Weeknight Dinners

Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos

Busy families, this one is for you! I highly suggest making it on a Sunday night so it’s ready for your busy week ahead. This is easy 2 or 3 meals for a family of 4.

It was too sunny in our kitchen when I took this quick photo, but you get the idea of how YUMMY it was!!! We also sliced up some watermelon to eat with it, too.

For a short cut, I picked up pre-made pico de gallo from Metcalfes produce section, but canned salsa works, too! I like quick toppings with little to no prep time.

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I griped a little on IG live about this recipe since it’s a two-step (make marinade night before) type of recipe. Having to “mess up the kitchen” twice for one meal really seems pointless to me and I hate doing it. However, this overnight marinade is so simple and you don’t have to dirty ANY dishes if you don’t want to. Just dump a few ingredients into a bag. SUPER EASY, even I could do it, which says a lot.

Clean plate club all around two nights in a row with this meal. Love it since there is a lot of juicy, flavor in the meat, very filling and not spicy for the kids.  Good for all!

Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 boneless pork shoulder, trimmed (I had to ask for this from the butcher counter)
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (I just used one lime)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice, divided
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 dried ancho chile
  • 4 garlic cloves smashed
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 oregano sprigs
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 12 corn tortillas warmed
  • 6 tbsp onion for garnish
  • cilantro for garnish
  • lime for garnish
  • avocado for garnis
  • cotija cheese for garnish

Directions

  1. The night before, cut the pork into 3 inch pieces / chunks / cubes however you see fit. I just made three giant strips and place into a large zip top bag.
    1. Add brown sugar
    2. Add 1/2 tsp salt
    3. Add 1/2 tsp pepper
    4. Add 2 tbsp lime juice
    5. Add 2 tbsp orange juice
    6. Zip the bag up and remove as much air as possible. Set on a plate / bowl and place in the fridge (I do this in case the bag has a hole in it, last thing you want is to clean out the fridge!)
  2. Place 2 cups hot water and ancho chile into bowl and let stand 10 minutes.
    1. Drain and reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid
  3. Transfer the pork from the zip top bag to the slow cooker + discard the remaining marinade.
    1. Add garlic, onion, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, oregano, ancho chile, 1/4 cup reserved liquid, 2 tbsp lime juice, 2 tbsp orange juice
    2. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours uninterrupted.
    3. 4.  Remove the meat and shred. The recipe says you can pan fry it in cast iron skillet to give it some crunch, but you don’t have to, especially if you’re short on time, just build out those tacos and eat!!!

Enjoy! We did!

Weeknight Dinners

Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

This blog post is dedicated to my Mother-in-Law, Sue, who passed away while we were at a conference this past weekend in Denver. She inspired my husband to cook, who inspired me to cook because our daughter has life-threatening food allergies. We love her so much and her presence is missed dearly.  Through her many  delicious recipes, we will keep her memory alive. May she rest in peace.

This week has been full of emotion for us. High highs and very low lows. The highs came from the exciting travel and conference my hubs and I attended together, FaBlogCon, in Denver, CO. We love Denver so  much. We had some fun date nights with his best friend + family, enjoyed some couple time, ate some great food (full of nuts) and met some new friends along the way. We both learned so much from FaBlogCon and we will definitely attend in the future. My hubs did the science/medicine track while I did the arts/blogger track. It worked out great.

This is the first meal I have made in over a week. I had other things that I wanted to blog about upon returning from FaBlogCon, but that’s life, and things happen. Slow cooker Indian Butter Chicken just sounded comforting and nut free.

Ingredients

  • 3 pieces naan bread
  • 1 red onion (I used yellow, oops)
  • 1 pound baby red potatoes, washed and quartered
  • 1 green chile
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, leaves and stems separated
  • 1.5 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • sprinkle kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 15oz tomato sauce*
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions

  1. Crumble 1/2 piece naan into bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Add the red onion, potatoes, chile, cilantro stems. Arrange chicken over the veg.
  3. Sprinkle garam masala over chicken.
  4. Add salt, pepper and dot with butter, add cinnamon stick
  5. Pour the tomato sauce over the top, cover and cook on low for 7 hours.
  6. Uncover and switch to warm setting or turn off completely
  7. Gently stir in the heavy cream
  8. Break chicken into large chunks
  9. Let stand 10 minutes
  10. Stir in the cilantro

You can eat this with just the naan, or make a small serving of rice to go along with it.

*Tomato Sauce: this recipe is super special since I used 15oz of our homemade canned tomatoes from last summer. Our method of preserving tomatoes has been passed down for many generations in my husbands family. And while it’s not my favorite thing to do at the end of summer (OK, I’m good for one day, then I hate canning)

 I cried today when I opened this 2016 tomato jar because it’s the last time we canned with my mother-in-law. She literally helped make tonight’s meal, and so it is even more special because of it.  Grateful for this memory and skill.  I added about a tbsp of tomato paste to thicken up my tomato. If you want to buy this in the store, you can – it’s in the canned good aisle. Tomato sauce. Pretty easy.

👇 Don’t forget to SCRUB those potatoes. This scrubber is nice since it wears like a ring and makes scrubbing a lot easier. Good stocking stuffer.

Cheers to Thursday, I hope you have a wonderful weekend full of love and laughter.