Tag Archives: oregano

Mexican Pork Carnitas

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Who is sick of WINTER? Meee! I cannot wait for it to get into the 40’s and that use to be really cold to me! I am heading to FL in a couple of weeks.  I. Cannot. Wait.  I hope it is at least in the 60’s.  I don’t think I am asking for much, am I?

I made this dish a couple of weeks ago and we all loved it. I was happy to see that pork butt was on sale at the grocery store today. It gave me a reason to make it again and I could take photos and share it with you.

This recipe is really good. It is perfect for tacos and nachos or a great filling for enchiladas, tamales and burritos. I have only used it for tacos and nachos. Oh, and I just ate it right out of the frig the next morning. I love cold meat and pizza…. for breakfast. Weird, I know!

Pork Carnitas

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

  • 3 1/2 – 4 pound boneless pork butt, fat trimmed and cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 small onions, peeled and halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1  Tablespoon dried oregano ( I used a tad more)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice ( One lime)
  • 2 C water
  • 1 medium orange

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine pork,  salt, pepper, cumin, onion, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, lime juice, and water in large Dutch oven (liquid should just barely cover meat). Cut orange in half; juice orange into medium bowl and remove any seeds. I would say 1/4 – 1/3 cup of juice would be a good amount (I had about 1/4 cup). Add juice and spent orange halves to pot. Bring mixture to simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover pot and transfer to oven; cook until meat is soft and falls apart when poked with fork, about 2 hours.

2. Remove pot from oven and turn oven to broil. Using slotted spoon, transfer pork to bowl; remove orange halves, onion, and bay leaves from cooking liquid and discard (do not skim fat from liquid). Place pot over high heat (use caution, as handles will be very hot) and simmer liquid, stirring frequently, until thick, 8 to 12 minutes. You should have about 1 cup reduced liquid.

3. Using 2 forks, pull each piece of pork in half. Gently fold pork into reduced liquid; season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread pork in a even layer on a foiled lined jelly roll pan. Place pan on lower-middle rack and broil until top of meat is well browned (but not charred) and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Using wide metal spatula, flip pieces of meat and continue to broil until top is well browned and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 8 minutes longer. Serve immediately with warm tortillas and your favorite toppings.

All ready to bring to a simmer on the stove top and then pop it into the oven.

All ready to bring to a simmer on the stove top and then pop it into the oven.

The kitchen smelled wonderful as it cooked. It took 2 hours until it was done.

The kitchen smelled wonderful as it cooked. It took 2 hours until it was done.

After breaking the meat apart, reducing the liquid and then tossing the meat with the liquid, it is ready for the broiler.

After breaking the meat apart, reducing the liquid and then tossing the meat with the liquid, it is ready for the broiler.

Meanwhile, I mixed up a Pico de gallo. I really do not have a set recipe for this. Diced tomato, onion, jalapeno and cilantro, lime juice, salt. This time I added diced avocado.

Meanwhile, I mixed up a Pico de gallo. I really do not have a set recipe for this. Diced tomato, onion, jalapeno and cilantro, lime juice, salt. This time I added diced avocado.

Pork Carnitas

Pork Carnitas

Tonight I served it on a tortilla with shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream and shredded cheese. Not sure what I will do with the leftovers tomorrow, but I know it will be good!

Tonight I served it on a tortilla with shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream and shredded cheese. Not sure what I will do with the leftovers tomorrow, but I know it will be good!

When I first made this, I was unsure about adding the orange.  I don’t even taste the orange, but I know it adds the the flavor. Reducing the liquid and tossing it into the meat and then broiling it, is a must!

~Relish Food & Life

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Chicken with Pepperoni – Marinara Sauce

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Wow, what a crazy busy 3 weeks! Sorry for the delay in posting. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I know I did….love spending time with family and friends.

I have been under the weather the past week. Last night I was wanting to cook something simple. This was super easy and very tasty.

I found this recipe in Jan/Feb 2012 Cooking Light magazine.

Chicken with Pepperoni-Marinara Sauce

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 Teaspoons  3 cloves minced fresh garlic
  • 16 slices pepperoni, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon 1 heaping Tsp.  dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups 24 oz Jar lower-sodium marinara sauce (such as McCutcheon’s) ( I used Paul Newman’s Marinara sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil   2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken cutlets
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese Fresh mozzarella slices

1. Preheat broiler to high.

2. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add garlic and pepperoni; cook 2 minutes or until garlic begins to brown, stirring frequently. Add oregano; cook 30 seconds. Add marinara sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in basil.

3. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with pepper. Add chicken to skillet; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, turning after 3 minutes. Spoon sauce over chicken; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

Jill’s Notes: I did not have fresh basil or the mozzarella they suggested. I think if you have either of these the dish would taste just as good.  I also upped the oregano, sauce and garlic a bit.

Ingredient Line up minus garlic - I always forget something.

I sprayed the pan with cooking spray and added the minced garlic and chopped pepperoni. Saute.

Add oregano.

 

Add marinara sauce. I added some water to the jar to get out every bit of sauce.

I really do not know what it means by Chicken cutlets. I looked at various stores and found these thinly sliced chicken breast and decided that would do 😉 After starting the recipe, It thought it might be tasty breaded. So, I breaded a few and just peppered the others. You do not need to salt the chicken. The sauce will have plenty salt in it from the pepperoni.

All ready to bread the chicken with Italian Seasoned Panko crumbs and egg.

Get your pan hot. Add oil. Swirl to coat and add chicken.

Cook; Flip and cook until done.

Pour sauce over chicken. Top with mozzarella cheese. Put under broiler until cheese is melted.

Chicken with Pepperoni - Marinara Sauce served with fettucine.

After the taste test…Grace liked the chicken breaded. I liked it both ways and Mark liked it without the breading. You really cannot go wrong. It is very tasty, kid friendly and tasted great again today for lunch 🙂

We have had some young people pass away the last month. My heart breaks for their families. It is a reminder that we need to relish life.

~Relish Food & Life!