One of the events at the Grand Banks rendezvous was an appetizer potluck. Everyone was asked to bring a mexican themed “heavy” appetizer for about 20 people. As our contribution we chose a chipotle pork loin taco with a really nifty three chile salsa. The salsa has a deep rich smoky flavor with moderate heat. Yum. The whole thing is easy to make. Make it ahead of time and assemble it on the boat. But make up a batch of margaritas first!
Both recipes come from Rick Bayless cookbooks. I can’t remember which ones, though. Sorry. And they may not be entirely accurate reproductions. The pork can be used in multiple dishes. The salsa is great on pork and probably most everything else.
Above is the three chile salsa and other necessary condiments for great tacos. In my enthusiasm, I forgot to take a picture of the pork. Silly, since that’s really the key component. I guess we’ll just need to do it again and add a photo later.
Chipotle Pork Tenderloin
2-3 pounds pork loin or shoulder
1 can of chipotles in adobo
Butterfly the pork in half lengthwise and divide into 6-8 inch pieces. Pound each piece until it is about 1/4 inch thick. The thinner the better. Puree the chipotles in adobo in a blender. Smear both sides of the meat with the chipotle mixture and place it all in a plastic bag to marinate. I added all the chipotle mixture to the bag.
Marinate the meat for 6-8 hours. Smoosh it around in the bag from time to time to insure complete coverage. Don’t marinde it too long or it the marinade will over power the pork.
Cook the pork on a grill. Chop into small pieces for serving. (You can cook the pork to this point at home, cool, and store the cut up meat in a plastic bag. Reheat in a saute pan on the boat before serving. This probably won’t be as nummy, but may be easier.)
Three Chile Salsa
1 pound tomatillos
2 dried Guajillo chiles
2 dried Chipotle chiles
4 dried Cascabel chiles
4 cloves of garlic
Sugar or honey (optional)
1/2 cup water (about)
Place the dried chiles in a hot skillet until they start to smell good and show some color. About one minute on each side should do it. Submerge the chiles in hot water and weigh them down to insure they stay completely covered. Let them sit for half an hour or so until uniformly rehydrated. Drain and remove the stems — but not the seeds!
Place the garlic cloves with the outer paper intact in a hot skillet turning as needed until browned and soft. Cool and remove the outer wrapper.
Remove the outer casing from the tomatillos and wash to remove the sticky stuff. Broil the tomatillos until soft and blackened. Turn as needed to broil evenly. Liquid should be oozing from the tomatillos. Don’t loose any of it. Let the tomatillos cool.
Add the chiles, garlic, and tomatillos (along with all the yummy liquid) to a blender. Puree until smooth. Add salt to taste. Add water to thin the mixture and puree briefly again. Add a teaspoon of sugar or honey if desired. We like the honey. Let it sit for a few hours to allow the flavors to develop. The salsa can be made a day or two in advance.
That’s really all there is to it. Serve with warm tortillas, diced onion, chopped cilantro, and a wedge of lime for garnish. And of course margaritas.