Pork and Black Bean Chalupas with Tex-Mex Dressing

6 servings
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork shoulder roast, or pork butt, trimmed
  • Essence, recipe follows
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • Water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 4 cups vegetable oil, for frying
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • Black Beans, recipe follows
  • 2 cups crumbled cotija or anejo cheese, or coarsely grated queso blanco or Monterey jack
  • Shredded lettuce
  • 2 firm-ripe Hass avocados, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • Tex-Mex Dressing, recipe follows
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Chopped green onions
  • Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Black Beans:
  • 1 cup dry black beans, picked over, rinsed and drained
  • 2 strips smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • Tex-Mex Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced white onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch chili powder
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Season the meat on both sides with the Essence, salt, and pepper.

  • In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook, turning, until brown on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the pan. Add the onions and 4 cloves of the garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the bay leaves, chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of the oregano, and the cumin. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Return the meat to the pan and add enough water to barely cover. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer, turning every 30 minutes, until the meat is falling apart tender, about 2 hours.

  • Remove from the heat and drain, reserving the broth for another use, if desired. While still warm, shred the meat using 2 forks. In a bowl, toss the meat with the chipotle chiles and the adobo sauce. Season, to taste.

  • In a medium pot, heat several inches of vegetable oil to 360 degrees F. Using tongs, add the tortillas 1 at a time and cook flat until crisp and just golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove and drain on paper towels. Season lightly with Essence.

  • On a work surface, spread about 1/3 cup of warm beans on top of each of the fried tortillas. Top with meat, cheese, lettuce, avocados, and tomatoes. Drizzle each with the Tex Mex Dressing, and garnish with cilantro and chopped green onions. Serve immediately.

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

  • Yield: about 2/3 cup

  • Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

Black Beans:
  • Put the black beans in a pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak overnight. Discard any beans that float to the surface.

  • Fry the bacon in a medium saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until slightly crisp. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the black beans, chicken stock, and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 2 1/2 hours, adding more liquid as needed to keep moist. Remove from the heat. Discard the bay leaf. Add the lime juice, cumin, salt, and cayenne, and stir to combine. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

  • Yield: about 2 cups

Tex-Mex Dressing:
  • In a blender, combine all the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • Yield: about 1 cup

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