Thursday, January 29, 2009

Braised Chicken with Shallots

I love shallots and I love juicy tender meat. I think this dish with a chunk of sourdough and a nice light salad would be awesome. Thank Martha!

Braised Chicken with Shallots
- serves 4
* helpful hints: Cook this main dish ahead of time without compromising flavor. Refrigerate up to two days, then reheat over medium-low, stirring frequently.

To make peeling easy, place shallots in a bowl of warm water, and soak until skins loosen (they'll be wrinkled and cracked), about 15 minutes. Using a paring knife, slip skins off.

8 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds total)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound small shallots (about 12), peeled and halved
5 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
Fresh tarragon leaves, for garnish (optional)
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper; coat with flour, shaking off excess.
  2. In a Dutch oven or 5-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat oil over medium-high. Cook chicken until browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove; set aside.
  3. Add shallots and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add wine; cook until evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in mustard and 1 1/2 cups water; bring to a boil.
  4. Return chicken, bone side down, to pot. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until chicken is tender and cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate; loosely tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. Add tomatoes to pot; season with salt and pepper. Cook on high until sauce has thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Return chicken to pot; reheat if necessary. Garnish with tarragon, if desired, and serve.
Invite over a few friends, open a bottle of wine and you're all set. Yummy.

Pizza Dough

Years after returning from Italy, I had it in my head that I could possibly, somehow, recreate the amazing pizza crust I had there. Impossibly thin but not soggy - this stuff must surely be made by fairies or elves or something.
I tried several recipes and quickly gave up. Who was I kidding?
I moved on to sauce. Figuring that it would take me ages to make the perfect sauce, I was shocked when I got it right on the first try. Of course, because I cook in skoshes and dashes and pinches and a bit more of that and that looks about right amounts, it has never been quite as good on any subsequent attempt, but it's still damn tasty.
I'm back to perfecting the crust, and until I actually get my act together and have Chef Iaccarino come to my house to teach my friends and I the real deal, I still get excited when I see a new recipe.
Sure sure, TJ's offers me a tasty and stupidly easy whole wheat, ready to go option, but sometimes, I like to be a little more hands on.

No-Knead Pizza Dough
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Co.
Makes four 12-inch pizza crusts

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast (such as SAF brand)
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ cups water
1. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the yeast and salt. Add the water and stir until blended (the dough will be very sticky). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 12 to 24 hours in a warm spot, about 70°.
2. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and lightly sprinkle the top with flour. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
3. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Generously sprinkle a clean cotton towel with flour and cover the dough balls with it. Let the dough rise for 2 hours.
4. Stretch or toss the dough into the desired shape, cover with toppings and bake on top of a very hot pizza stone.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Award Winning Chocolate Mole Chicken Enchiladas

Okay, maybe just accolade winning, but still. Here is K-No's amazing recipe. I can personally attest that leftovers are every bit as tasty as the first go round. I am so wishing I had brought some for lunch today. What was I thinking?!
Please note, that she cooks like I do - a recipe offers some guidance, and then we tweak and taste as we see fit. Leave me a comment if you have questions and I'll see if I can get an answer. If you're leaving a comment after 2009, I make no promises.
Also, for you non cookbook devotees - big T = tbsp, little t = tsp.

Makes two 9x13 pans (ed note: !!!!)
KN’s notes:
• wear clothing you do not care about as this is not necessarily a “clean kitchen” recipe!
• It does take some time to allow the mole sauce to really come together – it is ok to prepare in advance and leave in the fridge for 1-2 days prior before baking.

2 c finely chopped onion
6 T chopped garlic
2 t dried oregano
2 t dried cumin
2 t cinnamon
2 14.5 cans roasted tomatoes (oven roasted tomatoes are important in the sauce taste)
4 T red chili powder
2 t sugar (optional)
4 c chicken stock or water (I prefer stock for better flavor)
4 oz dark chocolate (I try to use 72% cacao); chop into med-small pieces to melt easily

Heat oil over med low heat in large saucepan
Add onion. Sauté till translucent (a few minutes)
Add garlic, oregano, cumin, and cinnamon; stir all together to coat onions
Cook and cover till onion is almost tender, stirring occasionally
Puree tomatoes separately in a food processor
Add tomato puree to onions / garlic mixture; cook
Add chicken stock; cook at rapid boil
Lower heat to medium boil; allow sauce to reduce
Start adding chili power, 1 T at a time; taste as you add till you feel the flavor is right
Add 1 t sugar if necessary to cut acidity of tomatoes
Thin with water or chicken stock if necessary to prevent from being too thick
Whisk in dark chocolate
Season with salt / pepper

*Note: Make sure to let sauce continue cooking; thicken to medium consistency. If you need, add small amounts of tomato paste, sugar, broth, or chili powder to get the desired taste / texture. Stir occasionally while reducing the sauce. Be careful in adding the heat elements as you can always add more but it is hard to take it out! I sometimes use up to 1T cayenne pepper instead of all red chili powder. Your discretion. (ed note: ancho chili powder could work nicely as well)

1 ½ - 2 pounds chicken breast
Salt and pepper
2 t cumin powder
2 t garlic powder
1 t Mexican Spice Blend
• Note: (I use equal parts chili powder, oregano, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c frozen corn, thawed
5 canned whole green chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
4 canned chipotle chiles, seeded and minced
1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1/2 t all-purpose flour (optional)

Coat large saute pan with oil.
Season chicken with salt and pepper.
Brown chicken over medium heat, allow 7 minutes each side or until no longer pink.
Sprinkle chicken with cumin, garlic powder and Mexican spices before turning.
Remove chicken to a platter, allow to cool.

Saute onion and garlic in chicken drippings until tender.
Add corn and chilies. Stir well to combine.
Add 1 ½ c mole sauce (from above recipe), stir together, cook 1 minute.

Pull chicken breasts apart by hand into shredded strips (hand shredding is messy and takes time but is worth the effort. I shred fairly small pieces to make it easy to eat).

Add shredded chicken to saute pan, with mole sauce and vegetables; allow to cook together and mix well.

If your mixture is really runny, you can dust with the flour to help it set. I usually skip this step.

16- 24 tortillas – I prefer flour
Mole Sauce
Chicken Mixture
1 – 2 cups cheddar and jack cheese, shredded – I like to add a fair amount of cheese.

Microwave tortillas on high for 30 seconds. This softens them and makes them more pliable. I prefer to heat each tortilla individually in the microwave as I go in the assembly process.

Coat the bottom of 2 (13 by 9-inch) pans with a ladle of enchilada sauce.

Using a large shallow bowl, dip each tortilla in enchilada sauce to lightly coat. Note: I just insert the tortilla directly into the large pot of mole sauce and using tongs to minimize the number of dishes. It is very important to make sure that both sides of the tortilla are lightly but completely coated in the sauce.

Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in each tortilla. Add small amount of grated cheese on top of chicken.

Fold over filling, place 8 enchiladas in each pan with seam side down. Note: I place mine slightly overlapping each other in the pan almost like they are in diagonally.

Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese. Note: sometimes I have just enough sauce, others times I have a lot extra. Use your judgment when adding sauce on top to have a nice covering but not drowning!

Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven until cheese melts.

Garnish with cilantro, scallion, sour cream and chopped tomatoes before serving. (ed note: and avocado!)

Cocoa Rubbed Pork with Chocolate Barbecue Sauce

This bbq sauce is seriously going into rotation. Even before I added the chocolate it was amazing, so feel free to do it either way. This is the only recipe I followed for this dish, with the small tweak of the cilantro. Because I know not everyone is a fan, I just added a sprig on top for garnish.

Dark Chocolate BBQ Sauce
1 tablespoon butter, soft
4 each garlic cloves, minced½ each Spanish onion, small dice
2 each Roma tomatoes, stem removed, small dice
1 ½ oz. dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons ancho chili powder
4 oz. apple cider vinegar (I had orange muscat vinegar on hand, so that's what I used. I think the orange flavor was a nice addition)
8 oz. barbeque sauce
14 oz. vegetable stock
¼ teaspoon cumin, ground
¼ cinnamon, ground
1/8 teaspoon cloves, ground
2 oz. SCHARFFEN BERGER (or any good quality) 82% dark chocolate
2 tablespoons cilantro, fresh, chopped
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper, fresh ground

Melt butter in small sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, sauté 5 minutes until golden brown. Add tomatoes, stir, and sauté an additional 5 minutes. Add sugar and chili powder, mix well, and cook for 5 minutes. Add vinegar, reduce for 5 minutes, mixture should have a paste consistency. Add sauce, stock, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper. Mix well. Bring to a boil and reduce to a slow simmer for 30 minutes.
Add SCHARFFEN BERGER chocolate and cilantro; allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove sauce from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Puree sauce, strain to remove any little bits if you'd like a smoother sauce, transfer to a clean container and cool.

For best results, refrigerate for 12 hours before using. Reheat when ready to use.

Cocoa Rubbed Pork Loin
I'd really recommend asking your butcher to french the loin for you, doing it yourself takes some time and really sharp knives.
I had a four pound bone in pork loin, and frenched it myself. It wasn't as clean as it could've been, but it was my first time.
Once it was frenched, I patted my rub (recipe below) all over it. I placed it in a shallow roasting pan on a bed of quartered onion and a few cloves of garlic with about half a cup of stock, bone side up.
I then roasted it at 350 for an hour - an hour and a half, until my thermometer told me it was at 160. I then removed it from the oven, covered it with foil to keep it warm and allow it to finish cooking to a temp of 170. Once it had been out of the oven for 15-20 minutes or so, I sliced each chop for plating.

1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghiradelli)
1/4 Kosher salt
2 + tsp crushed chili flakes (I used two, but think I might up it a bit next time)
1/2 tsp cloves
2 tbsp sugar

I added all of these ingredients to a small jar with a lid and then shook to combine.

Smashed Sweet Potatoes
3 lbs cooked sweet potatoes (boil, nuke, however you do it)
1 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cumin
I may have added some clove too, I can't remember
unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

Roughly smash up your potatoes while still hot, add other ingredients and mix to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Seriously, don't skip this part since I'm only guessing at what I did.

For plating, spoon a large scoop of sweet potatoes on to plate, sprinkle potatoes and plate with cocoa powder. Nestle a pork chop on top of the potatoes and pour 1/4 cup or so of bbq sauce on top. Garnish with cilantro.

Deconstructed S'More

Who knew how easy it was to make marshmallows? I remember watching Ina do it once, so I hunted down her recipe and added my own Girl Scout flair.

Homemade Graham Cracker Coated Marshmallows
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 packages of Graham Crackers, crushed into fine crumbs (or Confectioners' sugar for dusting if you're going traditional)

Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to sit while you make the syrup.

Line a glass 8x12 pan with parchment or wax paper to allow for easy removal. Sprinkle one half of the crushed graham crumbs on the bottom.

Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.

Pour the marshmallow batter into the glass pan on top of the cracker crumbs and smooth the top of the mixture with damp hands. Sprinkle on the rest of the crumbs. Allow to dry uncovered at room temperature overnight. I have yet to figure out how to get the crumbs from going soft, but the flavor is still awesome.

Remove the marshmallows from the pan and cut into squares. Roll the sides of each piece carefully in the crumbs left on the bottom of the pan. Store uncovered at room temperature.

Drinking Chocolate
Okay, this is going to be tricky as I have no idea what I did. I broke up and used half of a Cost Plus 82% dark chocolate bar; 2 Scharffen Berger semisweet bars (2 oz. each); and half of a TJ's milk chocolate bar. I think I had a total of 8 oz of chocolate but you could easily grab a 12 oz bag of semisweet morsels (the good stuff - no Hershey's please) and go to town. I had this over low heat and once it began to melt, I began adding 2% milk very slowly, stirring thoroughly between additions. I'd guess that I added around two cups of milk. Be careful here - as Quinn learned, it's really easy to break a ganache if you're not careful, and with the first few additions of milk this is really just ganache with milk instead of cream. I added a dash of cinnamon and a tsp or so of vanilla extract, stirred well and poured into small sake cups to serve alongside a few of the marshmallows. Taste it along the way before you serve it; you'll know when you like it.
** Update **
And the salt! I forgot about the pinch of sea salt.

Iron Chef - Battle Chocolate - Part Deux

(peep the big winner chocolate chile mole enchiladas up front, and the architectural phenomenon Aztec temples behind them to the right!)
Well, it's finally over and my efforts were somewhat rewarded. I got a nod for originality on my dessert, and for plating on my pork (yes, I went with pork, even though I spent $40 on lamb first). Quinn was called out for plating of the Secret Treasure of the Aztec Temple and an Angry Conquistador, and Manders scored for originality with her chocolate/brie/basil grilled cheese. I must say, AO's white chocolate creme brulee was my favorite dessert of the evening.
The lovely K-No took the overall title of Iron Chef. I'm trying to coax them all into giving me their recipes to post here so stay tuned. Here is the breakdown of dishes:
Me - Cocoa rubbed pork tenderloin with chocolate barbecue sauce on a bed of smashed potatoes & The Deconstructed S'More
Manders - Chocolate grilled cheese with tomato soup dipping sauce & Chocolate pot roast
AO - Chocolate Curry Beef with brown rice & White chocolate creme brulee
K-No - Chocolate mole enchiladas & Chili chocolate pot de creme
Quinn - Pepper crusted beef tenderloin with pumpkin ravioli and glazed sweet potatoes & TSTotATaaAC

Friday, January 16, 2009

Iron Chef - Battle Chocolate

In the preparation for Iron Chef Battle Chocolate, my mind was swimming with possibilities, questions, outlandish combinations. . . all in the hopes that something would grab me and scream, "YES! I WILL BE DELICIOUS!"
First I thought beef tenderloin with a dark chocolate/coffee glaze with lots of pepper would work.
Then I saw a duck breast with a cassis sauce that I thought could easily blossom with the addition of some chocolate.
How about chocolate bbq sauce, on pork loin perhaps?
A play on Moroccan flavors with a chocolate cinnamon dry rubbed lamb kebab with either a chocolatey couscous or savory chocolate dipping sauce?

I thought I was clear on dessert - my standard, ass kicking Chocolate Ganache Pie with Raspberry Coulis. Pros - I know it's awesome since I've made it several times. Cons - is it awesome enough for Iron Chef? There is some stiff competition this time around!
Then I remembered back to my Chantico love affair of years past. What could I pair with drinking chocolate, hmmm. . . well something marshmallow graham crackery of course. But WHAT?! What little bite sized morsel can I make to go with the dark, rich, creamy drinking chocolate? What would Chantico be proud to be paired with and not feel justified in punishing me for? (side note - Chantico is my new favorite goddess; I'm stingy with my stuff too, and I thought that was because I'm an only child, but it's probably just my Mexican heritage). I wracked my brain trying to figure out the best way to combine the two things into an easy bite, and I think I decided upon homemade marshmallows (which I have never made) coated in graham cracker crumbs. Dear Chantico, wish me luck.

I find out Quinn might be playing with beef, so I scratch that off the list. That darn serial dater posted a Yelp search for where to buy duck so after I screamed at her I scratched that off too, since that was the one I was leaning toward.
Could my beef or duck kick their beef or duck's asses? Possibly, but who wants duplicate dishes? I want VARIETY! I want NOVELTY! This is chocolate after all. How to decide? I need to shop in two hours! Maybe I'll take a little trip to Antonelli's and see what they have and let that guide me.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Pear & Gorgonzola Tart

"Oh hells YES," is what I thought when I saw Giada's show today.
Pears, Gorgonzola, and prosciutto are awesome - especially together, and the tart she made looked divine.
The next party I have will probably be dedicated solely to tart/flatbread type appetizers since I'm amassing so many recipe variations that I'm dying to try.

1 store bought pie shell - I'd suggest the Pillsbury kind myself, or make your own (see recipe below)
4 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces Gorgonzola
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
Pinch salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
3 small pears, cored and sliced
2 ounces prosciutto, cut into thin strips

Bake the pie shell in a square or round tart pan according to package instructions. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese, Gorgonzola, thyme, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Using a hand blender, whip the cheeses together.

In a large, heavy skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the pears and cook until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes.

When the tart crust has cooled slightly, gently spread the whipped cheese mixture evenly over the bottom of the tart. Place the pear slices in a decorative pattern over the cheese mixture. Sprinkle the thin strips of prosciutto over the pears.

Cut into squares or wedges and serve.

Pie/Tart crust
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 to 2 tablespoons ice water, or more as needed

To make the dough in a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and butter in the processor and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube and pulse quickly 5 or 6 times, or until the dough comes together and starts to pull away from the sides of the container. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

To make the dough by hand, combine the flour, salt, and butter in a medium bowl, and mix with a pastry blender or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time and mix until the dough comes together and is no longer dry, being careful not to overmix. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface according to the recipe, fit it into the pan, and allow to rest again in the refrigerator before baking. I really love the tart pans with the scalloped edges and the pop out bottom. You'll need to prebake this though so it's ready for the tart filling.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Peppermint Patties

Again, from Apartment Therapy. I can't wait to try to make these.

The preparation time is only thirty minutes.

2 cups powdered sugar
1.5 tbsp softened butter
2 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cream
8 ounces (about 1-1/3 cup) dark chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp vegetable shortening

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper or a silpat. In a blender, cream together the sugar, butter, extracts, and cream on low speed. After the ingredients are combined, raise the speed to medium-high and beat for an additional 1-2 minutes until mixture holds together very well and is creamy, not powdery.

Using a teaspoon, roll the candy into small balls and flatten them on the wax paper or silpat with the palm of your hand into patty shapes. When done, put them in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the chopped chocolate and the shortening in the microwave or over a double boiler.

Using dipping tools or two dinner forks, dip the patties into the chocolate one by one. Drag them across the lip of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate. Return them to the wax paper or silpat, and place back in the refrigerator to set the candies. They should be ready to eat in a few hours.

And that's it! Due to the dairy ingredient, these need to be kept in the refrigerator. Layer the patties between sheets of parchment in an airtight container. They'll last for a month.

Oreo Truffles

Aylene made these once using the mint Oreos and they were fab. Quinn got them from his aunt for Christmas and I was reminded how delicious they are (and recognized them at once). Then, like magic, I see them mentioned in Apartment Therapy. Mmmm.

Total time to make: 1 hr 30 min
Makes: 3-1/2 doz. or 42 servings, one truffle each

1 pkg. (1 lb. 2 oz.) OREO Cookies, finely crushed, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 pkg. (8 squares each) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted

MIX 3 cups of the cookie crumbs and the cream cheese until well blended. Shape into 42 (1-inch) balls.

DIP balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover melted chocolate can be stored in tightly covered container at room temperature and saved for another use.) Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.

REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm. Store any leftover truffles in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Kraft Kitchens Tips
How to Easily Dip Truffles
To easily coat truffles with the melted chocolate, add truffles, in batches, to bowl of melted chocolate. Then use two forks to roll truffles in chocolate until evenly coated. Remove the truffles with forks and allow excess chocolate to drip back into bowl before placing truffles on prepared baking sheet.
Special Extra
Sprinkle truffles with colored sugar or sprinkles in addition to or in place of the cookie crumbs.
How to Soften Cream Cheese
Place completely unwrapped package of cream cheese in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 10 sec. or just until softened. Add 15 sec. for each additional package of cream cheese.


I always looked forward to carnitas night at my Dad and Aylene's pad. Like, cancel plans kind of looking forward. It's seriously one of my favorite meals ever and I was always really intimidated by it, thinking it was some complicated process since I know it takes all day.
Until I got a Crock Pot. A very sweet someone got it for me for Christmas (thanks Aleta!) and it will certainly go to good use.
Because I've been having CP fantasies for a while now, and Quinn and I were tasked with cooking dinner one night in Vermont and I wanted to showcase something my family does, carnitas were the obvious choice. I had no idea it was so simple! Jeezly crow, I'm going to make it once a month now I think. Especially since it can easily become pulled pork with the addition of some bbq sauce and a tasty slaw.

If you don't have a slow cooker, then please be prepared for globules of fat to go floating through the air borne on the steam produced by cooking this on the stove. Good luck.

For those of you with slow cookers, you'll thank me for how stupidly easy and delicious this is.

A big ol piece of pork - shoulder or butt, at least 3 lbs, but you can tweak that based on how many people you're feeding. Bone in or boneless, it matters not.
To get it to cook up a bit faster, chop it into smaller chunks if it's boneless.
I added a ton of garlic powder, somewhere between 1-2 tbsp for our 3lb slab, but you couldn't taste any garlic flavor on the end product, so I think I'll increase that a bit next time.
Then, I added just enough chicken stock/broth (or stock/broth and water if you end up needing lots) to almost cover the meat and set it to low for 6 hours or so, stirring once or twice.
If memory serves, it finished before the 6 hours were up, so keep an eye on things. When you can easily pull the pork apart with a fork and it's cooked through, you're in business.
Take the pork out and pull it apart with two forks and put in an oven safe container (we used one of those recyclable aluminum baking pans). Heat the oven to 350, sprinkle the pork with a generous amount of salt (half a tbsp or so), bake for 15 minutes; stir, sprinkle with another half tbsp of salt and bake for another 15 to ensure lots of crispy parts.

We serve this on tortillas with homemade guacamole, refried beans, Spanish or Mexican rice (yes, the boxed kind is fine - Zatarain's makes a great Spanish rice), shredded jack cheese, the green Tabasco sauce, and some nice, crunchy sea or Kosher salt.

* side note - we cannot actually remember how hot we cooked this so another test batch will be made this weekend. Call me if you're hungry and maybe I'll share.

**UPDATE - I cooked a 3lb piece (cooked whole, not cut into smaller chunks) for 5.5-6 hours on HIGH and it's lovely. This piece was mostly fat though, ew. Don't know if it affected the cooking or my ability to discern doneness.