Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Carnitas Pizza with Guacamole

If you read this often it will become evident that I have been having an affair, an affair with Trader Joes. Its been difficult to maintain due to the nearest one being a full hour away from my home in Lafayette but I have stayed true. I particularly love the items available at the California Trader Joes since they have more of a selection than those stores in Indiana. The disparity between the quality of Trader Joes in the two states will be a blog post sometime in the near future.

Today I get to highlight a food item they don’t carry in Indiana: Carnitas. I appreciate that the meat which traditionally has a long preparation time is neatly packaged in useable serving sizes and is pre-cooked! It lacks the large fatty portions of meat that I despise and it isn’t dried out or over salted. The carnitas can easily be shredded by hand, warmed in a pan, tossed with red onions and cilantro, drizzled with lime juice, and served with tortillas or a side of rice. While that is one of my favorite ways to have carnitas, this weekend I tried something new: Carnitas Pizza!

This dish is extremely quick to prepare and all the ingredients can be picked up at the same place: Trader Joes. Here is the list of what you will need:

1 package of Pizza Dough
1 medium Red Onion
4 oz of Mozzarella
4 oz of Mexican Blend Cheese
Cilantro Roasted Pecan Dip
1 package of Carnitas

Follow the directions on the pizza dough since the directions on the bag are designed to get you the best results on your pizza crust. Next, spread the cilantro dip on the dough as though it was your run of the mill pizza sauce. Top the sauce with a thin layer of mozzarella and then add a thin layer of the Mexican blend cheese. The Mexican blend seems to be slightly oilier and less stringy than the mozzarella so by using a base of mozzarella you can cut down on the amount of Mexican blend and, hence, the grease while still getting that stringiness of traditional pizza. Top the cheeses with diced carnitas and sliced red onions.

As a dish to munch on while preparing the meal, I had some chips and guacamole which I later used to top the pizza.

While there are good photos of the uncooked pizza, I had apparently already sampled too much of the Trader Joes knockoff Corona to take any steady photos of the completed version. I do apologize and have since purchased a mini tripod so that my hands don’t have to be quite as stable. Good times!


Jen said...

Hi from a fellow LA-transplant for grad school/Trader Joes loving anthropologist! Loved reading your posts, keep it up!

Sarah C. said...

Yay! I am glad you like them!!!

Jeannie said...

Hey Sarah - Miss you bigtime! If you want to make your own pizza crust...2 Cups flour, ~ 1 1/2 tsp yeast, 1/4 tsp salt, ~1-2 TBL Olive oil, Warm Water. You can mix the flour and yeast, then add warm water, mixing enough in until you have something that looks like stringy dough. Add the olive oil, and then kneed with hands until the dough is uniform. You may need to add a little more water or a little more flour. Once it is a nice consistent dough, shape in a ball. Place in an oil coated bowl and let rise (cover with damp paper towel) in a warm place (oven is fine) until it doubles in size. When you are ready to make your pizza - punch it down, roll it out to your desired shape, let it rise about 10-15 minutes before you put on your toppings and then bake as desired. On pizza days I make this in the morning, then it is ready by the afternoon. This recipe makes about a medium size pizza depending on how thin you want your crust.