Monday, December 24, 2012

Salsa Recipe

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!!

In my quest to recreate a Carnitas plate at home from scratch,  I had to make salsa from scratch too.   It is easy to do and healthy too!  We tried the Fresh is Best Salsa which was pretty tasty but store bought just doesn't cut it anymore.

Anyone know if I should add chopped garlic too?
All you need to make salsa 

Salsa recipe

3 medium sized on the vine tomatoes or roma seeded and chopped
2 tbsp diced red onion
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 serano pepper
pinch of salt

Mix it all together 2 - 4 hours in advance for the flavours to meld.  I found that it was less spicy and more flavourful a day after.  You can adjust the salt, lime and spiciness to your liking.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Canitas Recipe

Printer Friendly Recipe 
We just got back from a week of Mexican food and Carnitas at every available opportunity - what do I do?  We not only head to Chipotle, which just opened in Vancouver, I crave it so much that I cook up a batch of Carnitas :)  Mexican is my new favourite food.  It's tasty, healthy and easy to cook.  We lost weight eating Mexican on our trip and it definitely wasn't from eating light - never before.! You see why I'm sooo enamoured with Mexican food?


Carnitas, Cilantro Lime Rice, Salsa

Carnitas Burrito



3- 4 lbs pork shoulder collar butt (I used the Sakura Pork cuts from TnT, about 3 pieces)
1 Tbsp oil
3/4 Tbsp salt
1 tsp mexican chilli powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp cumin
3 cloves garlic smashed
2 cups chicken broth (canned chicken stock is also fine)

  1. Salt pork a day a head of time if possible, if not just before searing is fine too.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in dutch oven(I used a 3 1/2 qt).  Sear each side of pork till nicely brown, about 2 min each side.
  3. Pour chicken stock till pork is 3/4 covered.  Simmer on stove top.  Once it is simmering, cover with tin foil and cover with lid.
  4. Heat oven to 300F.   Put the pot on the middle shelf for 2 1/2 - 3 hours till fork tender. 
  5. Drain remaining liquid and shred pork.  
  6. Serve with chilli lime rice, burrito, beans, salsa or do a carnitas hash with a sunny side egg to top it off.  
Keep watching this space for recipes for salsa, corn salsa and cilantro lime rice ala Chipotle.

By the way, this is definitely not an  authentic way of cooking carnitas but it is a much, much healthier way. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Chipotle Mexican Grill - Vancouver

My first taste of Chipotle was in Seattle mid this year and I was hooked! I dream of it... Fast food Mexican style - it's healthy too if you skip the sour cream, chips and cheese.  Anyways, when I heard that it was coming to Vancouver mid this year,  I was over the moon and was disappointed when they postponed their opening ... but finally now they are open!!!
chipotle mexican grill

Even though we just got back from San Diego and LA and had Mexican food for almost a week, we checked Chipotle out today and at 1145am, the queue was already at the door and by the time we left at 12ish,  the queue was out the door.  Don't get put off by the queue, even though it looked long, it moved pretty quickly.   There is plenty of space to sit and eat and even though the queue was long, the seating never really filled up.

I went with the buritto bowl and D had the buritto.  First off, you get to choose between cilantro lime rice(there is a white rice version and a healthier version),  we both choose the white rice one and we both went with Carnitas (Mexican version of pulled pork).  You can choose from chicken, steak, barbacoa and a vegetarian version too. You also get a choice of pinto or black beans and the various salsas, cheese and sour cream.  It was exactly as I remembered.   A bit tangy, a bit salty, pork that just melts in your mouth.  All D said was "YUMMM" and promptly devoured his burrito.
burrito bowl chipotle vancouver

burrito chipotle vancouver

My only thought was the portion size was not as generous as in the US....perhaps they were trying to make the food last as one of the managers said that they might run out of food  due to the overwhelmingly positive response to the opening and they were actively sourcing for more.  Chipotle has their own guidelines when sourcing for food so I guess they can't just go to Costco to get more.

Whatever it is,  I still dream of Chipotle and I'm so happy that I don't have to drive down to Seattle to satisfy my cravings :)

If you want to recreate Carnitas at home, it's very simple, click here for the recipe.

p.s All the Chipotle outlets are company owned and I think that is how they keep their food so consistent.

818 Howe Street (next to Chapters)
Chipotle Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon


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