So, before Cafe Rio showed up in Las Vegas, I had to get my fresh Mexican salad fix elsewhere. (Believe me, it was painful. I had to wait years or drive to Utah to get my fix...) Luckily, my husband stumbled on a fresh Mexican grill, called Zaba's here in town and they were a very good substitute. What I liked about Zaba's was that they had the same idea behind their salads and food, i.e., fresh meat, homemade tortillas, and delicious dressings, but different sauces and accompaniments, giving their food an entirely different flavor. One of my very very favorite things to order there is their pork carnitas tacos. They are the perfect blend of smoky pork (NOT sweet!... I do NOT like sweet pork), cilantro, delicious corn salsa, and an awesome chipotle ranch dressing. I love the tacos so much, that I could easily eat them once a week. So, I decided I needed to re-create them at home. I went searching for bits and pieces of the meal and ended up with an almost perfect substitute for my Zaba's tacos.
The next three posts will have all you need to make your very own Zaba's inspired Pork Carnitas.
And here's part 1 of our perfect pork carnitas meal... the corn salsa.
So, in my quest to recreate my beloved Zaba's carnitas, I had to find a corn salsa. They use this delightful medium corn salsa, that had something weird in that I couldn't quite label. Obviously, I don't eat a lot of jicama because that's what it is... and I didn't recognize it. I loved it, though. It tastes sort of like a cross between an apple and snap pea. I looked high and low for a corn salsa recipe that was similar to the Zaba's variation and I couldn't really find one, so Dacia and I created one ourselves. Granted, there isn't much to it... just throw some veggies together and call it done. But, as simple as it is, it's mighty tasty. It was spectacular with tortilla chips and of course delicious over the carnitas tacos. It's super simple to whip up and a nice change from your typical tomato salsa. I highly recommend this stuff.
2 Cups frozen corn, defrosted, and drained of excess liquid
1 cup diced red onion
1 cup diced jicama
juice from 1 lime
1/2 -1 cup cilantro (you can probably bet which way I lean...)
salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder to taste
1. Throw your corn, onion, and jicama all together in a bowl.
2. Add lime juice and seasonings to taste. And that's it.