Recipe: Pork Tacos with Spicy Watermelon Salsa and Goat Yogurt Baja Creme by Charlie Abowd

Here we are with 2019 half over and moving along, and the joyous experience of dealing with our insurance company and other entities in the wake of the fire has been one hell of a learning experience. A lesson we never wanted, but since we’re going through it, we may as well try to take something away from the experience. Many of you are wondering what’s next or “when.” Here’s what I know for sure: We’re working diligently each day to get Cafe at Adele’s up and running and as of last week, thankfully have a reconstruction plan in place.

Meantime, I am cooking for friends and family, putzing in the garden and coming up with new and interesting recipes. I promise to try them out on our patrons as soon as the doors open.

The inspiration for today’s recipe has in fact been the time I’ve been home, the street food movement and the things I’ve had the opportunity to taste, and the Junior Livestock Auction, which recently happened.

Karen and I sponsored a lamb and a pig this year, and recommend everyone give this a shot. If you can’t do a whole animal, next year get together with like-minded family and/or friends, pool your resources and sponsor a project. You will not only get farm-raised, chemical-free meat, you will also be contributing to a young person’s success and quite possibly their post-high school education fund. Our participation ensures our FFA and 4-H programs continuing success.

This is a win for everyone.

This was either our fifth or sixth year sponsoring Sierra Coleman’s pig.

Adele’s sommelier Steve Sanchez and I walked into the Livestock Convention Center Exhibit Hall and I said, “That’s a beautiful pig; I wonder who’s pig that is?” And here came this voice, “How are you doing, Charlie? It’s my pig, but with the fire and everything, I didn’t want to bother you (about sponsoring).” Sure enough, it was Sierra. I asked if she had a sponsor and lucky for us, she didn’t. This big, beautiful pig was the best in its class and let me tell you, that’s a well-deserved title!

Speaking of successful ag programs, we’re about a month away from The Greenhouse Project’s 11th annual Concert Under the Stars, which takes place Wednesday, July 10 at Eagle Valley Golf Club. Owner Tom Duncan has generously offered this new home for this growing event. We are hosting three bands that helped shape American music for every generation since – Poco, Pure Prairie League and Firefall. To understand the contribution of these bands and who their players have been over time, do a quick web search. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised. This will be a night of one hit after the other, and every dollar raised continues TGP’s mission of Growing, Giving & Teaching for a healthier and greener community. A limited number of Gold Circle tickets at $65 remain, and reserved $45 tickets and $30 SRO tickets are available at

In addition to a stellar evening of music, this rain or shine event, offers the live auction, featuring many experience packages including a trip to Ireland, (again, a great way to participate is by pooling resources with friends and/or family). Also, our Carson City High School award-winning FFA students will be selling raffle tickets for a Lake Tahoe wine cruise for two. Food trucks and full bars will be on site so you can all have a kitchen pass for the evening. What a great date night or fun time with friends.

See, summer’s not here for another two weeks, and it’s already popping!

Now let’s get cooking!

Pork Tacos with Spicy Watermelon Salsa and Goat Yogurt Baja Creme

Makes 4 servings of 3 tacos each

1 pound chili-ground pork shoulder, preferably locally grown or FFA or 4-H sponsored

One hour before cooking, season with:

1/4 teaspoon really good chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon Glorious Garlic Farm Everyday Seasoning (Available at Gather Restaurant, Carson City; Sierra Chef in Genoa; Butcher Boy Meats, Reno; The Flag Store, Sign & Banner, Sparks or on the web site at .)

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic

12 corn tortillas

24 pieces of arugula for garnish

When ready to cook pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into a 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat. Gently, carefully place pork in the pan slowly stirring. Let simmer over medium heat, until done.

Of course, you need tortillas for this dish, and while some prefer flour, I prefer the taste and texture of corn for this recipe.

I cook my tortillas directly on the stove burner, which can be done on both gas and electric ranges. That said, it is especially easy to burn your fingers on an electric range, so I suggest using tongs. Simply place tortilla over heat and cook until it puffs a bit, then flip and repeat; not even a minute per tortilla.

As tortillas come off the range, place in a towel to keep warm. This will also allow them to steam and soften a bit.


1 cup cubed watermelon, cut in 1/2-inch squares

1 cob of fresh corn, uncooked, approximately 1/2 C.

2 tablespoons fine-chopped jalapeno, de-seeded

3/4 cup rough-chopped cilantro

1/4 cup cucumber, de-seeded and cut into 1/2-inch squares

6 large red radishes, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon local honey, available at Third & Curry St. Farmer’s Market or Dubois

Juice of 2 ripe limes

1/4 teaspoon salt to taste (I prefer Maldon’s, available at Raley’s)

Mix ingredients together gently and let sit.

Goat Yogurt Baja Sauce

1/2 cup plain goat yogurt

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili sauce, your preference (mine is Tapatio)

Pinch salt and pepper

For service, place three tortillas on each plate, adding pork down the center. Place a spoonful of salsa over the meat and garnish each taco with two pieces of arugula. Folks can add the Baja Creme themselves, to taste.

A beer of your choice will go well with these. I suggest visiting Shoe Tree Brewing Co., at 1496 Old Hot Springs Road, for their recommendation. I enjoyed a Revision Specialty IPA, which is a bit funky and skunky.



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