Real Food for Real Life

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A new Puerto Rican favorite...

Pernil with greens and yellow rice

I love the flavors of Latin America and I love cooking with my crockpot, so a recipe that gives me both of these is just about perfect.  I found this recipe over at Gina's Skinny Recipes, one of my regular blog reads.  Pernil is a Puerto Rican pork roast, and while this version is by no means traditional, it certainly is easy and delicious.  Thanks, Gina!
Slow Cooker Pernil
adapted from Gina's Skinny Recipes
3 lb pork butt (shoulder) roast
5 cloves garlic, crushed 
1 tbsp coarse salt
1 tsp oregano
1tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper black pepper
3 oranges, juice of (1/2 cup)
2 limes, juice of
Using a sharp knife, cut slits into the pork and stuff holes with half of the crushed garlic. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over pork. Place in the ceramic part of the crock pot, surround with the citrus remains, cover and refrigerate, turning pork occasionally so the marinade covers all of pork.
After 8 hours, or overnight, remove pork and shred using two forks. Remove liquid and citrus remains from crock pot and add pork back to crock. Squeeze the citrus to extract the juices and add about 1 cup (or more, if you like) of the liquid back and adjust salt, pepper and cumin (you will probably need to add more). Let it cook another 15-30 minutes. Store leftovers in the cooking liquid.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Freezer treasures...

Thai Chicken with simple slaw

I have been on a bit of a mission to use up all the stuff I have tucked away in the freezers (way too much).  After doing a quick inventory of what was on hand, I noticed the May issue of Food and Wine magazine staring up at me from the coffee table.  Right there was the answer for the package of leg quarters in the basement freezer.  I had everything on hand to make this Thai chicken recipe except tamarind concentrate, so I just left that (and the sugar) out and subbed in the mango syrup that I did have.  The recipe said to marinate for 20 minutes but I did it overnight instead and am glad I did.  The flavors of this dish were great, especially with the sauce spooned over, but I generally don't like to eat chicken off the bone (too messy and not worth the effort), and this recipe did not change my mind.  I will definitely make this again, especially considering how much the boy liked it, but will use boneless, skinless breasts and thighs the next time around.  The only thing we had with this was a simple slaw, made even simpler by just being shredded cabbage marinated in a bit of seasoned rice vinegar.  Super simple and the cabbage stays crunchy, and the only way I can get the boy to eat cabbage.

Thai Chicken
adapted from Food and Wine

marinated chicken 
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce 
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
 4 whole chicken legs, skinned 
  dipping sauce 
1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 
1 small garlic clove, minced 
1 small Thai chile, seeded and minced 
2 tablespoons mango syrup
1 tablespoon water 
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil 
1/2 cup chopped cilantro 
 In a mini food processor, process the cilantro, fish sauce and pepper to a coarse puree. Coat the chicken with the marinade. Let stand at room temperature for20 minutes, or refrigerate overnight  .In a bowl, combine the mango syrup with the fish sauce, lime, garlic, chile, sugar and water.    Preheat the oven to 400°. Light a grill. Rub the chicken with the oil and rub the grill with an oiled paper towel. Grill the chicken over moderately high heat, turning, until charred, 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, until cooked.  Just before serving, stir the cilantro into the dipping sauce and serve with the chicken.
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