Friday, April 25, 2014

Sweet Pulled Pork Fresh Mex

Sweet Pulled Pork Fresh Mex 
I love making these Pulled Pork Salads or Burritos on a regular basis.  It's the perfect thing for serving a big group of family or friends.  For best flavor you should make the pulled pork and black beans a day in advance.   (And I'm all over anything I can make a day in advance!)   The Cilantro Dressing and the Pico de Gallo can be made a day in advance as well to cut back on last minute preparations.  I love this as a salad, but you can wrap it all up burrito style if that is what you are craving.  Either way the flavors are fantastic!  Here are all the elements you'll need to make an amazing Fresh Mex dinner for your friends and family...  

Sweet Pulled Pork

You can throw everything in the crock pot and cook for 6 hours if you are going to be out for the day.  You'll want to make this a day in advance for the best flavor.

3-4 lb. pork loin
1 cup orange juice
2 cups brown sugar
26 ounces chunky salsa
¼ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons vinegar

In large oven proof, heavy pot stir orange juice, brown sugar, salsa, ketchup and vinegar together.  In heavy skillet over medium high heat, brown roast on all sides.  Place roast  in pot with sauce. Put the lid on and place in 350 degree oven and cook for up to 2-3 hours.  Meat is done when it falls apart and shreds easily.  Shred pork into sauce.  

Cilantro Rice

1 tablespoons butter                     
½ onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups uncooked rice
5 cups water
4 teaspoons chicken bouillon
½ cup cilantro
1 can green chilies
¾ teaspoon salt
zest of 1 lime and juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons sugar

Melt butter in large saucepan. Add onions and garlic and sauté until soft. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until rice is tender.

Black Beans

Incredibly flavorful and healthy these back beans are a hit.  Plan ahead to make this recipe as the beans need to soak overnight or all day then simmer for 1 ½ hours, unless you want to use the canned beans.  Make this a day ahead to cut down on prep work.  

1 lb. dry black beans  (or 30 oz. canned black beans)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
bunch green onions, greens and whites chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoons oregano
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper

Place dried beans in large pot and cover with water. Let sit for 8 –12 hours.  
Simmer beans for 1 ½ hours, add more water if needed to keep the beans covered. Do not drain cooked beans.  While beans are cooking, sauté onions, garlic, green pepper, jalapeno, tomato paste, vinegar and seasonings in olive oil for 20 minutes.  Add vegetables to pot of cooked beans and simmer for 30 minutes until thick.  If you’re using canned beans, place beans and liquid in a medium pot, stir in sautéed vegetable mixture and heat thoroughly. 

Pico de Gallo 
2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and halved
2 green onions, whites and greens, roughly chopped
½ red onion, roughly chopped
½ cup cilantro
¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

Fresh Lime and Cilantro Dressing

This is my homemade ranch dressing recipe made with buttermilk, tomatillos, lime and cilantro!  Love it over the Fresh-Mex Salad!

1 ½ cups mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup milk or buttermilk
scant ½ teaspoon coarse salt
fresh ground pepper
½ bunch fresh cilantro
3 tomatillos
1 lime juiced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until thickened.  Assemble salad.  Brown tortillas over a hot flame, if you are using them.  Add a bottom  layer of lettuce on top of tortilla.   Add a scoop of hot Cilantro Rice,next add the Black Beans, add some Sweet Pulled Pork, Pico de Gallo and Fresh Lime and Cilantro Dressing.  Garnish with grated cheese, chopped avocado, or guacamole and sour cream.  Serve with a favorite tortilla chip on the side. mmmm....amazing!

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