It's no big secret that I haven't been cooking much lately. There is no grand single reason for this, just how life has played out. I'm unable to cook when travelling, which makes falling into a slump of eating out more likely. After an overly long hiatus, I'm back in the kitchen.
The toughest part of salvation is finding inspiration. When infected with what I'll refer to as sloth-itis, not only do energy levels atrophy, but so does creative genius. As I lay in bed, symptoms worsening, I find myself wrapped up in blankets. Could it be another stage of my regression, or has someone mastered the use of their voodoo doll?
Before I'm totally lost in the cocoon, I think of how much I must resemble a human burrito. Wait a minute, I can make a burrito or tortilla involved dish-- that's still cooking. But what kind? I only know one kind-- the Vietnamese tacos (Spike homage) that I've mentioned so many times but never really explained. Indecision conquered.
I dash to the store to procure all the goods needed and return in record time. At least the legs still work.
Step one is making the 'sweet soy' and [fusion] salsa verde. I husk the  tomatillos; which after doing so look like green tomatoes, but are really a member of the gooseberry family; quarter them; and throw in a pot with oil. While they pick up color dice and add a shallot. I then lightly introduce basic seasonings, and chicken stock to half the level of the tomatillos. As the everything cooks, the tomatillos will naturally break down, stock reduce, and blending should not be needed. Before serving, I'll finish with a healthy dose of nam pla, and be done with it. Traditionally, there would be no nam pla, but lard, chiles, and garlic.
Burner number two is going to start making a mock sweet soy sauce. I've never had real sweet soy, but I understand it to be a sweet garlicky soy sauce with the viscosity of molasses. Recipes I've seen for it make me want to take insulin, so I loosely interpret the ingredient.
A light, flavorless oil goes in the pot, along with diced ginger and garlic. Once my upstairs neighbors can smell it, I pour in a light soy sauce, and add brown sugar (no other sweeteners available). My final touch is that of red chili flakes, and then handling more inactive cooking time at a lazy bubble.
The next taco topping is a spicy mango puree. The best part about preparing this, is that no pretty mango brunoise is necessary. It's a hard fruit to prepare well, and this preparation allows for total disfiguration. Blend two mangos to a puree, and add mae ploy, or some sweet chili sauce, to be within desired heat tolerances.
At this point, both saucepots could cook for another 15 minutes, but I'm hungry and am not going to wait. The time for the skillet to come out and cook the [1 lb] ground pork is now. Once the pork has picked up color, but is not completely cooked through, I pour the 'sweet soy' into the skillet, to reduce further, flavor, and finish cooking.
While the pork is finishing, I rejuvinate tortillas with water in the microwave, and prepare the final garnish.
The garnish is a diced mixture of cilantro, mint, raw shallot, and lime juice. The cold, crisp, clean flavors will add texture and flavor contrast to the other warm and sweet components.
Once the pork is completely cooked through, the dish can be assembled. Lay two tortillas down on a plate, then spoon a layer of the thickest sauce, which should be the salsa verde. Top with a mound of sweet soy pork, then finish with the prepared garnish. Due to my impatience, the sauces are a bit thin and the dish has to be consumed with a fork, but the flavors still meld perfectly. There's a temperature battle between the two sauces, then a beautiful saltiness that only comes from nam pla, sweet and hot from the mango, then is all cut through by the crunchy refreshing flavors of the garnish. Feels good to get the warm up out of the way, since next time I'm cooking for a special guest. Da da daaaaaa...