Hey everybody! So, I’ve been hearing about it…I’ve been reading about it…the Instant Pot. At first I brushed it off, I mean I have a pressure cooker, I have a slow cooker, do I really need this device? I’m also the type of person that tends to stay away from another kitchen “gadget.” But, Instant Pot has been so popular for so long with so many great things said about it that I couldn’t ignore it anymore. So, I decided to make a space in my kitchen for it and for my birthday my beautiful wife and in-laws ended up getting me on…so it’s been about a month since I got it and I just now finally busted it out! I was perusing the internet, looking at what other people were doing and settled on trying some carnitas. All I can say is WOW! It really is a great kitchen appliance. It was so nice to be able to saute, pressure cook and then keep the food warm all in one pot! I also really like how it takes a lot of the guessing work out of pressure cooking. I have a stove top pressure cooker as well and you kind of have to baby sit them while they do their thing. I was also really impressed how easy it was to clean. So, even though I only have one cook under my belt, so far I give this thing two big thumbs up. Can’t wait to do more with it! So, as far as the recipe goes, I made some very traditional pork carnitas, that I served on yellow corn tortillas, with homemade pico de gallo and a avocado crema. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Happy Valentine's Day! Nothing says I love you like Taco Bell and when I go to Taco Bell, my go-to choice is the crunch wrap supreme....they are just so freakin good. My wife came across a homemade version, so we decided to take a crack at making them and they are awesome! You can also lighten this recipe up a little bit by substituting ground chicken, using light sour cream, and switching to a whole grain wrap. Also in this post I am giving you a recipe for a taco seasoning that works well for a 1 lbs portion of ground meat. I'm not going to lie, I rarely make my own, I find it more convenient buying just a packet at a time and I don't see much of a flavor difference between homemade taco seasoning and store bought ready to go. I would assume that making your a large batch of your own taco season is more cost effective per ounce, but I haven't done the math on this yet....would be interested to see that though if somebody has it! Really simple recipe though that we tend to use as a weeknight Mexican night. Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments below!
Prep time: 10m | Total time: 10min | Yield: 1 batch
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- Put all the ingredients in a small container and shake to combine. Use immediately with 1 lbs of ground meet with 2/3 cup liquid or store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
Crunch Wrap Supreme
Prep time: 10m | Cook time: 20min | Total time: 30min | Yield: 4 servings
- 2 Tbsp canola oil, divided
- 1 lbs ground beef
- 1 serving taco seasoning below (or store bought)
- 2/3 cup water
- 4 large tortilla wraps
- 1/2 cup nacho cheese sauce
- 4 tostada
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar jack cheese
- 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- 1 tomato, diced
- In a large saute pan heat remaining 1 Tbsp of canolo oil in a large saute pan. Add ground beef and cook until beef has browned, making sure that you crumble the beef as you cook. Drain off excess fat. Add in the prepared taco seasoning with 2/3 cup water. Simmer until sauce has thickened.
- Wrap 4 of the tortillas in a paper towel and microwave for 20 seconds until they are pliable. With the remaining tortilla use a 4" cookie cutter to create 4 small tortilla circles. If you don't have the cookie cutter, just cut out 4 circles roughly 4" in diameter.
- Working one at a time, put taco meat in the center of each tortilla. Top with nacho cheese sauce and a tostada shell. Lightly press down on the tostada shell so that the compact the meat. Spread an even amount of sour cream on top of the tostada and top with shredded cheese, lettuce and diced tomato. Place one of the small tortilla circles you cut out on top.
- Fold the edge up so that it overlaps the tortilla cirle. Continue working around the tortilla, folding up the edge as tight as possible. Repeat this process with remaining crunch wraps.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of canola oil in a large saute pan. Working in batchs, place crunch wrap seam-side down and cook until golden brown, about 2 min (Watch the temperature of your pan, the tortillas burn really quickly). Flip and cook the other side until golden brown, another 1-2 min. Repeat with remaining crunch wraps. Serve immediately
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Just like buying quality, buying quality pork is imperative to have a delicious and tender product. Everybody is familiar with black angus when talking about superior beef, it's one of the main breeds of cattle that is associated with quality. So, what breed of hog should you be buying given the opportunity? Duroc Pork is your answer! Black Angus to cattle is what Duroc is to pork...it's the bee's knees!
Durocs have become a sire of choice to the American farmer. The climb of the breed has been accelerated by many distinguished accomplishments in longevity, lean gain efficiency, carcass yield and product quality as a terminal sire. Durocs are identified as a superior genetic source for improving eating qualities of pork in the recent National Pork Producers Council Terminal Sire Line Evaluation. Their advantage in muscle quality combined with their well-established ability to grow fast has positioned the Duroc breed as an outstanding terminal sire choice.
Now that we have established what breed of pork you should be buying. Lets talk about cooking that beautiful piece of pork! Now you can most definitely just season and cook. But, I like to marinate my pork chops. The other extremely important factor is cooking temperature. People tend to over cook their pork, like A LOT. But, plleeaasseee stop doing this. You can cook your pork to a 145F or medium rare and be absolutely fine! Trichinosis hasn't existed in pork in like 30 years, so for the love of God. STOP OVER COOKING YOUR PORK!! :)
Grilled Pork Chops
Prep time: 5m | Cook time: 10min | Total time: 2h 15min | Yield: 4 servings
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup light soy sauce
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 Tbsp lemon pepper seasoning
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 4 Bone-in pork chops, around 12 oz
- Mix water, soy sauce, vegetable oil, lemon pepper seasoning, and minced garlic in a deep bowl; add pork chops and marinate in refrigerator for at least 2hours.
- Preheat outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.
- Remove pork chops from the marinade and shake off excess. Discard the remaining marinade.
- Cook the pork chops on the grill for 2-3 min and then rotate 90 degrees. Cook another 2-3 min and then flip to other side and repeat. Cook until Thermapen MK4 reaches a temperature of 135F. Remove from grill and let rest for 10 min.
Cooking your meats to the perfect temperature is crucial not only from a food safety stand point, but from flavor and tenderness stand point as well. Make sure you cook your pork, like in this recipe to 135F. The best way to accurately monitor the internal temperature of your meats is by using a Thermapen MK4. They are the most durable, accurate, fast, and reliable thermometer on the market. These are a kitchen MUST HAVE! Go buy yourself a Thermapen MK4 today!