Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Carnitas! Kinda.

First of all, let me apologize up front to my vegetarian friends (yes, I have a few...and you know who you are). This post deals primarily with...get ready...MEAT.

Yes, meat. Pork, to be precise. The leftovers from Father's Day, a bowl of slow-roasted cast-iron-caressed ribs just waiting to be used for something more. Something...better. Something beyond simply sitting in the fridge.

It's my parents' anniversary this weekend, so my gift to them? Making myself scarce for a few days (later this week), and cooking dinner for them not once, but TWICE. Tonight and tomorrow night to be exact.

Tonight's adventure: how to make something delicious, unusual, summery (it's the first nice day we've had in awhile), and also economical. In other words, how do I creatively use up the leftovers?

After a great deal of pondering, I turned to David Lebovitz, who is becoming my favorite chef/food blogger, and his recipe for carnitas.

For those who just tuned in, carnitas are a Mexican pork, typically slow-roasted with a variety of seasonings. Seeing as how I already had the cooked meat, all I needed was to give them some zip.

So zip them I did. Cumin, chili powder, red pepper, cinnamon, garlic, cilantro, fresh lime juice, onions...seriously, the smell alone was enough to knock me out. I grabbed some corn tortillas on the way home from work, opened a fresh container of guacamole and lime-habanero salsa (thank you, Trader Joe's!) and let my parents make some seriously wicked tacos.

I'm telling you, we had a feast. We ate up all the leftovers. And we were satisfied. Ahhh...is there anything better? Besides that...have you noticed...I made something that wasn't soup and didn't involve pasta!! Aren't you proud? I'm branching out!

What's going on in the kitchen tomorrow night? Oh, baby. It's going to be good. I even started the preparations beforehand, and there's a ball of simple dough sitting in plastic-wrap blanket in my fridge, currently. Also, the bowl of my ice cream maker is freezing happily in the freezer, getting ready to be used. Tomorrow night promises to be EPIC.

Culinarily speaking, of course.

-The GLS

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