Eat This Word: Carnitas

The James Beard Foundation on carnitas
WHAT? Mexican confit. Though the word carnitas can refer to any small bits of cooked meat—that are usually served in soft corn tacos at roadside stands throughout Mexico—the most common is pork. To make pork carnitas, large pieces of shoulder and other fatty parts of the pig are simmered in vats of lard until they are crisp on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside. The meat is removed from the fat, drained, and broken up into small shreds that are then stuffed into tacos. (Where there are carnitas, there are usually chicherones, or crisp, fried pork skins.) The western part of central Mexico, namely Michoacán, is known for carnitas, but truth be told they are tasty just about everywhere—even Queens, New York.

WHERE? Ivy Stark, Scott Linquist, and Hugo Reyes's Beard House dinner

WHEN? May 21, 2010

HOW? Roast Duck Breast and Duck Carnitas Enchiladas with Dried Fruit, Al

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Food Matters: Swap Meat

We all treasure the taste and comfort of a homemade dinner, but when the demands of work and parenting take their toll, the 30-minute meal can feel daunting to even the most skilled home cooks. Instead of reaching for your stack of takeout menus, consider a meal swap, in which cooks prepare large batches of an entrée and exchange them with one another. Click here to learn more about this latest incarnation of the supper club.

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On the Menu: May 16 through May 22

Here’s what’s happening at the Beard House and around the country next week: Monday, May 17, 7:00 P.M. Seasonal French When CIA alum Humberto Campos Jr. followed his dream of opening his own restaurant, his labor of love turned out to be one of the region’s most romantic gems. Join him for a menu of the French-inspired seasonal cooking that has earned him four stars from the Star-Ledger. Tuesday, May 18, 7:00 P.M. Relais & Châteaux Series: Four-Star Dining When 2010 JBF Award nominee Daniel Humm took over the kitchen at Eleven Madison Park in 2006, the food world sang his praises. Since then Humm has really been humming; in re

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Giveaway: illy Coffee Trivia Winner

We know you've all been shaking with caffeinated anticipation for the announcement of our first illy coffee trivia winner, so, without further ado, the lucky commenter is Chef Martin! He correctly guessed that Finland consumes the most coffee per capita out of all the European countries. (The average Finn downs 3–4 cups of java a day, usually sans milk and sugar—that’s hardcore!) Chef Martin, you will receive a copy of From Coffee to Espresso by Riccardo Illy and Francesco Illy. Our illy coffee trivia series will continue the week of May 24, so come back for another fix from Master Barista Giorgio Milos!

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Recipe: Barbecue Cabrito Spice Rub

Memorial Day falls late in the month this year, but that doesn't mean you can't start plotting your grilling-season kickoff. This fast but flavor-packed spice rub from Tim Byres of Smoke Restaurant in Dallas will guarantee some delicious grilled or barbecued grub. The chef recommends spreading it on lamb cuts, but feel free to experiment with other proteins, too.

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Wine Wisdom: Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl

Wine writer and critic Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, who recently published Drink This, took home her fifth JBF Award last week. (The winning article, "Chardonnay Uncorked," can be found here.) We recently caught up with Dara and asked her which up-and-coming wine regions consumers should keep an eye on. Find out her answers to that and more here.

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On the Menu: Traverse City Food and Wine

Michigan native Myles Anton has earned a following for his farm-focused cuisine at Trattoria Stella, located in the lively gastro-hub of Traverse City, Michigan. He and his sommelier, Andrea Danielson, will present a spectacular dinner paired with excellent wines—many of which hail from Michigan wine country—at tonight's Beard House event. (Fun fact: Traverse City lies on the 45th parallel, the same circle of latitude that travels through Bordeaux and Burgundy.) Check out what's on the menu: Arugula with Parsnips, Chives, and Ligurian Focaccia Pairing: Left Foot Charley Pinot Blanc 2008 Gnocchetti with Lake Superior Walleye and Scallops, Tomato, and Roasted Garlic Pairing: Antinori Guado al Tasso Scalabrone Rosato 2009 Chicken Agnolotti with Crumbled Biscotti, Onions, and Cream Pairing: Parusso Bricco Rovella 2003

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