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Authentic Mexican right from your kitchen

Published 6:57pm Tuesday, March 20, 2012

For the past two years, our family has gone on a cruise to Mexico.

As far as vacations go, it’s a lot of fun.

As far as food goes, it’s impossible to beat.

If you’ve never been on a cruise, basically, once you’re on board you can eat non-stop for the duration of the trip. The cost of your meal – or hundreds of meals – is built into the cost of the ticket so feel free to chow down.

One of the excursions we enjoy most is, once arriving is Cozumel, getting off the boat and eating lunch at one of the local restaurants.

Mexican food in Mexico is hardly similar to what you find stateside.

If you don’t have the time to dash down to Mexico for a bite to eat, give this recipe a try.

It uses one of the world’s handiest kitchen appliances (a crock pot) and uncomplicates an otherwise difficult-to-make green chili pork stew.

You’ll need:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 (12 ounce) cans tomatillos, drained and chopped

1 (7 ounce) can diced green chile peppers

2 fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced

1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

1 quart water

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/4 cup sour cream

4 sprigs fresh cilantro, for garnish

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and brown the pork whole on all sides. Reserving the juices in the skillet, transfer the pork to your crock pot.

In the skillet with the pork juices over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic for about a minute. Transfer to the slow cooker along with skillet juices.

Mix the tomatillos, green chile peppers, jalapeno peppers and cilantro into the slow cooker. You can adjust the spice of your stew by adding more or less jalapeños. I know a lot of people do not like cilantro. I do not recommend skipping it in this recipe. It’s not overwhelming and it adds a lot of authenticity to the flavor.

Season with oregano, salt and pepper. Pour in one quart water, or enough to cover all ingredients. Cover, and cook on High for six to seven hours.

Shred the cooked pork with a fork. Spoon the slow cooker mixture into bowls and top with Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream and fresh cilantro sprigs to serve.

If you don’t like cilantro, you can skip the extra on top.

Tiffany Cannon is a field editor for Taste of Home Magazine and owner of 2ate9 Bakery and Catering in Demopolis. She can be reached at tiffany@2ate9.com

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