Sunday, March 20, 2016

Carnitas Nachos and Total Abuse

I was taking a gamble when I decided to try out this untested recipe for carnitas since there's only so many hours in a weeknight and if the meat didn't cook in the listed time, we'd have no meat for our nachos! We actually have nachos for dinner pretty often but for R&R we were going to try making them like they do at Mexican restaurants where someone takes the time to put the beans/meat/cheese on each individual chip instead of just piling everything on there like we usually do. BUT luck would have it that we had enough ingredients to make both so we could have a side-by-side comparison. First came the meat which is billed as "beer braised carnitas" in the recipe but would not qualify as authentic carnitas which I believe are usually cooked in a shit ton of lard. Authenticity wasn't my goal so much as tatiness. These were braised with beer, garlic, some dried chilies, for about an hour and then once the liquid has cooked up, the meat starts to brown as you shred it, giving it a very carnitas-esque texture and flavor. The pork shoulder did have lots of fat so it wasn't like this became some kind of diet dish or anything.

We also made a somewhat sloppy version of refried beans, using canned black beans cooked with onions and garlic and some pork fat. My attempts to smash them int he pan with a meat tenderizer was not great but ultimately, they tasted great. We also grated some Tillamook Colby Jack instead of the usual bagged, grated cheese which, yeah, I gotta admit melts a little better. Not so much so that  I'm never going to buy pre-shredded cheese sometimes because I'm still lazy the other 6 days out of the week.

Pile nachos are clearly less time consuming to make and I do think maybe I tasted the meat more since, as is the nature of pile-style nachos, you get disparate amounts of toppings in different bites so some bites were meatier than others. But other than that, the uneven distribution of toppings is a negative and the chips don't stay crisp in the middle and while they are totally fine, they are not great. The individual nachos are a perfect little bite of everything and the chips get delightfully crisp. If ever we live our dream of opening up a bar/music venue/restaurant/fro yo establishment (the concept changes daily) we will definitely put individual nachos on the menu. "Carnitas" recipe: A, Pile nachos: B, Individual nachos: A+

We listened to this album Matt ordered by Total Abuse called "Excluded." We listened to the first song on the wrong speed somehow and I was like "okay, this is going to be kind of drone-y and boring, nbd" but on the right speed, it's pretty brutal punk that I enjoyed right off the bat. The guy sounds fucked up, especially in the standout track The New Man. It stood out because the line "I know that sex/I know that sex is worse than death" really makes you go "hmmmm what happened to do this dude?" I read a little about the lead guy, Rusty Kelly (which is an awesome name) had some serious issues with drugs and their previous music was even more self-loathing which is accomplishment because this album is already very much on that tip. As I've stated, I like punk music where I can understand the lyrics but I also am here for the guttural scream at the beginning of the track, too. B

I mean, the lyrics printed on the record label pretty much sum up the vibe of this album. I've had those, too, Rusty, you aren't alone! But nachos can help.

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