10.15.2013

Carnitas with Cilantro Lime Rice and Corn Salsa - A Chipotle Fake Out

It's like bringing your favorite burrito joint home to your own kitchen!


There's a Chipotle right across the street from work. It's really one of the only restaurants close and quick enough to hit up during my 30 minute lunch break. I can usually be in and out and back to the breakroom, food in hand, in under 10 minutes. Most days it's actually quicker than getting food in the cafe downstairs, yet I rarely venture over.

Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I'm not one of those Chipotle addicts. I like it, don't get me wrong. I just don't love it. It's always delicious and I enjoy eating it, but I don't make a habit of having it on a regular basis, even though it's readily available. Maybe I'm weird. Maybe I'm poor. Maybe I'm just ashamed of my Hobbit-sized single soft taco/kids' chip meal.

But making my own Chipotle fake out meal at home? Now that's a different story.


While hitting up Chipotle might be quicker and more convenient, making this kind of deliciousness with your own hands, in your own kitchen is a thousand times more satisfying. And you don't even have to do a ton of work. It's mostly a crockpot meal.

Take a little time before you head to bed the night before to sear your pork on the stovetop to give it a nice flavorful exterior before marinating it in the fridge overnight. (Put together your corn salsa the night before too, for an extra head start.) Turn your crockpot on in the morning and let it do all the hard work while you're working hard. When you get home, the only thing left to do is shred up the pork and throw it under the broiler to give it it's signature carnita crispiness while you boil some rice.

Serve it all up with your favorite fixings and you've got yourself a delicious fake out meal to feed an army for a fraction of the cost of the real thing.


Now this I could make a habit of.



Carnitas
From Closet Cooking
Serves 4 to 6



1 (2 to 3 pound) pork butt or shoulder, fat trimmed
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 small red onion, quartered
2 cups water
¾ cup orange juice
¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice (from 1 lime)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon pepper

1. In small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the orange juice, lime juice, and spices until combined; set aside.
2. Pat the pork dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Sprinkle evenly all over with salt.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet or a dutch oven over medium high heat, until oil shimmers. Add pork and sear on all sides until exterior is well browned. Remove from heat.
4. In a large crockpot, add the garlic and three-quarters of the chopped onion, reserving a quarter of the onion for the corn salsa. (If you’re not making the corn salsa, add the whole onion.) Nestle the seared pork on top of the onion and garlic. Pour 2 cups of water and the orange juice mixture over top of the pork. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or continue cooking).
5. Cook until pork is tender and falling apart, about 4-5 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
6. Preheat broiler. Remove pork from crockpot and place on a rimmed baking sheet. With two forks, shred, removing any fat. Spread across the baking sheet in a single layer; set aside.
7. With a fine mesh strainer, strain the liquid left in the crockpot to remove any solids. Measure out 1 cup and drizzle over pork on baking sheet. Broil, flipping pork around halfway through, about 10 to 12 minutes, or until tops start to brown and get crispy. Serve hot on tortillas with cilantro lime rice and corn salsa.

Cilantro Lime Rice
From Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
Makes 4 servings

1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
Juice of ½ a lime
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Add rice, water, and salt to pan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the water has evaporated and rice is tender, about 10 minutes.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together lime juice and cilantro. When rice is cooked, transfer to bowl with juice mixture and stir to combine.

Corn Salsa
From Food Network
Makes about 4 to 6 servings

½ small poblano chile pepper, seeded
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears) or 1 cup frozen corn, thawed, or 1 cup canned corn, drained
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped red onion (from the reserved quarter in the carnitas recipe)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from ½ a lime)
½ teaspoon sugar


1. Preheat broiler. Place ½ of a poblano chile cut side down on a baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Broil until skin starts to char and blister, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, peel* and finely chop.
2. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add corn kernels and cook until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and allow to cool slightly.
3. In a medium bowl mix corn, chopped poblano, jalapeno, cilantro, and onion, stirring to combine. Stir in lime juice, sugar, and season with a pinch of salt to taste.

*Note: For easy peeling, transfer broiled chile from the baking sheet to a ziptop bag and seal, allowing chile to cool and steam itself for about 5 minutes. When removed from the bag, the skins should just slip off easily.
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