Tag Archives: Tacos

El Camino

Great news!  A taco restaurant and take-out window opened just around the corner!  I’m talking I don’t even have to cross the street to get my hands on these little beauties.  Have a look at what El Caminowhich opened just a few days ago on Elgin street, passes through the window:

El Camino's Beef and Pork Tacos

El Camino’s Beef and Pork Tacos

My first trip (of which there will be many) I ordered 2 pork tacos and 1 beef, and both were UNREAL.  Chris also gave a thumbs up to the crispy fish taco, and lamb is an option as well.  The tacos all come standard issue with set toppings like avocado, pickled onions, radish, cilantro and fresh lime. The meat is cooked to absolute juicy, shred-y flavour perfection; the beef has a hint of five spice and a nice spicy kick while the pork is tender and sweet.  Did I mention they make their own tortillas? Life is good 🙂  For $4 each, this place is a welcome addition to the neighbourhood!

UPDATE: My second trip to El Camino wasn’t that long after the first.  This time I ate in the restaurant and it only made me love this place more.  What you see below is evidence of this feast:  the creamy guac, perfect margaritas, and tacos of course.  Lamb, pork, beef and 3 crispy fish.  Just scrumptious.

El Camino Feast

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June 5, 2013 · 10:24 PM

Pulled Pork Tacos

I’m always on the look out for an excuse to eat something in taco form, when inspiration came from a recent Food Network magazine which listed 50 different ways to serve tacos, pulled pork being one of them.  Then, Flow, an excellent restaurant in my hometown shared their recipe for pulled pork in the local newspaper, and I thought I should probably go ahead and make this whole pulled pork taco thing happen.   Basically, the equation for this recipe breaks down to:

pulled pork recipe from Flow + general taco awesomeness = pulled pork taco dinner heaven

So here’s how the pork went into the oven.  In tenderloin form (healthy!), after marinating in a rub of paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, tomato paste etc., for a few hours.  Then into a roasting pan with carrots, celery, onion and broth.

Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

Roughly 4 hours later it came out looking like this:

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Separate the meat from the broth (and reserve the broth to use in other recipes if you like, it’s tasty stuff) and pull the whole thing to shreds using a couple of forks.

Pulled apart pork tenderloin

But while the pork is in the oven, you can prepare the sauce.  Mix all these things together in a pot and heat on a stove for about 10 minutes.  Super easy, super delicious.

Pulled Pork Sauce

It doesn’t look like much, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste like much.  It turned out to be a delicious and tangy-sweet sauce.

Simmering Pulled Pork sauce

Next, stir the sauce and the pork together.  At first i thought pulled pork would be better the longer it simmered in sweet saucy goodness, but I wanted to try this just like Flow does it, so I followed the recipe and mixed them together right before serving.   Let me tell you, there was NOTHING wrong with this pulled pork.  Not one single thing.

Saucy Pulled Pork

As for turning it into a taco, I started with a flour tortilla (after being unable to find corn ones :(, but in the end the flour ones were great), then a layer of refried beans with the pulled pork piled high on top of that.

Sidenote: very difficult to take an appetizing photo of refried beans swiped on a tortilla.  Let’s skip that picture and go straight to this one:

Re-fried beans and pulled pork

Next you’ve gotta fry them up.  Use just enough vegetable oil to make them turn golden brown, but not get too greasy.

Fried Pulled Pork Tacos

Then it’s time for standard (but awesome) taco fare.  Guacamole, pico de galo, cheese, sour cream, etc. etc. etc.

Dressed up Pulled Pork Tacos

I also decided to top one of them with homemade apple coleslaw, just to see how it tasted when it was more liked a pulled pork sandwich on a tortilla, rather than a taco with pulled pork on it.  The coleslaw combo was great and I would have it again, but overall I preferred the traditional taco toppings.  In other words, my third taco that evening had traditional toppings on it 🙂

Taco Combo

I basically cut their recipe in half since I used a smaller tenderloin instead of a 5 -7 pound pork shoulder which Flow recommends for this recipe.  Below is their exact recipe, so adapt it as you see fit!

Pulled Pork Tacos Recipe

The Rub:
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dry mustard
3 tablespoons coarse salt
1 tablespoon of canola oil
2 tablespoons of tomato paste (or ketchup)

The Stock:
1 cup diced onions
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1-2L of beef stock (to fill roasting half way)

The Sauce:
1/2 cup of pork shoulder stock reduction
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 cup yellow or brown mustard
1/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Mix all rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Rub the spice blend all over the pork and marinate for as long as you have time for, as little as 1 hour or up to overnight, covered, in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  3. Put the pork and stock in a roasting pan and bake for about 6 hours, flipping the roast at the half way mark.  Roast the pork until fork tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 170 degrees F.
  4. To make the barbecue sauce: combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently, stirring, for 10 minutes until smooth.
  5. Remove the pork roast from the oven and transfer to a large platter. Allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes. While still warm, take 2 forks and “pull” the meat to form shreds. Using 2 forks, shred the pork by steadying the meat with 1 fork and pulling it away with the other. Put the shredded pork in a bowl. Pour 1/2 of the sauce on the shredded pork and mix well to coat.
  6. *To serve, spoon the pulled pork mixture onto the bottom 1/2 of the hoagie bun, and top with the slaw. Serve with your favorite leafy salad.

*I obviously ignored this part of the instructions and served it in taco form.  Pile pork on a tortilla, along with your favourite taco toppings, and eat!

From: Flow Café & Catering, Elmira Observer

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Filed under Comfort Food, Main Courses

Ahora

The amazing Mexican food from Ahora caused yet another feeding frenzy in my living room tonight. Fresh Fresh Fresh ingredients came together for a hugely satisfying and delectable feast. And it’s like this everytime from this place! I’ve also sampled the nachos, which it turns out are made using homemade corn chips, so I don’t need to sell you on how delicious they are. And the churros are like perfect little freshly made donut sticks dipped in dulce de leche.  And if you’ve ever had dulce de leche, you know that it’s so good it’s completely possible to eat it by the spoonful.  After spoonful, after spoonful….

ANYWAYS, here is what we had from Ahora this time:  Grande Chicken Burrito with Mexican rice.

Grande Chicken Buritto

The burrito is stuffed with perfectly seasoned chicken, cheese, black beans, rice, sour cream, salsa gringa, guacamole and romaine lettuce.  SO GOOD.  (I’m realizing now that the side order of rice is a little redundant, but refer to my previous statement about everything being SO GOOD).

Grande Chicken Buritto Close-Up

Chris had the equally tasty Tres Chicken Tacos.  And beans and rice.  And look! Fresh avocado! Mmmmmmmmm 🙂

Tres Chicken Tacos

Did I mention they have a salsa bar?  This is just a small sample of what they offer, so if you like your mexican food extra spicy this is a great way to up the heat factor. It’s also kinda fun just to try all the different salsas 🙂

Salsa Bar

As you can tell this place offers take out, so you can enjoy it from the comfort of your couch if their lively basement restaurant isn’t your thing.

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Green Chili Chicken Tacos

How people don’t eat tacos everyday is beyond me.  These tacos especially.  Everytime I have them, I think that I need to make them more often.  They’re lightly fried, which accounts for a large part of its amazingness, so consider this step essential.  These tacos are amazing, and  you need to make them and understand what I’m talking about.

To make the chicken filling, chop up some boneless, skinless chicken breast and season with cumin, chili powder and salt or taco seasoning.  Let it sit for a few hours before using, if possible.  Crack a can of green chilies and chop some garlic to throw into the pan with the chicken.

Green Chili Chicken Ingredients

Fry everything up!  Soooooo tasty.

Green Chili Chicken Mixture

Then load the mixture onto some tortillas.  I’ve used both corn and flour tortillas for this, and both have been amazing.

Loaded Tortillas

The next step is to fry them.  I used about 1/2 cup of vegetable oil for the whole lot.  I really didn’t feel like they were too greasy, but just the right amount of crispy.  Fried won in the battle of fried vs. non-fried tortillas, hands down.

Fried Tacos

Line them up so you can load them up with some tasty toppings, like Monteray Jack Cheese.

Green Chili Tacos with Shredded Montery Jack Cheese

For me, the next step has to be a bit of sour cream and a few dashes of hot sauce.

Tacos with Sour Cream and Hot Sauce

Then I needed a bit of Pico de Galo and some Creamy Guacamole. TACO PERFECTION.

Green Chili Chicken Tacos

Green Chili Chicken Tacos Recipe

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
3 tbsp olive oil
1 can green chilies (127 ml)
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp taco seasoning (optional)
Tortillas (Flour or Corn)
Vegetable oil for cooking

Topping Options
Monteray Jack Cheese
Pico de Galo
Guacamole
Chopped Lettuce
Sour Cream
Hot Sauce
Cilantro

1.    Add 1 tbsp olive oil, cumin, chili powder, salt and/or taco seasoning to chicken breasts and stir to mix.  Let mixture sit in fridge for a few hours, if possible.
2.    Add 2 tbsp olive oil to a medium-hot frying pan, and allow to heat for a few moments, then add garlic.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until garlic becomes aromatic.  Add chicken and green chilies, stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat.
3.    Add vegetable oil to medium-hot frying pan, until it pools slightly in the bottom and allow a few minutes for it to warm up.  Line up tortillas and add a few spoonfuls of the chicken mixture. Fold tortilla in half and place in frying pan for a few minutes until golden brown, then flip and cook other side until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
4.    Top with toppings of choice, like monteray jack cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, pico de galo and guacamole.

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Filed under Main Courses