A Birthday Surprise

It was another stormy night at Crème de la Crème -- luckily, we had some fabulous company!  We were celebrating Deb's birthday.  I'm always so honored to host birthdays!  This group selected my "Tale of Two Tacos" menu: Homemade Corn Chips with Guacamole, Pork Carnitas Tacos with Jalapeno Slaw, Roasted Chipotle Shrimp Tacos with Charred Mexican Corn, and Sopapillas with Cajeta.  

My Pork Carnitas recipe is gets its flavor from simmering, so we started on that first.  Freshly squeezed orange juice and a pork butt roast are the star ingredients.  I trim the meat but leave some of the fat to give it flavor.

The appetizer for this menu is a delicious, crunchy corn chip with a simple guacamole.  My mother in law used to frequent food trucks and ask them what made their guacamole so good -- they always answered "Keep it simple!".  I slice corn tortillas in half, brush with oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt.

For the guacamole, I start with 4 avocados.  Mash.  Add freshly grated garlic.  Add seasonings. Stir and serve with the warm chips.

... .... [Thunder Rolling] ... ... Uh oh.  And then a massive storm rolled through class -- my trees were sideways!!!  But what can you do except grab your glass of wine and keep on cooking... My students were such great sports and reassured me that they were the best company to go down with.

Next up -- Charred Mexican Corn.  I use frozen corn, but fresh sweet corn on the grill would be so great in this recipe.  Add some sautéed peppers and onions.  Top with crumbled queso fresca. Yum!

The shrimp takes 10 minutes or less to bake.  Toss in simple yet flavorful marinade.  Bake in the oven and serve while hot. 

This caramel "Cajeta" sauce is so delicious.  It takes a little while but it is so worth it!  You will never guess what I use for the Sopapillas though.  Hehe.  I'll never tell...  You'll just have to come to class!

The Jalapeno Slaw is the perfect accompaniment to the Pork Carnitas.  You can add as much heat as you would like.  For this class, I removed the seeds and membranes of the jalapenos.  But you can certainly add ghost peppers, serranos, habaneros...

I served the Roasted Shrimp Tacos and Pork Carnitas Tacos back to back.  Both are winners in my book!

Last but not least, a cinnamon sugary birthday dessert with the most amazing caramel sauce.  I'm so delighted you chose to celebrate in the Crème kitchen.  I hope you can share these recipes with your family.

Cheers! XOXO Paula

[After the storm...]  We will have some light cleanup to do...