Monday, November 5, 2012
Football Eats 11: Garlicky Carnitas Chimichangas
Baseball is my favorite sport, and I was always much better at basketball than playing anything else, but when it comes down to it, there is nothing I enjoy more than the spectacle of college football on a glorious November afternoon. The uniforms, the sound of a band striking up after a touchdown, the mascots, the tailgating, the rituals. Where else do you see a 1400-pound buffalo running around the field (like Colorado) or folks sailing to a tailgate party (like Tennessee)?
It's why, almost every Saturday in the fall, I am parked on the couch in front of the TV. It's also why I try to create really good food every Saturday: to add to the the festiveness. Hence all the Football Eats.
But even by usual standards, Saturday's games were special. The two marquee games were USC vs. Oregon at the Coliseum, and Alabama vs. LSU in Death Valley. (College football locations have great names, too: Death Valley, The Big House, The Horseshoe, The Swamp.) Throw in Pitt-Notre Dame (earlier in the week I had predicted a Pitt upset to an Irish-loving friend of mine; missed it by that much), Texas-Texas Tech, Oklahoma State-Kansas State and UCLA-Arizona, and it was a full afternoon and evening of games.
I wanted to make something really good to eat.
Behold the chimichanga: a tortilla crammed full of whatever you desire, folded into a packet and fried crisp. This is not health food. Sometimes it's not even good food; Lord knows I have had my share of cheap cheese chimichangas that made my belly ache within minutes. But when made with effort... there are very few things that will ever taste better.
This is what I did:
I've shown you Rick Bayless's seasoning sauces twice before: chipotle garlic tacos I made back in May, and red chile-cumin tacos in February. Both times I was pleased with the results, and adding some garlicky flavor to this pork sounded great. I poured the bag, and half of a large, sliced onion, into the slow cooker with the chopped pork and let it simmer for an hour.
While they're frying, I'll show you the sauce I made.
Now back to the chimichangas.
Actually, that's not entirely true. They were fantastic, one of the best things I have ever made. The crispy fried tortillas gave way to an interior of garlic-blasting, almost liquid-like pork and onions, swimming in a bath of that gooey cheese.
The roasted pepper sauce was delicious, but talk about gilding the lily. These chimichangas were so juicy and flavorful that sauce was completely unnecessary.
Wanna see more pictures? Okay.
I've already starting thinking about what to make this coming weekend, but I'm pretty sure it won't be as good as this.
Posted by JustinM at 10:00 AM