HOMESICK TEXAN CARNITAS
Source: Smitten Kitchen
Yield: Serves 6-8
Active Time: 15-20 Mins.
Total Time: 2 Hours 45 Mins.
Place the pork in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot. Add the orange juice, lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt and enough water to just barely cover the meat. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for two hours. Don’t touch the meat.
After two hours, increase the heat to medium-high and while occasionally stirring and turning the pieces, continue to cook for about 45 minutes, or until all of the liquid has evaporated, leaving only the rendered pork fat. Let it sizzle in this fat long enough to brown at the edges, turning pieces gently (they’ll be eager to fall apart), only as needed.
When pork has browned on both sides, it’s ready. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve on warmed tortillas with fixings.
**Deanna's Note: This is one of my family's favorite recipes! For less spicy wings, I omit the cayenne/siracha. I also don't bother with the sesame seeds or scallion, and I leave the honey at it's full portion. I highly recommend making extra sauce and spreading the wings out as much as possible in the pans. If you have a convection setting or double ovens, use it! In my house we fight over the extra sauce!
Grilled Balsamic-Molasses Bacon
Yield: 6-8 Servings
Active Time: 30 Mins.
Total Time: 1 Hour
Soak wooden skewers in water 30 minutes. Preheat grill to 250° to 300° (low) heat.
Stir together molasses and next 2 ingredients. Thread 1 bacon slice onto each skewer.
Grill bacon, covered with grill lid, 15 to 18 minutes or until bacon begins to brown, turning every 6 minutes. Baste with half of molasses mixture, using rosemary sprigs as a brush; grill, covered with grill lid, 5 minutes. Turn bacon, and baste with remaining molasses mixture, using rosemary sprigs. Grill, covered with grill lid, 5 minutes or until browned and crisp. Remove from grill. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve bacon immediately.
Island Pork Tenderloin Salad
Yield: Serves 6-8 Main Course Servings
Active Time: 25 Mins.
Total Time: About 50 Mins.
Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 pork tenderloins (2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds total)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon Tabasco
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon curry powder, toasted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
3 navel oranges
5 ounces baby spinach, trimmed (6 cups leaves)
4 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage (from 1 medium head)
1 red bell pepper, cut lengthwise into thin strips
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 firm-ripe California avocados
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Stir together salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon, then coat pork with spice rub.
Heat oil in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until just beginning to smoke, then brown pork, turning, about 4 minutes total. Leave pork in skillet.
Make glaze and roast pork:
Stir together brown sugar, garlic, and Tabasco and pat onto top of each tenderloin. Roast in middle of oven until thermometer inserted diagonally in center of each tenderloin registers 140°F, about 20 minutes. Let pork stand in skillet at room temperature 10 minutes. (Temperature will rise to about 155°F while standing.)
Make vinaigrette while pork roasts:
Whisk together juices, mustard, curry powder, salt, and pepper, then add oil in a stream, whisking until emulsified.
Prepare salad ingredients while pork stands:
Cut peel, including white pith, from oranges with a sharp knife, then cut oranges crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Toss spinach, cabbage, bell pepper, and raisins in a large bowl with about 1/4 cup vinaigrette. Halve, pit, and peel avocados, then cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
Cut pork at a 45-degree angle into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Line a large platter with dressed salad and arrange sliced pork, oranges, and avocados in rows on top. Drizzle some vinaigrette over avocados and oranges. Pour any juices from skillet over pork.
Sweet and Spicy Bacon Wrapped Chicken
Yield: 4 Servings
Active Time: 10 Mins.
Total Time: Oven: 40-50 Mins; Grill: 26-30 Mins.
Cut each breast into 3 pieces. Season the chicken with all the spices to your liking. Wrap a bacon slice around each piece and then roll in brown sugar until coated.
For the Oven: Place chicken in a sprayed baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and bacon is nice and brown and crispy.
For the Grill: Grill on high heat for about 2 minutes on each side. Then cook for another 6-8 minutes per side on low heat.
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Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings
Yield: Serves 4
Active Time: 15 Mins.
Total Time: 50 Mins.
If you can’t find “wingettes” (often sold as “party wings”), use regular chicken wings but cut off tips from chicken wings with kitchen shears or a large heavy knife (you can use them for stock), then halve wings at the joint.
3 pounds chicken wingettes or chicken wings (see note up top)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons mild honey (I often halved this)
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Pinch of cayenne or dash of Siracha
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 scallion, finely chopped
Heat oven to 425°F. Line a large shallow baking pan with foil and lightly oil it.
Stir wings together with garlic, salt, soy, hoisin, honey, sesame oil and cayenne or Sriracha until coated. Spread wings and any sauce that fell to the bottom of the bowl out on the prepared baking pan in one layer. Roast, turning over once, until cooked through, about 35 minutes. Transfer wingettes to a large serving bowl* and toss with sesame seeds and scallion.
* If you end up with a puddle of sauce in the bottom of your baking pan (I did the one time they were more tightly packed in a dish), after removing the wings, you can pour the extra sauce into a saucepan and reduced it until thick, then stir it over the roasted wings before adding the sesame seeds and scallion.
Strawberry Salsa Grilled Pork Chops
Yield: 4 Servings
Active Time: 17 Mins.
Total Time: 27 Mins.
1 pt strawberries (fresh, halved the long way and then cut into half moon slices)
1 pt cherry tomatoes (quartered)
3 green onions (chopped)
1/4 cup cilantro (fresh, chopped)
3 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
4 pork chops
Place strawberries, tomatoes, green onions and cilantro in a bowl, stir gently.
In a small bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar and salt. Pour mixture over strawberry mixture. Stir gently to combine. Refrigerate while cooking pork.
Preheat grill on medium heat for 10 minutes.
Season pork chops generously with salt and pepper.
Add pork chops to grill, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook about 6 minutes per side or until thermometer reads about 150.
Remove chops from heat and allow to rest 5 minutes.
Spoon salsa over pork just before serving.
Chili and Honey Chicken Legs
Yield: Serves 4
Active Time: 10 Mins.
Total Time: 45 Mins.
Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Line bottom of a 15- by 10-inch shallow baking pan with foil and set an oiled large metal rack in pan.
Stir together chili powder, honey, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, then add chicken and turn to coat completely.
Transfer chicken to rack, arranging in 1 layer, then bake, turning over once, until cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes.