Monday, March 22, 2010

Mexican Cooking - Salsa, Guacamole & Carnitas!

This weekend I hostessed an afternoon and evening of authentic Mexican cooking, taught by my dear friend Sandy.

I am sure it was just the first of many; we are already bickering over what we each want learn next time! On the menu for Lesson One were pork carnitas, salsa (pico de gallo), guacamole, green sauce and red sauce.

Ty was handy to wrangle the kids; we had my two and Sandy's three girls.

Marilyn checked out the produce,

While Mark, Rachel and Carmen took advantage of the crayons and childrens' church bulletins I stole from church that day for that very purpose (I waited till after service to make sure there were extras)...

Then they tortured Baby Tiger...

Don't feel bad for him; he deserves it. He can frequently be seen jumping through the air with his arms spread like a real tiger, to attack Mark, just for sport.

They also enjoyed time outside, playing with a rooster that decided to adopt us that day (he's still here). The girls chased him, poking sticks at him, squealing with delight. Meanwhile, my little man was hiding on the other end of the pasture, petrified of the rooster. Typical little goofball!

As for the recipe, I will post the information here, but if you want the information in a more printer-friendly format, you can email me at and I will gladly email it to you. And I apologize for not doing it PW style and taking pictures as we went... I was taking notes so I would be able to share this recipe with y'all! Kristel snagged my camera and took the pics I'm sharing with you. Gracias, chica!

Authentic Mexican Carnitas
(Feeds 12)

Ingredient List:
any pork roast(s) w/ plenty of fat (about 8 lbs. total), with bone is fine; it will fall off anyway
roma tomatoes (16)
white onions (2)
jalepenos (11)
limes (4)
cilantra (2 bunches)
tomatillos (6)
garlic (1 small clove)
dried chiles de arbol (on Hispanic aisle)
avacados (4 large or 6 small)
six-inch tortillas (corn or flour)
cooking oil
chips (2 - 3 bags)

Prepare Pork:
Set roasts in pot(s) and just cover with water. Add about 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste) to each pot (we had 2). Boil rapidly for 2-3 hours or longer is even better.

Cook Salsa Verde (Green Sauce) and Red Sauce Ingredients Together:
In a large saucepan, boil 6 tomatillos (peel off dry skins), 4 jalepenos (pop stems off), 2 romas, and 7 dried chiles de arbol until smooshy.

Prepare Pico de Gallo:
Chop and combine: 8 romas, 1 white onion (finely chopped), 1/4 to 1/2 bunch cilantra, 2-3 jalepenos, juice of 1 lime (see hint), and salt to taste. Hint: If you don't have a juicer, cut it in half and hold a half in your right hand. With your left hand, hold a spoon to the center of the lime. With your right hand, press the lime firmly against the spoon and spin repeatedly to juice the lime into the bowl.

Prepare Guacamole:
Chop and combine: 6 romas, 1/4 bunch cilantra, 1/2 white onion (finely chopped), 4 jalepenos, juice from 1/2 lime and salt to taste. Cut avacados in half and remove seed. Carefully use a sharp knife to slice avacado while in the shell, first lengthwise, then perpendicular. Scoop out with spoon. Mix with other ingredients (consistency will start to turn creamy).

Prepare Toppings:
Chop remaining cilantra and jalepeno and finely chop onion. Slice remaining limes into sixths.

Finish Pork:
Water should be evaporated and fat at bottom of pan will start to bubble. Start turning meat to get it browned on all sides. Once browned, drain fat and pull apart meat into bite sized pieces, and mound it on a platter, cover with foil to keep hot.

Finish Sauces:
For salsa verde: in a food processor or blender, puree 4 of the tomatillos, 4 jalepenos, 1 small clove fresh garlic and salt to taste.
For red sauce: puree 2 romas, 2 tomatillos, 7 dried chiles de arbol, a sliver of fresh onion and salt to taste.

Warm Tortillas:
Rub a tiny dab of cooking oil on one side of a tortilla, and top with another tortilla. Rub the two together, spinning to get a very thin coat of oil evenly spread around. Keep flipping and adding tortillas, making a stack of tortillas which all have oil on both sides. Get a foot long piece of foil ready. Fry the tortillas in a dry frying pan, for a minute or less on each side, just to warm (not crispy). Place each one, as it is done, on the foil and keep the foil folded over the top to keep the whole stack warm as you go.

Now you are ready to serve! The two most popular serving suggestions are layering your taco with pork, onion, cilantra, lime juice and green or red sauce, or simply pork, pico de gallo and guacamole.

Here is how our salsa and guacamole turned out (I admit, we chowed down before I stopped to take pics =)...

And here are the heavenly carnitas...

This is a great meal, including appetizers (salsa and guac), to make for a get-together!


1 comment:

  1. Oh it was divine! I could even go for a carnita right now....nummy!