I’m a big fan of Taco Tuesdays. A few of our local restaurants offer taco specials every week with all kinds of delightful fillings. My husband, Vince, tends to go the more traditional route with ground beef, shredded lettuce and cheese. I love fish tacos topped with fresh pico de gallo and guacamole. This week, I decided to take it up a notch with cubes of slow-cooked pork tenderloin seasoned with cumin, oregano and a pinch of ground cinnamon. Pork Carnitas are delicious and easy to prepare. Who doesn’t love a good crock pot recipe? Corn and Black Bean Salad, Cilantro-Lime Rice and Fiesta Pudding and maybe a glass of sangria will make your Tex-Mex meal complete. Ole!


Corn and Black Bean Salad
Southwestern Caviar!
2 (15.25-ounce) cans yellow corn, drained
2 (15.25–ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
¼ cup minced cilantro
½ cup chopped red onion
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons ground cumin
¼ cup vegetable oil
In a medium bowl combine corn, black beans, tomatoes, cilantro and red onion. In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, vinegar, mustard, cumin and vegetable oil. Toss dressing with vegetable mixture. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving. Serves 8 to 10.

Pork Carnitas
2½-3 pounds pork tenderloin
1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (0.87-ounce) package brown gravy mix
1 teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Flour tortillas
Sour cream
Red onion, diced
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Cut pork tenderloin into 1-inch cubes. Place in a crock pot. In a small bowl, mix enchilada sauce with garlic, gravy mix, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Pour mixture over pork cubes. Cover crock pot and cook on low for about 4 hours or until pork is tender. Serve cooked pork on flour tortillas. Garnish with sour cream, red onion and fresh cilantro. Serves 6.

Cilantro-Lime Rice
This rice with its fragrant hint of lime and cilantro makes a fine side dish for Mexican food as well as other dishes. It’s great in burritos, too!
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup basmati or jasmine rice
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Zest from one lime
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ teaspoon salt
Heat the oil in a saucepan and heat on low. Add the garlic and rice to the oil and saute for 2 minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently. Add the vegetable broth, salt, lime juice and bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low for 15 minutes or according to rice package directions. When the rice is done, add the lime zest and chopped cilantro and stir to mix in. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Fiesta Pudding
1 (3.4-ounce) package cook and serve chocolate pudding
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash cayenne pepper
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
Ground cinnamon to garnish
Fresh raspberries to garnish, optional
Cook pudding with milk according to package directions. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Pour into individual serving dishes and place in refrigerator to cool. In the meantime, pour heavy cream into a small bowl. Add confectioner’s sugar and beat with a hand mixer until thick. Chill until ready to serve. To serve, place a dollop of sweetened whipped cream on top of each pudding and sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon. Garnish with fresh raspberries, if desired. Serves 4.

The writer owns Catering by Debbi Covington and is the author of two cookbooks, Gold Medal Winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award, Celebrate Everything! and Dining Under the Carolina Moon. Debbi’s website address is www.cateringbydebbicovington.com. She may be reached at 525-0350 or by email at dbc@cateringbydebbicovington.com.