Monday, January 31, 2011

Spicy Mexican Shredded Pork Tostadas (Tinga)

Last week I was watching one of my favorite cooking shows called "America's Test Kitchen".  It is a PBS show on Saturdays.  I love it!  They were showing a recipe for a Spicy Mexican Shredded Pork Tostada.  When they were finished making it, the host, who is hosting his 11th year of this show, tasted it and said that it was in his top 5 recipes of all the 11 seasons of the show!  I knew I needed to try it.  I made it for dinner on Sunday and invited my parents (who LOVE any kind of Mexican food), and it was a hit!  It was a little spicy to me (I am a wimp!), but my husband and parents thought it wasn't too spicy at all -so you can adjust the amount of chipotle powder according to your liking, but it has an amazing smokey flavor that is delicious!   This recipe looks hard, but really isn't!  I highly recommend checking out the full story at  America's Test Kitchen.  (You do have to enter your email address, but they just send you emails and don't share it with others.)  You can also replay the entire show from this web sight and watch her make these by clicking  on http://www.americastestkitchen.com/episodes/detail.php?docid=26922 .  (this recipe is towards the end of the show - you can fast forward to it by sliding the little button at the bottom to 17:25)


Spicy Mexican Shredded Pork Tostadas (Tinga)

from America's Test Kitchen

Ingredients
2 pounds boneless pork butt , trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch pieces (cut off the big pieces of fat, but don't get too concerned about the rest, because it cooks out when you boil the meat)

2 medium onions , 1 quartered and 1 chopped fine

table salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 (14.5-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 tablespoon ground chipotle powder (I found this in the McCormick Gourmet Collection-the glass bottles - under the name Chipotle Chili Pepper and it was kind of expensive, but after tasting it, I think it is well worth it!)  (Just found out that Walmart sells it for $3.59 - I payed $8.59 at my grocery store!)

2 bay leaves (I left these out, not a big fan)

table salt

5 medium garlic cloves , 3 peeled and smashed and 2 minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)

4 sprigs fresh thyme (I couldn't find these in my store, so I just used dried thyme)


If frying your  own tostadas -

3/4 cup vegetable oil

12 (6-inch) corn tortillas (or you can skip this step and purchase flat tostada shells)

Garnishes
queso fresco or feta cheese - crumbled (this was my first time trying queso fresco - LOVED it!  It comes in a little round shaped package - a Mexican cheese)
fresh cilantro leaves
sour cream
diced avocado
lime wedges

Instructions
1. FOR THE TINGA: Bring pork, quartered onion, smashed garlic cloves, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 6 cups water to simmer in large saucepan over medium-high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to surface. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and cook until pork is tender, 75 to 90 minutes. Drain pork, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Discard onion, garlic, and thyme. Return pork to saucepan and, using potato masher, mash until shredded into rough ½-inch pieces; set aside.   (You can do this first step up to 2 days ahead of time and refrigerate - which I did)

2. Heat olive oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add shredded pork, chopped onion, and oregano; cook, stirring often, until pork is well browned and crisp, 7 to 10 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3. Stir in tomato sauce, chipotle powder, reserved pork cooking liquid, and bay leaves; simmer until almost all liquid has evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaves and season with salt to taste. (It needed more salt than I would  have thought.)

4. If you decide to fry your own tostadas -TO FRY TOSTADAS: Heat vegetable oil in 8-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat to 350 degrees. Using fork, poke center of each tortilla 3 or 4 times (to prevent puffing and allow for even cooking). Fry 1 at a time, holding metal potato masher in upright position on top of tortilla to keep it submerged (see photo below), until crisp and lightly browned, 45 to 60 seconds (no flipping is necessary). Drain on paper towel-lined plate and season with salt to taste. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

5. TO SERVE: Spoon small amount of shredded pork onto center of each tostada and serve, passing garnishes separately.  (the sour cream helped cool the spiciness of the meat)

1 comment:

Jenny said...

That photo makes my mouth water!

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