Tandoori Grilled Pork

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Hello everyone! I hope you had an amazing summer! We had lots of fun adventures this summer, but our biggest was the road trip to Colorado that the girls and I took with my dad to celebrate my grandmother’s 85th birthday. We were gone almost two weeks and saw some great sights along the way, like this beautiful view in Arches National Park.

Arches National Park

When we got home, I found the freezer stocked with a bountiful assortment of meat (apparently my hubby made a trip of his own – to Costco). After fishing around in the freezer for a while, I pulled out a multi-pack of pork sirloin tip roasts. My first thought was “what on earth am I going to do with this?” I could use it for carnitas, but the sirloin cut is probably too lean. I put on my thinking cap and this is what I came up with:
Tandoori Grilled Pork. Tandoori Grilled Pork

I sliced the roast into steaks (like pork chops) and marinated them in plain yogurt with lots of deliciously-aromatic spices. The acidity in the yogurt tenderizes the pork, but be sure not to marinate for more than 4 hours because the meat can actually get overtenderized. After marinating, cook the pork on a hot grill, and then enjoy this extra-tender and flavorful pork with your favorite side dishes. Next time I make this, I plan to include naan bread and maybe a mango chutney. Yum!

This recipe is kid-approved!

Ingredients
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pork sirloin tip roast

Add all of the ingredients, except the pork, to a small bowl and whisk together until well blended. Spoon the yogurt mixture into a large zip-top bag, or a large bowl.

Cut the pork roast against the grain into slices about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick. Add the pork to the yogurt mixture and combine until the pork is thoroughly coated. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for 2-3 hours (4 hours maximum).

Preheat an outdoor grill to high heat, and lightly oil the grate. (Note: I like to take the pork out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to cooking it, to allow the meat to come up to room temperature. This allows for more even cooking.) Grill pork chops for 5 to 7 minutes per side, being careful not to overcook. Serve with your favorite side dishes and enjoy!

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Honey Lime Chipotle Pulled Pork

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I have recently discovered little cans of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the Hispanic food section of my grocery store. They are my newest pantry staple. The adobo sauce adds a smoky spiciness to food that really makes the flavor pop.

Honey Lime Chipotle Pulled Pork

This pulled pork recipe features chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, complimented by honey and fresh squeezed lime juice. The pork is sweet, smoky, spicy, and tangy. The best part is that it’s cooked in the Crock Pot! I served this on toasted buns, but it would also be great in tacos or a burrito bowl.

Ingredients
1/2 cup juice from 3-4 limes
1/3 cup honey
1 7-ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (you won’t need the entire can)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
3-4 pound bone-in pork shoulder

Stir together the lime juice and honey in a small bowl. (Note: it may help to warm the honey a bit first.) Add 3 of the canned chipotle peppers (don’t worry about chopping them up) and 2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce from the can to the bowl. Refrigerate the remaining chipotle peppers and adobo sauce to use in another recipe (eggs, roasted sweet potatoes, chicken, etc). Add the balsamic vinegar, garlic, and salt to the bowl and stir to combine.

Pour about half of the sauce into the bottom of your Crock Pot. Place the pork shoulder in the Crock Pot and then pour the remaining sauce over the top of the pork.

Cook on high heat for about 4.5 hours (or low for 8-9 hours). Use a large spoon to skim any excess fat off the top of the sauce, and then shred the pork using two forks and mix well to incorporate into the sauce. Season with salt, if needed. Serve hot and enjoy!

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Burrito Bowl

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Happy Friday everyone! On Fridays I get a bit lazy and slack off on my domestic duties a bit. After a busy week, the last thing I feel like doing is preparing a big dinner. I usually have some extra homemade meals in the freezer, but I also like “re-purposing” leftovers into a delicious new meal like this one.

The beauty of a burrito bowl is that you don’t even need a recipe. My basic burrito bowls consists of leftover carnitas meat (if you haven’t tried my carnitas recipe, you are missing out!), rice, and beans. Then you can toss in whatever else sounds good. Chopped bell peppers, tomatoes, avocado, shredded lettuce, fire roasted chiles, sauteed onions – the possibilities are endless.

Ingredients
Leftover carnitas (or any leftover taco meat)
Leftover brown rice
1 can black beans, rinsed
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Sour cream
Salsa
Green onions, chopped

Heat the carnitas and the rice in the microwave until warm. (Tip: add about a teaspoon of water to the rice and cover, before reheating. This will prevent the rice from being too dry.)

To serve, place a generous scoop of carnitas, rice, and black beans into each serving bowl. Sprinkle with a bit of cilantro, and then add a spoonful of sour cream and salsa. Top it off with a few green onions. Mix it all together and enjoy your delicious no-cook dinner!

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Oven Roasted Carnitas

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I’ve always prepared carnitas in my Crockpot, but I found myself without a Crockpot the other day, so I decided to try cooking carnitas in the oven instead. Oh. My. Word. I’ve always thought my Crockpot carnitas were really good, but these oven roasted carnitas are amazing. The flavor is doubled, the meat is super moist and tender, and there are all of these little crispy bits that you just can’t get in the Crockpot.  

My husband loved this recipe and said I should only make carnitas this way from now on. The Crockpot carnitas are still great, especially for busy weeknights, but this is the recipe to use if you want really amazing carnitas. I always make a big roast, and then freeze the leftovers for another meal (carnitas tacos anyone?). Also, you will need a large ovenproof pot with a lid (I use an enameled cast-iron dutch oven) for this recipe.

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (4 pound) boneless pork shoulder roast
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 limes, sliced into wedges
Tortillas

Mix together the salt, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Cut the pork roast into several large chunks and trim off any large areas of fat. Coat the pork with the spice mixture.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large ovenproof pot over medium heat. Add the meat in batches and brown well on all sides. Don’t add too many pieces of meat to the pot at once, or else they won’t brown well. Turn down the heat, if needed, to prevent the spices from burning.

Add all of the browned meat back to the pot, cover tightly with a lid and place the pot in the oven. Bake until the meat is tender enough to be shredded easily with a fork, about 2 ½ to 3 hours. This is what it will look like when it’s done. 

Remove the pot from the oven and use a large spoon to skim off the fat from the pan juices. Use two forks to shred the meat and combine with the pan juices.

Serve with lime wedges and tortillas, and prepare for carnita nirvana!

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Carnitas with Avocado Salsa

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Crockpot Carnitas

As a busy mom, I quickly learned that the Crockpot is my friend. I can add a few ingredients to the Crockpot in the morning, and by dinner time we have a delicious meal (and easy clean-up afterwards). I adapted this from a recipe that I discovered on the allrecipes.com website, and it quickly became a family favorite.

Ingredients
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (4 pound) boneless pork shoulder roast
2 bay leaves
2 cups chicken broth
2 limes, sliced in wedges
tortillas

Mix together the salt, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Cut the pork roast into a few large chunks and trim off any large areas of fat. Coat the pork with the spice mixture. Put the bay leaves and chicken broth in the Crockpot and then place the pork on top.

Cover and cook on Low for about 10 hours (or on High for about 5 hours). When the pork is tender, remove it from slow cooker and shred using two forks. Serve with lime wedges, warm tortillas, and Avocado Salsa (see recipe below).

Avocado Salsa

This salsa is a great way to use the tomatoes and peppers from your garden, and is so delicious that I could eat it by the spoonful!

Ingredients
½ cup frozen corn, thawed
1 ½ cups diced tomatoes
½ cup diced red onion
1 small red bell pepper, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, diced (remove seeds & membranes for less
heat)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1 lime
2 chopped avocados

In a large bowl, mix together the corn, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, jalapenos, cilantro, and salt. Add the juice from the lime. An easy way to do this is to “fork” the lime: cut the lime in half and stick a fork into the cut side of one of the lime halves, then squeeze the lime against the fork as you move the fork in a circle around the inside of the lime (repeat with the other half of the lime).  Gently fold in the avocado and refrigerate until serving.

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