Cristina Cooks Her Big Game Banquet


Big Game Sliders Ingredients:

  • 2 packages (about 12 per package) Hawaiian dinner rolls or whole
  • Wheat hamburger buns
  • 2 pounds chuck roast (have your butcher grind it fresh)
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked pepper
  • 6 slices sharp cheddar cheese, cut into quarters, at room temperature
  • Ketchup, squeezed right from bottle
  • Bread-and-butter pickles

Chipotle Chili Carnitas Ingredients Serves 8

  • 2 pounds pork shoulder (or pork butt), trimmed of fat
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 8 cups chicken stock, homemade or commercial
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 8 - 9" flour or whole wheat tortillas or whole wheat tortillas, wrapped in tin foil

Chipotle Sauce Ingredients:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 pounds Roma tomatoes, sliced in half from top to bottom
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh oregano
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 canned chipotle chile peppers in adobo, finely chopped


  • ½ cup Mexican créma or sour cream in a squeeze bottle
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced<br><br><b>Additional Garnish Suggestions: </b>
  • Sliced avocado or guacamole
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Minced onions
  • Red or green salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Refried beans
  • Shredded cheese
  • Lime wedge

Coleslaw With Creamy Poppy-Seed-Lemon Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 head Savoy cabbage
  • 1½ cups mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Cracked pepper

Guacamole Ingredients: Makes 4 to 5 cups

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • ½ medium white onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 jalapenos, 1 finely chopped, and 1 sliced thin, for garnish
  • 1 lime, sliced thin, for garnish

Big Game Sliders Recipe:

  1. With a 2-inch biscuit cutter, cut slider-size buns out of the dinner rolls. If the buns are too thick (they will be if you are using Hawaiian dinner rolls), just press down to flatten them before using the biscuit cutter. They will bounce back just a little, leaving you with the perfect buns.
  2. Shape the sliders by rolling a golf ball–size meatballs between your palms, then pressing them into 2-inch-wide patties ¾ inch thick. You should have enough beef to make 16 to 18 miniburgers, maybe more. Sprinkle both sides of the sliders with kosher salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a grill pan or heavy skillet until searing hot. Brush a tablespoon of canola oil over the grill pan. Sprinkle the miniburgers with kosher salt. Place the miniburgers salt side down on the grill, and sprinkle the tops of the burgers with kosher salt. Grill for 1½ minutes on each side, then flip over once more and add a slice of cheese on top of each burger. Grill for 1 minute, until the cheese has melted (if you have a large enough lid, cover the burgers, as this will help the cheese melt quicker). Transfer the burgers to a warm platter.
  4. Grill the buns on the same grill pan, lightly toasting the inside tops and bottoms only (about 15 to 20 seconds).
  5. To assemble the burger, put a squirt of ketchup and a pickle on the bottom bun, add the burger, and cover with the top bun. Serve immediately and wait for the compliments!

Chipotle Sauce Recipe:

  1. Make the Chipotle Sauce first.
  2. Preheat the oven to 250°. Place the sliced tomatoes on a baking sheet, sprinkle generously with Kosher salt, and add a likewise generous sprinkle of cracked black pepper to taste.
  3. Drizzle approximately ¼ cup olive oil over the tomatoes, and then bake in the oven for 3 hours. Remove from the oven, let cool, and then gently pull the skins off. Chop the tomatoes into small chunks.
  4. Heat a skillet on medium high for 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup olive oil and the chopped tomatoes. Add thyme, oregano, cloves, cinnamon stick, and chipotle chiles. Stir to combine, simmer for a very few minutes, and then add salt if necessary. Cover and set aside until the pork is done. This sauce can be made the night before.
  5. To make the Carnitas, preheat the oven to 325°. Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan. Meanwhile, heat a heavy oven-proof pot or Dutch Oven for 2 minutes on the stove at a medium high heat. Add the olive oil and heat for an additional 30 seconds. Season the pork with salt and pepper and sear until golden brown on all sides.
  6. Lower the heat to medium, add the onions to the pot and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes to bring out the natural juices.
  7. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Sprinkle on the salt and black pepper.
  8. Carefully pour in the hot chicken stock to cover about ¾ of the way up the side of the pork. Add the thyme and oregano and cover the pot. Cook in the oven for 4 hours.
  9. Ten minutes before the pork is ready, place the wrapped tortillas in the oven to warm.
  10. Remove the pork from the oven and place on a cutting board. Using a fork, shred the pork and add it to the pot with the Chipotle Sauce. Add two ladles of the chicken stock and mix together. Heat through on medium low heat.
  11. Take a warm tortilla and place a generous portion of the Carnitas on top, drizzle with Mexican créma and avocados and whatever other toppings you choose. Fold over and enjoy!

Coleslaw With Creamy Poppy-Seed-Lemon Dressing Recipe:

  1. Chop the cabbage into small pieces and place in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, vinegars, cayenne, and poppy seeds. Pour the dressing over the cabbage, and mix well.
  3. Add the salt and pepper to taste, cover, and chill at least 2 hours before serving.

Guacamole Recipe:

  1. Split the avocados along the sides and divide in half.
  2. Remove the pit, and scoop the avocado into a ceramic bowl. Mash with a potato masher (not a ricer) until smooth.
  3. Add the onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and chopped jalapeno, and continue to mash until the guacamole looks whipped and fluffy.
  4. Adjust the seasoning, adding more salt if necessary.
  5. Place an avocado pit in the middle of the guacamole to help keep it from turning dark. Garnish with sliced lime and jalapeno.
  6. Serve immediately with warm tortilla chips, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  7. Refrigerate leftovers in an air tight container for up to 24 hours.

Serve with warm tortilla chips. To warm tortilla chips, place them on a baking sheet in the oven at 400 ° F for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

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