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“Sweet Heat” pulled-pork tacos

After making barbacoa tacos, I wanted to try the same thing but with pork, instead of beef. Pulled pork has a completely different flavor space, from beef, so there’s a lot to play with. I didn’t want traditional pulled pork; my goal was tacos, so I wanted more spiciness, less barbecue.

Backyard, Food

Crawfish boils – more than just the crawdads

The joy of a crawfish boil is┬ánot just in the cooking & eating of crawfish. It’s the entirety of the affair: Friends, family & neighbors coming together to socialize around food. It’s an event, not just a meal.

And what an event. Prep time starts days ahead of the first batch of crawfish being ready. Boudin’s been made ahead of time. Regular visits to my favorite seafood counter have been happening for a few weeks, made to learn how the season is shaping up, what have the bugs looked like, is the supply good, how are the prices?┬áCustom crawfish tables have been made; the final step in their construction being the 36-hour curing of the clear epoxy surface under which are photos of boils past.

Now it’s the final turn and the focus turns to the food. The crawfish are already ordered, but like a boil is more than just the meal, what sits in that boiling water is more than just crawfish. There are so many other pieces of food in there, all of which work a wondrous, spicy magic to create that amazing flavor. I’m cooking three sacks ( approximately 100 pounds ) of crawfish in three boils. The list below gets divided into three equal parts of deliciousness:

Dry Spices

2 sacks swamp fire spice mix
2 jars paprika
2 8oz jars cayenne
9 bags coriander / peppercorn sacks
1 jar of curry
24 bay leaves

Liquid spice

1 flagon liquid boil
1 gallon white vinegar

Veggies & Extras

27 lemons
12 yellow onions
9 bell peppers
3 bunches of celery
3 bags new potatoes ( 2 to 2.5lbs each )
36 chopped ears fozen corn
30 heads of garlic
3 trays of mushrooms
3 packages little smokies
1 pineapple, cored, sliced thick & each slice quartered, leave the skin on

You drooling yet? I know I am. How does that list look to you? Anything you would add or change?

Travel

Bolongo Bay trip, St. Thomas

Food

Tortilla soup tacos

It started with this tweet:

Yumm, right? Alrighty, I have an idea for dinner. My thinking is this: You’re pretty much making the soup, minus the wet parts. Chicken, vegetables, spices, just no broth. I used Ree Drummond’s recipe as a guideline, because it’s just damn tasty.

I used a pack of thin-sliced chicken breasts from HEB ( HEB rules! ), 1 red bell pepper, 1 green bell pepper, 1 red onion.

Mix chili powder and cumin in equal parts, add half a part of garlic powder. Use half to two-thirds of this on the chicken. Cook in a hot skillet with olive oil just till the chicken’s done. Shred or chop the chicken once it’s almost done.

Chop the bell peppers and onion. Mix in a pan with a little olive oil over medium heat. Add a couple of spoonfuls of crushed garlic and the remaining spice mix. Stir over medium heat, cooking till the onions are translucent.

Pour the vegetables into the chicken. Mix together, adding 1 drained can of Ro-tel ( or your favorite HEB / generic variety ). Add half a can of drained black beans. Salt & Pepper to taste.

Cook another 5 to 7 minutes over medium heat. Turn off the heat while you prepare your tortillas.

Scoop into tortillas.

Add chopped cilantro, avocado and a little lime juice.

Enjoy!