Tag Archives: avocado

Homemade Chili and Beer Carnitas

24 Nov

When I moved to San Diego about five years ago, I took with me a love of carnitas burritos from Anna’s Tacqueria. Anna’s?!, you’re probably thinking. Little did I know that Anna’s is far from the gold standard I thought it was. When I tasted real carnitas on that little Mexican border city, my understanding of carnitas leveled up, and my craving for carnitas increased. Since then I’ve evaluated the quality of mexican restaurants everywhere based on their carnitas burritos.

Yet one thing eluded me – the ability to eat homemade pork as tender and flavorful as the carnitas from San Diego. At the local Costco they actually sold a large packet of ready-to-eat carnitas, which was simply an indulgence. Bulk, inexpensive carnitas, local avocados, and beer was the best thing I could ask for on any Sunday afternoon. So now, back in Boston, I’ve occasionally satisfied that need with a lowly Ana’s burrito, but I yearned for large quantities of overindulgence.

So thanks to Smitten Kitchen, I finally found a way to carnitas heaven. I basically used their recipe, just adding a bit more seasoning I had sitting around, and a can of beer. And having learned to cook it for myself, I learned to understand pork even better. I used to only buy the flat porkchops or pork ribs. Now, give me a huge hunk of fatty pork butt or pork shoulder and I will turn it into the juiciest east coast carnitas burrito. Would you like a horchata with that?

Homemade Carnitas with chili peppers basted in beer

Ingredients
3 lbs of pork shoulder or butt, fat on
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon/lime juice
1 beer
2 onions
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon Adobo seasoning
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
3 small chili peppers

Cut the pork into 2 inch chunks. In a large steel pot, marinade the pork in orange juice, jemon juice, and beer. Add the dry seasoning and mix. Add water until the meat is just covered. Turn on the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the temperature to a simmer. Cut onions into 2 inch chunks, and peel and crush the garlic. Add the garlic, onions, and chili peppers. Let simmer uncovered for two hours.

After two hours, turn the heat up to medium high and continue to cook, now turning and stirring the meat occasionally.

Keep this up for about 45 minutes, until all the liquid is gone and meat is starting to brown on the edges. When the chunks of pork are slightly browned and will fall apart easily with any poke of a spoon, the carnitas is ready.

Total time of procrastination: 3 hours
Ways to prolong procrastination: Make homemade guac and salsa.

Savory Crepes

2 Feb

Back in high school, I worked for a few months at a PMT (boba, to all you non-NorCal-ers) shop taking orders, making drinks, and, most deliciously, making crepes. There’s this big, flat, heated stone…thing that you’d ladle crepe batter onto and spread with a wooden T-shaped stick. All the Californians know what I’m talking about.

Sorry. I get re-infused with NorCal pride every time I go home.

Anyway, I was given a lovely can of Williams and Sonoma crepe mix this past Christmas, and couldn’t wait to try it out. In the absence of a conveniently flat and crepe-sized stone-oven-rock-thinger, I just used a frying pan.

Avocado and Portabello Crepe with Tomatos and Alfalfa Sprouts

1 cup crepe mix (plus water, eggs, oil, etc. as stated in the instructions)
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/4 tomato, sliced
1 portabello cap, sliced
alfalfa sprouts

Mix water and the crepe mix according to instructions. Over low heat, pour the batter thinly onto an oiled skillet. When the crepe solidifies, carefully flip the crepe to heat the other side. The second side cooks quickly, just as the second side of a pancake does, so watch it carefully!

In another skillet, lightly sautee the portabello slices. Place the slices onto a quarter of the crepe, then layer avocado slices and tomato over them. Fold in half and slide onto a plate for easier handling. Feel free to add any type of spread before folding the crepe. At my PMT shop, we used a secret sauce of mayo, sugar, and other stuff you probably don’t want to think about putting in your body. Hummus would make a wonderful substitution.

Fold again into a quarter piece, and stuff some sprouts in the empty pocket. Don’t worry about it being pretty…it’s all going to the same place anyway.

Length of procrastination: 20 minutes

beat the heat

16 Aug

summer in boston might be more rewarding than summer anywhere else because it seems so short. and when it happens you completely forget that boston winters suck. because sometimes boston summers suck too, and you need something cool to make it through the day. so here are a couple of things that do wonders in a hot boston weekend.

cucumber and avocado soup with mint

cucumber soup 1

ingredients:
1 large cucumber
1 ripe california avocado
1 sprig of mint
1 stalk green onion
1/2 cup heavy cream or milk

peel and dice the cucumber. in a food processor, blend cucumber by pulsing for a few seconds. slice the avocado in half and remove the pit. scoop out the avocado with a spoon, and add to the food processor. pour in the heavy cream and four leaves of mint. blend the mixture until it is smooth.

pour the mixture into a container and let sit in the fridge for 5 to 10 minutes. after the soup is chilled, garnish with chopped green onion and mint.

haymarket mojito

mojito2

ingredients:
1 lemon
1 lime
1 sprig of mint
sugar
bacardi rum
lemon lime soda or club soda

cut the lemon and lime into small cubes or half wedges and put them into a highball glass. add about a tablespoon of sugar and three leaves of mint. pour in 1 shot of rum, and muddle until the mint and citrus have released their juices and the sugar is somewhat dissolved into the juice and rum mixture. fill the cup with ice, then fill with soda. for a less sweet mojito, fill with club soda.

Length of procrastination:cucumber soup: 10 minutes. mojito: 5 minutes to make, ?? hours to just sit and chill
Ways to prolong procrastination:drink it.

and btw, here are some pictures of the other stuff i have going in my garde.

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