Though much of our lives the past several months have been socially distanced, the return of sports is bringing us some much-needed connection. Sports have a way of uniting people and can be a distraction or provide an escape from the stresses of the world, whether it be for three periods, nine innings or 18 holes.
In the absence of being able to cheer on our favorite teams in person, we asked Chris Conlon, the culinary mastermind behind Platform One, to share a few recipes for our at-home tailgating. Just in time for the Raiders first game, Chris is sharing recipes for Korean pork belly tacos and pimento grilled cheese cheeseburgers. Enjoy!
Korean Pork Belly Tacos “al pastor” with Sriracha Crema and Cilantro
You’ll love this Asian twist on al pastor tacos!
Makes 8 Tacos
For the pork:
3 c. of your favorite Korean BBQ sauce
1 c. Gochujang
¼ c. Kochukaru (or Korean chili powder)
1 Jalapeño (stem and seeds removed)
¼ c. Whole garlic cloves, peeled
¼ c. Cane sugar
1 ½ lbs. Pork butt (or shoulder), cut into ¼-inch cubes
1 lb. Pork belly, cut into ¼-inch cubes
For the tacos:
2 tbsp. lard or canola oil
2 c. White onions, diced
8 6-inch corn tortillas (try to get fresh tortillas, if available)
1 c. Cilantro, roughly chopped
½ c. Crema
¼ c. Sriracha
2 tbsp. Toasted sesame seeds
8 Lime wedges
Combine the Korean BBQ sauce, gochujang, kochukaru, jalapeño, garlic and sugar in a blender and puree until smooth.
Place diced pork and pork belly in a large bowl and massage with pureed marinade. Let the pork marinate for at least 4 hours; overnight would be best.
Heat the lard or oil in a cast iron skillet. Remove the pork from the marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. Cook pork and white onions until the pork is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.
Warm each tortilla in the skillet.
Divide the pork amongst the tortillas.
In a small bowl, combine the crema and Sriracha and mix to combine.
Garnish each taco with cilantro, crema, sesame seeds and serve with lime wedge on the side.
Hatch Chile Pimento Cheese Grilled Cheese Cheeseburger
Your favorite burger gets a decadent and cheesy upgrade with Hatch green chile pimento grilled cheese sandwiches replacing the buns!
Makes 4 Burgers
1 lb. Ground beef (90/10 will work best)
2 tbsp. Canola oil
16 slices of Texas toast
32 oz. Pimento cheese
4 Lettuce leaves
4 Slides of tomato
4 tbsp. Creole mustard
1 tbsp. Kosher salt
2 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
8 tbsp. Butter, softened
4 slices American cheese
Divide the ground beef into four equal 4 oz. patties. Season with kosher salt and Cajun seasoning.
Heat the canola oil on a griddle or skillet over high heat. Sear the burgers on both sides. When the second side is almost finished being seared, add a slice of cheese to each patty. Set aside in a warm place, like a low temperature oven.
While the patties are cooking, build the grilled cheeses. Divide the pimento cheese between 8 slices of Texas toast; top with remaining slices of toast. Butter each side of the sandwiches. Griddle each sandwich and cook as you would a grilled cheese, until the bread is golden brown and the cheese has melted.
Spread 1 tbsp. of mustard on 4 of the sandwiches. Place the burger patty on top. Finish with lettuce and tomato. Finally, top with a second grilled cheese and cut in half on a bias.
Suggested additions: bacon, pickled, roasted or fresh jalapeño, grilled onions, pickles or any of your favorite burger toppings.
You can always purchase a great pimento cheese, but making your own is easy to do and allows you to adjust the flavor and spice level to your liking.
Makes about 1.5 cups
1.5 lbs. Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz. Pimentos, drained and diced
1 Small serrano pepper, seeds and stem removed, diced
½ c. Mayonnaise (I prefer Dukes for a true taste of the South)
1 tbsp. Black pepper
1 tsp. Kosher salt
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and combine until a smooth spreadable paste is formed.
Place in fridge to cool for at least 2 hours.