Let’s taco ’bout Taco Tuesday

Erin Alexander/Staff

There are a few particular spots that UC Berkeley students seem to flock to each week to celebrate the beloved practice that is Taco Tuesday. And while I enjoy splitting a pitcher or two at Cafe Durant or Remy’s as much as just about anyone, why not mix it up and throw your very own Taco Tuesday fiesta? It’s simple, delicious and if you split the cost a with a few friends, very budget-friendly. So leave the old strawberry margarita and super burrito behind, throw on your favorite sombrero and get cooking with these fantastically easy pulled pork tacos, homemade chips and guacamole and two tequila cocktails with a twist.

Pulled pork tacos with citrus salsa

Full disclosure: this awesome recipe comes from the somewhat unlikely source of Giada De Laurentiis, the Food Network’s undisputed queen of Italian cuisine. Regardless, these tacos are insanely tender and flavorful, while the citrus salsa and napa cabbage adds a crisp freshness that is perfect for the increasingly warm weather. Here’s what you’ll need to make roughly eight to 10 tacos:

What you’ll need:

For the pork:

3 lbs. pork shoulder, trimmed and cut in 1 ½ inch cubes

1 tsp each of salt and pepper

1 tsp cumin

3 tbsp olive oil

3 cups water

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup orange juice

1 large onion, roughly chopped

2 jalapenos, halved

3 garlic cloves, smashed

For the salsa:

3 large oranges

1 grapefruit

2 tbsp red onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp honey (or agave)

1 ½ tbsp white vinegar

½ head napa cabbage, finely shredded (use for topping)

What you’ll do:

  1. Season the pork with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and cook the pork until lightly browned on all sides (about 10 minutes).
  3. Add the water, chicken broth, orange juice, cumin, onion, jalapenos, garlic cloves and bring mixture to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium low and let simmer until the pork is fork-tender, about two hours.
  5. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer the pork and onions to a bowl and pull apart using a fork.
  6. For the salsa, use a paring knife to trim the skin and membrane off of the grapefruit and oranges.
  7. Coarsely chop the peeled grapefruit and oranges.
  8. Squeeze the juice from the fruit skin and reserve in a small bowl.
  9. Add the olive oil, honey, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to the reserved juice and mix until smooth.
  10. Add the fruit and red onion and toss until combined.
  11. Garnish with a little bit of cilantro, leftover from the guacamole, for a touch of added brightness.
  12. Gently cradle the pulled pork, citrus salsa and napa cabbage in a warm flour tortilla and serve.
Erin Alexander/Staff

Erin Alexander/Staff

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Erin Alexander/Staff

In my opinion, Taco Tuesday would be nothing without its counterpart: Tequila Tuesday. And while looking for some new tequila cocktails outside of the margarita category, I went right to my good friend and cocktail enthusiast Julian Venonsky to ask about how to make the AVA “Swizzle” (an original).

What you’ll need:

2 oz. tequila (we used El Jimador, Silver)

1 oz. ginger-infused agave syrup

½ oz. fresh lime juice

1 tsp. vanilla extract

4 drops Aromatic Bitters (we make our own, you can use Angostura)

2 kumquats

What you’ll do:

  1. Muddle the kumquats in a shaker (you just want them to burst open).
  2. Add the tequila, Ginger Agave Syrup, lime juice, vanilla and bitters.
  3. Shake with ice.
  4. Double strain into a tall glass filled with crushed ice.
  5. Top the glass with a handful of more crushed ice, making a snow cone-like dome on top.
  6. Add a few more drops of the bitters on top and garnish with a lime twist.
Erin Alexander/Staff

Erin Alexander/Staff

IMG_7946

Erin Alexander/Staff

Enjoy!

Contact Erin Alexander at [email protected].