Monday, June 1, 2015

taco tuesday

You guys, a couple weeks ago I made the most delicious taco I've ever eaten. Ever

I know it's not Tuesday, but if I give you this recipe today then you'll be all set to run to the store and get everything you need to make it tomorrow. Go get a pencil and a piece of paper because you're going to want to write this down. I'll wait.

This recipe comes from the genius new cookbook "Genius Recipes" by Kristen Miglore who's the editor of the website Food52. (Special thanks to my sister-in-law, Krista, for giving me this cookbook for Mother's Day!) Some of the recipes have previously appeared in her "Genius Recipes" column on the website and some are brand new, but all of them look amazing and really easy. This recipe for Carnitas is the simplest I've ever seen and the results are nothing short of amazing. 

***Interesting sidenote: I fell in love with carnitas ten years ago when I was working for a landscaping company here in Richmond and supervising an entire crew of guys from Mexico. Once in awhile we would mix up our lunch hour a little bit and go eat at a local Mexican restaurant where they would insist on ordering for me in Spanish. Carnitas was an instant favorite and something I've tried to make at home - with varying results - ever since. Finally, I've found the perfect recipe!***

recipe from "Genius Recipes" 
by Kristen Miglore

3 lb pork shoulder/butt/other large piece of pork
1 tsp salt
olive oil

Cut pork into 2 inch cubes and place in a dutch oven or other large pot. Add water to the pot until all the meat is covered. Add salt and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until all the water has evaporated and the pork is cooked through - this should take almost an hour. Add 1-2 Tbsp olive oil to the bottom of the pot and cook until each side is brown and crispy, adding more oil if necessary - this should take another 45 min to an hour.

Notes:  I learned the hard way (the second time I made these) that you should really try to find a piece of pork without a bone. If you can have your butcher take the bone out, or better yet, just go ahead and cube it up for you, that would be ideal. It sounds really time consuming (2 hours?!) but during the boiling process, you can really be working on something else and just come back and check on it every once in awhile. Once the water gets low, you'll need to stay close by though, so if you have a huge pile of dishes in the sink and the dishwasher needs to be unloaded (like in my kitchen pretty much every single day) you should wait to finish that chore until you add the olive oil since you sort of need to babysit the pork a little bit at that point. The babysitting part sounds annoying but this is really the most exciting part. There's sizzling and maybe some popping and this brown crunchy crust starts forming and then I can hardly wait to sneak one of the smaller pieces out and try it. It should be salty and crunchy on the outside but still perfectly cooked on the inside.

To serve your delicious carnitas, here's what I suggest:


2 avocados, cut into chunks
1/2 a small onion, diced
juice of one lime, or to taste
handful of cilantro, chopped
salt, to taste

Mix all the ingredients together, being careful NOT to smash the avocados. Keep it in big chunks. Trust me. 

Corn Tortillas

8 corn tortillas
olive oil

Add just a touch of olive oil to a pan and add corn tortillas one at a time. Fry on both sides until slightly crisp. Stack on a plate.

To make your taco:

Place two corn tortillas on top of each other on a plate. Put a line of carnitas down the center. Pile the guacamole on top. Serve with extra lime wedges. Fold and eat and be amazed.

You're probably wondering why I gave you such specific instructions for a taco. Just try it. Really. It's amazing. I made this for my small group on Friday night and they all went nuts over it. Everyone asked for the recipe and I felt like a genius. Thank you Genius Recipes! 

Now go buy the cookbook! It's filled with recipes that look equally amazing. You won't be disappointed. 

Happy June! And happy two weeks until school's out for summer! The number one item on my to-do list for today (after making tacos of course):  Join the pool! Whoo! Two more weeks of schedules and making lunches and baseball games. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.......

P.s This is not a sponsored post.

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