Smoky Pork Tacos & Roasted Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

 I have been listening to Big Band music ALL DAY….Glenn Miller, Cab Calloway, Frank Sinatra…..Doris Day????  I never knew she sang Sentimental Journey.  You learn something new every day.  We ate an early dinner today (4:00 pm) because my husband had a meeting to go to.  This means that I will have ample time to catch up on my recorded episodes of Chopped and NOVA-Making North America.

 porktacoporkchop2Since I didn’t get around to the pork chops yesterday I got on it first thing this morning.  I am on a corn tortilla kick right now so we are having tacos again.  I tried cooking the pork different this time-using the cast iron skillet, searing and simmering instead of grilling or baking.  They had a chance to sit in the brine overnight and they are extra, extra tender.

Make a brine.  I have done this a lot of different ways and all recipes ask me to use tons of salt.  The way I do it is mix 1 cup of water, 1 Tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1 Tablespoon of red wine vinegar.  Put the pork chops and the liquid in a Ziploc bag or storage container and let sit for a few hours or even overnight.

I’m not sure what all my husband put on his but I browned my corn tortilla, topped that with a bed of arugula, the smoky pork, shredded  Boars Head Chipotle Gouda, tomatillo salsa and a large dollop of crème fraiche just because.  Substituting sour cream, crema or plain yogurt for the crème fraiche would be good also. Same goes for the cheese-I just wanted more chipotle flavor.  Enjoy!

Getting started:

  • 3 large pork chops


  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic in olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup water

Mix spices and oil until it makes a paste.  Spread evenly over pork chops.

Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in skillet (I use cast iron) and sear pork chops on both sides (1-2 minutes on each side on Med-Hi heat).  Reduce the heat to low and add 1/2 cup water.  Let simmer until pork is cooked through.  Remove from heat and slice.

For The Tomatillo Salsa:

  • tomatillosalsa14 medium tomatillos, quartered
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 large jalapeno, cut in half and seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/2 small white onion, sliced chunky
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • cooking spray

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.  Cut the tomatillos into quarters, cut the jalapeno in half and the onion in chunky slices.  Spray a foil lined baking sheet with cooking spray.  Place the vegetables on the sheet and roast until slightly charred. (Mine took around 10 minutes but it may not take that long).  Remove from oven and let cool.  Add roasted vegetables and spices to food processor and pulse.  Lastly, add the avocado and pulse until it is the consistency that you prefer.

Learn more about tomatillos HERE.

Have a terrific evening!

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