Thursday, March 18, 2010

Slow cooking

Today I was in the mood to cook two new things I've NEVER made before. Thankfully, no one died of food poisoning!

I made Pork Carnitas in Tacos and Fresh Shrimp Ceviche

Even though the dishes were time consuming, both could be left alone for the majority of the time so I was free to do other things.

The Pork Carnitas (meaning small pieces of braised pork) could be used in sandwiches, fajitas, tacos, quesadillas... etc. I bought a giant hunk of pork butt for $8.40 (approx 5.2 lbs) so I cut the meat in half. I cooked half of the meat and froze the rest for another day. This was plenty of meat for 2-3 people. The pork was very juicy and flavorful. Don't be turned off by how fatty the cut of meat is because most of the fat gets rendered out in the braising/baking process.

Pork Carnita Recipes


2-3lbs Pork Butt (Shoulder Roast)
3 cups Chicken Stock
2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Oregano
3 tsp Tomato Paste
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Ground Red Pepper
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
5 cloves Garlic (peeled)
1 Onion (roughly chopped)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)

1) Pour the chicken stock into the pot
2) Add the spices, tomato paste, garlic and onions into the liquid and mix
3) Place meat in the chicken stock
4) Pour water until braising liquid is covers the meat
5) Bring the pot to a boil then turn the heat to low heat
6) Allow the meat to simmer for 3 hours
* occasionally check on the meat and flip if necessary

7) Pull the meat out of the pot and shred with 2 forks
8) Preheat oven to 450F
9) Lay the meat evenly on a baking pan
* feel free to leave the fat with the meat because the oven will render out the fat (creating flavor)
10) Evenly sprinkle salt and pepper over the meat
11) Bake the shredded pork for 15-20 minutes or until pork caramelizes

12) Serve with fresh salsa, avocado, cheese, sour cream (whatever you like with your tacos)

Fresh Shrimp Ceviche

1 lb Shrimp (cleaned & deveined)
3/4 cup Lemon Juice (fresh)
3/4 cup Lime Juice (fresh)
1/2 Red Onion (diced)
1 clove Garlic (minced)
1 Serrano Pepper (seeded, minced)
1 Cucumber (peeled, diced)
4 Plum Tomatoes (seeded, diced)
1 Avocado (diced)

1/4 cup Cilantro (finely chopped)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)

1) Chop each shrimp into 4 even pieces (tiny morsels)

2) Put shrimp on a serving dish allowing them to lay flat

3) Pour lime and lemon juice over shrimp and allow shrimp to sit for 3 hours

4) Mix the rest of the ingredients with the shrimp and citrus

5) Allow ceviche to rest for another hour or more

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