I am a bit of a lazy cook. Sure, I can spend all day making puff pastry to bake with, but ask me to make dinner and I’ll look for the easy way out. I prefer one-pot meals where you throw everything into the pot and walk away.
However, I also enjoy experimenting with new recipes, and I’m willing to spend some time satisying a craving. So when my desire for Mexican food (not something you can find in any nearby restaurant) overcame my laziness, I wandered over to Mexgrocer.co.uk to stock up on the necessary ingredients.
I had a couple dishes in mind that I wanted to try out. The first was a new discovery from a work trip to Durham, North Carolina, earlier this year. We had dinner at Dos Perros, where I was introduced to cochinita pibil. It was glorious. I have talked about making it basically since I arrived home from that trip. The second dish I wanted to make was a Chipotle chicken knock-off, mainly because I keep saying that I will cook myself well-rounded lunches and Chipotle’s burrito bowls seem tasty enough to be worth the hassle.
I decided to start with a cochinita pibil recipe from Rick Bayless, made for slow cookers. It was super easy: Drop a pork shoulder in the slow cooker, add sliced onion and a simple marinade (achiote paste, lime juice, and water), pour in a little water, and set it to cook for six hours. When I opened it at the end, it was pull-apart tender.
I also made black beans, polenta, and pickled onions to go with it — but the meal was really all about the pork. We decided to freeze the leftover cochinita pibil to have next week, and I mixed the remaining sauce with the black beans to make them extra yummy for the next meal.
I decided to try the Chipotle-style chicken as a dinner tonight, so my husband could taste-test it with me. (It was also an easy dish to go with last night’s leftover black beans.) I’ll admit I haven’t had Chipotle in long enough that I can’t judge how good of a knock-off it was, so I chose a recipe from the comments section on ChipotleFan.com because it touted the simplicity and looked good to me.
To prepare, before bed last night I opened a can of chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped a few of them up, and added them to a bowl along with chicken thighs, lime juice, and spices. That went into the fridge to marinate until dinner-time today.
All we had to do this evening (I say “we” because my husband ended up taking over the cooking while I did other chores) was cook some rice and throw the chicken in a hot pan. Chop some vegetables, reheat the beans, throw it all on a plate, and there’s another very tasty dinner.
Given how easy both of these meals were, and how well they satisfied my cravings for Mexican food, I think they’ll both go into my regular cooking rotation. And I even have some avocados still ripening in the kitchen — guacamole on the weekend, anyone?