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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Taste of the Nation Ticket Giveaway (Philadelphia) and Carnitas

I am unsure what the definition of cloud nine is, but you could describe Dawn and my mood as like that description. Dawn is still in apprehensive-worry-mode about her M.A. exams coming up in the near future, but following shortly after we will be attending Taste of the Nation in Philadelphia, being thrown by the Share our Strength organization. Jennifer Carroll, the chef de cuisine at Eric Ripert's 10 Arts Bistro and Lounge and second runner up on Top Chef, will be speaking and cooking, as well as other chef's from around Philadelphia. The event is being held to raise money to alleviate child hunger, and we are heartily grateful for the opportunity Foodbuzz has given us.

Fortunately, we were given three tickets, which not only benefits us, but the extra ticket also benefits you. Everyone who joins our blog or is already a follower and comments on this post will become eligible for a winning ticket valued at $85.00 This is perfect if you live in Philadelphia or within driving distance. We only have one ticket to give away, but we'd love to meet whoever wins and spend some time with you, or,  if you have a loved one or several loved ones you would like to bring along, tickets are still available and the money is going to a great cause. The winner will be announced this weekend.  You've got to eat--might as well be excellent fare cooked by some wonderful chefs with their hearts in the right place.

I read Lebovitz's The Sweet Life in Paris recently and was inspired to make some carnitas, both by him and my next door Mexican grocer. She made my mouth water when she explained that she was preparing carnitas and two varieties of tamales on Sunday when we were at church. That meant I had to whip it up myself. Lebovitz's addition of cinnamon sticks and bay leaves were splendid along with a few of my additional piquant touches of ground guajillo pepper, lime juice, beer, and brining the roast for a day.

Bear & Lime Braised Carnitas
1-2 # Pork Loin Roast
Brine* (Below)
12 oz Lager Beer.
5 Tbsp Rose's Sweetened Lime Juice
1 Tbsp Guajillo Pepper
3/4 Tbsp Ground Cumin
Water for Basting

2 Quarts Water
5 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Ground Pepper
4 Tbsp White vinegar

1. For the brine, heat liquid, salt and pepper to a bowl in microwave safe bowl. Stir to make sure salt is dissolved. Add ice cubes to cool brine at least to room temperature. Add pork, cover and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
2. Preheat oven to 350.
3. Dry pork off, cut into 1" cubes and salt thoroughly. Brown pork in a heated roasting pan or large oven proof skillet over medium-high heat, 8-10 minutes. Remove pork pieces. Add beer, lime juice, and spices, scraping to remove any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet.
4. When the liquid begins to thicken, add the pork pieces into the sauce. Add water until it almost reaches the top of the pieces. Place into the oven and braise an hour.
5. Check to add more water to same height. Braise for another hour or until pork crumbles when pressed (it will look dark and almost burnt, but trust me, its not).
6. Serve with spiked guacamole, lime quarters for squeezing on tortillas, and finely diced roma tomatoes.

Spiked Guacamole
This guacamole is lively due to the pureed fresh garlic and onions.
1-1/2 Roma Tomatoes
1 Avocado
1/2 Yellow Onion
3 Garlic Cloves
1/4 Tsp Ground Guajillo Pepper
1/2 Tsp Cumin
1/2 Tsp Apple Cider vinegar
3/4 Tsp Salt
Dash of lime juice

Combine all ingredients in container for blender or food processor. Puree ingredients and taste to adjust salt if needed or add additional lime juice as desired.


tam - a little bit burnt said...

I love carnitas - they sound great!

Pete said...

Mmm, pork loin roast.....yummy!

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

My goodness! That looks fantastic!

Wish I lived closer - that ticket would've been nice! *sigh*

Ana Powell said...

Wow, delicious looking dish.
Fantastic work x

Stella said...

Ugh, you guys are making me want to break my kosher diet here! My stomach literally just growled while going down the page...that must mean something.

Anonymous said...

That looks delicious! I have to make that for dinner this week! I just wanted to add a comment on your page for the fun of it...please don't add me in for the possible winning of the Taste event- I am on the planning committee so I will already be working the event. I hope you have an amazing time, and I think giving the ticket away is a great way to generate buzz!

Anonymous said...

Your carnitas look incredible! And have a fabulous time at the taste of nation event!

Rick said...

On Cinco de Mayo, I want this.

Rambling Tart said...

Mmm, Mmm! I haven't had good carnitas in ages! That simply must be remedied. :-)

Chef Dennis said...

wow...what a small world....10 arts in philly is run by a young lady that attended the school I cook at, she was on top chef as well her name is Jennifer Carroll...the school is mount saint Joseph academy, which is what my blog is based on.
how was the event...I joined the group when i found it, I'm trying to get the company i work for involved for next year.
all the best

Chef Aimee said...

That spiked guacamole looks divine!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Have a great time at Taste of the Nation. Love the look of these carnitas!

Monet said...

I'm a vegetarian...but this is making me drool! I love your recipe for guacamole...delicious!

grace said...

although i don't live anywhere near philadelphia, i had to comment on your food here. that pig looks awesome, and i LOVE the idea of a more intense guacamole. this is my kind of eatin'!

Anonymous said...

I've become a follower. The recipes, the photos, all super.

Nirmala said...

What a great blog. Thanks for sharing your recipes, including that yummy looking cookie recipe below.

Ann Minard said...

I love the idea of doing a food blog as a couple! Looks like great food and great photos.

Ann Minard said...

I also like the name, Cocina Savant, very cool :)

Kelly (Hot Cookin') said...

Spiked guacamole! I love the sound of that; must make that very, very soon! The carnitas look awesome. I agree with @Rick, this would be a great Cinco de Mayo meal! Muy bueno!

Fresh Local and Best said...

II adore carnitas, and could eat them all the time! This looks like a fantastic recipe. I like the idea of brining the meat, must try next time!

Abby said...

I've always wanted to make my own pork carnitas; I find the ones in restaurants to be too tough!

Alisa said... had me at carnitas! That is just awesome! The salad I had awhile ago looks so sad after seeing this. Did I tell you guys that this is just awesome?

Conor @ HoldtheBeef said...

I really don't think this dish could look any more inviting to me! I'm SO glad I have some leftover roast pork in the fridge for lunch to appease my suddenly hungry stomach!

Magic of Spice said...

Sounds yummy...I do not eat meat myself, but my other 2 blog contributer do. I will try these and replace the meat for me. All of the ingredients sound wonderful.

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