4 cups fresh pineapple, diced
1/2 cup white onion
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 red fresno pepper, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
1/3 cup chile manzano, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons agave nectar
Salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
Drizzle of grapeseed oil, optional
Tips~ Any chile pepper can be substituted for the manzano. Most times I use jalapeño, but chipotles in adobo adds a nice smoky flavor!
Place the diced onion in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Cover with water and let sit while you prep all of your ingredients. This will just slightly pickle the onion and make it more mild.
Once you chop all the ingredients, transfer to a large bowl. Drain the onions and Mix in, along with the lime, agave nectar, salt, pepper and oil. Stir well to combine and taste for salt.
1¼ cups shortening
½ cup water
½ cup sugar, plus more for dusting
2 cups finely chopped, fresh pineapple
¾ cup or to taste, dark brown sugar or piloncillo, if available
¼ cup cold water
2. While the dough is resting, make your pineapple filling. In a large nonstick skillet, add the fresh pineapple and heat to medium heat. Add the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, stir well to combine. Lower the heat and continue cooking for 20 to 25 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed. In a small bowl, make a slurry of 1 tablespoon cornstarch with ¼ cup of cold water. Mix together, making sure there are no lumps. Add the slurry to the cooking pineapple, stir well and stir often so it does not burn. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Let filling cool.
3. When filling is cool and dough has rested, form 20 to 24 (1½-inch) dough balls and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Take one dough ball at a time and press in tortilla press lined with wax paper, fill with 1½ to 2 tablespoons of filling. Fold over, and using a fork, or your fingers, press edges together to seal empanada.
4. Transfer empanadas to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. In a small bowl combine 1 cup sugar with 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon. While still slightly warm, roll in a cinnamon/sugar mixture. Yields 24 small empanadas.
Tips~ I like to place the empanadas under the broiler just long enough to brown the tops of the empanadas before removing from oven.
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1¼ cups shortening
6 ounces of light beer, cold
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons of water
1 cup dulce de leche “La Lechera” brand
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1½ cups fresh pineapple, diced
¾ cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons natural cane sugar (turbinado)
1. In a glass bowl, melt the shortening in the microwave, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Add the cold beer and salt, stir gently. Gradually add in the flour until the dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
2. After an hour, preheat oven to 395ºF. On a flat surface dusted with flour, roll out the dough, about 14 inches round. Transfer the dough onto a large baking sheet.
3. Spread the dulce de leche, leaving a 1-inch rim around; add the chocolate chips, pineapple and gently spread the apricot preserves to cover. Fold up the rim towards the inside of tart. Brush the exposed dough with egg wash and sprinkle the cane sugar. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool slightly before slicing and serving. Can be cut into 6 to 8 slices.
Tacos Con Sabor Al Pastor
For The Pork
4 to 4½ pounds pork butt, fat trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces (boneless pork)
1 cup fresh pineapple, finely diced
1 tablespoon chile ancho powder
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
½ tablespoon oregano, crushed
½ tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
For Chile sauce:
2 oz annatto paste
4 chile ancho, stems and seeds removed
2 chipotles in adobo
1 medium white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
2 teaspoons oregano, crushed
1 tablespoon Knorr chicken bouillon (powder)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper
1. Combine all the dry spices and season the pork evenly. In a large pan, heat the oil to medium/high heat, add the seasoned pork to the hot oil, and cook until all sides of the meat are seared well.
2. Transfer the ancho peppers to a glass bowl, cover with water and cook in the microwave 6 to 7 minutes. Let cool slightly, set aside. Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce into the blender. Drain the chile anchos and add them as well. Blend on high until smooth, taste for salt.
3. Add the fresh pineapple and sauce from the blender to the pork, stir well to combine. Once it come to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook, stirring often, for a good 2½ hours or until pork is tender. Taste for salt and add a little water if it gets too dry. Serve as-is, with rice and beans, and warm tortillas. Garnish with guacamole, salsa, diced onions and cilantro. Yields up to 8 servings.
Note: This does make a lot of pork if you are just making tacos, so you could cut the recipe in half if it is for a smaller family, or you can freeze the leftovers, once completely cooled. The pork will cook down slightly.
Blackened Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa
Note: This recipe can be prepared in your kitchen with a large griddle for the stove top. If the weather is suitable, you can do it on an outdoor grill as well.
For the Shrimp:
1 pound uncooked shrimp, cleaned with tails on
1/4 cup homemade or store-bought dry rub
2 cups fresh pineapple, finely diced
1 Habanero pepper, minced
1 red cherry pepper, minced, optional
1/3 cup diced white onion
7 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tablespoons honey
Salt and pepper
1. Start by prepping the shrimp. Take a couple of paper towels and press down lightly onto shrimp to release excess moisture. Season lightly with salt, then add your dry rub, making sure all shrimp is covered. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. For pineapple salsa, in a medium saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring so it does not burn. Add the peppers and cook for 1 more minute. Add the remaining ingredients, 1 teaspoon salt and pinch of pepper. Lower the heat and let it cook down for a few minutes. Taste for salt. Transfer to a dish and let it cool at room temperature. If not using right away, chill in the refrigerator.
3. To cook the shrimp, I like using a large griddle that covers both the front and back burner on the stove top. But, you could also skewer and grill the shrimp, just make sure you brush it with oil before you grill it. If cooking on the stove top, preheat the griddle to medium heat for a few minutes. Drizzle olive oil to cover evenly. Lay the shrimp, but do not overcrowd or it will steam and not blacken. Cook for just 2 minutes per side or when shrimp turns pink. Transfer to bowl and cover to keep warm.
4. Serve as-is with lemon/lime wedges as an appetizer or with warm corn tortillas for tacos. I served it with some shredded cabbage, radishes, green onions, cilantro, jalapeño, that was lightly seasoned in a little rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper.