Chef Aarón Sanchez is primarily known, at least in this house, as one of the regular guest judges on Food Network's show Chopped. Now he's coming to your refrigerator.
Found this in the store and had to give it a try. "Authentic Mexican dishes my from kitchen to yours," he writes in his own handwriting on the package. He probably runs through a dozen Sharpies a day.
Would it be too fiery hot for us, though? We're kind of wimpy at the Key ranchito, and we were a little scared. Sanchez co-hosts another TV program called Heat Seekers with Roger Mooking, essentially a show about two jamokes who run around to spicy-food restaurants and torture themselves with horrifically hot foods. Mooking generally can take the pain a lot better than Sanchez, as I recall, but still. Carnitas from A.S. himself are going to be butt-whupping hot, right? The kind of thing you barely get down, then you blast fire into the toilet twelve hours later.
Nothing to do but get a load of cheese and sour cream in, and devil take the hindmost!
So I nuked it up, brought out the tortillas, and served it wearing safety goggles and Ove Gloves. And it was...
Bland as a lump of dirt. Dull as a Nerf home run derby. Fatty as the first guy on line for the cruise ship chocolate buffet.
Maybe that's authentic Carnitas for you. I hear there is some variation in the seasonings used for the dish, but I expected this to have more than salt.
Chef Sanchez, the entree you served is exceptionally fatty and disappointingly flavorless. We were expecting Lupe Vélez; we got Lawrence Welk.
I'm sorry, Chef Sanchez: You have been chopped.