May 17, 2015

Pork Carnitas con Chilies

On the Menu Today~
Pork Carnitas con Chilies

Culinary Adventure: Mexico

This month we took a trip south of the border to Mexico.
We wanted to celebrate Cinco de Mayo the whole month of May.
Everyone loves Mexican Food and
everyone has their favorite dish.
Mexican food and Mexican dishes are very diverse.

Here are a few Typical Dishes served in Mexico~

Ceviche: Raw fish marinated in lime juice, often served in a chopped salad.

Chilies Renellos: Large Poblano chilies stuffed with cheese or spicy meat (picadillo).
Poblano chilies are mild but the sauce may not be.

Enchiladas: Tortillas coated in a tomato and chili sauce filled with vegetables, chicken or pork then folded and baked. Often a mild dish.

Huachinango: Red Snapper prepared in a sauce.

Quesadilas: Tortillas stuffed with cheese, folded and grilled.

Mole Sauce: A rich sauce made with chocolate, chilies and spices.

Pipian Sauce: An Oaxacas Specialty, is a green sauce made from pumpkin seeds and is often served with chicken.

Poc Chuc: A Yucatecan Specialty, is a pork fillet cooked with tomatoes, onions and spices.

Pollo Pibil: Another Yucatecan Speciality, consists of chicken marinated in orange and spices then barbecued in banana leaves.

Tacos: Tortillas fried until crisp and filled with various fillings.

Tamales: Cornmeal paste wrapped in corn or banana husks, often filled with chicken, pork and/or vegetables then steamed.

Tortas: Mexican sandwiches

Tortillas: A thin, soft flatbread made from finely ground maize, eaten hot or cold and typically filled with a savory filling.

Tostadas: Thin, crisp, tortillas filled with guacamole, sour cream, chilies, chicken, beef and so on.

Here are a few ingredients synonyms with Mexico~

Maize~ Maize is the most basic necessity in the Mexican kitchen.
It is the most planted crop in the Mexican region.
The country grows more than 42 different types of maize.
Maize is the basis of most Mexican cuisine.
The primary way maize is consumed in Mexico is the tortilla.
Tortillas come in several different colors according to the type of maize used to make them.
Tortillas are made and sold everywhere in Mexico.
Tortillas are still made by hand but are now mainly manufactured. 

Frijoles~ Beans are part of everyday meals in Mexico. 
Frijoles are served either soupy in a broth or mashed and fried, (refried beans). 
You can walk into any market in Mexico and be greeted with a large selection of dried beans. 
70 % of Mexican dishes contain beans. 
Beans are an important and integral part of Mexicans daily nourishment. 
Mexican cooks take pride in the process of simmering a pot of beans quite seriously. 
Many Mexican cooks believe that anyone interested in learning how to make authentic 
Mexican cuisine need to learn how to cook beans from scratch.

Chilies~ Chilies are the soul of Mexican Cooking.
Chilies have been present in the Mexican kitchen since 7500 BC. 
Sauces called Moles' are the crown of Mexican cooking and are a blend of several types of chilies. 
In Mexico, many varieties of chilies are used to create a single dish. 
Chilies are a rich source of vitamins and complement other native foods in the Mexican diet.
Chilies are eaten fresh, roasted and dried.

Salsa~ Salsa in Mexico is actually just a sauce. 
Very similar to our taco sauce...
Not like the salsa it is most commonly associated with... 
The mixture of tomatoes, onions, chilies and cilantro.

Guacamole~ A very simple blend of mashed avocado, chopped onions, chilies, and cilantro.

Tequila~ The infamous spirit of Mexico is Tequila.
Tequila is deprived from the blue agave plant. 
A spikey bush, often seen growing in the fields. 
Mezcal is a cruder form of Tequila
Traditionally served with a worm in the bottle. 
The worm is eaten when the bottle is empty.

Pork Carnitas con Chilies

  • 3 pounds boneless pork, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 large onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 (4 oz) can mild diced green chilies
Cooking Directions
  1. Place all ingredients in a slow cooker, turn slow cooker in low.
  2. Cook for 6 to 8 hours. Cool.
  3. With slotted spoon, remove cubed pork. When pork is cool enough to handle, shred pork.
  4. Return shredded pork to slow cooker. Turn slow cooker to high, cook for 1 or 2 hours more.
Serve with: Flour tortillas, salsa, minced fresh cilantro, lime wedges, sour cream, shredded cheese and/or  avocado slices.

Here are a few favorite recipes~


Spanish Rice and Mexican Seasoning Blend

Dulce de Leche Krispy Treats and Mexican Chocolate

Sandwich Mexico
Peppers, Garlic, Onion, Pork
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