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!

afritada

I usually make this dish using chicken but I haven’t gone grocery shopping for meats lately.  We’re planning to move out of our apartment soon so I’ve been trying to use what we have in the refrigerator and pantry.  So this time I made the dish with pork.  I’ve made braised pork before with celery, peppers, and carrots ala Melissa D’Arabian, but I wanted to try making it with Filipino/Asian ingredients so I thought why not make a spin off of afritada.  Usually you’re just supposed to brown the meat without seasoning it with salt and pepper or dredging it in flower; however, I decided to do both.  Traditionally, you leave the browned meat in the pot and add the vegetables and liquid.  I however went with the method of browning the meat and taking it out and then adding the vegetables, some liquid, the browned meat and seasoning liquids.  The result:  delicious homecooked meal just jazzed up a little bit.  Definitely not your moms but something new for a change.  😛  The recipe below can also be made with chicken.

Pork Afritada (braised pork in tomato sauce)


Ingredients

2 pounds of pork, cut into bite sized cubes
2 large potatoes, peeled and quartered (or into bit sized cubes, whatever tickles your fancy)
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of tomato sauce
1 tbsp of fish sauce
1 tbsp of soy sauce
3 tbsp of cooking oil
salt and pepper
flour for dredging 

Directions

Heat pot and oil.  While the pot and oil are heating up, season the pork (or chicken if using chicken) with salt and pepper, then dredge the meat with flour.  When the oil is hot, place the meat in the pot and brown on both sides.  You may need to do this in batches.  Take the meat out and set aside.  Then add the onions to the pan.  Saute the onions until translucent.   Add the garlic and when fragrant, about a minute add the potatoes into the pan.  Followed by chicken stock to the pot to deglaze the bottom, make sure you scrape up any brown bits on the bottom.  Add tomato sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, and the pork with the juices to the pot.  Let the sauce boil, cover, and reduce the heat to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour (I require a longer cook time than other recipes because I love my pork to be SUPER tender).  After 45 minutes add the peppers and allow to simmer for 15-20 more minutes or until pork and peppers are cooked through.  Serve with rice.

slow cooker pork adobo

I’ve shared with you my chicken adobo recipe here.  In a Filipino household you typically make adobo with chicken or pork or a combination of chicken and pork together.  I have never liked adobo with pork because I always found that the pork was either tough to chew or when made with chicken it made it gritty.  I’m thinking this is because my grandmother put random parts of the chicken into the adobo, like GIZARDS.  NASTY!  When she lived with our family, my dad had to nicely tell her to stop because my sister and I wouldn’t eat it it.  (It’s a cultural thing to use the ENTIRE bird when cooking as money back in the day was tight, so to stretch a buck or peso in her case they added the entire chicken to adobo.)   I wasn’t picky as a child but because my parents heard me complain they started making adobo with just chicken and I’ve always liked it that way and made it that way… with just chicken (and the parts of the chicken I actually like).  Until now.  I still won’t combine chicken and pork together for adobo.  I haven’t crossed that bridge yet; however, I have found a way to have SUCCULENT tenderizing mouth watering pork adobo.  Almost pulled pork style, if you want to pull it.  I so happened to pull my pork for this recipe as shown below.

The ingredients are the same as that of the chicken adobo recipe; however, you do have to brown the pork in a pan first before placing it into the slow cooker to eat to lock in the flavor (Note:  Do NOT season the pork shoulder with salt prior to browning.  I did this the first time and it was saltier than I would have liked.).  Then you as they say in the infomercials… Set it and Forget it.  Corny, I know.

Slow Cooker Pork Adobo

Ingredients

1 pound of pork shoulder (boston butt) – a leaner meat COULD be used but you may want to decrease the cooking time or add a little bit more liquid as the fat doesn’t render off to moisten and flavor the meat
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp distilled or apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
3 cloves of garlic chopped
2 bay leafs
1 tsp of peppercorn

Directions

Note:  DO NOT SEASON THE PORK SHOULDER PRIOR TO BROWNING THE MEAT.  This along with the fat on the pork and the salt from the soy sauce will make the dish saltier than Salt City (ha!  I made a funny.  Well not really, but you get the jist)!

Heat a frying pan (a pan thats big enough to brown the pork shoulder).  Add a hint of oil to the pan.  When oil is hot, brown the pork shoulder on each side.

While this is occurring, mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl.  Taste to ensure that there is a good balance of sweet, salty and sour/tang.  If necessary, add some more of another ingredient (whichever you think is missing) or a hint of water if you’d like to dilute the flavor a little bit, especially the saltiness.

When browned, place the pork shoulder into the slow cooker.  Add the mixed liquids  into the slow cooker.  Set the slow cooker on low for 4-5 hours and high for 2-3 hours.  You should be able to put a fork into the pork and pull away without any give.  Serve with rice and veggies, of course.  🙂  Eat your vegetables, mother says.