Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Final Night: Tacos al Pastor with Jicama Slaw

All good things must come to an end. After 3 years and over 170 posts, my time in Houston had reached its conclusion. Despite the mad dash to get everything finished and loaded up in time coupled with my predisposition to worry (thanks, Mom!), I still needed one last (slightly scaled back for our standards at least) cooking adventure with Kevin.

Our final night of culinary bliss (I'm gonna miss my kitchen husband) was a laid back affair with one final order of tacos, some Scotch, and several Mario scores being settled.

This bottle of Blue Label was opened to celebrate starting my job in Houston. We finished it three years later to mark my last night. The picture is made all the more sentimental by the odd sock in the background and the Netflix envelope from when I finally mailed in the DVD I had for an amount of time I'd rather not specify.

There was a lot going on, and I wanted to enjoy everything. As a result, I didn't really chronicle the recipes (nor did we really attempt to adhere to any), but if you'd like to try to make these I suggest the following:

Tacos al Pastor

I'm gonna miss you, HEB, and your never-ending supply of fantastic meats.
We cheated a little for this one. As we did not decide until the day of that this is what we were going to make, we did not have time to properly marinate the pork overnight to achieve optimal tenderness. Instead we got some always superb HEB pre-marinated pork and added a spicy blend based on this Food Network post. Let that marinate in the fridge for another 1-2 hours then grill. Top with grilled pineapple, onions, and cilantro.

Whether meat, veggies, or fruit, Kevin's grilling skills are second to none.
The tacos were amazingly tender and grilled to perfection with a great kick. I love the pairing of pineapple and pork, and this really hit the spot for a final, fairly easy to put together dinner.

Jicama Slaw

The basis for our jicama slaw came from this Cooking Channel recipe. In our haste, we did not buy any red cabbage, so it was left out, which I think helped the jicama stand out even more. For the dressing, just add enough so that it wets all the ingredients in the slaw. You don't want it soaked. The result was a wonderfully refreshing side that went well with the pineapple component of the tacos.

Thanks to a belly full of deliciousness (and some of Dennis' Mandarina Wheat) I was able to sleep surprisingly well before my semi-cross country excursion. I can only imagine that Kevin broke down in an avalanche of tears as my car pulled away. The next few days featured stops back home for my mom's amazing milanesa and Hi-Do Bakery's otherworldly croissants, being super bored driving through Alabama, getting free food at the world's fanciest hotel in Atlanta (yes, I will take a peppermint mocha while I wait to check-in), and finally arriving home to the world's happiest dog and girlfriend.

Stay tuned as I eulogize my time in Houston with my Best of Texas rankings.

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