A zesty meal using homemade tortillas that’s perfect for Dad or a beach trip

Every June, our extended family heads to Florida for a weeklong vacation that typically falls around Father’s Day. As much as we love to cook, we prefer to enjoy our beach trip on the beach rather than in the kitchen. This menu travels well, is easy to prepare in advance and is festive enough for a Father’s Day celebration. It is a meal everyone will love—and is so simple to prepare that you can do it any night of the week.

• Homemade Tortillas
• Pork Carnitas
• Curtido
• Fresh Blueberry and Lime Daiquiris

Recipes by Tracey Koch

Homemade tortillas are so much better than what you buy at the store and, believe or not, are really fun and easy to make. We ordered a tortilla press from Amazon, which helps keep them thin and consistent in shape. These tortillas can also be made using flour, or you can try combining both masa and flour together. Experiment with using the leftover tortillas and pork to make some killer quesadillas or breakfast tacos the next day.

Servings: Makes 12 (6-inch) tortillas

2 cups instant masa
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups warm water

1. Combine 2 cups of instant masa with 1 teaspoon salt.
2. Add the water and stir until a soft dough ball forms. (This dough should be the consistency of Play-Doh.) You can add in a little more masa or water to get the consistency soft but not sticky.
3. Divide the dough into 12 even-size balls. Brush each dough ball generously with oil.
4. Use a tortilla press to make the tortillas. Cut two pieces of parchment, placing one piece on the bottom half of the tortilla press.
5. Place one of the dough balls in the middle of the press, and place the second piece of parchment on top of it.
6. Gently lower the press on top of the dough. Use the lever to continue pressing the dough out to form the tortilla.
7. Preheat a griddle over medium heat.
8. Release the tortilla press, and place the parchment-covered tortilla on one hand. Carefully peel the parchment off one side of the tortilla. Flip the tortilla onto the heated griddle, and then gently remove the parchment from the other side.
9. Cook the tortillas 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until lightly golden. Keep them in a warm oven until you are ready to serve.

It‘s always a treat to toss a few things into the slow cooker, turn it on and not have to think about dinner until the end of the day—whether that’s after a day spent at the office, running kids to and from summer camps, or relaxing on the beach. The pork in this recipe is very flavorful and tender, using plenty of spices and your favorite brand of salsa. It can be served with soft or hard tortillas. We like setting up a taco bar with all kinds of toppings so everyone can customize their own. This recipe is a hit with our families. We hope it will be with yours, as well.

Servings: 6

3 pounds pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon hot chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1 16-ounce jar of salsa

1. Trim the fat off the pork tenderloins and remove the silver skin.
2. Combine the salt and all the spices. Rub the mixture over the pork.
3. Place the seasoned tenderloins in a slow cooker. Set on high.
4. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, jalapeño and the salsa over all the ingredients.
5. Cover and cook for 3 hours on high. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for a couple more hours or until the pork is tender enough to be shredded with a fork.
6. Serve with fresh warm tortillas, slaw and whatever fixings you desire.

We published this recipe back in October 2017, but resurrected it for our menu this month because it adds the perfect texture and kick to the meal. Curtido is a Salvadoran version of coleslaw that is a little tangy and spicy and will add the perfect crunch to your pork carnitas. It is similar to kimchi or sauerkraut, in that it is fermented, but we adapted this recipe a bit to make it a little simpler. We added in shredded green apple to give it a slight sweetness to help balance out the bite of the raw onion and kick from the fresh jalapeño.

Servings: 6

1 bag finely shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
½ cup sliced yellow onion
½ cup shredded Granny Smith apples
1 fresh jalapeño seeded and chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons honey
½ cup apple cider vinegar
13 cup vegetable oil

1. Place the cabbage, carrots, onion and shredded apples in a bowl. Toss to combine.
2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over the cabbage mixture. Toss again until all is incorporated.
3. Cover the curtido, and chill for several hours before serving.

We love a summer cocktail, and nothing says summer to us like daiquiris. Well-made, fresh lime daiquiris are simple and refreshing, but we decided to add fresh blueberries to give this drink just a little more of a summertime twist. The berries also add a pretty hue and texture.

Servings: Yields 1 daiquiri

2 tablespoons fresh blueberries
2 teaspoons sugar
Juice of 1 lime
Crushed ice
2 ounces light rum
Lime wedge for garnish

1. Place the blueberries, sugar and fresh lime juice into the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Use the back of a spoon or a pestle to muddle the mixture.
2. Add the crushed ice and 2 ounces of rum. Shake the cocktail until well blended.
3. Pour the blueberry and lime daiquiri into a stemmed cocktail glass rimmed with sugar. Garnish with lime.

This article was originally published in the June 2019 issue of 225 Magazine.