Carnitas with Salsa Verde | Stoneground Grits (or corn tortillas) | Cucumber & Herb Salad

If you have the time to cook the pork (it does the work; you just have to be there), true carnitas is delightful for tacos, or just on top of a big green salad. There are similar preparations that are much quicker, though, like crispy ground pork or buying smoked shoulder from a local BBQ shop.

Love to Cook: The cooking time for this carnitas recipe is 2-3 hours, but other than time it needs almost no attention until the very end. Martha Stewart’s version is a bit shorter and just as good. Use herbs of your choice for the salsa verde, and serve with thick, warm corn tortillas, or grits, or grit cakes, and a simple cucumber salad.

Weeknight Reality: Similar in taste and texture is this crispy pork, which uses ground pork and is ready in less than 20 minutes. The recipe calls for steamed rice, but corn tortillas would work here, too.

Need a Miracle: Most BBQ shops will sell plain smoked pork shoulder (pulled or chopped), without added sauce. Some groceries also carry smoked pork in the freezer section. Be wary of the ready-to-cook versions in the refrigerated aisle, though, as they are loaded with salt. Serve the meat with warm tortillas, cilantro, avocado, and lime, with or without a salad.



If you’re itching to shake the gray, rainy weather with a taste of summer (even though summer’s not quite here yet) some robust pasta puttanesca should do the trick. Pair it with a cool cucumber salad and end with a tub of salted caramel gelato (which you could, of course, make instead of buying), and presto-chango, you’ll feel sunny and bright.

Pasta Puttanesca | Marinated Cucumber Salad | Salted Caramel Gelato

Love to Cook: Most puttanesca recipes are pretty easy, and this one’s no exception; this cucumber salad is a particularly good companion for the flavors in the pasta; if you’re up for making you’re own gelato, why not try salted caramel + bourbon-hazelnut swirl

Weeknight Reality: Here’s a one-skillet version of the pasta that will be ready in a flash; make this cucumber salad (same as above) while it’s cooking; don’t forget your Talenti gelato

Need a Miracle: This super-quick version of puttanesca will be ready in a flash; make the salad from the grocery salad bar and buy the gelato. Bada-bing.