Donna Jean’s Tropical Pork Carnitas Mini Tostadas

Bet You Can’t Eat Just One

Donna Jean’s Tropical Pork Carnitas Mini Tostadas

Appetizer

For Tom’s 65th birthday party in July, we decided to celebrate with a fiesta catered by the terrific La Cabañita Restaurant in Montrose (technically Glendale).  Since La Cabañita was only bringing dinner items, I needed to prepare a few appetizers for the party.  In addition to guacamole and chips, I made Grilled Watermelon Gazpacho served in shot glasses, Black Bean Salsa and Salsa Baked Goat Cheese Dip.

However, I felt this just wouldn’t be enough food to soak up the muchas margaritas, sangria and cerveza we were also serving.  (Did I mention we were expecting 65 people?)

                                                     

My friend Donna, an amazing cook, came to the rescue by creating this delicioso recipe created entirely from ingredients available at Trader Joe’s.  These are a light, bright, tropical bite that are a perfect complement to traditional Mexican fare and were a big hit at the party.  Muchas Gracias, Donna!

Did we have too much food for the party?  Of course we did, but no one left hungry, which is a good thing!  Happy Birthday Tomas!!

                                                     
Ingredients:

1 bag Trader Joe’s Yellow Corn Tortilla Chip Rounds (wonton cups would work well too)
2 – 16 oz. jars Trader Joe’s Roasted Tomatillo & Mango Salsa
1 – 12 oz. package Trader José’s Traditional Carnitas (Mexican style oven roasted pork)
1 container Trader Joe’s Mango Jicama Slaw With Lime Mango Vinaigrette (in the fresh section)
1 – 12 oz. jar Trader José’s Chipotle Black Bean Dip
1/4 Pineapple, peeled and diced (for garnish)
1-2 Mangos, peeled and thinly sliced into 2” long pieces to fit on the tortilla chip
2 Bunches fresh cilantro, chopped
1-2 limes, squeezed
Pineapple juice to taste (canned pineapple juice is easiest)

Preparing the Meat

Pre-heat the oven to 225°.  In an oven safe pot, combine the carnitas and half the jar of the Roasted Tomatillo & Mango Salsa.  Bake, covered, for one hour or until the meat can be shredded and is fork tender.  The juice from the salsa will absorb into the meat as you shred.  To the shredded meat add some fresh chopped cilantro, the fresh squeezed lime juice and pineapple juice to taste.

Mango Jicama Slaw with Lime Mango Vinaigrette
Add dressing to the slaw, mix thoroughly.

Assembly

To one round tortilla chip add the following in this order:

Spread a thin layer of chipotle bean dip on the chip
Add a couple of slices of the mango
Generous pinch of mango slaw
Generous pinch of prepared pork mixture
Diced pineapple pieces
Scant spoonful of the Roasted Tomatillo & Mango Salsa
Pinch of cilantro to finish


(And, if you want to turn up the heat, I think a couple of Trader Joe’s Hot & Sweet Jalapeños on top would do the trick!)

For our party, Donna served the mini tostadas on a bed of shredded banana leaves garnished with edible flowers.  In case you were wondering (as I was), banana leaves should be available at any Hispanic grocery or Middle Eastern market.

Makes approximately 30 mini-tostadas.

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