Monday, May 31, 2010

Take-Out Fake-Out, Mexican-style numero dos.

I did it again.

I won't take total credit because I had help. And it wasn't
originally MY recipe. But I did make a few changes and now it's
mine all mine.

We'll, no. Not really. I'll share it with you. Because what's
the point of making great food and not blabbing all over about
how good it is?

How did I not know about Carne Adovada? Ohmaigawd. So good.
And really, easier than it looks. When I read over the recipe
I was stumped by two things. What in the heck is New Mexico chili
powder and do I have to not only marinade the meat but do I have
to roast it in the oven? (Okay. My secret's out. I'm always
looking for the easy way out. If I can find a shortcut somewhere
......GREAT. I know there's more like me so why not
just say it flat out so we can all celebrate shortcutters everywhere!)

Anyway. I have a point.

The original recipe wants you to marinate the meat for at
least twelve hours or overnight. Pshaw. Right. Like I'm going to
remember to do this. Please. My house is chaos. (And if I'm telling
you the truth, I read that in the recipe and seriously meant to
marinate it. I DID. But I forgot. You know how you forget?
I forgot.) And I was all sideways about the kind of chili powder
it called for. When I was growing up and first started cooking
on my own, I knew of only one chili powder and if you use too
much of it, it blew your socks off. This recipe called for New
Mexico chili and FOUR TABLESPOONS worth. Oh lord. I was
concerned if my husband and I would be able to eat it, forget
the two kids. I did ask around and eventually found out that
New Mexico chili is much tamer than the regular hot chili that
you buy and it's really not an issue. Phew. And for all you
wondering where to find New Mexico chili, you can find it hanging
from a j-hook in the "ethnic" or "mexican" part of your grocery store.
It didn't cost me any more than about 60 cents and it's the
perfect amount for the recipe. If not four tablespoons exactly,
it's danged close.

So, this is what I did. I followed the recipe as close as I
could, only adding sauteed onions in with the garlic and using
tomato juice instead of water. I took another reviewers advice
and adapted it to the crockpot. I braised the pork stew meat
in the oil, added it to the crockpot, then sauteed the onion and
garlic and layered it over the pork meat, then added
the tomato juice (think V-8) to the hot pan and scraped all
those good bits off the pan before adding the spices. After
pouring the sauce over the pork meat, I cooked this meat on
high for most of the morning. By dinner time, it was perfect.
Nicely flavored with quite a kick. We ate these wrapped up in
soft taco tortillas with all the fixin's. Good stuff! It's
kind of like eating chili, but it's not chili.

And you know, everyone loved it. We'll, almost everyone. My
littlest projectile vomited all over the kitchen table but he's
a stubborn child. He did that on purpose, only because he
didn't like the looks of dinner from the start. (He's got an
thing against most food wrapped in tortillas, unless it's coated
in peanut butter and wrapped around a banana. He's not my
child, I swear.) My oldest boy raved about it all night and
how good it was and he couldn't wait to have it again. I want
to believe him only because 1) it was that good and 2) I
hope against all hope that he wasn't kissing my behind over
his temper tantrum that lasted all day.

Projectile vomiting and behind-kissing children aside, it was
off the charts good. Like something you'd get from a mexican
restaurant. My husband actually suggested that the sauce that
I made for this recipe would be good as an enchilada sauce or
even a taco meat sauce, if you are so inclined. I urge you to
try it for yourself. Because it's awesome. Either with my own version
of Mexican Rice or my Cilantro-Lime Rice, that's a little tamer
and a good mouth-cooler-offer against the Carne Adovada.

Give it a go. You'll love it!

Carne Adovada

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Salt/pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
One large onion, cut in half and sliced
4 tablespoons New Mexico red chile powder
12 ounces tomato juice, like V-8
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin
3 pounds cubed pork stew meat

1.In a skillet or deep frying pan, heat two tbsp. oil over
medium heat. Toss pork stew meat with flour, salt and pepper
in a large bowl and brown in hot oil until light golden brown.
Layer in the bottom of your crockpot. Add the remaining two
tbsp. of oil to hot skillet and saute onion and garlic in
oil until translucent. Layer over pork meat in crockpot.
In the hot skillet, add tomato juice making sure to scrape
up all browned bits off of the bottom and edges of the skillet.
Blend in chile powder, stirring until lumps are removed,
then add oregano and cumin. Simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour over pork meat and onions/garlic in
crockpot. Cook on HIGH for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.
Serve with tortillas and all your taco/burrito fixings.

Take-Out Fake-Out Mexican Rice

3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. minced onion
2 tbsp. sofrito sauce
1 1/2 cup long grain rice

1.In medium sized skillet, melt butter and saute onion in
butter until translucent. Add chicken broth and wisk in
sofrito sauce. Bring ingredients up to boil, stir in rice.
Briefly stir rice and cover, reducing heat to low. Cook rice
over low heat for 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

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