Skip to main content

#peterbsbrewsandbitescontest: Legend of Laguna Carnitas over Pan-Fried Polenta Cakes



When I saw #peterbsbrewsandbitescontest - a cooking contest to create an appetizer using one of their brews - announced on Peter B's Facebook page, I was instantly inspired. I wanted to create a dish showcasing my favorite Peter B's brew: Legend of Laguna IPA.

I am definitely not a hop-head; I am typcially not a fan of IPAs. But the first time I tasted the Legend of Laguna IPA, in a tasting flight, I was enamored. It was my favorite of the six for sure.

I went back to try it a second time and had the same reaction: I love the citrusy, everygreeny taste! It's bright without being too bitter. I'm definitely a fan.

So, to play on those orange and pine flavors, I created some carnitas-topped polenta cakes made with citrus juice and pine honey.

If you're local, here's a link to all the places you can purchase bottles, and the brew pub also has growlers & growlettes to go! Here we go...what I made for #peterbsbrewsandbitescontest...


Note: Read through the entire recipe post before making your grocery list; there are three parts to this - the carnitas, the polenta cakes, and the garnishes. Also, make the carnitas and polenta a day before you plan to serve. Enjoy!

Legend of Laguna IPA-Braised Carnitas

Carnitas Ingredients
  • 3 pounds skinless, boneless pork, cut into 2-inch pieces 
  • 12 oz Legend of Laguna IPA
  • 1 T pine honey
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Procedure
Bring all of the ingredients - except salt and pepper - to a boil in a large, flat-bottom pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pork is fork-tender, approximately an hour.


Uncover pork; simmer until liquid evaporates and pork begins to brown, approximately half an hour. Continue to cook, for another 10 minutes, until the pork is nicely browned. Shred pork with a fork.


Pan-Fried Polenta Cakes
Polenta Ingredients
  • 2 C polenta
  • 5 C warm water
  • 1/2 C Legend of Laguna IPA
  • 1 T pine honey
  • 1/4 C freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 C freshly squeezed kumquat juice
  • 4 T butter
  • freshly ground sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Procedure
Bring water, IPA, honey, and citrus juices to a boil in a large saucepan. Add freshly ground salt and freshly ground pepper. Gradually whisk in the polenta. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring constantly, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.


Remove from the heat, stir in butter, and season to taste with more salt and pepper. Spoon into a buttered pan and let cool.


Once cool, cover and refrigerate overnight.


To Assemble...
  • butter
  • salsa
  • sour cream
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Melt a pat of butter in a skillet. Slice your polenta into serving size pieces - what ever size you want. I tried both bite-sized and larger. Pan-fry the cakes until a crisp crust forms, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Reheat the carnitas with 1/2 C water in a covered pot, adding more water if needed to keep pork moist.

Place the polenta cakes on your serving plate. Drizzle with salsa. Top with carnitas. Add a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle with freshly ground salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.

Cheers!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

Aloo Tiki {Pakistan}

To start off our Pakistani culinary adventure, I started us off with aloo tiki - potato cutlets. I'm always game for tasty street food. I found a couple of different recipes and incorporated those together for this version. Ingredients 6-8 small red potatoes, scrubbed 1 T cumin seeds 1 T fresh chopped parsley 1/2 t ground coriander 1 t minced garlic Procedure Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Drain and let cool. Mash the potatoes. Traditionally they are mashed without their skins. I left the skins on. In a small pan, toast the cumin seeds on high heat until the begin to give off an aroma and begin to darken. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to keep them from cooking any more. Blend all of the spices into the mashed potatoes, then shape into small patties. If you wet your hands, the potato mixture won't stick to them. Heat a splash of oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Dip each patty into beaten egg and carefully place in the oil. P

Hot Chocolate Agasajo-Style {Spice It Up!}

photo by D For my Spice It Up! kiddos this week, I was looking for an exotic drink to serve while we learned about saffron. I found a recipe from food historian Maricel Presilla that mimicked traditional Spanish hot chocolate from the 17th century where it was served at lavish receptions called agasajos . When I teach, I don't always get to shoot photos. Thankfully, D grabbed my camera and snapped a few. Ingredients serves 14-16 1 gallon organic whole milk 3 T dried rosebuds - or 2 t rosewater 2 t saffron threads, lightly crushed 3 T ground cinnamon 3 whole tepin chiles, crushed 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise 1 C organic granulated sugar 1 lb. bittersweet chocolate Procedure In a large soup pot that can hold a gallon plus, combine milk, dried rosebuds (or rosewater, if you are using that), saffron threads, ground cinnamon, chiles, vanilla beans, and sugar and warm over medium heat till it steams. Whisk to dissolve sugar, then lower heat an