I love a progressive dinner. We had one tonight, but not in the traditional sense. I had all this left-over pulled pork from my failed Liquid Smoke experiment and I thought, “Let’s make carnitas!” Carnitas are corn tortillas filled with spicy pork and topped with diced white onion, chopped cilantro and lime juice.
So I mix the pork with a little beef stock to keep it moist and some BBQ rub and pop it in the microwave. And I put the tortillas in the oven to warm. Here’s the thing. I love the fact that my boys will jump right in when we’re experimenting. We tried the carnitas, topped with all the good stuff, with the oven-warmed tortillas. Mark brought out some BBQ sauce to finish them off. They were O.K. The tortillas were flabby. Flabby is not good in food.
In mid-stream, I pulled out the skillet and decided to crisp the tortillas. Tried that. Better. At this point the kitchen is starting to look like an art project, with ingredients thrown all over the counter.
But the thing that put this right over the top came out of Mark’s impressive and decidedly Southern brain. He got out the vegetable oil and said, “Let’s fry the tortillas!”
This I would eat over and over. Crispy fried corn tortillas filled with spicy pork and topped with diced white onions, pungent cilantro, fresh lime juice and just a drizzle of BBQ sauce. The thing I love the most is that my 17-year-old son, who used to exist entirely on mini-ravioli and Pop Tarts, was in the moment. In some things, I have no pride of authorship. A progressive meal this was, from merely O.K. to truly spectacular.