Ever since the husband and I returned from a trip to Mexico he has been begging for Mexican food. I have abstained from making it for fear of producing something completely inedible. And then I met someone in town whose husband is Mexican. She assured me that I could most definitely make an authentic Mexican meal. Rejoice!! I choice Valentines Day to make the sought-after meal.
I decided to make pork carnitas, which is a fancy way of saying Mexican pork, black bean & corn salad, rice and fresh pico de gallo. I served the pork with tortillas and all the toppings. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous meal.
Did I mention it was fabulous? Next time I'm going to make homemade tortillas!!
2-3lbs pork shoulder or butt chop, cut into chunks, trimmed of fat
2 tbsp chipotle seasoning
1 tsp cinnamon
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1/3 cup pineapple juice or beef broth
1. Rub pork well with chipotle & cinnamon.
2. Place in slow cooker with garlic, broth, and onion.
3. Cook over low heat for 8 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 400F
5. Pull apart pork (should be very tender).
6. Transfer pork into roasting pan and cook for 15 minutes to crisp (optional).
7. Serve with warm tortillas, fresh pico de gallo, cheese, lime & avocado.
Pico de Gallo:
2 large roma (plum) tomatos, seeded & diced
1 small onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & finely diced
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 sprigs green onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
juice of 2 limes, plus 1/2 tsp zest
1/4 tsp salt
1. Combine well in a medium bowl. Let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. Keeps 4-5 days in refrigerator.
Note: cilantro and lime are a MUST - no substitutions!
For a spicier jalapeno, roll the pepper before dicing. Remember not to touch your eye!!!
Mexican Rice: (adapted from What's Cooking, Chicago?)
1 (15-oz.) can diced or whole tomatoes (preferably with no salt) OR 3 fresh tomatoes, diced
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced + 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups brown rice
1 green pepper, diced
2 jalapenos, diced
1 tbsp fresh cilantro
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In food processor, combine tomatoes with onion and first 2 cloves of garlic. It will be closer to a liquid consistency. Set aside.
3. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add raw rice to hot oil and stir regularly for 4-5 minutes. Add green pepper, remaining garlic, jalapeno and cook for another few minutes. Add a little bit of extra oil if rice starts to burn (its ok to brown)
4. Add in tomato mixture, chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Transfer to a casserole dish and bake in oven for approx 45 minutes, checking 1-2x to make sure there is enough liquid.
5. Gently fluff the rice with a fork when done. Add fresh cilantro.
Note: this would also taste fabulous with black beans.
Source: What's Cooking, Chicago?
Black Bean & Corn Salad: