Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yummy, Easy "Carnitas" Also--any ideas for helping with a special needs student?

Pork Tortas

Let me explain my question first and then I will give you the very yummy recipe.

I have a seminary student who I am told by his mother has "autistic tendencies" but I do not believe has been officially diagnosed with anything. He is very smart, but also difficult to handle in class. (He is also not medicated in any way) His behavior is disruptive but I am not ready to have him removed from class as when I look into his face I see a very sweet little boy. However, I do not know how to help him learn to behave in a way that does not cause chaos in the classroom. I know he can do better, as he was a little better earlier in the year, but it is now getting a bit out of control. Any ideas? Books? Articles?

And second . . .while my daughter was visiting we made very yummy carnitas to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. The recipe is easy, it just needs a lot of time to cook in the crock pot. You can use the meat for tacos, or burritos, but it is also very good for "tortas". To make tortas buy hard rolls and make sandwiches using the meat, salsa, refried beans lettuce and guacamole. Oh so delicious!!

1 teaspoon salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 (4 pound) boneless pork shoulder or butt roast
2 bay leaves
2 cups chicken broth

Mix together salt, cumin, oregano, coriander, and chili powder in a bowl. Coat pork with the spice mixture. Place the bay leaves in the bottom of a slow cooker and place the pork on top. Pour the chicken broth around the sides of the pork, being careful not to rinse off the spice mixture.Cover and cook on Low until the pork shreds easily with a fork, about 10 hours. (Okay, so I actually had it on High for about 3-4 hours, then turned it on low until I needed to take it out so we could eat on time--probably an hour or two.)

When the pork is tender (and it was!), remove from slow cooker, and shred with two forks. Use cooking liquid as needed to moisten the meat. At this point, we spread the shredded meat on a cookie sheet, poured some of the cooking liquid on it, and roasted it in the oven at 400 degrees--for about 15 minutes. I am not really sure why that is part of the recipe, but we did it anyway. I saved some of the liquid to use on it afterwards though.



Becky said...

Sounds yummy!

As for your student, we have a primary boy who has much improved since his teacher appointed him as class president and gave him a few little responsibilities. Not sure this could apply to your class, but thought it could be something to mull over.

Jenny-Jenny said...

Wow, that sounds oh so good. I can't wait to try it. Wish I had some kind of wisdom. I don't and I wish you blessings.

Shannon said...

I have 2 nephews who are borderline autistic- the oldest being 12. I'm going to email your concerns to my sister-in-law and see what she has to say. I know for my nephews that order and consistency were huge in helping figure out what they were supposed to be doing and when.

Thanks for the recipe. It sounds delicious!

Dave and Camille said...

Haha... we had this for dinner tonight!

Shannon said...

Hi again! Here's what my sister-in-law, Melissa, had to say. Good luck!

"Without really knowing the child, my first instinct is a chart or reward system. Find something that he loves and is willing to work for, and then implement his own private little reward system for his behavior. One on one I would clearly identify what he is doing that is disruptive, clearly identify what he should in its place, and each day if he improves on those issues, he earns something towards his eventual goal. Sometimes they just need to be taught a replacement behavior or be given an out, (like if I can't control an outburst that is coming, I have permission to leave the room for a minute to calm down). That's my totally off-the-cuff suggestion. If you get any more details on what the behavior problem is, maybe I can think of something more specific!"

Momza said...

The recipe looks too yummy not to try!
As for your student, there is a teaching manual the Church puts out for Special needs is full of ideas that you may find helpful. Also, you might try googling your question.
I think it's wonderful that you want to figure out a way for him to enjoy your class...teachers like you are priceless.