Dinner tonight, you guys! Homemade flour tortillas! Homemade queso fresco! Mexican rice (that is nothing like most "Spanish Rice" I've ever had) and more... This is what happens when boston butt pork roast is on sale at .99/lb.. in an 18lb bag. Challenge accepted.
Boston butt pork roast slowly cooked all day in the oven, with onion, garlic, halved limes and a little extra lard. (That word is scary, just think of it as pig shortening, or maybe not. But it's delicious and not as bad for you as previously thought. Aha! Just think of it as sous vide.)
I soaked dried pinto beans last night and cooked them today with onion, fresh jalapenos and bacon in salted water, then when they were tender I chopped the bacon, drained them (reserving the liquid), and heated (you guessed it) lard in my dutch oven, and returned the beans to the pot once the lard was good and hot. You give them a good beating with an old fashioned potato masher, and have the best damn refried beans ever. Oh, I also added some El Pato Jalapeno Salsa, which was not what I was expecting, but was a mild, delicious red salsa. Who knew? (I love El Pato Salsa Fresca, and that is the HOT version.)
So during all of this cooking, I realized I really wanted homemade tortillas. And, enter a website I found today that I am in love with: www.mexicoinmykitchen.com She cooks mostly Northern Mexican foods, and this is right in my western Texas, Tex-Mex lovin' wheelhouse. I've mentioned that my best friend is of Mexican descent, and this is the way her family cooks. It's my true comfort food/zone.
Poring over her website, I was feeling a little "hey, why not?" and I decided to forgo our usual sour cream (because I forgot sour cream) and make cheese. Oh, what, y'all, I JUST MADE MOTHERFUCKING QUESO FRESCO! It only took a couple of hours, start to finish, and is delicious! (I used 4cups of whole milk to about 4T vinegar. That's it. Hot milk + vinegar and a little salt to taste = cheese. My yield was probably about 3/4 of a cup, maybe?) The "labor" part of the job maybe took 5 minutes to stir the heating milk, then stir and add vinegar. From there you just dump the curds over a cheesecloth (ha, or paper towels) lined strainer. Turn occasionally. Press out a little liquid. Easy-peasy.
Back to the tortillas. I used this recipe and they are the best things EVER. Whatever she says, do. http://www.mexicoinmykitchen.com/2012/12/how-to… I happen to have a griddle on my gas cooktop that is perfect for two tortillas at a time, but you can easily make them in a cast iron skillet or a comal. They were thin enough, but still light and fluffy and tender. Just basically the best tortillas ever.
So, tomorrow aside from Easter-y things like ham and au gratin and chocolate meringue pie, tamales on to my to-do list. (I'd already planned to make them, and have stewed about 6lbs of meat for the meat and stock required to make several dozen.) This isn't the recipe I'll use, exactly, but it's super close. As I mentioned, her style is right in my wheelhouse. I may even have UncleK take a few dozen to work Monday to sell. (No one, and I mean no one, makes 16 tamales at a time. They get made by the severalllllll dozens. It's just too much work not to go all in and maybe make a little scratch, too.)
Her carnitas recipe is close-ish to mine, I just add a bit here and there. http://www.mexicoinmykitchen.com/2009/08/how-to…
And ALSO cooking? Another 6lbs of pig in the slow cooker, for pulled pork sandwiches through the week. http://www.food.com/recipe/crock-p…
You know, just a little Saturday playing around in the kitchen. ;)
Pico de gallo is the standard tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, onion, lime juice and salt.