If you have been following me for awhile, you have probably already figured out I am more than a bit of rebel, and I like to march to the beat of my own drummer. I love being unconventional and unpredictable. With it being Cinco de Mayo and everyone in America celebrating the day with tacos, burritos, fajitas, cervaza fria, margaritas, etc., I chose to celebrate in a different way. Los Fiestas para Cinco de Mayo I love all of those foods I just mentioned, and eat them quite often, but I also love to do something different and unexpected as well. Other than enjoying a nice margarita especial with dinner, I chose to make another Mexican meal for the day. I guess you could say I chose to honor the day and the Mexican culture in a more subtle way, like it is celebrated in most parts of Mexico, outside of the Puebla region. I prepared pork chops with a citrus dressing and hominy that I served with arroz verde and carrots with chocolate and shallots. We also finished off the whole wheat chili cheese bread, which was a perfect accompaniment to the meal. Whole Wheat Chili Cheese Bread.
Mexican Pork Chops with Citrus and Hominy
2 lbs pork chops
3/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup lime juice
1 TBSP garlic
1 small shallot, peeled and minced fine
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar
3 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped fine
1-2 cans hominy, drained and rinsed
1 TBSP fresh oregano, chopped fine or 1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes to taste, optional
Mix the juices garlic, shallots, red pepper flakes, sugar and parsley together and pour over the pork chops to marinate. Let the pork marinate for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
I grilled the chops and reserved the marinade, which I cooked down and then used it as a topping for the cooked chops, along with the hominy mixture. They came out so moist and tender.
As the pork chops are cooking, make the hominy topping. Drain the hominy and rinse it, then place it in a sauce pan with some olive oil, salt & pepper and the oregano. Cook at a medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Top the pork with the reserved sauce and the hominy.
Carrots with Chocolate and Shallots
Chocolate is widely used in Mexico and in Mexican cooking, and it’s not just for desserts. The cocoa and chocolate give an extra little unexpected perk to all foods, whether they be a dessert or a vegetable or a sauce. A little bit can go a long way.
4-6 large carrots, peeled and sliced at an angle or 1-1 1/2 lbs baby carrots
2-3 shallots, peeled and sliced very thin
2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP honey
1-2 TBSP cocoa powder
1-2 tsp spiced cocoa chili powder
1 tsp ginger
crispy, fried onions for topping
Boil the carrots in water for about 10 minutes, or until the carrots are soft and tender and the liquid has evaporated.
In a separate pan, mix the honey, lemon juice, cocoa powder, spiced chili-cocoa powder, ginger and shallots together and saute in butter until the shallots are soft and translucent, or about 3 minutes.
Once the shallot mixture is done and the excess water has been drained from the carrots, combine the shallots with the carrots, mixing well, and continue to cook for about 3 minutes. When serving, top with the fried crispy onions and chopped parsley.
I hope you all enjoyed your Cinco de Mayo. Defruitas los comidas differente de Mexico!