In this land of beef-eaters, pork stews don't get enough love. This one is an adaptation of a Greek pork and wine stew that I read in Vefa's Kitchen. Chunks of pork shoulder are slow-simmered in wine until meltingly tender and packed with flavor.
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Hawaiian kalua-style pork is cooked for 18 hours in the slow cooker, yielding tender pulled meat for sandwiches.
It's been about four years since I first sauteed a cucumber and I can safely say, I have not returned to that recipe. There's a much better return to this one from Grace Young's The Breath of a Wok. The green vegetable is paired with thinly sliced pork and red bell pepper. It's the kind of humble, straightforward Chinese dish that I've been falling in love with recently.
I love soft tacos, at home and at restaurants. Since a taco's filling is infinitely variable, the choice lies in your hands to make them cheap or expensive. You could buy fresh fish, for example, but that would up the price a bit. You could also consider a wide range of potential garnishes, everything from salsa to shredded cheese to cilantro to black beans. On the other hand, if you're looking to save money, the trick is to minimize. Use a filling that's hearty but cheap, and practice rigid discipline with respect to your garnishes.