Friday, April 18, 2014

Jan Greco - Hungry Holidays Recipe Contest - Pulled Turkey Tacos


Serves 4-6
2 1/4 cups Silver Palate Marinara Sauce 

2 tbsp. chili powder

1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. ground cumin

2 tbsp. brown sugar

2 tsp. chipotle chili powder

1 1/2 tsp. salt

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

2.5 lbs. turkey breast cutlets (or boneless pork loin) 
1 tbsp. corn starch

1 tbsp. cold water

1 tbsp. butter
soft taco shells
*Optional* shredded cheddar cheese, 
shredded lettuce or cilantro, 
Greek yogurt (or sour cream), pickled red onion, 
diced jalapeño pepper
1. Stir together the first 8 ingredients and pour into the crock pot. Add the turkey cutlets and mix to coat well. Cover and cook on medium for 6 hours.
2. When the turkey is done remove it from the pot and shred it using two forks.3. Mix together the corn starch and water and add it to the sauce. Stir in the butter until it melts, then add back the shredded turkey and mix so that the turkey is well coated with the sauce.
4. Serve in warmed tortillas with fresh cilantro, cheddar cheese, and pickled red onions and an ice cold beer.
Who's behind the apron?
My name is Jan Greco. I am a transplanted New Englander currently living in the Garden State and I’m the food blogger behind I’m a former magazine and book designer, wife, mother and self-taught cook who enjoys preparing and eating simple and delicious food. I am currently working as the Director of Brand Strategy for an architect who is also a practicing artist with a passion for creating with organic materials. For years she’s been making runners, coasters and placemats for friends and clients out of felt and recently decided to launch a line of housewares; felt. by RG. That’s where I come in. My job is to take the line from a well thought out idea to a reality, and so far we’re off to a running start. My job may not immediately appear food-centric, but in fact it’s kinda an extension of perfect of my love of cooking. What’s better than a beautifully prepared meal served on a beautiful tabletop! 

I come from a long line of women who show their love through food. Don’t think of mentioning you’re hungry around us and not expect to sit down to eat, we will feed you! As a true lover of food (the more from scratch, exotic and artisanal the better) I’m always on the hunt for new opportunities to learn from and gain inspiration for my own culinary exploits. I consider myself relatively fearless in the kitchen. I’m willing to try just about any technique, recipe or style of cooking at least once and I’m confident enough in my abilities that I can improvise if/when things go awry. However all that goes out the window when we’re talking about bread baking. No matter how many times I attempt to bake a nice crusty loaf of bread the results turn out disappointing. I truly and with all my heart long to successfully make an eye-rollingly delicious, crusty on the outside light and wonderful on the inside, loaf of bread. A simple seeded boule or a rustic baguette, bread so amazing it could easily serve as the meal, rather than just the accompaniment to it. I’ve even joked that I either need a bread baking class or an intervention. After my last bread baking fiasco I swore that I was done. I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t make anymore attempts until I finally took a baking class. But the thing is, I have a sickness. An obsession. An undeniable need to fulfill my bread baking desires. I just can’t stop myself from attempting another “this might be the one” recipe. Sigh… But the odds are in my favor, right? Sooner or later I’m bound to find success, of this I am certain! 

I came up with my Pulled Turkey Taco recipe while contemplating Sunday dinner one weekend. I like to have a proper dinner on Sunday; nothing overly fancy, just a little more involved than your ordinary weeknight meal. Sometimes I grocery shop with a clear menu in mind and sometimes I buy whatever strikes my fancy and figure out how to use it later. That’s exactly what happened the day when I came home from the store with two packages of turkey cutlets. I knew I could grill them or bake them just like I would chicken, but I felt like taking a more untraditional approach. Francese? Stir fry? Parmigiana? No… Tacos! We’ve all had those uninspired and dull as dishwater tacos made with a lump of ground beef and a packet of “taco seasoning.” Yeah, no thanks. I had far greater aspirations for my turkey tacos. First of all I planned to slow cook the turkey with sweet onion, garlic and traditional Mexican spices so that it was crazy flavorful and falling apart tender. Then I would shred it and serve it in warm soft taco shells with some aged cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro leaves, pickled red onion and jalapeños piled on top. Oh baby— These were some of the tastiest tacos the Greco family has ever eaten (and frankly we’re eaten more than out fair share.) So long boring hand-held meal and hello delicious Sunday night dinner!

My family loves pickles and olives, my daughter almost to the point of obsession! We always have a few varieties of your stuffed olives on our cold antipasto platter when we entertain; and people ALWAYS comment on how delicious they are.