Smoky Watermelon and Carnitas Tacos
Recipe courtesy of Chef Jay Smith
Sponsor: National Watermelon Promotion Board
Smoky Spice Rub
- 3 Tbsp Chipotle chile powder
- 3 Tbsp Smoked paprika
- 1/3 tsp Cayenne pepper
- 1 ½ tsp Salt
Smoky Chile Watermelon
- 1 ½ lb Watermelon, cut in 1-inch dice
- 1 Tbsp Smoky Spice Rub
- 5 lb Pork shoulder, cut in 2-inch dice
- 5 Tbsp Smoky Spice Rub
- 3 Tbsp Salt
- 6 oz Onion, cut in ¼-inch dice
- 1 oz Finely chopped garlic
- 1 (7-oz) can Chipotle chiles in adobo
Watermelon and Carnitas Tacos
- 24 ea Corn tortillas (heated on grill)
- 72 pieces Carnitas, skewered
- 3 cups Spinach, stemmed
- 1 cup Salsa verde
- 1 1/2 cups Crumbled queso fresco
- 1 1/2 lb Smoky Chile Watermelon matchsticks
- 24 leaves Cilantro
- 24 ea Lime wedges
- For the spice rub: Blend and store airtight.
- For the watermelon: Season the watermelon with the smoky spice rub. Place into a bag and then vacuum to compress watermelon. Refrigerate for 12 hours and then use within 2 days.
- To use, cut the watermelon cubes into matchsticks 1 in. x ¼ in. x ¼ in.
- For the carnitas: Season the pork with the spice rub and salt. Combine it with the onion, garlic, and chipotles in a 4-inch-deep hotel pan. Cover airtight with foil.
- Place in a 350 degree F convection oven for 2 hours and braise until the pork is fork tender.
- Let cool and then cover and refrigerate.
- Place carnitas skewers on a grill and heat evenly until hot throughout.
- Place a tortilla on a plate and top with ½ cup spinach and 3 pieces hot carnitas.
- Top with salsa verde, queso fresco, and watermelon matchsticks.
- Garnish with a lime wedge and cilantro leaf.