Saturday, January 29, 2011

Carnitas! The web is a wonderful thing

My fish taco obsession led me to do some online searching recently, and I found that there isn't a whole heck of a lot of stuff that can't be bought through the intardweb. I was searching for Rubio's Fish Tacos recipes, and found a recommendation for Porkyland Extra Thick corn tortillas. Turns out that this was a fine suggestion. I followed a link or two and ended up at a place called Mexgrocer that has not only the tortillas, but spices, tortilla warmers, and even pre-cooked carnitas.

For those not from SoCal, carnitas are slow cooked pork. That's awesome enough to just be abbreviated to SCP, its so universally amazing. There's very little, if anything, that SCP can't make better. Tacos? That's what I had for dinner last night and again this morning. Burritos? Obviously? Chocolate cake? You know it. SCP is yet another reason that the Pig is a Magical Animal.

They package them in a shrink wrapped bag within a tray within a cardboard cover within a mylar bubble wrap bag with a couple of gel cold packs. It works perfectly. A little microwavin' and it was on to carnitas tacos. The funny thing is that it costs quite a bit to get all the condiments necessary that I didn't have laying around. I had Cotija cheese, but most of the rest of it was out of stock. After buying lettuce, sour cream, salsa stuff, avacados, six boxes of 9mm, and everything else, the bill was rather high. No matter...the tacos were more than worth it.

I couldn't get pics because I couldn't keep 'em around long enough. I think the next step will be to take some of my six dozen corn tortillas (actually a little over five dozen after dinner last night and breakfast this morning) and make some rolled tacos with 'em. Most of the time, rolled tacos are made with shredded beef, which is great. I'm considering making them with Magical Carnitas to see what happens. Seems like a good idea to me.

I think I used to be a gun blogger and now I'm a food blogger. There's no tellin' where I'm goin' next!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

What to do when you can't have Mexican food

For the first time in Five Long Years, I was able to be home in San Diego for Christmas. Got to spend a lot of time with the family, especially Mom, and saw some good friends while I was there...although I didn't get to see as many as I would have liked. I was only there for a bit over a week, so there's a limit to what can be done. I finally got to visit the USS Midway-highly recommended, by the way-and hit Casa De Pico and Mardi Gras Cafe, before a bit of a mishap.

The crown on the root canal I had done this year has apparently come loose, which cause OUTRAGEOUS amounts of pain. Enough that if I bumped it while I was asleep, I was no longer asleep, and in fact was awake for a couple of hours before the pain was knocked back to where I could go back to sleep for another couple hours. Why this matters is that if you know me, you know I have proven without a doubt through long experience that there is no Mexican food in Kentucky. Here I was in Mexican Food Heaven, and I could hardly eat any because I couldn't chew. That's true agony.

Because of this, I've been exploring the Intardwebs for authentic Mexican ingredient sources, and cashed in my Christmas gift card on a deep fryer. The bottom line is that I HAVE to have some fish tacos. I'm a native SoCalifornian. They're part of my DNA. I've simply found that if I don't have fish tacos at least about once a year, I may experience spontaneous combustion. I'm sure having them more often than that is good for my health, too.

A few weeks ago, I found a pork roast "kit" that (IIRC) Tyson makes. It comes with a couple pound pork roast with a spice packet, and onions (big chunky hogs of onions. Awesome!), carrots, newpa tatoes (red skin potatoes, sometimes called New Potatoes, or Newpas if you enjoy funny sounding words like I do), and celery. All ya need is a cup of water (Helpful hint: I don't use tap water; our water here is awful) in the Crock Pot, put in the roast, arrange veggies around it, and mix the spice packet in a bit of water and pour over the pork. Let it go for six hours. Ten might be better, but I can't stand to wait that long, so I do it on high for six. It's delicious.

That got me thinking about how easy it'd be to do carnitas, so some exploring the Webz again came across several variations of how to do it in a crock pot, then fry it a bit to crisp it up. I have some ideas to try, make no mistake. I have no doubt that this project will be explored completely throughout 2011. My New Year's Resolution: make killer Mexican cheap and sleazy taco shop food at home. My only concern is getting so fat I can't get through the door anymore, and I'll just have to stay home and make more. It's gonna be a good year.