For Cinco de Mayo this year, I found myself at Meijer in my hometown feeling guilty and reading the labels of tortillas packages with a Hawaiian.
Let me explain.
My friend Savina, lives in Hawaii. No no, don’t hate her – she’s an extremely good person – the kind of person that deserves to live in Hawaii. Anyway, she flew back to the lower 48 for a wedding and then stayed a little longer for a visit with her family including her sweet sister who is currently very preggers with twins (go get ‘em Adrea!). Naturally, I refused to miss an opportunity to see Savina, so I packed Marlo in the VDub and headed home to Ohio, myself.
It happened to be Cinco de Mayo. I don’t know what this holiday is for. I do know you eat Mexican food and drink Margaritas. I will not pitch a fit, okay?
After a nice day of lolly-gagging around town with Savina, we stopped out to Meijer to grab some odds and ends for the dinners to be prepared at each of our homes. I needed pasta. Savina needed tortillas.
Savina is a dietitian.
Here’s where I feel guilty: In the pasta aisle, with a vast assortment of good-for-you whole wheat this and that, I pass it all by to save exactly $0.41 and buy the box of regular old pasta that’s on sale for $0.88. I feel good about my thriftiness until I help Savina pick out tortillas. She studies the labels carefully before finally picking out a high fiber whole wheat variety that passes her test. They weren’t on sale, and she didn’t even look at the price. I feel lame. Lamer when I learn that her family is having this awesome sounding and festive Mexican pork meal and I’m making my family a very Non-Mexican Penne with Carmelized Onions.
After dinner with our families we reunited and went out for Margaritas with her parents. This is when I learn about the joys of the crockpot delight of Mexican Pork and Beans. Always wanting to expand my crockpot recipe repertoire and also my Mexican recipe repertoire – this excited me in that it efficiently kills two birds with one stone. Another likable feature of this recipe is that it’s basic, so you can add whatever seasonings and ingredients that suit your palate.
It makes a lot of food. You could easily feed four people (and this is the halved version!). We go with the Ross method of eating it and wrap the meat in tortillas. Top with a little salsa, cheese, maybe some lettuce if you have it, maybe sour cream if you like that kind of stuff and you have yourself a delicious pork taco. Don’t want tacos? Okay, steam some rice ladle it over and have yourself a little Mexican stew. See! Wonderfully versatile.
Mexican Pork & Beans
Adapted from Recipe from Rhonda Ross
2-2.5 lb. boneless pork shoulder roast
2 cans Rotel Original tomatoes
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium onion sliced
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 jalapeño finely diced
1 Tbsp. Ground cumin
1 Tbsp. Adobo Chili Powder
Spray bowl of large crockpot with non-stick cooking spray. Trim any outside fat off of roast. Salt and pepper all sides of roast generously and place in crockpot. Mix remaining ingredients and add to crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Using tongs, break up the pork meat and remove any (as Jaime Oliver says) wobbly bits (fat hunks). Combine well with sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Tortillas and garnishes or over steamed rice.