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Pork Fajitas with Smoky Cherry Salsa

May/June 2012

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This pork fajitas recipe with grilled pork tenderloin, onions and peppers gets a sweet-smoky aroma and flavor when topped with chipotle-infused cherry salsa. Manchego cheese, though untraditional for fajitas, pairs nicely.


Pork Fajitas with Smoky Cherry Salsa Recipe

Makes: 4 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • 6 teaspoons lime juice, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground chipotle pepper (see Tips), divided
  • 1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1 medium white onion, thickly sliced crosswise
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, quartered
  • 1 cup chopped pitted sweet or sour fresh cherries (see Tips)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup shredded Manchego or Cheddar cheese
  • 8 6-inch corn tortillas, warmed (see Tips)

Preparation

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Mash 1 teaspoon salt and garlic in a small bowl with a mortar and pestle or a spoon until a paste forms. Mix in lime zest, 2 teaspoons lime juice and 1 teaspoon ground chipotle. Rub the paste all over pork.
  3. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the pork, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part reaches 145°F, 13 to 15 minutes. Grill onion and bell pepper, turning occasionally, until charred and tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the pork to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Combine cherries, cilantro, the remaining 4 teaspoons lime juice, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon chipotle and pinch of salt in a bowl. Finely chop one slice of grilled onion and stir into the salsa.
  5. Thinly slice the remaining onion and pepper. Thinly slice the pork. Serve the pork and vegetables with the salsa and cheese on tortillas.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Marinate pork (Step 2) in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for up to 8 hours.
  • Tips: Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapeños. Look for ground chipotle in the spice section of most supermarkets or online at penzeys.com.
  • To pit fresh cherries, use a tool made for the job—a hand-held cherry pitter; it also works for olives! Or pry out the pit with the tip of a knife or vegetable peeler.
  • To warm corn tortillas, wrap a stack of tortillas in barely damp paper towels; microwave on High for 30 to 45 seconds. Or wrap stacks of 4 tortillas in foil; place in a 375°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Wrap tortillas in a clean towel to keep warm.
  • Oiling a grill rack before you grill foods helps ensure that the food won’t stick. Oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to coat the food with cooking spray.

Nutrition

Per serving: 365 calories; 10 g fat (4 g sat, 3 g mono); 107 mg cholesterol; 33 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 37 g protein; 6 g fiber; 881 mg sodium; 883 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (87% daily value), Vitamin A (38% dv), Zinc (27% dv), Potassium (25% dv), Magnesium (23% dv), Calcium (18% dv), Iron (15% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 4 1/2 lean meat


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