Colorful Cooking: Dive into pork tacos with fresh peach salsa
Ryan Summerlin August 14, 2014
When the sweet peach juices cascade down your chin with each bite and you have to lunge forward so you don’t drip on your shirt, you know peach season has arrived. Medium peaches have only 40 calories and burst with antioxidants.
One fruit has 1½ grams of fiber and small amounts of magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and vitamins C, K and A. Plus, peaches are good for your eyes, with trace amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin. This fruit ripens on the vine, so be prepared to eat a peach right away.
When slicing into this stone fruit, line your knife along the crease and cut around the stone. Then, separate as you would an avocado. A clingstone peach is one where the pit clings to the fruit, while freestone peach pits break free easily. Be ever so careful when transporting your peach; one small bruise will cause the whole fruit to quickly spoil.
A fruit salsa is a great way to get more fruit into your diet and enjoy the bounty of summer. This salsa is rich with peaches and cilantro. It is my experience while teaching cooking classes that some people have very strong opinions about cilantro.
If you are dining with someone who uses words such as “soapy,” “grassy” or “earthy” when biting into a dish containing cilantro, substitute a mixture of 2 parts basil and 1 part mint. Be careful not to over stir your salsa. Stir until combined, and then let the flavors rest together undisturbed. It would be a travesty to bruise the delicate peaches at their peak.
Pork loin is a tender, low-fat cut of meat. It also cooks up quickly, which is one reason these tacos will soon become a favorite for a quick, healthy and colorful meal.
Pork tacos with peach salsa
16 corn tortillas
4 cups peach salsa
2 pounds pork tenderloin
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups peaches, cubed small
1 cup red pepper, cubed small
1/3 cup red onion, minced
6 ounces diced green chilies
1 jalapeno, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Make the salsa: Cut the peach and red pepper into small, equal cubes. In a bowl, mix red peppers, onion, green chilies with their juice, the jalapeno (discard seeds for less heat), cilantro, vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar. Stir until blended; be careful to not over stir. Carefully fold in peaches. Can be made 2 hours ahead of time, covered and chilled until service. Serve chilled.
Makes 4 cups.
Prepare the pork: Cut fat from pork and chop loins into ¼-inch cubes. Mix cumin, cinnamon, paprika, salt and pepper, and coat the pork. Heat a skillet to medium; coat with canola oil. When hot, add half the pork in a single layer. You may have to do two batches, as you don’t want to overcrowd your pan.
Increase heat to medium high, and cook 2 minutes; reduce heat to medium, stir, and cook 4 minutes or until done. Repeat with next batch of pork.
Heat tortillas, and serve 1/4 cup pork and 1/4 cup salsa on each.
Makes 16 tacos.
Tracy Miller is the in house chef at TV8 Vail and teaches culinary classes at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards and Breckenridge. Her next class is Pork & Peaches on Sunday, Aug. 24, in Edwards. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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