating them both, we cooked the pork in a crock pot to turn it into the “pulled pork texture” (the Mexican word for it is carnitas) and grilled the steak later on. For garnishes, we cut limes into wedges, pulled out pico de gallo (chunky salsa), and cooked black beans to go along with the delicious corn tortillas (about half the diameter of a normal flour tortilla). We also made Mexican rice, but with all the delicious proteins, we honestly didn’t need it. The carnitas takes about 4-6 hours to cook, but aside from that, you have around 1 hour of prep/cook time. I loved how there were so many combinations to choose from because that’s what made it authentic. I realized that the thing about Mexican street tacos is that there is no “perfect combination”. Aside from the protein and the tortillas, you can really make it however you want (cheese, sour cream, Tapatio hot sauce, avocados, white onions, cilantro, etc). I do, however, recommend the carnitas. After it comes out of the oven (you have to bake it a little after it finishes softening up in the crock pot), you can just tear the pork apart like butter. With a little beans or pico de gallo on top, the carnitas just dissolve in the back of your mouth. The corn tortillas are also a bit healthier than flour tortillas, and they taste just as good (if now, in my opinion, better!)

Don’t get discouraged, however, with my long description of street tacos. I believe that after you find a good marinade and get the meat going, everything sort of falls into place after that. I kind of came up with ideas for the garnishes as we were making the dish!

Recipes:

Carne Asada (steak) marinade

Carnitas Recipe

Hopefully this post gave you all some cooking inspiration for the coming week. If you’d like me to write about a different type of recipe or something else entirely, please do share your opinions in the comments section below. It really does help. With that, I wish you all a calm, joyful week. Thanks for reading.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. This sounds super fantastic Nate. How did your dad like the carnitas tacos?!

    Like

    1. n8chen says:

      To be honest, I tried his vegan ground beef and it wasn’t too far off from the carnitas.

      Like

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