One of my goals for 2011 was to try more new recipes at home, rather than subsisting solely on old standbys like Linguine with Sausage and Broccoli or Roast Chicken. (Alas, even the best-loved dishes get stale after one too many encore appearances.) So I've been turning more to other publications for inspiration. Whether I stick to the original version of a recipe is another story, but I've found all sorts of great ideas in magazines and online over the past several weeks.
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Last weekend, while checking out a cartful of home organization supplies at Lowe's (another New Year's resolution), I was mesmerized by a particularly gorgeous photo of bacon-wrapped meatloaf on the cover of a December issue of Fine Cooking (don't ask me why it was on the shelf in March, but it was), and in a fit of spontaneous consumerism, I chucked the magazine in the cart. The issue was full of treasures -- enticing one-pot meals from notable chefs, an article on ancient grains, and of course, instructions on how to make the meatloaf pictured on the cover -- but it was a photo of a pot of chili con carne, adorned with supple chunks of avocado and a spray of finely chopped red onion, that captured my attention. This recipe would be my muse for Sunday dinner.
We'd been eating a lot of beef recently, so I decided to try the chili with pork shoulder instead. Then, I thought I might reduce the liquid a little and get rid of the cannellini beans, so I'd end up with more of a thick stew than a soup. Maybe I should stuff the pork into corn tortillas, instead of serving it in bowls? And while I was at it, I might as well sub in aargersi's addictive, multi-purpose pickled onions for the plain old red onion, right?
With these and a few other modifications, some delicious pork tacos were born -- all thanks to the fine folks at Fine Cooking. And if my husband has his way, this will be the first recipe on our new list of old standbys.
Slow-Cooked Pork Tacos
Inspired by Fine Cooking
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (not too lean), cut into ¾-inch chunks