Crock pot cooking. I do love it. Especially when your day starts super early in the morning with the possibility of returning home later in the evening. I was in the mood to try something different and thought I would try my hand at Pork Carnitas. The idea was inspired by 2 facts: a) my grocery store started selling organic pork products and b) I had some leftover taco seasoning that I made a few weeks ago. Please, please, please do not buy prepackaged seasoning mixes. I am sure I have said that before but they are just loaded with salt and honestly good taco seasoning doesn't need any salt at all. So this post is going to have a few components to it. The Pork Carnitas, my taco seasoning recipe, and my basic salsa recipe. By the way, carnitas means "little meats" and mostly refers to the style of cooking, the process of slowly braising the pork. It's delicious and easy, and with the crock pot, allowed me to prepare a homemade meal in a hurry :-)
1 cup chopped organic tomatoes
1 small organic jalapeno, seeded and finely minced
1/2 organic lime, juiced
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/2 small organic red onion, minced
1 tsp dried cilantro
salt & pepper to taste
Directions: Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Taste to see if you need salt & pepper but I recommend waiting about 30 minutes before adding anything. Once the flavors start to blend together, you may not need as much as you thought. You also notice I use dried cilantro. I don't like cilantro, but find it to be a necessary ingredient in some dishes like salsa and pico de gallo. I actually like the dried cilantro in these dishes, I find it lends just the right amount of flavor. If you use fresh cilantro, you would want to add a tbsp (dried herbs are stronger).
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp adobo powder
Directions: Place all ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. I buy a small glass jar, about a 2 ounce size, to hold my spice blends. The leftovers stay fresh this way.