Pork Tacos with Spicy Plum Salsa

by Susan on August 18, 2017

August is the time to put late summer produce into just about every dish you can. As much as I love fall and winter (hello, pumpkin!) there is much more amazing flavor variety this time of year. How I wish berries and stone fruits could be fresh and local all year long!

I adapted this recipe from Food Network magazine to incorporate plums into a savory dish. The zip of jalapeño and paired with the tangy cheese and sweet plums offers up a load of flavor in each bite. I couldn’t find Cotija cheese so opted for feta instead. Any similar crumbled cheese would work, or you could skip it to make the dish dairy-free.

Pork Tacos with Spicy Plum Salsa
adapted from Food Network 

grated zest and juice of 1 lime, plus wedges for serving
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 pork tenderloin (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs.)
3 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 roma tomato
2 ripe plums
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, plus more for topping
1 green jalapeno pepper, seeded
12 small organic corn tortillas
1 avocado, sliced
crumbled Cotija or feta cheese, for topping

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Mix the lime zest and cumin in a small bowl. Rub the pork all over with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then coat with the cumin mixture. Season generously with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook, turning, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until a thermometer inserted into the center of the pork registers 145 degrees F, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pork to a cutting board and let rest.

Meanwhile, chop the tomato, plums, cilantro and jalapeno. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the lime juice and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside, tossing occasionally, until ready to serve.

Warm the tortillas as the label directs (I would recommend heating them in a skillet on the stovetop). Thinly slice the pork; divide among the tortillas and top with the avocado, plum salsa, cheese and more cilantro.

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Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice

by Susan on August 16, 2017

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I picked up my bright and shiny new Instant Pot on Amazon Prime Day, but I confess I only cracked it from the box this week. As I’m slowly inching my way toward “back to school” mode, however, I knew it was time to see if the device is really the miracle so many have promised it to be.

I’m pleased to report that my experience was totally positive, from the ease of programming the pot to how good this recipe turned out. I really appreciate the way Marjorie from A Pinch of Healthy explained how to release the steam from the Instant Pot both manually and naturally.

I never thought a bag of dried beans could turn so tender and flavorful in such a short amount of time! The kitchen smelled delicious while dinner was cooking, and the only labor involved on my part was to chop the vegetables and slice the sausage.

As written this one is gluten and dairy-free. While I went traditional and served mine over rice, you could always opt for the grain-free option of riced cauliflower.

Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice
adapted from A Pinch of Healthy

1 medium diced onion
1 diced & seeded bell pepper
3 diced celery stalks
3 minced cloves garlic
1 lb. dry red kidney beans
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. white pepper (optional)
1 tsp. hot sauce
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
7 cups water
1 lb. andouille or nitrite-free kielbasa, cut into thin slices
10 cups cooked rice

Add all ingredients, except for sausage and rice, to the Instant Pot.

Place the lid on, lock it, and set to manual high pressure for 28 minutes.

At the end of the 28 minutes, use the quick release method (release the valve).

When the Instant Pot is fully depressurized the pin will fall, and you can remove the lid.

Run the lid under cold water, and set aside. This will help the Instant Pot to re-seal.

Add the chicken andouille sausage, place the lid on and lock it.

Use the manual setting at 15 minutes high pressure, and allow the Instant Pot to release naturally this time (no using the pressure release valve, just let it sit until the pin drops).

You can let the beans mixture sit with the lid of for a few minutes to thicken the liquid.

Serve the bean mixture over a cup of cooked rice.

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