¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

¡Hola! ¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo! I love spanish cuisine! So today, how could I not post some delicious recipes! Cinco de Mayo is a perfect day to enjoy Mexican food, drinks and music. Did you know that Cinco de Mayo is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride,and to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War. But, contrary to widespread popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day—the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico—which is actually celebrated on September 16. Now you know!

Ok let’s dive right in. I was watching Food Network recently (I watch Food Network a lot as you know) and Chef Aarón Sanchez (he’s wonderful, I want to met him) was talking about traditional Mexican dishes and he mentioned carnitas. Carnitas, which literally means “little meats,” is a type of braised or roasted (often after first being fried) pork in Mexican cuisine. Sooooo yummy! So here is a delicious and simple carnitas recipes served as a little taco!

Carnitas

This recipe takes a while! But it is worth it in the end! Serve with plantain chips, and your favorite Cinco de Mayo drink!

via Simple Recipes

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds boned pork shoulder, cut into large cubes (you want to try to remove as much fat as possible)
  • 1 quart gluten free beef broth
  • 2 cups chunky tomato salsa (I like it hot but not everyone does. You can always add heat using hot sauce)
  • Water
  • Salt
  • 2 cups fresh tomato salsa (pico de gallo)
  • 16-24 corn tortillas (make sure they are gluten free corn tortillas, some corn tortillas are not gluten free)
  • Vegan butter (Earth Balance) just a little to soften the tortillas
  • Grated lettuce
  • Vinegar
  1. In a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine pork, broth, and salsa. Add enough water to completely cover the meat. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 3 to 4 hours (or longer) until meat pulls apart easily. Add salt to taste. You want your meat to taste good! That’s the most important part of the dish!
  2. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Remove meat from liquid in pot (discard the liquid) and spread the meat out in a roasting pan. Break the meat into small chunks. Roast meat for 15 to 20 minutes until brown and crispy.
  3. Heat the tortillas one-by-one either in a a hot skillet. Use a little butter or oil to help soften them. When air pockets form in the tortillas they are ready. Keep warm tortillas wrapped in a clean cloth towel for serving.
  4. Dress your lettuce by lightly salting it and sprinkling it with vinegar. Set aside.
  5. To serve, double up the tortillas and place a few spoonfuls of the carnitas on them. Top with salsa. Serve with grated lettuce.
  6. To eat, remove half of the carnitas from one tortilla to another. Take one tortilla at a time with the carnitas and salsa, fold it over and enjoy. Or, keep them doubled up.

You can also serve the carnitas with beans, or grated cheese. Your choice! 

ENJOY!!

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.

Tacos al Pastor

Tacos Al Pastor

Tacos Al Pastor are a great way to lighten up traditional Mexican tacos because the flavor comes from a juicy pineapple marinade instead of loads of fatty toppings. By marinating the pork with pineapple, the protein in the pork breaks down resulting in very tender meat. Pork tenderloin cubes are tenderized by sweet pineapple juice and packed with bold flavors like earthy cumin, spicy cilantro and hot chili powder. 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 (8-oz.) can pineapple tidbits in juice, drained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican-style chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 6 (8-inch) soft taco-size gluten free corn tortillas, warmed
  • Toppings
    • chopped radishes
    • fresh cilantro leaves
    • crumbled queso fresco
    • chopped onions
    • chopped jalapeño
  1. Combine pork and all other ingredients in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Seal and chill 4 to 24 hours. The longer the better!
  2. Cook pork mixture in hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 10 minutes or until pork is done.
  3. Serve mixture with warm tortillas and desired toppings.

Grilled Barbecue Pork Bites

For dinner last night my mom and I marinated a couple of pork chops with balsamic vinaigrette dressing (one of the easiest marinades I have used and it works with so many things!) and it got me thinking about other ways to use pork. We usually have ground pork or pork chops when using pork. So what about little pork bites? These grilled barbecue pork bites are prefect for indoor and outdoor grilling or even on the broiler or on your stove top. Grilling isn’t just for the summer anymore!

Grilled Barbecue Pork Bites 

Ingredients

  • 1 pork tenderloin (3/4 to 1 lb)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne) (or more for some extra heat)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 medium green onion, finely chopped (1 tablespoon)
  1. Cut pork into 32 (1-inch) pieces; place in medium bowl. In small bowl, mix chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, garlic powder and red pepper. Reserve 2 teaspoons spice mixture; sprinkle remaining mixture over pork pieces; stir to coat completely. Let stand 15 minutes.
  2. In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, mustard, reserved 2 teaspoons spice mixture and the onion; set aside.
  3. Heat gas or charcoal grill. Spray grill basket (grill “wok’) with cooking spray. Spoon pork into basket.
  4. Place basket on grill. Cover grill; cook over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes, shaking basket or stirring pork once or twice, until pork is no longer pink in center. Serve with toothpicks and mayonnaise mixture for dipping.
  5. OR if you do not have a grill, heat a little bit of olive oil or canola oil in medium pan on medium heat. Cook pork 10 to 12 minutes until pork is no longer pink in the center. Serve with toothpicks and mayonnaise mixture for dipping.

Now I have a small craving for some good old fashioned southern barbecue ribs! 🙂 I cannot wait for summer to be here!