Saturday, September 12, 2015

Launch and Radar + Recipes for Carnitas, Green Chili, Refried Beans and Bacon Wrapped Crispy Crackers

Last weekend Larr and Ethan went to a very special warehouse sale. The owner had amassed military equipment from long gone war era. The place flooded in the 1960's and the stuff in the warehouse still wear the grime and a bloom of rust from that event. The man hosted one last sale and is closing up shop. Larr and Ethan purchase launch and radar controls that were likely Korean War and from World War II. They consider them to be treasures.

I spent my time working on the paper boat and cutting up some of Grandpa Don's shirts that I am going to use to make a quilt. We are working to find ways to keep Grandpa Don with us and this is one way. I hope it will look good when I am done. It is very different from my usual style.

Tonight we are hosting a double birthday party for Ethan and Kohlton. I was originally going to serve grilled pizza and spicy meatballs, but those fell through.

The grilled pizza is good, but a bit too fussy and needy to be a good party food for a large group of people. We were going to have the meatballs for dinner one night. I made the meatballs and sauce. They smelled WONDERFUL! The next morning I put them in the crock pot to cook while I was at work. When I got home I found that I had not actually turned them on. It was a big bummer. I was looking forward to tasting them. However, I did not have time to make more, so we are switching gears.

I did not want to repeat any of the usual backyard party food that we have had before. After talking with some of my co-workers, we came up with what the students and I think are a good set of dishes. My Mexican students assure me that this will be wonderful and awesome. Craig Pena dictated the recipes from memory and Delia helped me with quantities. I started the carnitas last night. I also made brownies. I have beans cooking I write this. Once done, I will begin the green chili and the traditional birthday pies.


1 large (4-6 pound) Pork butte/should/blade
2 tea Kosher Salt
2 tea Chili Flakes

Combine the salt and chili flakes. Rub this onto the pork.

Wrap the pork in 5 layers of foil. Place this in a slow cooker. Add about 2" of water to the slow cooker.

Let cook for 8 - 10 hours on low.

Consider saving the broth in the slow cooker to use in the green chili.

Open very carefully, taking care to not get a steam burn or foil bits in your meat.

Place the meat in a bowl and shred it using two forks.

Heat a small bit of oil in a skillet. Place the shredded pork in the pan. It will form a thick (about 2") pancake. Crisp it on both sides before serving it.

Green Chili

4# Pork Loin, diced
1 1/2 tea Salt
3/4 tea Pepper
1 tea Cumin
1 tea Garlic Powder
1 tea Onion Powder
3-4 cups Roasted Green Chili, chopped
Chicken Broth (or broth from the Carnitas)
3/4 cup cold Water
1 cup flour

Combine the salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder and onion powder to make the seasoning. Season the diced pork with the seasoning mix.

Sear the seasoned pork in a hot skillet with a small bit of olive oil.

Place this in a pressure cooker that has a metal rack in the bottom to keep the meat from touching the bottom of the pan. Add in the green chilis and enough broth to almost cover the meat.

Cook under pressure for about 20 minutes. Open carefully. The chili will be watery.

Place about 3/4 cup of cold water and 1 cup of flour in a mason jar. Seal and shake to combine. Add to the hot chili, stir to thicken over medium heat.


Refried Beans

1-2# (2-4 cups) Pinto Beans, dried, rinsed, picked through to get rid of ugly beans, rocks, etc.
Water (1 part beans, 3 parts water)
1 TBL Olive Oil
1 TBL Garlic, Minced
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1/3 cup Flour

Place your prepared beans, olive oil and garlic in the pressure cooker. Add cold water (about 6 cups per pounds of beans) to the pan. Cook on low pressure for about 45 minutes.

Open safely and test the beans by running a wooden spoon around the inside of the pan and tasting the beans to see if they are crunchy. If so, add more water and cook the beans more.

In a pan, make a roux by heating the olive oil. Add in the flour and heat, stirring often, until it is a nice almond color. Add this to the beans. Heat the beans to a boil, if needed. Transfer this to a slow cooker and let them cook for at least 2 more hours on low heat. Mash the beans before serving them.

1 – 4 tablespoons of oil and 1 – 3 teaspoons of salt per 2 cups, 1 pound, of dry beans. After extensive testing, Presto recommends 4 T. oil, 3 teaspoons salt for best results. - See more at:


Bacon & Brown Sugar Crackers
via: Plain Chicken
24 crackers

Preheat oven to 250. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a cooling rack on top.

Wrap each cracker in a piece of bacon and place it on the rack. Sprinkle with brown sugar

Bake for 2 hours or until bacon is crispy.


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