Here is one of my all time favorite fun dinners to make. It’s inspired by the food that I ate back in my days of restaurant work. Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant should be familiar with staff meal, or family meal as some call it. This usually involves chicken, rice, pasta, and not much else, aside from endless complaints from the waitstaff (“chicken again?!?”). Behind the scenes, however, the cooks sometimes treated themselves to their own private meal. Most often it would consist of seared trimmings of filet mignon rolled into toasted tortillas with fresh guacamole, beans, plantains, rice, and a plethora of other delicious toppings and spicy sauces. One day I realized that I should be making this at home and it’s been a fixture ever since. I usually use marinated pork instead of beef and my toppings last night included guacamole, cheese, black eyed peas with garlic, fresh salsa verde, sour cream, plus pickled jalapeños and chipotle puree for the grown-ups. It’s especially fun for kids to build their own tortilla – except for Claudine, who was feeling quite picky and had only plain yogurt for dinner again.
1 pound pork cutlets (or chicken, beef, etc…)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground guajillo chilli
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix everything together and refrigerate for several hours. Heat up your grill or grill pan. Remove the meat from the marinade and grill on both sides until completely cooked. Slice and serve immediately with the toppings of your choice, and roll everything into a tortilla that has been toasted briefly over an open flame.
Fresh Salsa Verde
10 tomatillos, peeled
1 medium onion, peeled and halved
2 cloves garlic
Fresh Jalapeños, halved (optional – I leave it out because of the kids)
Salt, Pepper and Sugar to taste
Drop the tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapenos into boiling water. Cook for just a few minutes, until the tomatillos just start to soften. Drain, cool briefly, then puree coarsely in a blender. Season with salt, pepper and sugar.