The Burrito

Burrito with carnitasI have been leading up to this for some time now. I have been writing about the rice, and the carnitas; no need to write about the black beans, or salsa (just yet) at this time. What happens below is something truly wonderful. In all honesty, after the carnita experience, the burrito experience kicked in two days in a row. Why? Because there is leftover rice, beans, carnitas, salsa, and large flour tortillas. If you have ever been to Qdoba or a place like Chipotle, or heck, even your local latino getup, then watch how the tortilla is folded. This is important. The wrap is crucial, keep it in mind, as you will not want all the beauty to fall out. I will not put the amounts to put in the tortilla, use your judgment, as you will have to wrap this, and better yet, eat it.
Ingredients:

  • Large Flour Tortillas
  • Shredded Carnitas
  • Shredded Cheese (to your liking)
  • Cooked Black Beans
  • Rice with Lime and Cilantro
  • Your favorite salsa
  • Sour Cream (optional)

Sides:

  • Chips (store bought, or homemade(better))
  • Guacamole

Burrito with carnitasNow if you are like me and have eaten at places mentioned above, it seems like you bite into a big thing of rice, then beans, then comes the meat. It appears orderly, and as it is good, it is not great. Here we go. I say mine is great, because I eat at both places mentioned above with my wife. I have noticed the difference between my burrito and the chains mentioned above. The feeling was substantial.

My wife also orders the carnitas off the menu. Keep that in mind. The look, the feel, the emotion, it was different during our burrito time at home. It was something delightful. We honestly attacked them like hungry dogs on a beef bone. No kidding. The carnitas. The burrito. It’s all good.

You will need to either do two things with your tortillas; wrap them in foil and warm them in the oven, or put them in the microphone until warm and soft; roughly 25 seconds. Now you need to work quickly, as you want to wrap within the warm tortilla as it is flexible. Add your rice, the beans, salsa,

Rice with Lime and Cilantro

Rice with lime and cilantroMy coworker recently came back from the southern California region. You know me, sure, I am curious about the waves and possibly the skate scene out there, but more so on the food. I know that fish tacos are the deal in that area, however this time he mentioned rice, and because I was on the path of making a killer burrito, I decided to match a rice that is similar to that in the Qdoba or Chipotle restaurants. Really simple recipe here as it involves a few ingredients which include:

  • 1 cup extra long grain rice
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tbs of fresh, chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbs of fresh lime juice
  • small pinch of salt

I use a rice cooker, however if you do not have one of these, cook your rice as you normally would. I was horrible at cooking rice, until my wife, who grew up eating rice daily, stated one cup rice, to one cup water. It is also important to note to quickly rinse the rice with a small massage, however more important to not over rinse the rice. The rice cooker is great because once you add in the rice and water, you simply cover, and cook. The process takes less than twenty minutes.

When the cooker tells me it is done, I simply unplug the device, and fluff the rice with a rice paddle. I do this to release a lot of the contained steam and prevent any overcooking. Once the rice is cooked, let it cool for roughly thirty minutes before adding in the lime juice, cilantro, and salt.

Serve this as a side to your favorite meal, or heck, mix it in with black beans and a bit of your favorite salsa. Me? I fold mine into a killer burrito, or serve without the tortilla and eat with the carnitas, black beans, and guacamole.

Trust me, it is not only simple, but really good.

Carnitas

Carnitas Pulled PorkOver the course of the past couple of weeks, I have been making a slow cooked pork shoulder. This is not just your typical slow cooked, pulled pork, this my friends, is carnitas. Think of it as the mexican style pulled pork. Now I state ‘over the past couple of weeks’. Why? Because both my wife and I love it so much, it is hard to escape the thought. The beautiful thing is that once you are done braising the pork shoulder for roughly 4 hours, it gets pulled apart, and then cooked in an oven for nearly 15 minutes at 375 degrees. My mouth is watering just thinking about it, so lets get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4-6lb pork shoulder (whole, with fat trimmed)
  • 3 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of salsa verde
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Cumin Powder
  • Fresh Cilantro

Carnitas Pulled PorkFirst start by admiring your pork shoulder. It’s a thing of beauty is it not? Kidding aside, take the pork shoulder and season generously with salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin. You can blend roughly 3 tsp of each into a small bowl, then rub into the meat if you want as well. Keep in mind that we are going to let this shoulder marinate and get happy in a ziplock bag overnight. Once the shoulder is seasoned, place in a large ziplock back, and add in the quartered onions to surround the meat.

The next day, give yourself nearly four hours to let this braise. This is a great Sunday meal, and awesome for leftovers. In a large pot, put in your shoulder, the onions that you had in the bag, and add to this the salsa verde and the chicken stock. Bring this up to a boil on medium-high heat, then cover, and reduce to a simmer for the remaining time.

Carnitas Pulled PorkCareful to remove the shoulder onto a cutting board. If this falls apart, get excited, as this is the beauty of the shoulder as well as the braising process. With two forks, pull the pork apart, and discard any of the strange fatty pieces that you might not want to eat.

Now, with your shredded pork, you can do a few things. Reserve some for barbecue sandwiches, or add it to a baking sheet and cook in the oven so it all gets a bit crispy. Welcome the carnita. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and cook for roughly 15 minutes. When you are ready, place the meat in fresh corn tortillas and make your favorite taco, or if you are wanting something even better, go for the chimichanga.

Watch for my post later in the week for the burrito that is seriously going to compete with Chipotle or Qdoba. It’s all good.

Barbecue (BBQ) Sauce

BBQ SauceLately, I have been watching shows on barbecue. These shows covers areas of our country where, let’s face it, bbq is king. These states include North Carolina, Texas, and Tennessee. When I see shows like this, it makes me want to do two things; slow cook some pork, and eat it with some really great sauce.

Now sure, I can pick from one of my nine sauces I have either in the refrigerator or my food cabinet, however this time around, I wanted to make my own. Some of my favorite sauces come from Famous Dave’s, Speed Queen’s, and many more. I wanted to make a sauce that my family would love, however something that would have a kick to it as well. I believe I got it. Enjoy this sauce with pork, beef, fries, or whatever you like to put sauce on.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup of regular white vinegar
  • 7 tb of white sugar
  • 3 tb of cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup of ketchup
  • 1 tb of soy sauce
  • 3 tsp of onion powder
  • 2 tsp of paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp of dry mustard
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 2 tb of chipotle adobo sauce

Combine all of your ingredients, and cook over medium to low heat until sauce begins to clear and thicken. Let cool and store in a large ketchup bottle. Trust me, it’s all good.