Family · New Favorite

Crock Pot Carnitas

Pork Carnitas are a favorite while dining at local Mexican restaurants.  This recipe, made in the Crock Pot, made the work easy.  I chose to skip the final step in the recipe and it was delicious.  If you love the crispy pork, go for it.  The pork is great in tacos, burritos, bowls, nachos….your choice!

CROCK POT CARNITAS

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (or 2 1/2 pounds bone-in)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and ribs removed, chopped
1 orange, cut in half
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • Rinse and dry the pork shoulder. Salt and pepper liberally. Mix the oregano and the cumin with olive oil and rub all over pork.
  • Place the pork in a slow cooker and top with the onion, garlic, and jalapeno.
  • Squeeze over the juice of the orange and add the two halves. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high 4 hours.
  • Once the meat is tender, remove from slow cooker and let cool slightly before pulling apart with a fork.
  • In a large sauté pan, heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Press the carnitas into the oil and fry until crusty on one side. Serve.  (I skipped this step)

Recipe from FoodNetwork

Holidays · New Favorite

Koulourakia Greek Easter Cookies

2020 was quite the year, and Easter was no exception.  During the lockdown, my daughters and I cooked different things and did a front porch, socially distanced food swap.  We each ate our Easter Dinner in our own homes, different than our normal family gatherings.

The following weekend, our neighbor invited everyone in our cul-de-sac to partake in a Greek Orthodox Easter dinner.  It was warm enough to gather outside, socially distanced, to celebrate this special day.  For the potluck gathering, I made Koulourakia, Greek Easter Cookies.  The cookies are a wonderful, orange-flavored butter twist cookie.

They were fun to make and similar in design to the Kringla I make at Christmas.  The cookies are especially good with a hot cup of coffee. This year, Greek Orthodox Easter will be May 2, 2021.  I may be inspired to make these yummy cookies once again!

KOULOURAKIA GREEK EASTER COOKIES

3½- 4 cups all purpose flour 420- 480 grams (3½ + ½ cup separated)
 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar 150 grams
zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup butter 115 grams, cubed, room temperature
2 large eggs room temperature
1 large egg yolk room temperature
 teaspoons vanilla extract pure
1/4 cup orange juice freshly squeezed
1/4 cup milk room temperature
1 teaspoon ouzo or Sambuca (optional)

Egg wash:

1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon water
2 tablespoons sesame seeds sprinkled on egg wash

  • Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Place rack in the center of oven. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Sift together 3½ cups flour and baking powder and set aside. The other 1/2 cup of flour is reserved in case we need to add extra flour (see recipe note).
  • In a bowl of a stand mixture, with the paddle attachment, whisk together the orange zest and the sugar.
  • Add the cubed room temperature butter and cream together with the sugar until light and fluffy. This can take up to 5 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time beating well and scraping down the bowl between each addition.
  • Add the egg yolk and again, beat well and scrape down the bowl.
  • Add the vanilla extract, orange juice, milk and ouzo (if using). Beat together for 30 seconds.
  • On low speed, add the 3½ cups of flour and baking powder. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Add a few tablespoons of flour if the dough is still sticky. (Optional: cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes).
  • With a medium sized cookies scoop, portion and roll into a 7-inch log.
  • Shape into desired shapes (braids, pinwheels, twists, etc…) Refer to pictures in the post.
  • Place on parchment lined cookie sheets about 1 inch apart.
  • Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Bake for 13 minutes or until cookies are golden brown.  (This was too long in my oven.  I baked for 11 minutes and probably could have done even less.)
  • Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to wire rack to completely cool down.
  • Can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for about 2 weeks. Cookies can also be frozen.

Recipe from shelovesbiscotti.com

Holidays

Cranberry Orange Bread with Orange Glaze

Cranberry and Orange are a culinary match made in heaven.  The combination in this wonderful quick bread is divine, especially with the addition of Orange Glaze.

The bread is great with a cup of coffee or tea or can be served as a dessert.  

CRANBERRY ORANGE BREAD WITH ORANGE GLAZE

1 1/2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 large orange
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh cranberries

For the orange glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a small bowl, combine sugar and orange zest. Rub together with your fingers until fragrant. Whisk into the flour mixture. Set aside.
  • In a separate medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, orange juice, and vanilla.
  • Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Fold in the cranberries. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake for 70-75 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. If your loaf starts to get too brown drape a piece of foil over the top to finish baking. I did this during the last 10 minutes of the baking time.
  • Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes. Loosen the sides of the bread with a knife. Carefully remove loaf from pan. Let cool completely on wire rack.
  • While the bread is cooling, make the orange glaze. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the bread. Cut and serve.
  • Note-The bread is best eaten within 2-3 days or freeze.

Recipe from twopeasandtheirpod.com 

My Roots · Vegan · Vegetarian

Fresh Cranberry Relish for your Thanksgiving Feast!

Cranberry relish is Thanksgiving tradition.  My Mother always served fresh cranberry relish and I have continue the tradition.  The relish is tart and crisp, a nice contrast to the savory turkey, gravy, and dressing.  If you prefer a sweeter relish, add more sugar to taste.

As I prepare the relish, I wondered how my Mother chopped the ingredients without our Food Processors and the I remembered…she used the cast iron food grinder…which I still have.  It worked beautifully AND helped build those arm muscles.  If only I had a place to attach the grinder so I could use it!

This Thanksgiving, as always, be thankful for our families, our health, our friends and that we have the joy of sharing Thanksgiving with loved ones!

FRESH CRANBERRY RELISH

1 bag fresh cranberries
1 red apple
1 orange
1/2 to 1 cup sugar (to taste)

  • A day or two before serving, rinse the cranberries. Remove any soft or blemished cranberries.
  • Wash and core red apple and chop into large chunks.
  • Wash and halve and orange. Remove white membranes and slice off top and bottom peel of orange. Chop into large chunks.
  • Place cranberries, apple, orange and sugar in food processor and chop until coarsely ground. Chill for a day or more and serve.

Great with the Thanksgiving turkey.