Pork Verde Tostadas ~ Slow cooked pork then quickly fried up carnitas-style, served on a crisp corn tortilla and topped with cabbage, radishes, crema, and salsa verde.It’s that magical time of year when the air is cold, the ground is white (at least in my neck of the woods), people are a bit nicer (and a whole lot crazier), the food is hearty, rich, laden with butter and sugar, and the children go from angels to devils in mere nanoseconds; yes my friends, it’s Christmas time.
One of the things I love most about the holidays are the traditions. I love hearing what other people do to celebrate. From the most basic things like frosting cookies together, to building the season’s first snowman, to various religious rite and festivals, and so on. I’d even argue that those who dislike the holidays even have their own traditions of getting Chinese food on Christmas day or a DVD marathon of their favorite TV show or movie series.
Passing on traditions to Elizabeth is important to me. We have several family traditions like buying new Christmas ornaments each year to symbolize our year. Elizabeth gets one for her year, I get one for my year, and then a third that represents what we did as a family this year. I love that our tree is decorated with memories and not just randomly purchased items (although there are a few of those on there too).
I’ve partnered with HERDEZ®, a maker of authentic Mexican foods to celebrate the Mexican tradition of Las Posadas. Las Posadas (the inns), is a 9-day Mexican Christmas tradition based on the biblical journey of Mary and Joseph and their search of a safe place, or “inn,” to stay before the birth of Jesus. From December 16-24 each year, friends, families and neighbors participate as “innkeepers” and host a Posada at a different home each night. The evening’s host family provides traditional Las Posadas food—an essential element to the festivities.
Now, I am of Mexican decent, my paternal grandfather was Mexican. But in all honesty, I am not culturally hispanic or anything other than generic American. My Spanish speaking skills are quite appalling. However, feel free to write to me in Spanish, I can handle that. I have equal Italian blood to my Mexican blood and the remaining half of me is a smattering of Western European ethnicities. I have participated in various activities that are culturally Mexican or Italian. I feel fortunate to have participated in several rich heritage traditions in one way or another.
My family never celebrated Las Posadas. In fact, I never heard of the tradition until college when I was studying anthropology. Cultural traditions fascinate me.
I mentioned that traditions are something I am trying to pass down to Elizabeth and part of that is helping her understand her family roots. Sure, I’ve never celebrated Las Posadas, but somewhere down the line, our family did, and maybe distant relatives still do. But I want her to know about it. Just as I want her to know about Chanukah and pagan rituals. I want her to have a deeper understand of humanity and all the differences we have that in the end, make us all the same. We all love our families, where we came from, and want the best for our family and friends.
I invited some friends over to share a meal, and to share the story of Las Posadas with them. I used children’s picture books to do so. I don’t care how old you are, having a picture book read to you is fun. We enjoyed our evening, even though it didn’t last for 9 days, maybe next year we’ll go for full authenticity and celebrate for 9 straight nights, I mean 8 days of not having to cook doesn’t sound all bad to me.
For my offering, I made my Lighter Carnitas, and after I pan-fried them, I tossed the pork with HERDEZ® Salsa Verde, which is so good, I could eat it by the spoonfuls. Since it’s the holidays and I am not watching (too closely) my fat or calories, I decided to FRY some corn tortillas to make tostada shells. I topped each shell with the pork, diced cabbage, sliced radishes, and then drizzled crema (Mexican sour cream) and more HERDEZ® Salsa Verde. You can go crazy, add beans, top with queso fresco, add avocado, the possibilities are endless. You can even leave it all buffet style and let your guests assemble their tostadas to their own liking.
Pork Verde Tostadas
Slow cooked pork then quickly fried up carnitas-style, served on a crisp corn tortilla and topped with cabbage, radishes, crema, and salsa verde.
- Lighter Carnitas
- 1-16 oz jar HERDEZ® salsa verde
- Shredded cabbage
- Diced Radishes
- Crema Mexicana
- Corn Tortillas
- High heat oil (for frying)
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Queso Fresco
- Diced onions
- Beans (black, refried, pinto)
- Fresh limes wedges
Make Lighter Carnitas.
Add 12 oz of HERDEZ® salsa verde to the pork and mix well.
In a frying pan, heat the oil, and drop one corn tortilla in until it starts to brown, flip, and brown, cooks in about 1-2 minutes. Continue until all shells have been fried. Let rest on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Layer the the tostadas with the pork verde, cabbage, radishes then drizzle with crema and more HERDEZ® salsa verde.
If using, layer with any additional ingredients.
Serve and enjoy.