Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Nachos al Pastor #SafewayMarcela

When Safeway - one of the local grocery chains - and Marcella Valladolid challenged me to create a recipe, I figured, hey, why not? I was told that I'd be shipped some products to use, and to be honest I thought it would be salsa and spice mixes.

But oh, no. This was serious. The Marcela Valladolid line of product at Safeway includes meat products.

Yep, meat. Seasoned, vacuum-packed meat. AND it included one of my favorites - al pastor. That's one of the things I always buy when I go on my rare trips to the ethnic markets, so the idea that I can buy it at a local grocer any time I want it - well, that's pretty appealing.

Cooking the al pastor (as well as the other meats I received) is pretty simple. Heat a grill pan, grill, or cast iron pan. Cook on both sides until seared, then continue cooking until the meat is cooked through. Al pastor is pork, so you're not looking for rare here.

Since the meat is thin, it cooks really quickly, so this is something you can make in no time. Then just heat up some tortillas and add whatever your favorite condiments are, and you're on your way.

To be honest, tacos are one of my favorite ways to eat al pastor, but I decided to do something a little different for the contest. I mean a taco is a taco. Nachos are ... uh ... crisp.

There are two approaches to making nachos. You can pile chips on a plate and make a big, hearty, dig-in sort of dish, or you can make each chip individually. Like little fancy appetizers. Well, I decided to go with the second option since I wanted them as an appetizer and not a meal-crusher.

Nachos al Pastor

Marcela Valladolid al pastor
Marcela Valladolid tortilla chips
Oaxaca cheese
Sour cream
Avocado, dices

Lime-pickled red onions*

Cook the al pastor according to package direction. Dice as much of it as you like for your nachos and keep warm (this is also a great use for leftovers, after you've had taco night!)

Put chips on a microwave-safe plate, spreading them out so each chip is an individual item. Put a sliver of cheese on each tortilla chip. Put the plate in the microwave and heat in 30-second increments until the cheese is melted.

Top the hot cheese with the prepared meat, then add the avocado, sour cream, and red onions, as desired.

Serve while the chips are still warm.

*Lime pickled red onions are one of my favorite condiments, and they're simple to make. Cut a red onion in half or in quarters. Jam as much of that onion as you can into a pint jar. Add a three-fingered pinch of salt. Squeeze lime juice into the jar to cover the onions. Refrigerate at least overnight, but they're better in two or three days.

I was sent a selection of Marcela Valladolid product from Safeway to enable my entry into their contest.