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Pork Belly Tacos With Cilantro Avocado Cream & An Announcement!

Pork Belly Tacos With Cilantro Avocado Cream

Three years ago, exactly to the date, I was letting you in on a pretty big move in my life. Both in my immediate geography and career. When I was asked by the creative director of Time Inc Books in Birmingham, Al to come work for them as Senior Photographer three years ago, the timing was perfect. I was ready for a little more time in one place with the possibility to work with dedicated and talented food and prop stylists everyday.

I put my whole heart into it, I learned so much more than I could ever think of. Meant some wonderful people in the world of publishing. Editors, graphic designers, recipe developers and test kitchen professionals who have fed my soul and belly with beautiful pages and great food.

I am so happy that I answered yes to the offer three years ago but now, it is time. We are moving back to Charleston, SC. I resigned from my position and I am going back to being a freelance photographer!



Pork Belly Tacos With Cilantro Avocado Cream

After my father in law passed away, we made a promise to my mother in law to be present to take care of her. Be present. Be in the present. That has always been the pushing force for us. Charleston, back home, is where we need to be. After two years not being able to find work, my husband got his position back at the College and is a happy fish again. I am excited about the world unfolding before me and already have my head going wild with ideas about collaborations, work, projects. Life is always on the other side of fear.

 I am looking forward to more time for workshops, travels, work, work and more work. Because I love what I do and hope to be doing this for a long long time.

Thank you all for wishing us well on our new adventures three years ago. Hope you will be excited as I am to follow my new adventures along. 

Once again, bear with me as I pack boxes and more boxes and settle into our new life (and new studio space!).

In the meantime, it’s Friday. That means tacos and drinks in this house! Pork Belly Tacos With Cilantro Avocado Cream to be precise.


Pork Belly Tacos With Cilantro Avocado Cream

Pork Belly Tacos With Cilantro Avocado Cream

Makes 4 tacos:


4 corn tortillas

8 1/4-inch thick pork belly slices

4 large or 8 small Bibb lettuce leaves

1/2 medium red onion, sliced

1 ripe avocado, pitted and skinned

1 garlic clove

1/4 cilantro, roughly chopped

1 jalapeno, cut in half, stems and seeds removed

juice and zest of 1/2 a lime

1/2 creme fraiche or sour cream

2 Tb to 1/4 cup light cream or half&half

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 to 3/4 cup cotija cheese

fresh cilantro to garnish


On a grill or in a skillet place on the stove on medium high heat, grill the tortillas until warm and just blistered on both sides. Remove from the heat, cover with foil and keep warm.

In a skillet set over medium heat, cook the pork belly slices until crispy like bacon, about 15 minutes, flipping them every so often (just like you would bacon, but will take longer due to their thickness).

Drain on paper towels.

In a food processor, place the avocado, garlic. cilantro jalapeno, lime zest and juice and process until smooth. Remove from food processor and place in a large bowl. Add the creme fraiche or sour cream and stir with a spoon. Add enough light cream or half&half to make it a drizzle consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble the tacos by layering one tortilla with one large or a couple of smaller Bibb lettuce leaves, one slice pork belly cut up, cojita cheese, red onion slices, fresh cilantro and the avocado-cilantro cream. 

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Paola Thomas August 29, 2015 um 1:34 am

I am so excited to see what you do! You're going to kick ass 🙂 Also planning a trip to Charleston…

Tracy Grant August 29, 2015 um 2:42 am

Very exciting!

Barbara Bakes August 29, 2015 um 3:04 am

It's always the right choice to follow your heart. I'm excited to see what the future holds for you. Thanks so much for the fabulous work you did on my cookbook!

Libby August 29, 2015 um 3:11 am

Helene this is wonderful news. I know your heart was always in Charleston. It is so great that you guyscare able to make this move. Can't wait to see you in a few weeks. Congratulations!

LizNoVeggieGirl August 29, 2015 um 5:23 am

Major congratulations!!!!

Regan August 29, 2015 um 11:30 am

Big congrats to you!! I love the adventures of photography – starting my own adventure in freelance photography at the end of this year. You are inspiring and I can't wait to try these tacos!

Cath R. August 29, 2015 um 11:32 am

Wonderful! now you can fly over to the Uk for workshops…please?! 🙂

[email protected] August 29, 2015 um 12:14 pm

Helene, I am so happy for you! You are so talented, your photos are breathtaking, and I can't wait for the workshop in three short weeks!

Anonymous August 29, 2015 um 1:55 pm

Congratulations on your new adventure and btw I love your book.

Angela August 29, 2015 um 3:39 pm

Wishing you all the best…smiles

Ta August 29, 2015 um 8:16 pm

Congratulations to you all! I just had pork belly tacos for the first time a few weeks ago at a local taco spot. Incredible. I can't wait to try this recipe.

Karine August 29, 2015 um 10:26 pm

Best of luck for the move and your freelancing.
Meilleures voeux.

Juls August 30, 2015 um 10:51 am

All the best with your new life, Helene. I have been following you since the beginning, and I still love reading your posts, as you are still true to yourself. It is a pleasure to read you and I admire your work.
If you'll ever want to do something in Tuscany, I'll be more than happy to work with you here!

flowers on my table August 30, 2015 um 12:29 pm

Congratulations to you and to your husband! You seem so happy about it. I wish you every success. Beautiful recipe and photos as ever! Love Linda x

Gale Reeves August 30, 2015 um 12:44 pm

"Life is always on the other side of fear." beautiful….
As always, I love to follow you around the globe via your posts and stunning photography. You are an inspiration to many. Creativity has no boundaries… Hope to connect with you again in one of your 'yet to be imagined' workshops.

Fran Amenábar Ch. August 31, 2015 um 10:47 am

Nice to here your happy taking this decision, it's good to be in a city where you feel like home and you're with your family. Nice to here also good news rfom your husband and… ¡the best wishes for you and your family in this new stage in Charleston! Greetings from Chile

Dani August 31, 2015 um 11:00 pm

Yum, delicious looking taco's… makes me want them for breakfast right now 🙂 and Congrats on the move!

Hung Quach @ Jet and Indigo September 1, 2015 um 8:07 am

Congratulations on this decision Helene and all the best with your move. I look forward to following your journey back to Charleston!

Rocky Mountain Woman September 2, 2015 um 9:47 pm

I'm happy you're going to be closer to family and I'm hoping someday to attend one of your workshops!!

Linda September 7, 2015 um 6:51 am

How exciting Helene! Congrats!! Wishing you all the best.

kate September 10, 2015 um 4:04 pm

Hello Helene! I am just seeing your big announcement, wow, congratulations! Family is the most important thing we have and I love that is a motivation for your move back to Charleston. I am so happy for you that everything is working out so well for the move back to SC.
I am living in France, but I am from South Carolina and I have always hoped to participate in one your workshops when I am home visiting my family.
Can't wait to follow along on your blog!
et peut-etre à bientôt!

Cindy September 12, 2015 um 5:26 pm

Congrats, Helene! I have been following your blog and work for years, I look forward to following along on your new adventures!

Abby September 16, 2015 um 2:26 am

That is wonderful news! I'm excited for you. Journey is good, but home is what the soul longs for!

Unknown September 16, 2015 um 6:05 am

Congrats Helene! I can't wait to see the next chapter of your life unfold! Maybe you can come out to California and do a workshop! Or time for a second book! Love your first book!

Sari @ Cook Your Dream September 19, 2015 um 10:03 am

Wishing you all the best in the new chapter of your life Helene! You are such an inspiration to many and a really talented photographer. Your passion for this job is shining through your photos. Can't wait to follow your new adventures and perhaps hope to meet you one day.

low carb recipes September 20, 2015 um 4:55 pm

Those are tacos done right! They look absolutely delicious 😀 Pinned!

keto recipes September 26, 2015 um 2:54 am

Wow those tacos look delicious! Thanks for the recipe 🙂 Pinned

Unknown September 29, 2015 um 2:38 pm


I am a friend/colleague of Carrie Vitt. I work with Lisa Leake as well – I love your work! Please lmk if you have workshops in the Charleston area. My in-laws live there and I'd love to come stay with them and come to one of your workshops there.

Hina September 29, 2015 um 5:25 pm

I just recently came across your blog and have fallen in love with your writing style. I love how honest and genuine it is. It's exactly the format I am going for with mine. Keep it up!

Dale September 30, 2015 um 2:41 am

All the best thank you for this recipe

cupcakes October 3, 2015 um 9:08 pm

red onion contains a lot of power, and it is healthy, this recipe is amazing

keto recipes October 8, 2015 um 4:05 am

Those tacos look amazing!!! You take some beautiful pictures 🙂 Thank you!

Penny October 8, 2015 um 12:24 pm

Very Happy for you. I know you will make a success of the move back.

Unknown February 27, 2016 um 8:52 pm

could the cream be made a day ahead?

Helene March 4, 2016 um 4:01 pm

I wouldn't recommend making the cream a day ahead because of the avocado – it might change color even with the acid in it.

Unknown November 21, 2016 um 12:06 am

I made this tonight, my first time cooking pork belly, and it was great. My 6 year old loved it, and my hubby said it's a keeper. Very easy to make and the cilantro sour cream was a perfect compliment to the fatty pork belly.

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