Recipe: Puerco Pibil… Crock-Pot Style

If you’ve ever watched Once Upon a Time in Mexico (disclaimer: I never have), you are aware that a dish called Puerco Pibil (or Cochinita Pibil) plays a significant role in the story. And if you’ve ever seen the DVD (disclaimer: I never have), you may have found a special feature called “10-Minute Cooking School” where Robert Rodriguez, in all his bandanna-rocking glory, shows you how to cook Puerco Pibil while waxing philosophical on food and lovemaking. And if you dig slow-cooked pork (disclaimer: hell yeah I do), you’ve probably had it in your mind to make it.

Puerco pibil in a bowl

If you watch the recipe, though, it seems like it could be a bit of a nuisance… finding banana leaves, grinding spices, blending things, marinating, roasting for hours… doesn’t sound like a weeknight meal! But with a little creativity and a Crock Pot, you can bring on the pork coma any night of the week without too much fuss. At least, that’s what my slow-cooker Puerco Pibil experiment seems to have demonstrated.

Banana leaves? Habanero peppers? What’s an achiote? Click to read on, Agent Sands.

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Is it food? Eight Precious San Pao Tai Tea

So a while ago I was invited to a wedding. My freshly married friend was (and is) an anthropologist who specializes in Chinese minority cultures, so our wedding treats were…interesting. One of the items I received in my goody kit was a mysterious beverage kit labeled “Eight Precious San Pao Tai Tea.” It looked like this:

Mmm... steamy...

And it took me about three years to build up the courage to actually make and drink it.

Hot tea. Sugar crystals. Floaty bits. Read on for more.

Recipe: Tres Leches Cake

Postre de Tres Leches is a traditional Latin American dessert in which a dense, sweet cake is doused in a combination of condensed milk, evaporated milk, and cream. It’s topped with a thick layer of whipped cream, which I guess makes it quatro leches, but who’s counting?Tres leches son deliciosos!

A few weeks ago Alton Brown made tres leches cake on the “milk” episode of Good Eats, and I’d been dying to try it. So, in preparation of getting together with some friends to watch Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter, I thought I’d give the recipe a shot. (If anyone has appropriate puns for this juxtaposition, please let me know.)

Click here to read about our trip into the land of cream and sugar