Shredded Pork, Pickled Onions, Corn Cakes
This recipe sort of comes from Gourmet. It was an appetizer recipe in there, served on little mini arepas, but I modified it to be a main course and use the ingredients I had available. The recipe took up a whole page, but broken down over the course of 24 hours it didn't seem that labor intensive.
Saturday night I cut a red onion in quarters and sliced them into thin quarter-rings. Then I tossed that with 1/2 cup vinegar, a diced jalapeno and some oregano and salt and left it all the fridge. Sunday around noon I diced up some garlic, mashing it with salt to make a paste, then added cumin, oregano, allspice and pepper (I'm not giving amounts because I think I should've added more--maybe a good tablespoon of each?). Mixed it into equal parts orange juice and vinegar in a baking dish, then added three 3/4-inch-thick pork chops and put it in the fridge, covered with foil, to marinate. A couple hours before dinner I popped it in a 325 degree oven.
To make up for no arepas, I mixed up cornbread batter and spread some in the bottom of this inane muffin-top tin I picked up off the giveaway table at work. I added a layer of shredded mozzarella and then topped it with more cornbread batter. Baked it for 10 minutes in 425 degree oven after I took the pork out to make these big, flat corn cakes (the muffin-top tin does have another use!). While those were baking I shredded the pork in its baking dish and mixed it with the remaining liquid in there. We ate the corn cakes topped with shredded pork and the pickled onions. I would've liked more spice, but the bite of the vinegary onion was a good contrast to the subtlety of the other flavors. And I really liked the technique for the shredded pork.