Tag Archives: carnitas

Carnitas Cubano and Logo Reveal!

13 May
Carnitas Cubano

Carnitas Cubano

With an over-glut of carnitas on hand from recipe testing, I settled on whipping up some Cubano sammies, carnitas-style! No recipe really needed for this. Slather both sides of of two slices of bread with butter (I used Seattle Sourdough) and skillet grill one side of each. Spread mustard on grilled side, then layer carnitas or any other cooked pork, sliced ham, dill pickle slices, and Swiss cheese. Add the other grilled side face down on top, then press and grill until browned, using either a panini-style press or another heavy skillet on top. Oh my, decadent and finger-licking good!

And…

Here is the logo for my new taco food cart!

Austin Street Tacos Logo

Austin Street Tacos Logo

I’m still deciding on colors and what-not, but my temporary white sign really pops on the cart. One more inspection and permit to go, then I’m in business!

Advertisements

Carnitas Soup with Tomatillos and Chipotle in Adobo Sauce

29 Jan
Carnitas Soup with Tomatillos and Chipotle Pepper

Carnitas Soup with Tomatillos and Chipotle Pepper

Smoky, spicy, and tangy. That is how I would describe this soup. I was pondering what to do with our leftover Carnitas when inspiration struck me while walking through the produce section at the grocery store. It appeared a fresh load of tomatillos had arrived at the store, as the bin was overflowing with them. I decided right then and there I was going to make some carnitas soup with tomatillos. I grabbed about 8 of them, which turned out to be 3/4 pounds.

This soup was a tad too much on the spicy side for my husband but he still ate his full bowl. I had added the other half of the jalapeño I hadn’t used in the carnitas, but I also added 1/2 of a canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. (Please note that is 1/2 of a pepper, not 1/2 of the can!!) Chipotle peppers in adobe sauce have a beautiful smoky taste, but beware, those peppers are not only smoky flavored, but SPICY! So, so reduce the amount down, if needed.

Tomatillos for Soup

Tomatillos for Soup

Tomatillos are a very tangy fruit, so that is where you get the tangy. But we all enjoyed the flavors and textures of the soup, and my daughter even went back for seconds even though it made her sweat, lol! You can freeze the leftover chipotle chiles for a future use. I love to add a small amount  of them to white beans and garlic as a side dish, oooh yum. Last, the store I went to only had mongo pound-plus cans of hominy, so I just use a cup and a half of them, but if your store has a 14-ounce can or so you could use that instead. Once again, I froze the rest of them for future use.

Tomatillos, Onions, and Jalapeno

Tomatillos, Onions, and Jalapeno

Carnitas Soup with Tomatillos and Chipotle in Adobo Sauce

1 pound leftover Carnitas, recipe here, or cooked pork
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
3/4 pounds tomatillos, husks remove, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
1/2 jalapeño, diced small
1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 of 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, diced small (or less)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 to 6 cups homemade chicken, turkey, or beef broth (or combination of any)
1 1/2 cups white hominy, drained and rinsed
1 jar of homemade tomatoes, diced, or can of diced tomatoes with liquid
Handful of chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
Lime wedges, for serving

Carnitas Soup Simmering

Carnitas Soup Simmering

Hopefully you have leftover Carnitas at this point. If not, cook up some pork with spices and set aside. Then chop up your onion, tomatillos, and jalapeño.  Heat up a dutch oven or soup pot over medium, then add the olive oil. I’m so bad about amounts on this part, I just eyeball it. But use enough to saute all your veggies. Once the onions start to soften, add the diced chipotle pepper and garlic, stirring until fragrant. Add the broth (I used a combo of turkey and beef broth) and then turn up to high until boiling. Add the hominy, Carnitas or pork, tomatoes, and cilantro. Bring back up to a boil again, then turn down to low to simmer. Simmer for at least one hour to let the flavors meld. Serve with additional cilantro and/or lime, to taste. Yummy!

Carnitas Soup with Tomatillos and Chipotle Pepper

Carnitas Soup with Tomatillos and Chipotle Pepper

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Carnitas Tacos with Spicy Pickled Red Onions

26 Jan
Carnitas Tacos with Spicy Pickled Red Onions

Carnitas Tacos with Spicy Pickled Red Onions

Some days I go on a cooking binge. I can’t help myself! I suddenly have lots of things I want to make and eat, and yesterday was one of those days. Countless hours of dashing around the kitchen, every measuring device in use, pots, pans, bowls, sticky messes covering all countertops. But when it’s all said and done, I’m tired, happy, and full. And have sore feet.

I had two missions to accomplish yesterday: One, was to concoct a fancy dessert (not my forté as you know) from scratch for an online cooking competition using three required ingredients. (You will get to read about that next week.) Second, was to finally try my hand at making carnitas, which is a Mexican dish of slow-braised pork and then broiled up into crispy bits of yumminess. I added a third mission later in the game and pickled up some spicy red onions to accompany the carnitas tacos. Whoa! Talk about a game changer. My photos don’t do that condiment justice. After my first bite, I went back and mounded way more pickled onions into my tacos. Delish!

Spicy Pickled Red Onions

Spicy Pickled Red Onions

I did learn a couple of things yesterday during all this though. You really should use a cut of pork butt or shoulder that has lots of fat and marbling in it. I only had some country-style boneless pork ribs, and they didn’t have near enough fat to render so had to add a little vegetable oil during the rendering process. I also figured out that by pouring some chicken or beef broth over the pork just before the broiling process lessened the dryness of the pork since it didn’t have the required fat in it. Lessons learned, but it was still incredibly tasty! We have plenty of leftover carnitas for use in either more tacos, burritos, or perhaps even a stew or chili? We shall see what becomes of the rest of the meat, now won’t we? Now on to the recipes!

Spiced-Up Pork and Juices

Spiced-Up Pork and Juices

Carnitas Tacos with Spicy Pickled Red Onions

For the Carnitas:
3 pounds pork butt or shoulder, cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces
Juice of 4 or 5 limes (about 1/4 cup)
Juice of 1 large orange (about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon Ancho chile powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
Ground black pepper, to taste
About a half a bottle or can of beer
Vegetable oil, if needed
About 1 cup chicken or beef broth, if needed
Cotijo cheese, avocado, spicy pickled red onions, cilantro, and lime wedges, for garnish

For the Spicy Pickled Red Onions
1/2 large red onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
Juice of 1 large lemon (about 1/4 cup)
6 or 7 thin slices of fresh jalapeno
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic

Add the pork, juices, and spices to a dutch oven and cover with water to just cover the pork. Bring to a boil, then turn down low to simmer for at two hours. About halfway through simmering, I added a half a can of beer. Why, you ask? Because it was in my hand and seemed like a good idea. Did it make any difference? I have no idea, lol!

Simmering Pork

Simmering Pork

While the pork is simmering, you can make the pickled onions. Add all the ingredients to a glass jar, microwave uncovered for 45 seconds, cover with lid, and refrigerate until ready to use. Easy peasy!

After two hours, turn up the heat to medium high and cook the pork for about a half hour longer, until all the liquid is gone and the pork begins frying in its own fat. Or, if your pork doesn’t have enough fat, then add a little vegetable oil at this point to help it along.

Crispy Carnitas

Crispy Carnitas

Once the pork starts looking crispy and browned, remove it from the heat. Add the meat in one layer to a foil-lined baking sheet, pour about a half cup of chicken or beef broth over it, then put it in the oven on broil for 5 or so minutes. Remove the pan, turn pork over with a spatula, then add a little more broth over it. Return to oven and broil about 5 more minutes. Remove from oven, and serve immediately over corn tortillas warmed up in a dry skillet, with cotijo cheese, avocado, spicy pickled red onions, cilantro, and lime wedges.

Carnitas Tacos with Spicy Pickled Red Onions

Carnitas Tacos with Spicy Pickled Red Onions

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

%d bloggers like this: