Pork Carnitas

carnitas

Ingredients:

4 pound boneless pork butt, fat trimmed and cut into 2 inch cubes
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
2 onions, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
2 Tb fresh lime juice
2 cups of water
1 large orange, juiced and keep the leftover halves

Directions:

Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat to 300 degrees. Combine all the ingredients in a large Dutch oven, including the leftover orange halves and juice. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, uncovered. Once it comes to a simmer, cover the pot and transfer it to the oven. Cook until the meat falls apart, about 2 hours.

Remove the pot from the oven and turn on the broiler. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat and onions from the pan and place it on a large pan or mixing bowl. Remove and discard everything from the pot except for the cooking liquid. Place pot over high heat on the stove and boil until it thickens and syrupy, about 20-25 minutes. You should have about 1 cup of liquid remaining when it is finished.

While the liquid is reducing, use fork to lightly shred pork.  Once the liquid has reduced, gently fold in the pieces of pork into the pot. Try not to break up the pork any further. Taste and add additional salt and pepper.

Spread the pork back onto the foil lined pan and evenly spread the meat around so there is a single layer of meat. Place the sheet pan on the lower middle rack of the oven and broil until the top of the meat is well browned and edges are slightly crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the pieces of pork and broil the other side until well browned and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve immediately in a tortilla with all your favorite toppings.

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Too Far

jesuswept

Luke came home from school yesterday “on red” – meaning he behaved so badly that they ran out of colors to assign. Poking. Hitting. Pushing. Being loud in the hall. You name it, Luke has been doing it. Well, except nudity…I think we have finally overcome that.

This morning as we drove to school, I ran down the list of the days do’s and don’ts:

  • DO make good choices
  • DO kind things
  • DO what your teachers asks of you, listen
  • DON’T hit. kick. push. whine. tattle. poke. pester. harass. run in the hall. blow on people. lick anyone. sit on your friends. dance on tables.

When I asked him if he liked when his friends did those things to him, he said no, so I tried to explain the Golden Rule. He didn’t really understand. So I tried explaining that say hitting or pushing people made people sad. He kind of nodded. Out of nowhere I blurted out “When we aren’t nice to our friends, it makes Jesus cry.” #toofar

This can only result in 3 endings: #1 he processes the sheer magnitude of those words and will be on purple the rest of the year. #2 Zero f*cks will be given. #3 this is a defining moment where he chooses to be a delinquent / future serial killer. Let’s pray for #1.

What They Don’t Tell You About Having a Boy

I have been on record many times saying that I was meant to have a daughter. I love all things pink and flowery with unicorns and hearts on everything. I remember holding my breath as my beautiful son was born thinking maybe the blood test and 1000 ultrasounds were wrong…it could still be a girl. But God gave me a son for a reason, so I blindly but happily go through life as a #boymom .

All of that being said, no one ever told me that having a son would mean only having a few early years of dressing him in Polo, madris, Sperrys and all things deliciously preppy. We have been in phase 2 of “fashion” for awhile now, but little things like Luke’s new TMNT shoes remind me that I no longer have a say in what’s cute. Matt takes Luke shoe shopping now, bc I just can’t even. I have been known to lie to my precious son when he picks up a loud character shirt and tell him they don’t have his size. I am actually thankful for school uniforms.

Wouldn’t trade him for the world, but I do look forward to some cooler clothes in the near future. 

5 Year Old Boys: Not for the Faint of Heart

I kinda feel like this post doesn’t need much in way of an explanation. My first reaction after receiving this email (while in a staff meeting) was to laugh. Like laugh forever. Then I remembered that I am a parent and probably should be disappointed or angry. I don’t even know how to have the above requested conversation with Luke. 

I would like to think that him flaunting his nudity would have no future impact on his lady classmates, but I know this to not be true. When I was in Kindergarten, a little boy in my class wanted to play “you show me yours and I’ll show you mine.” I was modest even back then so I never showed him mine…but he couldn’t stop showing me his. I can’t remember what I ate for lunch yesterday, but I remember every moment of that experience 35 years ago. Luckily we are still great friends today.

Anyway…

I feel like this should be a father/son conversation for sure. I really did try tonight, but I could quite get the words right – so I stopped at “Please don’t show your front (or back) office to anyone at school. If you need to change clothes, go to the bathroom and shut the door. You should never remove your underwear at school.” His response? Couldn’t tell you because he was speaking in Curious George. 

Steak Sandwich with Charred Onion, Cheddar, and Grilled Corn

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After a long week , I need something quick and delicious for dinner –  like this hamburger alternative steak sandwich. Super simple to prepare and very filling – and flat iron steak is easy on the wallet. Raining? No problem – I cooked our steak and onions (together) in a cast iron skillet and boiled the corn.

Ingredients:
4 Tbsp. Butter
2 Ears of Corn
1 Red Onion
5 Parsley Sprigs
2 Hoagie Rolls
2 Flat Iron Steaks
4 Cheddar Cheese Slices
1 Tbsp. Dark Chili Powder
1 oz. Baby Arugula

Directions:

  1. Heat outdoor grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Shuck corn and rinse. Peel onion and slice into 1⁄4” rounds. Stem and mince parsley. Halve hoagie rolls lengthwise. Rinse steaks and pat dry.
  2. Mix parsley and softened butter in a small bowl until smooth. Spray hot grill pan or outdoor grill with cooking spray. Spread half the herb butter on cut side of rolls (reserve remaining butter for corn) and grill 1-2 minutes, or until lightly browned. Place two cheddar cheese slices on bottom half of each roll to melt.
  3. Season both sides of steaks with chili powder (to taste), 1⁄4 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper. Grill 4-5 minutes per side, or until steaks reach a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees. Remove steaks from grill, let rest 5 minutes, then thinly slice into 1⁄4” slices on an angle.
  4. Rub onions with 1⁄2 tsp. olive oil, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and grill 2-3 minutes per side, or until slightly charred. Remove from grill.
  5. Lightly oil corn with 1⁄2 tsp. olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Grill corn 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally, or until slightly charred.
  6. Top bottom half of rolls with sliced steak, grilled onions and arugula. Cover with top half. Brush corn with reserved herb butter and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Bone-In Pork Chop with Mustard Cream and Miso-Roasted Potatoes & Asparagus

 

fullsizerender-3This recipe was really good. I was a bit unsure about the miso, but it really added a nice flavor to the potatoes!

Ingredients:
1 Green Onion
3 oz. Grape Tomatoes
1 Lemon
6 oz. Asparagus
10 oz. Fingerling Potatoes
2 Bone-in Pork Chops
1 Tbsp. Miso Paste
4 Tbsp Butter
5 oz. Evaporated Whole Milk
2 tsp. Beef Demi-Glace
1 oz. Honey Mustard

Directions:

  1. Trim and thinly slice green onion on an angle, keep- ing white and green portions separate. Cut grape tomatoes into a ne dice. Zest lemon, halve, and juice. Trim woody ends of asparagus. Halve potatoes. Rinse pork chops, pat dry, and season both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Add miso paste and half the butter (reserve remaining for sauce) to a medium non-stick pan over medium heat. Once melted, add potatoes to pan. Toss to combine. Transfer coated potatoes to one half of prepared baking sheet, cut-side down. Roast 12 minutes and remove baking sheet from oven. Potatoes will finish cooking later. Wipe pan clean and reserve for searing pork chops.
  3. Heat pan used for potatoes over medium-high heat. Add 2 tsp. olive oil and pork chops to hot pan. Cook 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer chops to a plate (no need to wipe pan clean).
  4. After potatoes roast 12 minutes, add asparagus, 2 tsp. olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper to other half of baking sheet. Toss to coat and spread asparagus into a single layer. Roast 10 more minutes, or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork and asparagus are tender. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, white portions of green onion, 2 tsp. lemon zest, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, and 2 tsp. olive oil in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Place pan used for pork chops over medium-high heat. Add evaporated milk and demi-glace and cook 2-3 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from burner and whisk in honey mustard and remaining butter. Season to taste with salt. Sauce will thicken as it cools.
  6. Place potatoes and asparagus on a plate. Spoon tomato relish over asparagus. Spoon sauce on plate and top with pork chop. Garnish potatoes with green portions of green onions.

Decisions, Decisions

Luke has always loved choosing what to wear. Gone are the days when I could dress him in Ralph Lauren or Nautica – now he prefers to wear what I call “gym shorts” and some sort of themed Tshirt (usually Mickey Mouse.)

Before he started private school this year, I was worried that I would never get him into his uniform. Worried enough to take all his other clothes out of his closet and only leave uniform shirts and shorts and it worked well. The funny thing is, he still thumbs through his shirts to make a choice…even though they are all the same. This morning was actually a quick decision – he usually takes a lot longer!