This is incredibly out of character for me. Don't get me wrong, I am all about some cooking competitions. I'm guilty of even turning potlucks at work into Iron Chef matches. Dad and I still compete in the kitchen (although he always wins). The kicker is that I hate reality TV. In fact, I don't even have TV. I watch my episodes of The Office, Parks and Recreation and Modern Family on Jeremy's computer. I don't enjoy the drama, cat fights, and overly staged cheese factors of a reality show. But when it comes to food it's a whole new ballgame. I've even learned to love Iron Chef. ("Squisant! ...Yes...")
...Did anyone get that reference other than my own sister? Yes?
The truth is, I have a lot of respect for not only Gordon Ramsay and the top chefs that make this show so successful, but I also have loads of respect for any amateur cook who has the gonads to really put himself out there and possible make an arse out of himself on National Television, all in the name of his passion and love for food and cooking. Did I mention the perks of networking, meeting other cooks, bloggers and food writers, and spending an incredible weekend in one of my favorite cities with my sister and cousin? So first thing Friday morning, off we trot to Savannah so I can make an arse out of myself while doing what I love most.
Okay, I won't make you wait any longer. So what am I going to make, for Pete's sake?! Oh, you know, just some Cochinita Pibil. What, you haven't heard of it? Allow me to introduce you...
It's pork... It's not vegan, yo...
|Ewwww! Can you see the little hair folicles?! I really should have let my butcher cut this up for me.|
Wrapped in banana leaves...
|(Only after playing matador with the leaves because you are a child) That's clearly why I'm not wearing make-up as well. Children don't wear make-up, Dodo.|
Braised slowly in the oven for hours, shredded, and eaten with tortillas or fresh lettuce like tacos, with a garnish of pickled onions and Mango Habanero Salsa.
This is a traditional Mayan recipe that has been around for hundreds of years. It's not widely available (at least around here), but it's one of my favorite things I've ever eaten. I was pretty pleased with the trial run, so I plan to present the same version on Saturday! There is no way to heat anything, so I'll be cooking everything ahead of time in my hotel room with a full kitchen, transporting the meat in a thermos, and everything else in a cooler, and plating it when it's my turn.
This is something I never imagined myself doing, but now I'm so looking forward to the experience. I decided there was no reason I shouldn't or couldn't do it, so Seize the Day!
More details on the history of the dish, inspiration, preparation and recipe will be forthcoming... Thanks for reading!