Homemade Pork, Apple & Leek Sausage

On a drunken night back in March, for reasons I cannot recall, Lucas ordered a meat grinder.  What I do remember clearly is him running around the house screaming “STX Turboforce 3000!”.  And everyone loving the name so damn much that at some point the purchase button was hit from his Amazon cart.

Two days later this showed up.  Why did we need a meat grinder again?  Oh yeah, awesome name!  And the surprising thing is that it’s actually been used.  We’ve ground meat for all sorts of things, including hamburgers, chili and Italian sausage.  Really good Italian sausage.  So good it sparked an interest in stuffing our own (sausage). Continue reading

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Cochinita Pibil

If you’ve seen Once Upon a Time in Mexico then you’ve probably heard of Cochinita Pibil.  In the movie, Agent Sands (a sociopathic killer – played by Johnny Depp) orders Cochinita Pibil and then murders the chefs that cook it too well, in order to maintain balance in Mexico.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO

“No.  I’ll shoot the cook.  My car’s parked out back, anyway.”

If you haven’t seen the movie I recommend that you do.  And if you haven’t tried Cochinita Pibil I’m not sure what you’re waiting for.  Wondering what the hell Cochinita Pibil is?  Cochinita translates to “baby pig” and pibil means “buried”.  It is a Mayan slow roasted pork dish that is traditionally marinated with strong acidic juices and seasoned with achiote and other spices.  It is then wrapped in banana leaves, buried in a pit with fire and cooked until perfectly tender.

Hmm … fast-forward to 2009.  Somehow I don’t think the landlords would appreciate me digging a pit and burning a baby pig in the yard.  Just guessing, but hey.  And a whole baby pig?  Uhh.  No thanks! Continue reading

Carnitas and Black Beans with Mexican Beer

Playing around in the kitchen is one of my favorite things to do … without a doubt. 

What exactly do I mean by playing around? Well, I looked up “play” in the dictionary and a few different meanings were given.  I must say that while “to have sexual relations” in the kitchen sounds like a lot of fun the “play” that I’m referring to is “to toy or fiddle around with something.”  Hmm, even that sounds bad. 

Alright.  This post is not about sex, it is about food.  To be more precise it is about a lesson that I learned this weekend:  while it’s fun to play around with a new recipe, I don’t find it fun to play around with two new recipes when company is coming over.  It was exhausting and the whole experience became more stressful than it should have been.  I was standing up in the kitchen for close to six hours and nearly fell over by the time our friends left.  I know I’m being whiny, but I just don’t have that kind of stamina (haha). 

 The two new recipes I tried were Carnitas and Black Beans with Mexican Beer.

Taco Time

I have wanted to make Carnitas for as long as I can remember.  Continue reading