Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Costa Rican Pork Skewers

These kebabs cook up so tender - marinating in a coffee mixture tenderizes the already "tender" pork tenderloin meat. I used Costa Rican coffee, hence the name. However, I also used spices that are frequently used in Caribbean cooking, namely jalapeno, adobo and rum.  

Ingredients: 

1 pork tenderloin, cut against the grain into 1/2 inch strips
1 tsp olive oil
1 spring onion or shallot, diced
1 tsp minced ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs minced jalapeno or pickled jalapeno
1 tsp adobo seasoning
1 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups black coffee
1/2 cup sauvignon blanc or chicken stock

1 Tbs molasses
1 Tbs rum

Directions: 

Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and cook for about 1 minutes, until you can smell the aroma of the ginger and garlic. Add the jalapeno, the adobo seasoning, the brown sugar, salt, and the white wine or chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow to simmer until the marinade is reduced by half, to about 1 cup. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. 

Place the pork pieces and the cooled marinade into a bowl and cover. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. 

Drain the pork pieces from the marinade, catching the marinade in a small saucepan. Add the molasses and rum. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 or 2 minutes. 

Thread the pork pieces onto four skewers. Don't worry if some of the onion or ginger pieces adhere to the meat. Grill, about 4 minutes per side, brushing several times with the marinade. Enjoy!

Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: I served these with a salad and twice fried plantains, also called patacones or tostones. Together these made for a fun and more authentic Costa Rican meal. 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Drunken Shrimp Tacos or Camarones Borrachos

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Today is one of my favorite holidays! Why? Because it's one more reason to try something new, something delicious, something spicy, something Mexican! Here's my ode to camarones borrachos - I've had some delicious shrimp at several Mexican restaurants throughout the Southwest. I like my drunken shrimp with either rice or in a taco. However, one thing is always present with this dish. I enjoy this shrimp dish with a margarita!

Ingredients: 

1 pound shrimp
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 lime, zested and juiced

1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup tequila
1-2 tsp chipotle chili in adobo sauce

1/4 cup cilantro

1 jalapeno, diced
1 avocado, diced
1 tomato, diced

Directions: Season the shrimp with the paprika, chili powder, salt, and lime juice. Save the lime zest as a finish for the shrimp. Heat the olive oil and butter in a nonstick skillet. Add the shallot and garlic and cook over medium heat until the shallot begins to color, just a minute or two. Add the water, tequila and chili and simmer for just one minute. Lower the heat so that the liquid is a low simmer and add the shrimp. Cook about just 2-3 minutes per side, until the shrimp are opaque. Add the lime zest and cilantro. Serve with the jalapeno, avocado, and tomato on the side. This can be served as tacos in tortillas or can be eaten with rice. 

Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: You'll notice there just a small amount of salt in this recipe. Shrimp is usually briny, or salty, so requires only a little extra salt. Also, both chili powder and chiles in adobo sauce usually have salt added to the powders and sauce. Try one shrimp before serving - if you think it needs a bit more salt, add just 1/4 teaspoon, then taste again.