my salsa

Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow.  Unfortunately, we won’t be able to go out and partake in the debauchery around the area as the hubs has school.  Eh!  But we, kind of, had our little Cinco de Mayo food fiesta this weekend.  I had some pork shoulder in the freezer that I wanted to use up since we’re moving soon and I haven’t gone grocery shopping for meat lately.  Plus I wasn’t in the mood for cuban pork or slow roasted adobo again, so I figured I’d make carnitas.  And I gave the hubs the option for burritos, tacos, or enchiladas.  He picked enchiladas.  I didn’t make my own enchilada sauce though.  I used the canned stuff.  Eh it was a quick fix since we were cleaning, well more like purging, all day.  Next time I think I’ll try Eva Longoria’s chicken enchilada recipe.  Since we were having pork, I opted to used the green chile enchilada sauce instead of the red chile sauce.  I was a bit skeptical about it but it turned out tasty.

CARNITAS GREEN CHILE ENCHILADAS
(wow what a mouth fool)

SLOW COOKER PORK CARNITAS

INGREDIENTS

1.5 lbs Pork Shoulder
1/2 tbsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tbsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Paprika
3/4 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Salt (you don’t want to add too much salt as the fat from the pork shoulder will flavor the meat plus you will be adding cheese and enchilada sauce to the meat)

DIRECTIONS

Put all the spices and seasonings into a bowl to combine.

Pat the pork dry and place the dry rub onto the pork.  Cover and marinade for several hours or overnight (I marinated my pork for an hour because I didn’t have time and it was still delicious, but I’m sure marinating it longer will be even better).

Heat skillet with oil.  When HOT, sear the pork on all sides to lock in the juices.  When brown, place into the slow cooker for 5 hours on low and 3 hours on high.

When done, remove the meat from the slow cooker and shred with forks.  Leave the fat from the carnitas in the slow cooker for assembly of enchiladas below.

ENCHILADAS

INGREDIENTS

Shredded Carnitas
Fat from the Carnitas (don’t knock it just yet)
1 can of Green Enchilada Sauce
Limes (optional)
1 small onion, diced
1 cup of shredded Mexican Blend or Cheddar or Queso Fresco
Tortillas

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To a baking pan, add 1/4 of the green enchilada sauce to the bottom.  Spread out and set aside.

Put the shredded carnitas in a bowl and add juice of limes and 1/4 of the green enchilada sauce.  Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated.

Put the fat from the carnitas and 1/4 of the can of green enchilada sauce into two shallow bowls.

Take a the tortilla and to soften dip into the fat from the carnitas (adding flavor here people!), then dip into the green enchilada sauce.  This is a method used in Eva Longoria’s enchiladas; however, she dips the tortillas in oil.  I’m just adding an extra layer of flavor.

Then add the shredded meat combination onto the tortilla, then add onions and cheese.  Roll up into a cigar and place the enchilada into the pan.  Repeat until the pan is full of enchiladas.

Then add the remainder of the enchilada sauce over the top of the dish.  Sprinkle on remainder of cheese.

Place into the oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.  Let it sit for 5 minutes and enjoy with a Margarita or Michelada!

If you have leftover carnitas, you can make carnitas nachos with black bean mango salsa (black beans, diced mangos, cilantro, and lime juice) like I did for lunch.  I added tomatoes and avocados because I wanted more vegetables in my meal.  Plus cheese 😛

Here are some other Mexican fave’s you can enjoy during Cinco de Mayo…

Restaurant Style Chicken Nachos

Accompanied by some Guacamole or salsa (I SWEAR by Pioneer Woman’s restaurant style salsa.  I’m NEVER EVER buying salsa again.  I’ve used this recipe for the last year and a half!)

Tequila Lime Chicken, also another Pioneer Woman favorite

Pair it with some guacamole or pico de gallo, another Pioneer Woman favorite

And some Mexican Corn, Elote

Want something to warm you up (although it is May)?   How about some Tortilla Soup?

Don’t want soup to warm you up?  How about some Chile Verde?

My inspiration for the title of the post is Cinco De Mayo and of course a snippet from D-12’s My Band video, where Eminem starts singing My Salsa at the very end.  HILARIOUS. And just for the fun of it forward to minute 5:06.

Enjoy your Cinco De Mayo!  Drink responsibly and don’t drink and drive.  Salud!

something new…

so instead of going out for dinner last night (because we wanted to save money and had eaten out the night before), I decided to cook up so chicken thighs that I had put in the refrigerator to thaw out the night before.  But I didn’t want to make the usual Chicken Adobo, or my Mother or Sister-in-Laws chicken paprika, or chicken afritada.  Those are my usual go-to bone-in chicken recipes.  (Chicken breast go-to recipes are another story… I have a drawer full of those.)  Actually I had another go to bone-in chicken recipe but alas I didn’t have lime or cilantro to make it, nor was there time to marinate the chicken as the hubs was coming home soon.  So around 6:00pm I googled “light chicken thigh recipes” and came across a couple from myrecipes.com and one of the recipes that came up was from Cooking Light, so I decided to try it.  I didn’t want anything too heavy… if I did I think I would’ve done coq au vin because I had an open bottle of red wine.

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs by Cooking Light (modifications by me are in red)

Ingredients

2  teaspoons  garlic powder
2  teaspoons  chili powder
1  teaspoon  salt
1  teaspoon  ground cumin
1  teaspoon  paprika
1/2  teaspoon  ground red pepper
8  skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Cooking spray
6  tablespoons  honey (I used 3 tbsp of agave nectar, 3 tbsp of honey because I’m trying agave nectar out.)
2  teaspoons  cider vinegar

Instructions

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat. Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.

Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well. Remove chicken from oven; brush 1/4 cup honey mixture on chicken. Broil 1 minute. Remove chicken from oven and turn over. Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture. Broil 1 additional minute or until chicken is done.

It was pretty good.  Although I think the honey and vinegar mixture was supposed to create a glaze over the kitchen and because I used 1/2 honey 1/2 agave nectar, I don’t think the glaze was thick enough.  Next time I think I’ll try it with the full serving on honey.  Regardless the husband like this dinner.  It’s a nice kick of sweet (honey), spicy (from the spices), and sour (from the vinegar).  It’s packed full of flavor and good for you because it’s broiled.  It even pairs really well with a corn side dish almost the same spices.

A couple weeks ago we went to the San Francisco Street Food Festival and saw people with eating grilled corn with what looked to be parmesan cheese and a dash of cayenne pepper.  Instantly the husband fell in love… corn and parm cheese… it was a must get and must try.  We fell in line for Los Cilantros booth to try their Elote.  15 minutes later we had our corn.  I was so hungry I DEEEVOUURRRED the sucker… well more like inhale.  It was so delicious.  A touch of spice, saltiness from the butter, and some zing from the lime.

I knew it was something I wanted to try to make.  It just so happened that I went to Safeway the other day and bought some corn on sale and I had the chicken ready for dinner and had to have a vegetable (I always have to have a vegetable with my lunch or dinner.  It’s a must and am trying to get the husband to get into that habit).  So after I saw the spiced honey-brushe chicken and the spices used for that I thought it would go really well with the corn we tried at the festival.   So I googled (don’t you just love Google.  That should deserve it’s own post and my mom’s obsession for telling my sister and I to “google it.” But I’ll save that for another day) Mexican Corn (I totally forgot the name until the google search showed it was Elote).  I look at a couple recipes variations and tried to think of the flavors I tasted.  None of the recipes I found had butter on the corn and I swear there was butter on the corn.  So this recipe I found was slightly modified.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Elote by simplefoodie.com (modified variations by me are made in red)

Ingredients

4 corn
3 tbsps of mayo
2 tsps of  lime juice
2 tbsps of parmesan cheese (not freshly grated parm cheese but the stuff in the green can)
1/2 tsp of chili powder
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp of cumin
1 pinch of salt
4 pats of butter

Instructions

Rub one pat of butter on each husked corn. Grill the corn for 12 minutes total. Continually move the corn so each side is grilled.

In a bowl whisk together the mayonnaise and lime juice.  In a separate bowl mix together the Parmesan cheese, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, and salt.

When the corn is done cooking, spread the mayonnaise mix over the corn.  Sprinkle the cheese mix over the corn.

One thing I will say about the corn is make sure you husk it but leave a couple at the bottom along with the stem to hold like a cone as you’re eating.  Safeway cut off the corn so we couldn’t it that way and the mayo and corn mixture got on the plate and I had to scoop it back onto the corn.  But it was still delicious.  Another thing I read about this recipe is that if you can, instead of using parm cheese buy Mexican cheese called Cojita.  I think some grocery stores are carrying it now like Safeway.  I used parm cheese and thought it was delicious.  Plus I always have it on hand for the husband (he prefers it over real parmesan cheese.  :-\  is what I say to that, but that’s me just being a food snob.).

So now you see why I said the corn complimented the chicken.  Both were spicy but not too spicy.  The bold flavors were such a treat to eat and I got a compliment from the husband for it.  When we eat something unordinary I usually don’t.  He knows it’ll be good.  He’s probably had it 10 million times because I’ve been making dinner for him for about 3 years, ever since we moved in together.

I wish I could’ve taken picture but I was rushing to put dinner together as it was a last minute decision to just eat in.

Three day weekend is upon us…  what are you up to for labor day?  Soaking up some sun and heading to the beach or pool?  Hitting the outlets for some sales?  BBQ’ing?  Regardless be safe and enjoy your weekend.