Isn’t that the truth?
Today I started my internship for the Public Art sector of the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA), so I had to real pants. Well, I wore a dress, but you get what I mean. We didn’t do much today, but I’m already really excited. I can’t wait to learn about all of Atlanta’s public art and help OCA make an impact on the cultural identity of Atlanta. After all, the Huffington Post named Atlanta one of the top 15 cities in the world for urban art (see!). I’m all about bringing community together and developing resilient local networks, primarily through art and food More on that another day.
In other news, I wanted to post something this weekend, but I was pretty busy with my CrossFit on ramp classes, which I have now completed. I’m ready step into the ring, show ‘em what I’ve got!
Maybe that’s an exaggeration… To be honest, the WODs this weekend were just benchmark workouts that aren’t too tough in comparison to most of the WODs I’ll see in the coming weeks, but they still made me so nervous I felt like my stomach was going to fall out of my butt. Once we started them it was fine and I ended up getting some of the fastest times in my class, so I felt great after each of them, but I know I have a lot of work to do and I’ll probably want to keel over and die in some WODs. However, I can’t wait to see how much progress I can make by the end of the summer. The competitive aspect, with myself and with the other people at my box, will be a huge motivator for sure.
Enough talk about that! You guys are here for the food. On to today’s noms.
These are the bomb diggity. I LOVE carnitas, and Melissa over at The Clothes Make the Girl is a genius. A lot of people make carnitas in crockpots since it’s easier, but only cooking carnitas stovetop or in the oven produces deliciously crispy and charred pork pieces. This method may be a little more hands on than using a crockpot, but don’t let the 2-3 hour cooking time turn you off, because most of that time the pork is left on the stove unattended to sizzle. It’s perfect for days you have a lot of stuff to do around the house, because you can just come back to check on it periodically.
I served these carnitas three ways, but feel free to get creative, top them with whatever your heart desires, or shred it and put it in a sammich or eat it with some eggs! Pulled pork is really versatile, it’s great to make a big batch of it and eat it all week in different ways. Here ya gooooo!
Stovetop Pork Carnitas
(Slightly adapted from this recipe)
3-4 lbs pork shoulder, boneless or bone-in
1/3 cup lime juice
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup orange juice (fresh!)
1 heaping tbsp ground cumin (don’t be shy, cumin is the main player spice-wise)
1 tbsp garlic powder
½ tbsp salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne (optional)
- Cut pork shoulder into a few large chunks, not bite sized, about 2-4 inches.
- Mix cumin, garlic powder, salt, coriander, black pepper, paprika and cayenne in a large Ziploc or plastic container. Put pork chunks in the bag/container, close, and shake around vigorously until the chunks are completely coated with spices.
- Place pork in a large, deep pan/pot. Pour lime, lemon and orange juice in the bottom, then add water to just cover the meat.
- Over high heat bring water to a rip-roaring boil. Once a rolling boil is reached, turn the heat down to a low simmer. Keep the pot uncovered.
- Now you wait. At about the 2 hour mark, check the pot. The liquid should be much lower and possibly almost gone. Keeping an eye on it, allow the rest of the liquid to cook out. Slowly, you’ll notice your carnitas becoming nice and gold and caramelized. This takes time but you really need to watch it.
- Careful not to shred them, turn the chunks of pork to brown all sides. Once sufficiently crispy and browned, remove from the pot and let them rest for 5 minutes before eating.
- Et voila! You have beautiful golden, salty, crispy carnitas!
Pork Carnita Lettuce Wraps: 3 ways
1. Plain and Simple: Serve on lettuce leaf in whole chunks with a slice of avocado, some green onions and a generous squeeze of lime.
2. Taco Style: Shred and serve on lettuce leaf (or taco!) with guac, salsa and cilantro.
3. Asian Inspired: Shred and serve on lettuce leaf with Apple, Cabbage and Carrot Slaw (recipe below).
Apple Cabbage and Carrot Slaw with Ginger Tahini dressing
1 cup purple cabbage, sliced/shredded
½ cup carrot, shredded
¾ cup apple, thinly sliced
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
juice of 1 lime
½ tsp garlic
¾ tsp ginger
salt and pepper
- Slice cabbage, carrot and apple, or chop it the lazy way, in a food processor.
- Whisk together dressing ingredients. If you don’t have tahini, don’t sweat it. Just leave it out and make it a Ginger Lime dressing, equally delicious.
- Mix everything together until evenly coated.
- Eat by itself or serve with/on top of carnitas!