2013 sounds weird doesn’t it? Or is it just me? I think it takes me mmm about a month before it actually sinks in that it’s a new year. Case in point, today I’ve already written 2012 about five times and I’ll do it a hundred more times before I actually get used to writing the correct date. Maybe it’s because I’m really just not ready for it to be a new year yet or maybe it’s just because my mind doesn’t function properly after two, five day weekends in a row. Either way, it’s inevitable.

January not only brings us a new year but also gives us the chance to start fresh, regroup, and just get life back on track – and as always we come up with some resolutions to do just that. Here are a couple of mine:

• Get back on track in my workouts – I’ve currently ceased to exercise at all in the last three months and feel just terrible about it – not to mention my body hasn’t liked it either.

• Blog at least three to four times per week – Ideally I’d like to post five days a week, but with a full-time job and wedding planning, I know that won’t be possible.

• Be a better launderer –Currently Kevin does most of the laundry, I try and try and have very good intentions, but every time I start I get sidetracked/forget about it and Kevin ends up finishing.

• Be more on top of wedding planning – I’m currently being a huge procrastinator in the wedding details department, I have an infinite amount of ideas but have been putting off bringing them to life. Time to make things happen!

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

Now, on to the food. This dish may seem a little bit on the summery side, but let me explain.

First of all, pork is one of those quintessential New Year’s foods that is supposed to bring good luck in the New Year. I’ll believe any superstition that tells me luck will come my way, and I’d much rather have succulent meat than boring black-eyed-peas to increase my chances for good luck this year, so pork will suffice just fine. Call me naïve to believe, but I’d say I’m just the ultimate optimist.

Second of all, this time last year Kevin and I were basking in warmth and sunshine in Puerto Vallarta, feasting on the most mouth-watering guacamole, fajitas, and tacos. We couldn’t go this year since we are taking so much time off work in the summer and aren’t going back until next January, so in the meantime it’s nice to be able to bring Mexico home to us.

One of the things that I loved most about PV food-wise were the taco shops that graced every street corner. Every place was a tiny little hole in the wall with huge rotisseries of meat, which were hand-carved right in front of you – the smells alone were intoxicating. My favorite variety was the crispy pork taco, served simply with a little bit of diced onion and cilantro. You could choose to dress it up even more with the array of sauces they hand prepared – I would go half and half and dress some up, but leave the rest naked. Seriously the best $5 meal I’ve ever had.

These carnitas are my take on the delicious street food that I came to love so much. Fatty pork shoulder is slow-cooked with pineapple juice and chipotles until it’s fork tender. In the last 20-30 minutes of cooking the heat is knocked up to 450 degrees and blasted until crispy and succulent. I serve it dressed simply with a little diced onion, pineapple, and cilantro.¡Buen provecho

Crispy Sweet & Spicy Carnitas
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 3 pound pork butt, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • ½ large onion sliced
  • ¾ cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons chipotles in adobo, minced
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from chipotles
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1½ cups pineapple (fresh or canned)
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • Lime juice
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Season pork liberally with salt. In the bottom of a large dutch oven brown the meat in about one tablespoon of olive oil over a medium high flame. If needed work in batches, as you do not want to overcrowd the pan.
  3. Once the meat has browned return to the pan and add onion, pineapple juice, chipotles, adobo sauce, water, cumin, and garlic powder. Cover and place in the oven, cook for two and half hours.
  4. After two and a half hours of cooking, increase temperature to 450 degrees, remove lid, and give the pork a stir.
  5. Cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the pork is crispy, about 15-25 minutes.
  6. Mix pineapple, onion, and cilantro together. Stirring periodically to ensure all sides are crispy.
  7. Serve carnitas in corn tortillas and top with pineapple, onion, and cilantro. Finish off with a squeeze of lime juice.

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