Monday, August 27, 2012

Salsa Verde Carnitas Salad

Salsa Verde Carnitas Salad... Well it's Monday and I am craving some Mexican flavors and I just so happened to have a jar of that Dahlicious TJ's Salsa Verde that I've used in some recipes before. A number of years back, in high school, my mom started using this Mexican Style Carnitas from TJ's, and she would simmer it in the salsa verde.  Sometimes it was used as the filler for a juicy burrito, other times in mini quesadillas as appetizers, and more recently in lettuce cups for a lower carb option. Tonight I was craving that flavor and decided to serve it up atop a salad for dinner!

On the Menu:
Salsa Verde Carnitas Salas

The Carnitas:
All you need to do is add heat and texture (crispiness) to this already cooked carnitas - in addition to adding some extra flavor. I only used half of what I purchased at TJs, saving the other half for another meal I've got in mind to try out later this week! I also had a small orange bell pepper on hand and figured that might be a nice crunchy addition to the rich pork dish. I gave the peppers a quick chop and let them sauté in a bit of oil. Once the pan was nice and hot and the veggies had a slight brown I shredded the carnitas by hand and added it in. This only takes a few minutes, and you can turn the temp down a bit to medium heat at this point. The idea here is to get a little crispness on the pork and let it meld with the peppers. After I deemed the pork ready (just a couple minutes of sautéing) I added a liberal pour of the salsa verde. You can really eye ball this depending on how saucy you want the dish to be. Definitely add enough to make sure the veggies and pork are decently submerged in the sauce. Turn the temp down and let the combo simmer lightly for as long as you'd like. I let mine go about 30 minutes. If you are in a hurry, you really only need to let it sit for about 5 minutes. But if you've got time to let the flavors develop then I would suggest doing so.

The TJs necessities

Sautéing orange bell peppers
Crisping the carnitas 
Simmering away
Rich Dahlicious Carnitas!
The salad:
Simple salad - mixed butter lettuce & raddichio, along with chopped avocado and cucumber tossed in a mild pico de gallo. I used the pico as the dressing because it was lemony and light.

Salas pre pico 
Post pico

Alls I did was toss the salad, top it with the carnitas and the rest is history! The cool crunchy butter lettuce, the creamy avocado, the zesty pico de gallo and OF course the rich and tender carnitas made this a perfectly Dahlicious Monday Night Mexican Dinner.


Come back later in the week to see what else I'm cookin up!

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