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Friend Melissa and I took a class at The Learning Kitchen last month to learn how to make home made corn tortillas. The class could have lasted 15 minutes instead of two hours, because making corn tortillas is so quick and so easy (and so delicious). As usual, flush with our new cooking skills, we decided to take them for a spin by throwing a Cinco De Mayo party. Andele! Andele!

On the menu:

We met Friday after work to shop for supplies, and found great deals on the proteins at Sam’s Club (six pounds of boneless chicken breasts and a six pound Boston butt pork roast for about $11-$12 each). Melissa was in charge of the chicken (and was is the Margarita Master) and I made the pork; we divvied up everything else except the squeezing of several dozen limes which (thankfully) Keith handled for us. More on that later.

Chile-Braised Pork Shoulder
The fixin’s: dried ancho chiles; bay leaf; chiles de árbol ground allspice, coriander, and cumin; lime; sugar; Mexican oregano, garlic, and a bottle of Negra Model beer.

The dried chiles taking a 30 minute soak.
Everything else simmering on the stove.
The pork coated with the rehydrated chiles blended into a paste with a bit of the soaking liquid.
Ready for a three-hour braise in a 350 oven.
Resting (after taking a taste!).
The corn tortillas on the griddle. Learned from the recipe page on Rick Bayless’ Frontera restaurant’s website that a gentle press with a solid spatula will help the tortillas puff up.
There’s absolutely no comparison between the taste of a freshly made tortilla and a store-bought version. And they are frightfully easy to make using the recipe on the Maseca flour bag: 1 cup of masa flour, 1.25 cups warm water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Knead dough until the consistency of Play Doh and roll into 15-16 golf-ball sized balls. Using a tortillas press lined with plastic wrap, press dough balls and place on a griddle preheated to medium. They only take about a minute on each side to cook. Melissa made and rolled the dough, Bill (of Buon Pomodoro fame) pressed the tortillas, and I manned the griddle.

The condiments: veggie filling at the top, then clockwise: thinly slides radishes, queso fresco, fresh cilantro, pickled onions, chipotle cream, cilantro slaw, tomatillo-chipotle salsa, tomato-serrano salsa.
The pork taco.
The chicken taco.
The veggie taco.

Keith brought along a gadget to juice the limes that looks like a torture device. After using it to juice three dozen limes or so, his hands were a mess! He has been dubbed  The Juice Master.

But the juiced limes made the perfect vessel for tequila shots. With the opening rimmed first with agave nectar then superfine sugar, the lime was filled with tequila. Squeezing the lime while drinking the shot provided a nice citrusy kick! Ole!

Hope the folks at work like the leftovers as we take this show on the road for Taco Tuesday (although sadly, they will not be getting any shots).

Epilogue
Taco Tuesday was a hit despite the lack of lunchtime shots. We made 30 tacos in 30 minutes (and still had leftovers).

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