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Southwest pork tacos perfected

Family Features | 3/28/2013, 5 p.m.

From coast to coast, every region of the country has its own tasty take on serving up their favorite pork chop dishes. This go-to protein is a versatile canvas for a wide range of mouthwatering flavors and techniques to drive taste buds wild.

For a sautéed, sweet and spicy dinner-time solution, take inspiration from some of the best regional secrets for preparing pork tacos. Down South, they favor fried pork chops wrapped in a soft, puffy shell.

In Kansas City, the preference is to stuff the grilled pork chop in a hard shell after smothering it in a tangy BBQ sauce. As for the Southwest, Honey and Spice Sautéed Pork Hand Tacos are a scrumptious favorite that's easy to prepare and even easier to devour.

This fuss-free recipe can be prepared in a variety of ways; create sizzling pork chops in a skillet or hot off the grill--the perfect excuse to get a head start on grilling season. To kick things up even more, try a rice pilaf dish on the side. Chop up some cilantro to stir into the rice for an added layer of flavor.

To ensure your pork tacos are juicy and tender, cook your chops to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F with a 3-minute rest. Be sure to use a digital cooking thermometer to get the most delicious results.

What's your favorite regional pork recipe? Share your recipes and discover others from across the country on Pork Social at www.PorkBeinspired.com/porksocial.
Honey and Spice Sautéed Pork Hand Tacos
Prep time: 15-20 minutes, cook time: 5 minutes, yield: 4 servings, 2 tacos each

1 pound thinly-cut boneless chops (1/2-inch thick), cut into strips
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (smoked or plain paprika can be used as an alternative)
8 small corn tortillas, warmed
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
1cup pico de gallo*
Sour cream or crema to taste