Tag Archives: Pork

Yucatecan classico: Cochinita pibil

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I’ve had a continual craving for pibil–the classic southern Mexican pork (cochinita) or chicken (pollo) dish of braised meat wrapped in banana leaf–ever since I was introduced to the chicken variety in a town outside of Chichen Itza, Yucatán, two Novembers ago.

There’s a satisfactory version on the menu at Taco Mesa, and Gustavo Arellano, OC Weekly’s editor, says Conde Cakes in SanTana carries Yucatecan cuisine, but I’ve been cooking a variety of Mexican dishes at home lately and wanted to end the run on a high note. It’s a 27-hour wait from start to finish, and you’ll be left with orange, achiote-stained hands, but making the dish yourself leaves you with a happy belly and a true appreciation for this classic Mexican dish.

Read the full how to over at OC Weekly’s Stick a Fork In It blog.

Stretching your pesos: Fat Dude’s Mexican Fiesta, Part 7—Shrimp fried Mexican rice

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This is the last post of my “Stretching your pesos” series, which I essentially wrote because I made too much chicken for Nadia’s cousins and I had to figure out what to do with it.

On a small scale, the series taught me to use my leftovers to their full extent. And that’s important to do, considering people in this world are starving while Americans waste 33 million tons of food annually, according to NPR.

I only had a few shrimp, some Mexican rice and pickled red onion in the fridge by the end of this experiment, and I wanted to mix it up a bit, so I took inspiration from Orange County’s Dos Chinos food truck which fuses Asian and Mexican cuisines.

Enter: Shrimp fried Mexican rice.

I found the blueprint at Epicurious:

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 bunch scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup leftover pork, chicken, or beef, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed (plus any leftover vegetables you have on hand)
  • 4 cups cold cooked white or brown rice (In this case Mexican rice, recipe here)
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The recipe makes four servings, but here’s a couple of ways to make it a little healthier if you aren’t using leftovers like I was: Use 2-3 cups of rice, so each person has less than 1 cup, with 1/2 cup per person being the target–and go brown rice; use low-sodium soy sauce. You can also reduce the oil, but this rice does need to crisp and you’re at less than 1 T per person. Try using 2 T, and add a tablespoon if necessary.

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Follow the link above for the full step by step, but the method is fairly simple and the result far less greasy than any box of takeout I’ve ever brought home.

You start by cooking the egg and the scallions with some of the oil. Then the meat and veggies get tossed in the pan and scrambled around. The rest of the oil goes in to crisp up the rice and you wrap it up by adding a mixture of soy sauce and water to flavor the rice.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and lime, and dig in.

Week 25: Mad Fresh Mex

We’re almost halfway through one year of recipes — this being Week 25 and all — but by the look of this menu, my midterm exam has arrived a week early.

Chef Brian’s “Fresh Mex” menu has a long list of ingredients and I’m a bit intimidated by a lot of prep and a lot of cooking going on at once, but after an easy week of making sandwiches I’m ready to jump into the mix in a big way. Here’s what’s cooking, amigos.

Week 25, Meal 1: Marinated pork loin over jalapeno corn pudding, sauteed peppers, smoky ancho sauce

Week 25, Meal 2: Coriander and garlic marinated tuna over corn and black bean salsa, avocado puree, and lime sour cream

Week 25, Meal 3: Chicken tacos with avocado puree, lime sour cream, and grilled corn-jicama salsa

Each recipe makes two servings. Continue reading for the shopping list.

Continue reading Week 25: Mad Fresh Mex

Week 19, Meal 1: Pork ‘n’ slaw

If I’m eating pork ‘n’ slaw, it’s usually pulled pork and coleslaw, with a big ol’ hunk of cornbread to sop up the sauce and juice on the bottom of the plate.

For the first time, those words take on another meaning, with Week 19, Meal 1: Vietnamese pork meatball lettuce wrap with carrot and cucumber salad in fish sauce and lime vinaigrette.

I’m not really a fan of lettuce wraps — they’re kinda wimpy IMO — but three of these wraps, made with big ol’ leafs of bibb lettuce and stuffed full of savory, lemon-y pork did the trick.

An added bonus, I didn’t get the sleepies like I usually do after a plate of BBQ. Continue reading Week 19, Meal 1: Pork ‘n’ slaw

Week 12, Meal 3: Pork banh mi

I began Week 12 by saying that, for a long time, Lee’s Sandwiches was the only exposure I had to Vietnamese cuisine.

Thankfully, I’ve expanded my palate since I first had Lee’s, but no matter how many bowls of pho I slurp down, or spring rolls I munch through, I’ll never forget my first true Vietnamese love.

Aside from the interesting history of the banh mi, it’s simply a fantastic sandwich.

The version in most restaurants comes with a smear of mayonnaise, but Chef Brian keeps it healthy with a light chili and lime sauce to counter pork stir-fried in tangy tamarind paste.

Here’s Week 12, Meal 3: Pork banh mi. Continue reading Week 12, Meal 3: Pork banh mi

Week 9, Meal 3: Cuban braised pork with peppers and onions over black beans and rice

It was nice to come home yesterday to a kitchen filled with the smell of pork that has been slow cooking in tomatillos all day.

The flavor of Week 9, Meal 3: Cuban braised pork shoulder with peppers and onions over black beans and rice was even better than the smell though.

I’ll say, for an  unorganized, lazy dude like myself, these recipes have been a pain in the ass to put together — I was up at 5:30 a.m. yesterday browning pork! — but once it’s on the fork, it makes all of the hard work worth it. Continue reading Week 9, Meal 3: Cuban braised pork with peppers and onions over black beans and rice

Week 2, Meal 3: Grilled pork chop with grilled asparagus over wild rice with a fig, port and balsamic reduction

Even though we’re using some of the same ingredients for three full meals, I don’t ever feel like I’m getting bored with what I’m eating.

Case in point is the lovely grilled pork chop with grilled asparagus over wild rice with a fig, port, and balsamic reduction I ate for dinner last night.

By simply reducing the balsamic fig jam in some port wine, I was able to further d-lish-ify something already in my fridge.

And yeah, I just made up a word. So, whatever. Continue reading Week 2, Meal 3: Grilled pork chop with grilled asparagus over wild rice with a fig, port and balsamic reduction

Week 2, Meal 2: Thyme-crusted roasted pork panini with balsamic fig jam and bacon

If you didn’t notice by the headline, there’s bacon in that there sandwich. If that ain’t an advancement in healthy eating, I don’t know what to tell you.

But bacon is low in calories (40-50 per slice, though high in fat) and a little bit can totally be a part of a healthy diet.

For our second meal of week 2, we’re dressing that bacon with a bunch of great ingredients for our thyme-crusted roasted pork panini with balsamic fig jam and bacon.

BOOYAH. Keep readin’. Continue reading Week 2, Meal 2: Thyme-crusted roasted pork panini with balsamic fig jam and bacon

Week 2, Meal 1: Thyme-crusted roasted pork over Gruyere polenta with caramelized pear, shallot and ginger pan sauce

One of my favorite things to eat is polenta (aka corn grits). It’s hearty, creamy and goes great with cheese, so really, what’s not to love?

Well, the cooking process, actually. I’ve always cooked polenta according to the directions on the package, but never ended up with anything as creamy and fulfilling as the results of Chef Brian’s recipe.

Here is Week 2, Meal 1: Thyme-crusted roasted pork over Gruyere polenta with caramelized pear, shallot and ginger pan sauce.

Grits gooey with nutty Gruyere, ginger-spiked pear chunks and juicy pork. Now that’s whassup. Continue reading Week 2, Meal 1: Thyme-crusted roasted pork over Gruyere polenta with caramelized pear, shallot and ginger pan sauce

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