Saturday, February 19, 2011

Carnitas soup

This is a sneaky leftover recipe for our carnitas...

leftover carnitas
1 white onion
1 large tomato or 2 small ones
1 can of diced green chiles
2+ cups chicken broth
olive oil or butter

for serving:
tortilla strips

Peel and seed the tomato. To peel the tomato, bring some water to boil in a sauce pan, and boil the tomato quickly, 1-2 minutes, until the skin of the tomato breaks. Pull from the water, the skin should come off easily. Quarter the tomato and scoop out as many seeds as possible... doesn't have to be perfect. Give the tomato a quick dice and set aside.

Dice the onion and brown it in a heavy pot with either some olive oil or butter. Push onions to the side of the pot and add the carnitas, so they fry over the hottest center part of the pan. After the pork is heated up and slightly browned, add the green chiles and stir everything together. Add the diced tomato.

After the mixture is heated through, add the chicken stock. I usually add 2 cups first, and see how much more liquid it needs... depends a lot on how much pork you added and how big your onion was. You can also add a little water if you don't want it to be straight stock. It should be, you know, soupy.

Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately with lots of garnish.

To make the fried tortilla strips, just slice a tortilla into long pieces and fry in veggie oil. You don't need a ton of oil, a frying pan will do for this.

Pickled Cucumbers

We like pickles. A lot. If you like pickles you should really just make your own. This is really easy and quick.


2 Cucumbers, quartered
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
9 whole black peppercorns
1.5 cups white vinegar
1.5 cups water
1.5 tablespoon salt
.5 cup Dill, chopped


Bring garlic, black peppercorns, vinegar, water, and salt to a boil. Pour over cucumbers and dill. Let cool. Refrigerate. Keeps 2 weeks.

New Zealand 4.0 Kaikoura

The name Kaikoura translates to meal of crayfish. That plus the snow capped mountains sitting next to the beaches with that outrageously blue water make us want to go back. Right now. Please. We spent December 24th and 25th there and I can say this was my favorite Christmas of all time. I'm a Jew so that may not be worth much but it was still an amazing couple days.

The place we stayed was really nice. Like really really nice.

The beach out front of our apartment

We had two meals here. They have seafood chowder and a bunch of seafood right out of the ocean.

Really good seafood chowder with big hunks of fish and mussles

Christmas Dinner

The potatoes come still dirty

This is Charlie...

...a now cooked crayfish (aka rock lobster)

Crayfish and green-lipped mussels

Second course, lamb, grilled and roasted veggies

Roasted cauliflower and potatoes

Grilled asparagus and onion

A big pile of lamb, two different cuts actually :)
Lamb with two sauces, a red wine reduction and a goop-y garlic spread... all served with our favorite red of the trip, Trinity Hills Gimblett Gravels Syrah

And a gingerbread kiwi for dessert

Warning, beach pics:

There was a seal colony nearby too...

New Zealand 3.0 Marlborough

Our two days in the Marlborough region began with a 3 hour ferry ride from the North to the South Island.

We stayed in Bleinheim, the biggest city in the area (population 30K). Our hotel was a real cool place within walking distance of downtown.

These were two amazing days of wine tasting. We started with lunch at Wither Hill

The cheese board as you can see was amazing. The little curry dumplings hidden in the back of the photo, not so much. But it was a gorgeous place to have lunch. Not bad for our first stop.


Not our favorite New Zealand red, but a decent Pinot...

Spy Valley

I really liked Spy Valley's Sauvignon Blanc. We were determined not to buy a bunch of them, we wanted to see what else the region had to offer. This was the one we bought. To our surprise, we actually found one store in Lexington that sells it.


Georges Michel

Wairau River




We had two memorable dinners in Bleinheim.

Scotch Wine bar was as hipster as Blenheim gets.

Fairweathers Bar and Andrea made some kind of special connection. They served up some great fish and chips.

I suspect it had something to do with this:

When was the last time you were at a sports bar that had pate??

And this is the best beer I've had in a long time. I already checked... even though Monteith's does export to select states in the US, they don't export Radler. Boo.

The fish and chips:

Green curry mussels:

Giant grape! And yeah, thats the pate in the background: