Almost a year and a half ago, I was sitting in the library at The Children's Hospital, while my sweet baby was having heart surgery. After using the computer to update friends and family, I found myself needing an occupation, so to speak. Sitting around, letting your mind wander, thinking about all the possibilities and outcomes of such a life-threatening surgery...it isn't good. So I looked around for something mindless to do. Something that wouldn't require a supreme amount of focus, but still something to pull my thoughts from the surgery.
I saw some magazines, and picked out a foodie magazine that had a lot of recipes. I flipped through some pages, found some recipes I thought we would like, and made copies of them. The "librarian" let me use the copier, and when she saw that I was copying recipes, she said "Oh, did you find a great cookie recipe? You need to make a batch and bring it in for all of us." I remember staring at her, and thinking "Lady, my baby is having open heart surgery. Making cookies for everyone is the last thing I'm capable of doing right now." But instead, I mumbled something like "nope. no cookies" and went on my way.
The recipe I am posting today came from that magazine, although I have no idea what magazine it was. Because my family loves tacos, and we have them weekly, I thought they would enjoy this twist on an old favorite. Introducing: Grilled pork tacos with summer corn & nectarine salsa. Yum.
Grilled Pork Tacos with Summer Corn & Nectarine Salsa
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp olive oil
4-6 pork chops
1/2 tsp each of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cumin
Lay out your pork on a cutting board, and season both sides with the listed seasonings. Put pork chops in a Ziploc bag. Add in the lime juice and oil, and manipulate the bag a bit so that the juice and oil work it's way around the pork chops. Marinate for at least 10 minutes, or up to three hours. After it has been marinated, grill pork until done. Let stand for 5 minutes and then slice into thin strips.
Corn & Nectarine Salsa:
1 1/2 cups of corn kernels, toasted or grilled
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
zest of 1 lime
2 tsp olive oil
1/5 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced ripe nectarine
1 Tbsp diced jalapeno
2 tsp honey
1/4 cup red onion, diced
salt and pepper, to taste
If you are using fresh corn on the cob, grill the corn after you grill the pork, and get some nice color on the corn, and then cut off the kernels from the stalk. If you do not have fresh corn, you can use frozen kernels. Simply place them on a cookie sheet, and using a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper, mix thoroughly, and then place under the broil. Stir every few minutes until your kernels are browned a bit.
In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients listed above. Season to taste. Depending on how ripe your nectarines are, you might want to add additional honey. I also added additional lime juice. (Tip: if you make this out of season for nectarines, you can substitute peaches.)
I use corn tortillas for my tacos, but they must be softened with some oil as they heat, otherwise they crumble up. To do this, simply use a small saucepan or a griddle. Put some oil in the pan. When it is warmed up, place tortilla on pan. Flip over when tortilla is soft. If you want a bit more flavor, wait until it's golden brown and then flip over to cook/heat up the other side. Once you have enough tortillas done, begin assembling your taco.
I placed the pork strips on the tortilla, followed by some grilled cabbage shreds that I warmed in a pan and sprinkled with lime juice and a dash of olive oil. Then I topped it with the corn & nectarine salsa. Absolutely delicious. The lime flavor really comes through, and the meat is so tender. The salsa adds some crunch and flavor that makes it so unique and different from your normal tacos. I think adding chunks of avocado would make this dish over the top. I hope you try it. (PS: We served this with a side of my amazing Refried Beans.)