Cuban Tacos With Things from the Fridge

June 8, 2017

I am a horrible person.

I neglected Taco Tuesday.

I admit it. I have been derelict in the observance of something so holy that I should be scourged and be made to repent. I am still going to blame my lack of appetite. Yes, even for such wonderful things as tacos and all of the wonderful things that can be wrapped between the loving folds of some type of flat carbohydrate vessel. What’s wrong with me?

In an attempt to try and redeem myself a bit, I made some Vietnamese tacos last night for a very late dinner. Throughout the process I felt none of the normal salivating anticipation, though I did feel better about providing Lynn with some real food instead of leaving him to scrounge around in the refrigerator AGAIN. (And yes, he CAN cook, quite well actually. He is not some poor feral man who can’t feed himself without pre-packaged grocery store garbage.)

See? I am rambling.

Once I DID sit down at 10 p.m. to eat a couple of Sambal laden, charred meat, herb and cucumber stuffed babies, I enjoyed them - though I didn’t have the overwhelming desire to sneak back into the kitchen and make another. Grilling the super thin pieces of marinated pork steaks held some satisfaction - sizzling fat, fragrant roasting meat smoke - and the knowledge that the neighbors who had been feebly trying to grill earlier in the day had to smell the wonderfulness that would be our dinner.

Does that make me a horrible person?

“Ha ha! You know not what you do with the flames!!”

Yes, I am going to burn in a special place in hell. Probably on a grill.

I truly think that the current stressful state of my reality is taking its toll on my sanity - putting me into a foggy sort of stasis - AND has robbed me of some of my obsessive drive to be in the kitchen. This is going to be something for which I need to find a work around. It’s always easier to make awesomeness if there are some pre-prepped items waiting and ready for me in the fridge (not to mention leftovers for repurposing). It’s not that the effort is something I don’t feel up to - it’s more of a lack of interest in eating all together. I can understand the logic, but I am not so happy about it. I am not of a mind to turn to my go to therapy - I crave junk food. Cheese sticks. French fries. Disgustingly monstrous fast food cheeseburgers. Popeyes fried chicken. (I haven’t been eating these things, but the thoughts of the them have been swooping around in my head like so many bats in my belfry.)

Got to fix this.

Back on taco topic… The thing about tacos, is that you can basically make them out of anything. (Remember, I am not a purist.) Leftover proteins can be the base for any number of creative and ridiculously fast and easy incarnations. For this example kiddies, we will focus on the great thing about having leftover smoked pork butt in the fridge.

Now yes, you could make some extraordinary bbq tacos with bright crunchy slaw on top… or pimento cheese and pickled jalapeños a la Augustine’s sliders. Why can’t I get away from the WANT of pimento cheese? Maybe it’s because cheese binds to the opiate receptors in our body? True story - see articles:

• Cheese really is like crack: Study reveals the food triggers the same part of the brain as drugs
• No, cheese is not just like crack
• Study Shows That Cheese Affects the Opioid Receptors in the Brain

• Addiction to Cheese is Real Thanks to Casomorphins

You could elaborate on any flavor profile you could possible dream of. For this version, I happened to have a leftover version of mojo that I had made a while back and rediscovered at the back of the fridge.

• Lots of chopped garlic
• A little bit of toasted cumin
• A little bit of Sambal Oeleck (I didn’t have any fresh chilies at the time)
• 1/2 ? Cup of lime juice
• Lime zest
• 1/2 ? Cup of orange juice
• Orange zest
• Salt
• Olive oil (quarter cup?)

I don’t really measure this sort of thing.


 I also had some leftover honey baked ham and some swiss cheese. There are always pickles in the bottom of the fridge somewhere. And yellow mustard - who doesn’t have that? (Me at this moment actually. Note to self: put on grocery list.) There was also this weird container of chopped green onions that I had no idea of how they appeared with the produce.

See? That was easy. Cuban tacos it would be.


 • Oil in pan
• Tortilla
• Slices of Swiss cheese
• Squirt of yellow mustard
• Slices of ham
• Skillet warmed smoked pork
• Spoon of mojo
• Pickles (yes, I like a lot of pickles)
• Sprinkle of (probably someone else’s) chopped green onions

When cheese is melted, remove from pan, fold, and eat. Drink cold beer. Easy peasy. Sort of junk food, but sort of not at the same time.

Treat yourself with the kindness of cooking. It’s something that I keep trying to tell myself.






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© 2017 by Adriann Buchanan. All Rights Reserved.