Friday, August 26, 2011

Quick & Delicious Flaky Biscuits

I love to eat these fresh and steaming out of the oven. You can even add your favorite herbs, cheese, or dried fruit to this recipe to spice it up. Such a treat!

Note: In an air-tight bag you can refrigerate the dough for a day if you want fresh biscuits right out of the oven 2 days in a row!

Makes about 15 biscuits, depending on size

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or you can just use 2 cups of AP flour if that's all you have)
1/2 tsp. salt
5 tbsp. cold butter (cubed)
3/4 cup buttermilk (or 3/4 cup milk + 1/2 tsp. lemon juice)
3 tbsp. honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a food processor, combine both flours, salt, butter, and honey. Pulse the food processor a few times until the butter is coarsely mixed into little balls covered in the flour mixture.

Pour the milk into the food processor with the blade running. The mixture should come together to form a ball of dough. (Only add as much milk as it takes to combine into a ball, it might vary in your climate.) Do not over mix! You can always just mix the last bit of flour stuck to the bowl in by hand.

Either roll out and cut the dough with a biscuit cutter or roll into little palm-sized balls and place on a cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes until fluffy and golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack, or just smother them in butter, honey, or jam and eat them as soon as possible. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mouth-Watering Pork Carnitas

I love this recipe because it can be quickly made in a pressure cooker or just thrown in a slow-cooker in the morning an it's ready to eat when you get home. (It makes the house smell great!)
There are a few key ingredients that make this recipe over-the-top-tasty (hint: OJ).

Can easily serve 5 people.

4 Pork Chops or a 3-4lb. Pork Shoulder
1 14oz. can diced Tomatoes
1 small can diced Green Chiles
3 cloves of Garlic, diced
1 small white or red Onion, diced
1 tbsp. Lime juice (bottled or fresh)
1/2 cup of Orange Juice
1 cup beef or chicken Stock (or as much liquid as it takes to cover the meat)
2 tsp. ea. Paprika and Chile Powder
4 tsp. Ground Cumin
2 tsp. ea. Salt & Pepper
2 roasted and chopped Peppers of your choice (depending on how spicy you want it)
2 tbsp. chopped Cilantro (to garnish)

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large pot or pressure cooker. Sprinkle salt & pepper on the pork, then turn to sear the meat on all sides. Push meat to the edge of the pan so you can also saute the garlic and onion until it's translucent. Either transfer the meat, onions, and garlic to a slow-cooker or keep it in the same large pot/pressure cooker.

How to roast a pepper: Spray or coat the peppers of your choice in oil and broil, turning with tongs until all sides are charred. Let the pepper cool and remove stem- and seeds if you want it to be less spicy.

Add the rest of the spices on top of the meat, add the can of tomato and chiles, fill the pot with the lime juice, orange juice, and stock (or water if you don't have stock on hand) and stir.

Cover the pot and bring up to a low-simmer (medium-low heat) if slow-cooking in a pot or CrockPot and cook for at least a few hours until meat can be shredded with a fork. If using a pressure cooker, bring up to temperature, then lower and cook for at least an hour.
Shred the tender meat using a couple of forks. Let the pork simmer in the juices to absorb all the spices throughout, while also thickening the juices. Keep warm until ready to serve.

This meat helps make my favorite tacos: warm some tortillas, add your hot carnitas, add chopped lettuce, tomato, cilantro and a dollop of sour cream to top it all off. Yummm.
Best of all, the leftovers only taste better as the flavors mix.