Lloyd is many things. Above all, he is a simple man.
He’s doesn’t need much, doesn’t want much, and certainly doesn’t ask for much.
Coffee. Naps. Sports. Junior Mints.
That’s all he needs to be happy. In fact, he’s only superfluous when it comes to the closet space he requires for his men’s size XXL t-shirts that he insists on hanging in our closet. But that’s an argument for another day.
I made my first batch of sweet potato and black bean chili on a night when Lloyd wasn’t home. I was all, "OMG, this is the best stuff EVER, you will love it and it’s amazing and I already can’t wait to eat more and did I mention it’s amazing and you will totally love it?" You could say I had him all pumped up to try it. And then, sadly, because it only made 3 servings, Lloyd never actually got to try it. One guess who finished it.
It was so delicious and totally warranted another batch, so I went about making another batch, this time attempting to triple the recipe. I sat down to enjoy the first bite of chili. While delicious, it was extremely spicy! Note to self: tripling the recipe doesn’t always mean you need to triple the spices. The original recipe called for 2 TBSP of chili powder. I guess 6 was a much bit much? Like, “Lloyd will HATE this spicy.”
Homeboy does not do spice. (He saves that for the bedroom).
I knew it wasn’t going to go over well. I warned Lloyd that the heat factor may be more than his “hold the spice” palate could handle. I watched beads of sweat form on his brow before he pushed his bowl away and let me know he wasn’t going to be able to finish.
I guess I was going to have to finish alllllllll that chili myself. Of course, I didn’t sabotage his dinner on purpose. It just happened to work in my favor.
As I finished my (spicy!) chili, and he wolfed down two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I told him he was in luck. The next meal I had planned was sans spice: pork carnitas.
Nice and simple.
Adobo Pork Carnitas
2 lb pork shoulder
salt & pepper
6 garlic cloves, cut into sliver
dry adobo seasoning
2 C reduced sodium chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
1/2 C cilantro, chopped
1/2 avocado, sliced
Season pork with salt and pepper. In a sauté pan on medium-high heat, brown pork on all sides for about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Once cooled, use a sharp knife to cut slits in the pork and insert the garlic slivers.
Generously season pork with cumin, adobo seasoning and garlic powder, covering all sides.
Place pork in a crock pot, add chipotle peppers, and and pour in enough chicken broth to almost cover pork. Add bay leaves and cover.
Cook according to your crock pot’s instructions, until meat has tenderized and pulled apart.
Remove bay leaves, adjust seasonings to taste, and allow to simmer another 30 minutes or so before serving.
Warm tortillas and top with pork, cilantro, avocado, salsa, and/or other desired toppings.
Do not skip the searing step at the beginning! The meat will not be flavored as nicely.
You will probably need to add more seasonings toward the end, so adjust to taste.
“Carnitas” translates to “little meats” and refers to braised pork. In case you’re like me and have trouble locating Adobo seasoning, it can be found in the ethnic foods aisle. It is a spice mix commonly associated with Latin American cooking and used to enhance the flavor of meats. The blend consists of subtle seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic, and oregano.
The meat was soft and succulent with just the slightest crisp on the outside. They were perfectly flavorful and as I suspected, the flavor was pretty mild- just the way Lloyd likes it!
After all, if I want something spicy, I’ve got my chili.