For the spice blend:
2 teaspoons ground cumin (⅓ palm)
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano (⅓ palm)
2 teaspoons paprika (⅓ palm)
For the tacos:
1½ pounds pork tenderloin (or chicken breast or fish such as sustainable cod or snapper)
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons neutral oil, like peanut or safflower oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large fresh bay leaf
4 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped
About ⅔ to ¾ cup sliced green olives with pimiento
About 3 tablespoons drained capers
2 pounds tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
One handful cilantro leaves, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
12 to 16 small soft corn tortillas, charred or warmed to package directions, to serve
Pickled jalapeño, to serve
Crumbled Cotija, to serve
For the spice blend, combine in small dish.
Slice pork tenderloin down center and halve. Thinly slice on bias. (TIP: Firm up in freezer for a few minutes for a thinner slice.) If using boneless chicken, slice on bias across breasts. For fish, cut into planks 1x1x3-inch. Season protein of choice with salt and pepper and half of spice blend.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil, 2 turns of the pan, in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, brown the pork (or chicken or fish) in 2 batches, about 2 minutes on each side and remove to platter, fish will take a little less time to lightly brown all over. Add more oil, 2 turns, and the onions, jalapeño and bay, season with salt and pepper, soften for a couple minutes. Add a splash of water to pick up any meat drippings and remaining spice blend. Add garlic, olives and capers, and stir a minute, add tomatoes and simmer 5 minutes and break down a bit, add protein back to pan and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, add the cilantro and lime and serve from pan with corn tortillas, pickled jalapeño peppers and crumbled Cotija.