Thursday, January 15, 2009

Quick and Tasty Carnitas

I know, I know, carnitas aren't quick. You need to roast the pork forever.

But not if you've got a Northgate Market near you. And if you live in southern CA, you probably do!

MIL came home with two large chunks of roasted pork, tub of "salsa mexicana", and a pack of guaraches (thick slipper-shaped corn tortillas). I shredded the pork and skillet-fried it without adding any fat, until it got crispy. At the same time, I placed the guaraches directly over a low gas flame to heat them through and get a little crispiness. Then pile some carnitas on a guarache, add some lettuce (or green onion or cilantro if you have it), a squeeze of lime, and a dollop of salsa.
















Alternatively, spread some salsa on your guarache, and distribute the carnitas on top, then bake until slightly dried out and a little crispy. Hubby says that guaraches are normally spread with a chile paste (much thicker than the salsa we had) and baked until the chile dries out, then topped with some sort of protein, some avocado, cilantro and lime. Sounds amazing, but I didn't feel like making chile paste, and didn't have any cilantro or lime. So you get what you get, and you don't make a fuss.
















Quick, easy, not too terribly bad for you, and totally delicious.

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11 comments:

Betts said...

Can I come and live with you? I'll do the dishes.

Vicki said...

Betts - Hehe! Good trade for me. But I don't think your family would approve :)

Kitt said...

Betts can tend to her family and I'll move in.

Vicki said...

Hi Kitt - And leave the Sergeant? I think not :)

Bob said...

Guh. That looks wicked good. Course, I don't like in SoCal and have never heard of Northgate Market. But if you have a good recipe for the roast pork, I do have some days off coming up... :D

Vicki said...

Hey Bob - Grab a pork shoulder, season it with salt, pepper, chiles, garlic, onion, etc, and roast it in a slow oven for hours, until it's almost falling apart. Then shred and skillet fry. That's how my MIL does it, but some people cut in chunks, boil til tender, then roast on high for a bit, others use a slow cooker. However you do it, just season, slow cook, then crisp. It's pork, so it'll be good however you do it.

melissa said...

Hooray for SoCal!

Seriously, just in general, I am really happy for all the pre-prepped or pre-done authentic Asian and Mexican foods I can get here. I'm very grateful.

These sound perfect. Good meal for during the week.

kat said...

I wonder of the mexican butcher here has pre-roated pork

Vicki said...

Hey Melissa - I normally prefer cooking everything from the beginning, but sometimes you need a little help!

Hi Kat - If not, Trader Joe's has a vacuum sealed carnitas that isn't bad!

Jude said...

tough to be a good batch of simply dressed carnitas. It does take a bit of time to make but it's always worth it. Too bad we don't have sucha market around here :(

Vicki said...

Hi Jude - I'm lucky to be in SoCal, I can't walk 2 blocks w/o seeing a Mexican market.