On this episode of Cook’s Country TV, Julia Collin Davison reveals the secrets to making our show-stopping Citrus-Braised Pork Tacos at home. (You can thank a man named Raul Martinez for the country’s obsession with taco food trucks.) Then, tasting expert Jack Bishop challenges Julia to a mild salsa taste test. Next, equipment expert Adam Ried shares his piping bag best buys with Bridget. And finally, test cook Christie Morrison shows Julia how to achieve our unforgettable So-Cal-inspired Churros right at home.
Season 10, Episode 8 Recap: Straight from So-Cal
Here are three takeaways from this episode.
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Straight from So-CalJulia Collin Davison teaches Bridget Lancaster how to make Citrus-Braised Pork Tacos at home. Tasting expert Jack Bishop challenges Julia to a taste test of mild salsa. Test cook Christie Morrison shows Julia how to achieve unforgettable So-Cal inspired Churros right at home. And finally, equipment expert Adam Ried shares the findings of our piping bag testing.
1. How to Brown Meat (Without Browning Meat)
Most stews include a time-consuming step in which you brown the individual pieces of meat in the pot before building the rest of the braising liquid. We found we could get the same browning if we just cooked the stew in the oven uncovered. As the sauce reduces, the meat browns.
2. The Type of Thickener Makes or Breaks the Salsa
Some salsas thicken with ingredients like cornstarch, which makes the product feel gluey. Our winner, ChiChi’s Thick & Chunky Salsa, is thickened naturally, with crushed tomatoes. Unsurprisingly, with the extra freshness from the tomatoes and the natural thickener, it was our favorite in terms of flavor and texture.
3. How to Avoid Splashing Hot Oil
Our Churros fry in 375-degree oil, so we didn’t want to use the usual technique of piping the dough directly in a vat of hot oil. Instead, we piped dough logs onto a rimmed baking sheet and slipped them into the frying oil in batches to minimize the splashing. Another safe frying tip: When frying food in hot oil, always place it in the oil and then let it fall away from you. That way, no hot oil will splash up on you.
Be sure to read the previous recaps below:
- Season 10, Episode 1 Recap: Pork and Pierogi
- Season 10, Episode 2 Recap: Spicy and Sour for Supper
- Season 10, Episode 3 Recap: Smoky Barbecue Favorites
- Season 10, Episode 4 Recap: Smothered and Dowdied
- Season 10, Episode 5 Recap: BBQ Thighs and Fried Peach Pies
- Season 10, Episode 6 Recap: Ribs and Mashed Potatoes Revisited