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Garlic-free? Check.

Posted: Friday, Sep. 21, 2012

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Chef Troy Gagliardo

CChef Troy Gagliardo is a self-taught chef that has parlayed his years of kitchen experience into many other culinary ventures. Including a proprietary spice line, cook books, commercials, food styling, cooking/restaurant columns, endorsements, cooking classes, and live appearances. Troy has been voted as one of the Charlotte’s Top Five Chefs two years in a row by Creative Loafing readers. Chef Troy has appeared in two national commercials with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and joined him for a media tour day just days before Dale Jr. won his second Daytona 500 to start the 2014 NASCAR season. For the past seven years, Chef Troy has appeared each week on Charlotte's morning show WCCB News Rising, cooking his way through "Troy’s Everyday Eats". Filmed live each week at the WCCB Charlotte studios, Chef Troy teaches his unique style of food with a simple Warren publishing recently signed Chef Troy to publish his new cookbook entitled Pseudo Southern-a playful twist on the art of southern cooking, which has been endorsed by Top Chef Alum and best-selling author Fabio Viviani and also star of “A Chef’s Life” Vivian Howard. Fabio said of Pseudo Southern, "Southern food is my second home. It's as close to my heart like Italy is, and that is why I love Troy's recipes so much. They remind me of the childhood I would have had if I was born in the south”. Vivian had this to say, “Troy’s take on southern food is just left of center, fun, and refreshing. His recipes are approachable that even the most jaded cook will be intrigued to try.” Chef Troy is also a free-lance food writer for the Charlotte Observer and Examiner.com and lives in Mooresville, NC with his wife Tracy, of twenty-three years, and their two daughters, Ally and Isabella. He can be seen every Tuesday morning from 7-9 am on WCCB News Rising.

Now more than ever, chefs are developing recipes that cater to a wide variety of dietary needs. Gluten-free? Check. Vegan? Check. There’s another request that shouldn’t be overlooked: Garlic-free. Below, I’ve created a garlic-free version of a pork taco so flavorful you won’t miss it at all!

Chopped Sirloin/Pork Tacos with Homemade Corn Tortillas


• 1 Pound-Ground Sirloin
• 1 Pound Ground Pork
• 1 Each Beer


• 1 1/2 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
• 2 Teaspoons Ground Ancho Chili Pepper
• ¼ Teaspoon Ground Chipotle Pepper or cayenne
• 1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika or regular paprika
• 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
• 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
• 1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
• 2 Teaspoons Dry Oregano
• 1 ½ Tablespoons Masa Harina

Place in a bowl and mix until well combined.

Tortillas (you will need a tortilla press to make)

• 2 Cups Masa Harina
• 1 Cup water
• 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt


• Place both meats in a pan over medium high heat and cook while breaking into small pieces.
• Once meat is cooked through, drain of grease by placing in a colander for at least 5 minutes.
• Wipe out any residual grease from the pan and add meat back into pan over medium heat.
• Add 2-3 Tablespoons of Taco seasoning to meat and mix well to combine.
• Add beer to pan, mix well, lower heat and cook until liquid and seasoning thicken, about 10-15 minutes.
• Keep meat warm while making tortillas.
• Warm an iron skillet over medium heat and line a plate with a clean kitchen towel.
• Mix masa harina with salt, slowly add the water until a soft/slightly sticky dough form.
• If dough seems to dry to pack add a little water at a time until it is soft and easy to form into a ball.
• Divide dough into 12 equal portions and roll into a ball.
• Place one ball of dough on a piece of plastic wrap and another on top.
• Gently press ball to slightly flatten and place in tortilla press.
• Fold over top part of press and use handle to compress the dough into a tortilla.
• Gently remove one side of plastic from raw tortilla while holding in one hand.
• Gently flip over to other hand, remove second piece of plastic and place directly into warm skillet.
• Cook until slightly charred on one side, about 45 seconds, flip and repeat.
• Place on towel, cover to keep warm while repeating with remaining dough.
• Assemble by placing some of the seasoned meat in a warm tortilla.
• Top with cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, jalapeno, sour cream or other condiments and serve.

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