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    9th August 2011

    Cochinita Pibil: Slow-roasted Yucatan Pork

    We had banana leaves left over from the Steamed Salmon recipe, and I happened to stumble across this tasty-looking pork dish a couple of days before a PEPS potluck, so it was a no-brainer to make it our contribution.  I’m still partial to the Carnitas that we’ve made a few times previously, but this recipe is easier, and actually tasted better the next day as leftovers.


    Chris says:

    I love finds like this, that come out of trying to use up something we bought for a different recipe — banana leaves!

    Lisa says:

    I love recipes that list 20 cloves of garlic in the ingredients list.

    Chris says:

    That too — between the garlic, citrus, and achiote paste, the pork has a pretty distinctive flavor. I really like it, it’s different.

    Lisa says:

    You’re right, it’s different and it’s delicious — so what’s the deal with the ‘real’ recipe?

    Chris says:

    Oh, so traditionally you’re supposed to roast a whole suckling pig in a hole in the ground.

    Lisa says:

    (…)

    Chris says:

    Yeah, I thought you’d be fine with pork shoulder.

    Cochinita Pibil
    1 3.5-oz package of El Yucateco Achiote Red Paste
    20 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
    1 cup of freshly-squeezed lime juice
    1/2 cup of freshly-squeezed orange juice
    5-6 lbs boneless pork butt
    1 package of banana leaves, defrosted

    Combine the achiote paste, garlic, lime juice, and lemon juice in a blender, and puree until smooth. Cut pork into large square portions, leaving much of the fat (you can always remove any fatty pieces after it’s cooked) cover with the paste mixture, and marinate in refrigerator overnight, 12-24 hours.
    Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
    Line a roasting pan with overlapping banana leaves, letting them hang over the sides. Put the pork and marinade inside, wrap the leaves over the top, then top more overlapping leaves on top to create a sealed package. You should also then line the roasting pan with foil to prevent steam from escaping.
    Cook 3.5-4 hours, until pork shreds easily with a fork.
    Serve in tacos with pickled onions (recipe here), guacamole, and a *very* spicy hot sauce.

    8 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Mexican | 0 Comments

    14th July 2009

    Pork Posole

    posolerojo

    The Third Place Books close to us was having a blowout on used books a couple of weeks ago, and we picked up a copy of The Best of Cooking Light: Everyday Favorites for four bucks (I’m a sucker for cookbooks with pictures). This pork posole recipe caught my eye because it looked pretty much like a normal (aka, non-light) posole recipe. Pork is browned and then added to a stock made from chicken broth and pureed ancho chilies. This recipe is all about the condiments: a squeeze of lime and a bunch of cilantro really brings out the flavors in this soup.


    Lisa says:

    We must love posole — I think we have four different recipes on the site.

    Chris says:

    Yep, and each one is a little different.

    Lisa says:

    I’m not sure about this one, you know I like the stewier ones.

    Chris says:

    Well, even though this one is broth-based, I think you’ll like it.

    Lisa says:

    Hmmm… kind of bland.

    Chris says:

    What? Ahhh… hit it with those garnishes. Squeeze that lime! Add those onions! Savor the cilantro!

    Lisa says:

    Wow, that makes a big difference… yum! It’s definitely growing on me.

    Chris says:

    Yeah, keep going…

    Lisa says:

    Awesome — I’m going back for more.

    Chris says:

    Mission Accomplished!

    Pork Posole
    4 ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded
    2 cups boiling water
    1 tbsp cumin seeds
    1 tbsp peanut oil
    1 1/2 lbs boneless pork loin, trimmed and cut into (1/2″) pieces
    1 1/2 cups chopped onion
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    4 cups chicken broth
    2 tbsp sugar
    3/4 tsp salt
    2 15.5-oz cans white hominy, undrained
    sliced radishes
    chopped green onions
    minced fresh cilantro
    lime slices

    Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Place chilies in pan; flatten with a spatula. Cook 10 seconds on each side or until blackened. Combine toasted chilies and 2 cups boiling water in a bowl; let stand 10 minutes or until soft. Place pepper mixture in a blender; process until smooth.

    Cook cumin seeds in a large Dutch oven over medium heat for 1 minute or until toasted and fragrant. Place in a spice or coffee grinder; process until finely ground.

    Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Do this in batches if you must — don’t crowd the pork or it’ll steam instead of brown. Remove pork from pan. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and garlic to pan; cook 8 minutes or until onion is browned, stirring frequently. Stir in pork, pureed chilies, toasted ground cumin, broth, sugar, salt, and hominy; bring to a simmer. Cook 30 minutes or until pork is tender. Spoon equal portions posole into each of 6 bowls; top each serving with radishes, green onions, and cilantro. Serve with lime slices.

    6 Servings

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    posted in Cooking Light, Main Dishes, Mexican, Soups and Stews | 0 Comments

    18th February 2009

    Everything’s Better with Pork: Japanese Salmon Burgers

    salmonpattie

    I came across this recipe a few days ago on the Mixed Greens Blog, and it really caught my eye. Not only because it can be completely made with local ingredients, but because of the addition of pork to the salmon. It seemed that the ground pork would make for a really juicy burger, and it certainly did! Interestingly, a single mashed potato also plays a role in this burger and provides additional texture. The recipe originally comes from Harumi’s Japanese Cooking.


    Chris says:

    These are awesome — so juicy!

    Lisa says:

    Wow, yeah, what’s in them?

    Chris says:

    Pretty simple, mostly salmon, onion, potato… ground pork…

    Lisa says:

    Ground pork? Hmmm… I like them better before you told me that.

    Chris says:

    What? Why? You know that directly contradicts the title of this post.

    Lisa says:

    I don’t know, it just sounds weird.

    Chris says:

    Well, just let your tastebuds be your guide.

    Lisa says:

    Obviously my tastebuds didn’t find it to be a strange combination. My plate’s looking pretty bare now.

    Chris says:

    Great success!

    Salmon Burgers
    12 oz. salmon
    4 oz. ground pork
    1/2 small onion
    1 tbsp butter
    1 small potato, peeled
    1 small beaten egg
    salt & pepper
    vegetable oil for frying

    Remove bones and skin from salmon and chop until it is almost ground.
    Chop the onion finely and cook lightly in the butter. Leave to cool.
    Steam the potato for 15-20 minutes until soft enough to mash. Mash with a fork and leave it to cool without adding anything.
    In a large bowl mix the chopped salmon and ground pork. Add cooked onion, mashed potato, beaten egg, salt & pepper.
    Shape the mixture into 8 small burgers. Heat oil in a frying pan and cook burgers for ~3 minutes on each sides. Serve with your favorite toppings. We enjoyed them with wasabi mayo and sweet/spicy chili sauce.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Asian, Main Dishes | 4 Comments

    3rd August 2008

    Tacos de Carnitas

    Tacos Carnitas

    Wow. Just, wow. I’ve been meaning to make carnitas tacos for at least a year now, and can’t believe how wonderfully they turned out. I started with a recipe from Elise’s site and made some modifications based on some of the comments, and changed the toppings to suit our tastes. Moist, spicy, fall-apart pork, crisped up in the oven and placed in a tortilla with homemade pico de gallo, crunchy cabbage, and sweet-tangy pickled red onions. This might be my favorite dish we’ve made this year.

    Chris says:

    Wow; do you smell that kitchen?

    Lisa says:

    The kitchen? Try the whole house! I’ve been drooling for the last three hours!

    Chris says:

    This is awesome — and amazingly simple for the results. It’s somewhat time-consuming, but most of it is unattended. The most complicated part was carving up the pork and trimming off most of the fat!

    Lisa says:

    Seriously? That rules — I think this is one of the best meals we’ve had in a while. Home-cooked or at a restaurant.

    Chris says:

    Everything works so well together: the savory pork, the freshness of the pico, and the tartness of the onions… I love it.

    Lisa says:

    You go ahead and keep talking about how good it is — I’m going to shut up and eat.

    Chris says:

    Actually, I think I’ll join you.

    Tacos de Carnitas
    4 lbs boneless pork butt (shoulder), cut into large cubes (remove as much fat as possible)
    1 quart beef broth
    2 cups chunky salsa, medium-hot

    corn tortillas
    pico de gallo (diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeño, and lime juice)
    pickled red onions (recipe below)
    cabbage, shredded
    creme fraiche (or sour cream)

    In a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine pork, broth, and salsa. Add water to completely cover the meat, if needed. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 3 to 4 hours, until meat pulls apart easily.
    Remove the meat from the liquid in the pot, set aside, and shred. (I use “shred” lightly, the pork will be so tender that just pressing it with the back of a fork will make it fall apart.) Pour the liquid through a colander to filter out solids, then return a third of the liquid to the saucepan. Heat over high heat for 12-15 minutes until it reduces to a gravy-like consistency. Add the reduced liquid to the pork and mix thoroughly.
    Turn on the broiler in your oven. Place the shredded pork in a shallow layer in a roasting pan, or a wire rack over a cookie sheet, on the bottom rack of the oven. Broil for 5-7 minutes, until pork starts to crisp up. Use a spatula to flip the pork, and broil for an additional 5-7 minutes until crisp.
    Serve the carnitas in warm corn tortillas with homemade pico de gallo, marinated red onions, and shredded cabbage. Drizzle with a little creme fraiche.

    6-8 Servings

    Pickled Red Onions
    1 red onion, cut into 1-4″ half-rings
    rice wine vinegar (about 1 cup)
    1/2 tsp sugar
    orange juice
    oregano
    peppercorns
    coriander seeds

    Blanch the red onions in boiling water for 15 seconds, then drain, rinse, and pat dry. Dissolve the sugar into the rice wine vinegar. Place onions in a shallow dish, then add rice wine vinegar to just about cover the onions. Add about 1/4 cup of orange juice (enough to totally cover), the oregano, a few peppercorns, and a few coriander seeds. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. These will keep for about a week in the fridge.

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    posted in Main Dishes, Mexican | 14 Comments

    20th May 2008

    Pork Tenderloin a la Mexicana

    Puerco Delicioso

    This easy, delicious recipe comes from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless. Pork tenderloin is cooked in a sauce of roasted poblano peppers, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. The entire house smelled amazing with it on the stove.

    Lisa says:

    YUM! It smells so good in here.

    Chris says:

    Just wait until you eat it!

    Lisa says:

    This sauce rules — I heart those roasted poblanos.

    Chris says:

    …and the pork is cooked just the way I like it… with just a bit-o-pink in the middle.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah that tenderloin is so… tender!

    Chris says:

    In the spirit of “you are what you eat”, I freely admit to being a pig!

    Pork Tenderloin a la Mexicana

    2 large fresh poblanos
    1 1/4 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
    Salt
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 medium white onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
    3 garlic cloves, crushed
    28-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
    3/4 cup beef broth
    1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

    Roast the poblanos either over an open flame or under a broiler, turning regularly until the skin is blistered and blackened all over. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to cool.
    While the peppers are cooling, pat the meat dry and salt well. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the pork in a single layer and brown on all sides, turning regularly, for about 4 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, keeping as much of the oil in the pan as possible. Set the skillet aside.
    Remove the skin from the peppers, then remove the stems and seeds. Rinse, then cut into 1/4-inch strips and set aside.
    Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Add the garlic and peppers and stir for a minute or so. Pour in the stock and tomatoes, bring to a boil, and let cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the pork and cilantro to the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until the pork is just cooked through, about 5 more minutes.
    Taste, adjust seasonings, and serve with white rice.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Mexican, Mexican Everyday | 0 Comments


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