From Scratch column: Slow cooker pulled pork carnitas (recipe, video)
There are few things I love more than garlicky, peppery pulled pork. What I like even more is that it’s the perfect meal to make in the summer when you’d rather be outside than inside. Using a slow cooker allows you to invest about five minutes of prep time and then turn the slow cooker on low, come back in 8 to 10 hours and dinner is ready. Meanwhile, you get to enjoy your day.
Another advantage of slow cooker pork carnitas is its versatility:
• Serve with rice and vegetables.
• Add a bun, barbecue sauce and chips and eat out on the deck.
• Grab some soft tacos, cilantro and cotija cheese for pork tacos.
• Change up your usual chili recipe by swapping in pulled pork.
• Or try my recipe for pork enchiladas with homemade tomatillo sauce.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Place the following ingredients in your slow cooker, turn on low, and let cook for 8 to 10 hours.
Pork shoulder roast
1 cup chicken stock or 8 ounces beer
¼ cup lime juice, bitter orange juice
4 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Pulled Pork Enchiladas
This is a great make-ahead meal because all the ingredients are already cooked. You can freeze it or take it to a potluck dinner.
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Coat the bottom of a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish with a thin layer of the tomatillo sauce (recipe below).
Holding your flour or corn tortilla in one hand, add shredded pepper-jack cheese, shredded pork, close gently and place seam-side down in the baking dish. Continue until baking dish is filled.
Ladle the tomatillo sauce over the enchiladas, and top with the remaining shredded cheese.
At this point, you can freeze the dish for later. Or bake it for 20 to 30 minutes until the enchiladas are heated through and the cheese is melted.
Tomatillo sauce or salsa
1 pound tomatillos, remove the papery outer skin
4 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno, cut in half, seeds removed
Place the ingredients on a baking sheet and place under the broiler for 4 minutes, until the skins of the tomatillos blister. Then place the ingredients in a food processor and blend until you get a chunky sauce. You can use this as a salsa with chips or as a sauce for your enchiladas.
‘The Elements of Pizza,’ by Ken Forkish.
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know I’m crazy about pizza. I love pizza because there are an infinite variety of toppings you can choose from to suit your mood. For example, take the pulled pork we cooked today and use that as your meat topping with hot peppers and cheese.
When “The Elements of Pizza” became available on http://www.bloggingfor books.com, I jumped at the chance to request a review copy. I’m happy to report that it is as good as I’d hoped.
The directions for making your own pizza dough are straightforward and easy to follow. You will be up and running quickly. And then the fun begins.
There are endless varieties: There are the classic pizzas with meat toppings and vegetarian varieties that will have you searching the local farmers market for gorgeous vegetables to make your own versions, such as:
• Pizza Margherita
• Pomodoro Royale
• Prosciutto and Bufala
• Pizza Bianca
But what I can’t wait to try are the creative ones such as:
• Mortadella and Pistachio Pizza
• Chanterelle and Garlic Pizza
• Raclette Pizza
• Escarole Pizza
• Zucchini Blossom Pizza
I’m willing to bet that within a year, this book will be covered in messy fingerprints. If you are a pizza lover like me, you will love “The Elements of Pizza.”
Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson is the author of 10 books, including “Comfort Me: Easy Meals to Bring Your Family Back to the Table.” Join Anderson at http://www.facebook.com/suzanneelizabeths or http://www.suzanneelizabeths.com.
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