Hello, everybody! Kerry here, with this week's recipe. Since Bannon was kind enough to cover last week's love-themed recipe, I'm handling the crock pot this week!
I tried out two recipes for this week-one from Once A Month Mom, for slow-cooker refried beans, and the other from Allrecipes.com, for carnitas. They were so easy, took minimal prep work, and (when combined with Mexican rice) made for one hell of a dinner!
To make the beans, you'll need 1 lb. of black beans, rinsed and picked over; 1 1/4 c. chopped onion, 2 T garlic, 5 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. black pepper, and 9 c. water. Simply combine all the ingredients in the crock pot, and cook it on high for 8 hours. Periodically give it a stir, adding more water if necessary. Once it is done cooking, drain the beans, reserving the water. Mash the beans with a potato masher, or in a food processor if you like a smoother texture. Add the reserved water as needed to achieve the desired texture.
I made the beans the day before, froze half, and kept the other half in the refrigerator overnight. I then simply fried them in the skillet the next day, and melted some cheese over them because I don't have enough calories in my life.
For the carnitas, the recipe called for 4 lbs. of pork shoulder, but I just used half of a pork loin that I had in the freezer. I only cook for three normally, so I can get away with that! I also had enough left over for another meal, so I made it into BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. Anyhoo, make a rub for the pork using 1 tsp. each of salt, garlic powder, and cumin; 1/2 tsp. each of oregano and coriander; and 1/4 tsp. of cinnamon. I was out of coriander, so I added an extra 1/2 tsp of cumin, and used crushed garlic (4 cloves worth) instead of garlic powder. Rub this all over the meat. Before putting the meat in the crock pot, lay two bay leave in the bottom of the pot, then place the meat on top. Then pour 2 c. of chicken broth along the sides of the meat, being careful not to rinse the rub off of the meat. Cook it on low for 5 hours, turn it over, then cook for another 5 hours, or until the meat will shred easily with a fork. I shredded it in the crock pot so the broth would keep the meat moist.
I served this up with the refried beans, and made some Vigo brand (insert Ghostbusters joke here) rice to go with it. I had originally planned to make homemade tortillas to go with it, but ran out of time. The recipe is also on OAMM's website.
Weeks 9-12 are as follows: coffee, movie/book inspired, breakfast, and cheese. Bannon isn't a coffee fan (so uncivilized!), so I suspect I'll be doing next week's challenge. I'm really excited for the movie/book inspired week-Harry Potter or LotR? My life is full of difficult choices.
Speaking of choices, we want to choose you--to win some tea from Revolution Teas!! Bannon and I did our first review this weekend, and tried 6 different teas. We also have tea to give away! Our review will post on Monday, and we'll be announcing winners on Friday. Don't let this one pass you by-this stuff is amazing!