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 Chili 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 chili 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.