Shredded Pork Carnitas

January 15, 2017

Shredded pork Carnitas (stuffed into arepas, on tacos, or in burrito bowls) is one of our favorite meals! So delicious and simple to make.

Shredded Pork Carnitas

Ingredients:
-~3 1/2 lb pork butt or shoulder roast
-2 Tbsp butter or olive oil
-1 onion, chopped
-5 cloves garlic, minced
-juice from 1 lime (or roughly 2 Tbsp)
-juice from 1 orange
-2 cups chicken broth
-2 tsp dried cumin
-1 tsp dried oregano
-salt and pepper, to taste
-serving ingredients, as desired (tortillas, arepas, lime wedges, avocado, sour cream/crema, cheese, cilantro, salsa, hot sauce, etc..)

Directions:
1. Melt butter or olive oil in dutch oven on the stove.
2. Salt and pepper pork on both sides and brown both sides in melted butter/oil.
3. Add onion and garlic to sides of roast, cooking slightly in remaining butter.
4. Add lime juice, orange juice, chicken broth, cumin, and oregano and stir until combined.
5. Put lid on dutch oven and place into oven. Cook at 350 degrees for ~3 1/2 hours.
6. 1 1/2 hours through cooking, flip roast. After another 1 1/2 hours (~3 hours total), roast should be tender enough to shred. At this point, I shred the meat up with a fork, removing any large bits of fat and the bone (if it has one). Stir shredded pork into juices, place back into oven, and cook for a remaining 30 minutes or so until tender and flavors are combined.
7. Enjoy on tacos, in burrito bowls, or stuffed into arepas!

Lately, arepas have been my newest food obsession! An everyday food in Columbia and Venezuela, arepas are a cross between a tortilla, cornbread, and a biscuit. They are naturally gluten-free, so I’m finding them to be the perfect quick and easy bread for sandwiches! We have a really great arepas restaurant in New Orleans (Maïs Arepas if you are in the area) and I found myself missing it while in Savannah. But out of limitation, comes innovation! I’m so happy I decided to try making my own arepas at home. So quick, easy, and delicious!

Arepas
makes four ~4 inch arepas

Ingredients:
– 1 cup Donarepa precooked white corn meal (There are several brands of this, I just buy Donarepa at my local grocery store. Goya and Harina PAN are others. Make sure you buy precooked white or yellow corn meal, as regular corn meal or masa harina are not the same.)
– 1/8 tsp salt (closer to 1/4 tsp if using regular butter)
– 1 Tbsp Kerrygold salted butter (I use this for its extra salty and delicious flavor, and that it is softer and incorporates easily into this recipe. If you use regular butter you will need to up the salt content slightly.)
-1 cup warm water
-coconut oil, for cooking
-toppings/fillings, as desired

Directions:
1. In medium sized bowl, mix arepa flour and salt together.
2. Using a pastry cutter, cut butter into flour mixture until incorporated — butter is in small granules.
3. Stir water into mixture until thoroughly combined and a soft dough forms.
4. Let dough sit for several minutes. (this helps form softer arepas, making sure the arepa flour has absorbed the liquid)
5. Knead dough slightly into a ball and separate into four quarters.
6. Shape each quarter of the dough into a ~4 inch thick flat circle.
7. Cook arepas on both sides in coconut oil on a flat griddle or iron skillet. Start at a lower temperature, helping the arepas cook through, then raising the temperature for the outside to crisp. You can also bake them in the oven. Arepas should be soft on the inside and slightly crisp out the outside.
8. Enjoy as is, with cheese and melted butter, cut open and stuffed with meat, cheese, etc, or however you’d like!

I love them stuffed with white cheddar, shredded pork carnitas, avocado, and crema!

Roasted Cauliflower

June 1, 2016

Roasted cauliflower is my latest vegetable obsession. I can’t get enough of it roasted with herbs, onions, and garlic. So delicious! I love that it is healthy, but also hearty. It is substantial enough to almost be a meal by itself!
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Roasted Cauliflower with Onions and Garlic
adapted from this recipe, makes 3-4 servings as a side dish

Ingredients:
-1 head cauliflower
-1 medium onion, sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices
-1-2 tsp thyme or Italian seasoning (I just throw in a little of both)
-6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
-3 Tbsp olive oil
-salt & pepper to taste
-fresh Parmesan cheese, optional

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Wash and remove leaves from cauliflower. Place cauliflower head on a cutting board and slice top-down into 1/3 inch slices. Break up cauliflower slices into florets and place into large bowl.
3. Add sliced onions, whole garlic cloves, herbs, olive oil, salt, and pepper to bowl with cauliflower. Mix well.
4. Spread cauliflower mixture into a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
5. Roast in 425 degree oven, tossing occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and browned at the edges, or about 30 minutes.
6. If desired, sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top and return to oven for another 5 minutes to melt.

Enjoy!

This is my own take on a dish my family would always have at holiday meals. It seems like most families (in the Midwest especially) have their own take on this dish – called Texas Potatoes, Funeral Potatoes, or as I like it simply put, Cheesy Potato Casserole. It had been years since I’d had it, mostly because I can’t have cream of chicken soup (its not gluten-free!). I think condensed soups are an odd ingredient in food anyway, and I would prefer to avoid them, gluten-free or not. So here is my more whole foods version of this family staple. Drew and I don’t make it often, but it is the perfect thing to bring to potluck family or work meals when you need something cheap, easy, transportable, and that stays warm or reheats easily.

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Cheesy Potato Casserole
makes one 9x13in casserole

Ingredients:
-2 lbs (32 oz) Southern style frozen hash browns/diced potatoes, thawed
-2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
-2 cups sour cream
-1/2 cup water mixed with 2 tsp chicken broth base/bullion
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp onion powder
-1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
-2 cups cornflakes (make sure they are gluten-free if making gf)
-1/2 stick (4 Tbsp) salted butter

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together potatoes, cheese, sour cream, water/broth base, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning in large bowl.
3. Spread mixture into a 9×13 inch glass baking dish.
4. Sprinkle cornflakes on top.
5. Cut 1/2 stick butter into slices and spread slices out across the top of casserole.
6. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Enjoy!

Beef Barbacoa

May 28, 2016

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Beef Barbacoa

Ingredients:
-3.5 lb beef roast (de-fatted, if fatty)
-1 med/large onion, chopped
-3 Tbsp butter
-2 cups beef broth
-1 cup water
-salt & pepper to season roast

For seasoning paste:
-6-8 cloves garlic, finely minced
-2 chipotle peppers (sliced open, de-seeded, and finely chopped)
-2 tsp salt
-1 tsp ground black pepper
-1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp chili powder
-1 Tbsp cumin
-2 Tbsp Adobo sauce (from chipotle peppers)
-1 Tbsp tomato paste
-3 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Optional ingredients for serving:
-cilantro
-sour cream
-lime juice
-avocado
-hot sauce
-salsa
-black beans
-Mexican rice
-white corn tortillas

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, mix minced garlic, de-seeded and chopped chipotle peppers, salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, adobo sauce, tomato paste, and lime juice to form a seasoning paste.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. In dutch oven, melt butter. Lightly salt and pepper both sides of beef roast. Sear the roast on both sides in melted butter until browned.
4. Add chopped onion to the sides of beef roast in dutch oven and lightly saute.
5. Rub seasoning paste over all sides of roast.
6. Add water and beef broth to pan, pouring beside meat, leaving seasoning paste intact on top.
7. Put lid on dutch oven, and cook in 350 degree oven for around 4 hours, or until tender.
8. Shred with a fork (I usually shred it around 3 1/2 hours in and let cook for another 30 min after) and serve!

Enjoy!

P.S. You can also make this in a crock pot, cooking on low for 8-1o hours. 

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