This has been quite the weekend! S had a safe and wonderful delivery, and welcomed a heathy, gorgeous baby boy into the world. We're so glad he's here. While the G family gets some time to bond with the new baby, I get some time off of work, even though work doesn't really feel like work most of the time. Im so blessed to be working with such a seriously amazing family.
Yesterday when I got back from meeting new baby G, Xavier mentioned that he was inviting a few friends over for a bbq today.There is something so wonderful about getting together with just a few of your closest friends, the intimacy and comfort reminds me that community really is worth the effort. It is also so endearing to see the way they love on Julian, it really does take a village. Kristen (note that Kristen is not Kirstin, we have different names hah) came over this morning to help me whip up some delicious mango salsa and guacamole. I really appreciate that her approach to cooking is similar to mine, she is creative with the ingredients and staples she has on hand, and always makes something outstanding out of little time and few ingredients. Don't ask me how our bbq became taco night, I was standing in line at the butcher case in whole foods looking for Xavier's burgers and I remembered that my apricots were probably going bad soon. I should probably use them up, a marinade? A sauce? Apricots and........pulled pork, yep, Xavier loves pulled pork. This will do.
So here is the recipe for the pulled pork that I made for Xavier. (and Kristen and Charles and Jake)
10 medium apricots
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cumin
pinch of salt/pepper
1. Peel and pit the apricots, puree them.
2. In a sauce pan, combine the other ingredients with the apricot puree and let them reduce a little bit.
3. I stored the sauce over night in a ball jar, I was hoping the flavors would blend together overnight. I had about 12 oz of the sauce at the end.
2 pound bone in pork shoulder
3 jalapenos, sliced
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 oz (1c) apricot/balsamic sauce
(pre heat oven to 350)
1. Line a glass baking dish with foil.
2. Rub the salt, pepper, cinnamon, garlic and cayenne on all sides of the pork.
3. Place the pork shoulder in the glass baking dish, scatter the jalepenos around the pork.
4. Pour the sauce over the pork, making sure to cover all sides and get in any nooks and crannies.
5. Cover the pork with the foil to form a pocket.
6. Let the pork cook for about three and a half hours, or until it is tender and cooked through.
7. Take the pork out, let it cool a bit so you can pull it apart with a fork, discard the bones.
8. Use the left over sauce to coat the pork.
To assemble the tacos we used regular flour tortillas, mango salsa, pomegranate guacamole, (recipe for those are below) some queso fresco, and cilantro from the garden.
You can always tell if something is delicious if everyone is a happy silent for the first few bites. These tacos made that happy silent moment. They really wouldn't be the same with out the delicious mango salsa & pomegranate guacamole. It really made the whole dish feel so summery, exciting with different crunches and flavors. When I asked Kristen if I could post her recipe for these she gave me a quizzical look and asked me if they were really recipes. Her humility is so endearing. So with out further ado, here it is.
Kristen (not Kirstin's) Mango Salsa:
1 ripe mango, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1. Orange pepper, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic (grated with a microplane)
1/2 a jalepeno (grated with a microplane)
Combine all ingredients
Kristen's Pomegranate Guacamole
I just want to throw in here that Kristen made this for a christmas party, she threw the pomegranate seeds in because she thought it would look pretty, and it did, and it tasted amazing too. I had hoped that she brought over a pomegranate today, so when she pulled it out of her bag I was delighted! The crunch and sweetness of the pomegranate seeds are a nice surprise and contrast to the smoothness of the avocado.
1/2 the seeds of a small pomegranate,
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, (grated with a microplane)
1/2 jalepeno (grated with a microplane)
juice of three small limes
handful of cilantro, chopped
And while we were pureeing all that cantaloupe we figured we may as well go big time and made this too, but added a little vodka and a lime to spice it up.
What a delicious evening. Im stuffed. I like to save the meat for the celebrations or special dinners. Being married to a non vegetarian makes being a strict vegetarian a little difficult sometimes, but life calls for flexibility, and this is especially true in marriage. Hope you are having a great weekend, and great food!