After a very thorough search, we have a winner! Alejandra Rodriguez from Utah with her recipe for "Nostalgia en Verdolagas"(Nostalgic Purslane).
Ale moved to the US to attend college 13 years ago. After following the “standard American college diet” and feeling homesick for some time she made a commitment to herself to learn to cook and keep her heritage and traditions alive.
She would call home and ask her mom for recipes but instead she would hear a story peppered with some ingredients and steps. After some time Ale started experimenting herself and got very interested in food, she even decided to study Food Science. Cooking became an experiment, she would recreate recipes based on the flavors of her memory and collected her results in “lab reports”. One of her first successes was this recipe of pork and purslane. After several attempts she got it right! The flavor profile transported her to her childhood and visits to her grandma in Cuautla, Morelos.
“Cerdo en verdolagas now represents my commitment to keep my heritage alive! The nostalgia that I get every time I eat this dish is so real and important to me that I make an effort to expose my new little family to these wonderful flavors”
Thank you Alejandra and all of our participants for submitting your recipe and reminding us that cooking is so much more than just putting together a meal. It’s about our shared values, our shared time together, and our shared memories. Together these ingredients enrich our culture and the communities we live in.
Number of servings: 5
1. Remove husks from the tomatillos and wash all produce. Cut the tomatillos in half, dice the onions, and chop the purslane bunches in three parts (stems and leaves), reserve. Cut the pork shoulder into 1 ½ inch cubes.
2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Pour some oil to coat the pan. Season the pork with salt and pepper, and add to the pan working in batches until browned but not completly cooked.
3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a plate and reserve.
4. Add a little canola oil in the dutch oven and brown the onions until fragrant, add the tomatillos, chile serrano (omit this if you don’t want it spicy) and garlic, lightly brown everything. Add about a Tablespoon of water to deglaze the pot.
5. Remove the onions, tomatillos, and chile serrano from the pot into a blender. Add the raw garlic cloves, water enough to blend and puree until smooth.
6. Place the pork back into the dutch oven, and pour the salsa over it. Add about 1 cup of chicken broth or water. Season with the coriander, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, marjoram, salt, pepper and stir.
7. Add the verdolagas (purslane), cover the pot and let it simmer for about 30 min. Stir halfway through and taste to adjust the flavor (if you added water instead of broth you may need to add a pinch of salt more). The purslane will soften and give it a unique earthy flavor to the pork.
8. Serve with black beans and mexican rice or just with a charred tortilla!!