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Chef Debi: Tacos can feed a crowd, accommodate special diets

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

I have several clients who are on gluten-free diets. I have to make sure I am able to make them their favorites meals, but make them gluten free.

This weekend, I have a birthday party for 30 people, and it has a fiesta theme. One of the things I’ll be serving is a taco bar using this recipe, which has the flexibility for low-carb and gluten-free guests. 

Gluten-free Pork Tacos 

3 pounds pork boneless ribs, cut into bite size 1/2-inch pieces (do not trim the fat)

2 teaspoons Kosher salt

4 teaspoons ancho chile powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or enough to cover the bottom of the pot

2 1/4 cups organic vegetable stock

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

3 tablespoons rice flour 

Butter lettuce, leaved 

Fresh tomatoes, diced

Mexican cheese, grated 

Sour cream 

Salsa

Fresh cilantro

Preheat the oven 350 degrees F.

Combine salt and the rest of the spices in a small bowl. Spread spice mixture onto a plate. Evenly coat the pork pieces on all sides with the dry rub.

Heat oil in a dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned pork pieces and sear all sides until browned (about 1 minute a side). Remove pork from the dutch oven.

Add vegetable stock and scrape the bottom of the dutch oven to deglaze and release the browned bits of pork. Add in orange juice and bring the mixture to a boil.

Return the seared pork to the pot. Cover and place in the oven for a half hour.

Remove lid, turn pork pieces over, and return to oven, uncovered, for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the pork is fork-tender. Turn the pieces once or twice while cooking.

If the sauce is too thin, combine 1/4 cup of vegetable broth and 3 tablespoon rice flour and add to sauce. Stir over a low flame until sauce thickens. Spoon taco meat into lettuce cups and serve with your favorite toppings, such as diced tomatoes, Mexican cheese, sour cream, salsa and fresh cilantro.

• Chef Debi Stuckwisch is the owner of Meals Like Mom’s Personal Chef service in McHenry County. She can be reached at 847-778-9351 or mealslikemoms@comcast.net, or visit www.mealslikemom.com.

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