Cooking with Cloudflare (Latinflare Takeover)
The Internet has never been this tasty! Join us for adventures combining cooking with discussions of the tech that makes the web tick.
Hi everyone. Good evening. This is Suzie Jimenez and Alex. We are joining from our kitchens and today's episode is Latinflare Taking Over and we will be making tacos de carnitas.
Alex, introduction. Hey Suzie, how are you doing? So I'm Alex Mayorga Adame.
I'm a solutions engineer with Cloudflare out of the Austin office. First time ever in cooking with Cloudflare.
So very excited to be here. Awesome. Yeah. So I'm on the, I'm at based out of the Austin office and I am part of the people team, more specifically recruiting and also my first time on Cloudflare cooking.
I feel like this is going to be a good time for us to put together some taquitos.
So I'm excited to be in the kitchen with you.
Yeah, most definitely. So because it's a Latinflare Takeover, we actually have a recipe for carnitas from Gabby or brave leader of Latinflare that she posted in the wiki.
But to be honest with you, I'm cheating a little bit.
So I'm doing the box kind because it's easy and convenient. Yeah.
And hopefully we're not making a disservice to the tradition of carnitas here, but because that's a very involved process and you were sharing with me your document that you are researching.
Yeah. So I went into a little bit deeper on tacos de carnitas and it's really, it's associated with a festive occasion in Mexico, right?
It's usually consumed during weekends, particularly on Sundays, it's sold in what's called the mercado which is a marketplace day in Mexico and carnita vendors are common and it is a great family.
Actually there's this particular family that has handed down taquerias from generation to generation, right?
And so it is such a process that takes about three to four hours at minimum.
And so that's why it's not something that you would make like during dinner, like, I gotta go get make dinner ready.
Let's just put some carnitas on the stove.
It's not like that, right? And it's originated from Michoacan, Mexico. Have you ever visited there, Alex?
Yeah. As a matter of fact, I have. We visit Michoacan with my wife on, I forget which of our honeymoons.
So there's this tradition that we have, my wife and I.
We will do a vacation like inland to celebrate our anniversary and then do another one on the beach.
So one of the inlands one went to, we went to Michoacan.
And yeah, we went to Pátzcuaro, we went to Santa Clara del Cobre, which is also relevant because that's where you get the castles, the copper castles to make carnitas.
So let's get started, I guess. Ingredients are super easy.
If you can get like carnitas from a pack, that's what we're doing today.
Oh, I need to go get my tortillas, but we also have tomatoes, onions. I got an avocado, your favorite salsa also, and a lime or a lemon will do.
Let me get my tortillas.
Nice. And so I couldn't decide whether I wanted corn tortillas or flour tortillas.
So here in Austin, Texas, there's a store called HEV and you can get mitad y mitad, which means half and half.
So this is half flour and half corn. So these are super amazing.
I highly recommend it. They're also known as mixta. You can get those as well.
And so it's a combination. And so I went with the HEV brand again.
Here are my carnitas. So yeah, those are legit. I love those. Yeah. So HEV has a actually a Latin connection.
And so I think a lot of their foods are very authentic, right?
Just for the record, we're not sponsored by HEV, but their products are really good.
So I went with what they call the street tortillas, like the tiny kind.
And I also, I'm a very jello tortilla type guy. So that's what I got.
So my box asked for medium heat on a skillet. I'm going to dump my carnitas in there.
Nice. And it asked also for a quarter cup of water. So that's what I have over here.
Let's do that. So carnitas actually means little meats. So juicy on the inside, but caramelized on the outside.
So it has a real savory, but kind of sweet taste.
It's the Mexican version of the pulled pork, right? So if it's like, think of it as like a pulled pork.
So the American version of it, because I've seen several recipes, like if you want to make this from scratch, you can use pork shoulder, also known as the pork butt, because it has a higher fat content, which helps the meat stay super tender and juicy when it's cooked.
But if you go to Michoacan, they're actually pork cuts of meat that include the pig skin, the snout, the ears and the cheek.
And it's very interesting how they cook carnitas. It's actually a confit style, right?
And so you take pounds of lard and you put it into this copper pot.
And what it does is you put the pieces of meat in there and it actually sears the meat.
So you don't get like the lard that goes through and through the meat and kind of raises our cholesterol.
It doesn't do that. But I found, are you finding that those are greasy or are they a perfect combination for you to get your fry or your caramelization as you're frying them up right now?
I think these ones are pre -cooked a little bit, so you only have to reheat it.
And to be honest, no, I quite like the ones I've got thus far. I'm already eating them.
I know, right? So mine says cover and let me put a timer here for six minutes.
I noticed that you're using a cast iron pan. Is that your preference or do you think that you can get more flavor out of that or tell me about that?
Oh, so I'm a big fan of cast iron. That's something that I discovered in Texas.
I'm not from Texas originally. I'm from Zacatecas in Mexico originally. So we don't have this type of thing and it's really convenient.
I like it because it heats like pretty evenly.
It's easy to clean. And yeah, it's kind of, you make do.
I also don't have a comal. So for my fellow Mexicans, what I'm doing here is get these things for cookies.
That's where I heat my tortillas nowadays. Yeah, in this house there's an electric stove.
That was another thing that I've never experienced in my life before.
So while the carnitas are cooking there, what we're going to do with the tomatoes and onions and the avocado, what I like doing is just chop them in cubes.
Size is whatever your preference is. I don't think I'm going to use the whole onion, maybe just half.
And do the chopping. This is the typical technique from Gordon Ramsay, I think.
Like let the knife do the work or whatever he says.
Yeah, I'm cutting mine right now too. Just be careful not to chop a finger. And I think as long as you keep all of your fingers, everything is uphill from there, right?
Well, here's a quick, when you're cooking onion, you know how when you cook onion your eyes start to water?
So if you refrigerate your onion and you chop it, it eliminates that spray from going into your face.
That's a good little tip that I learned.
So I'm going to pass it on to you. Yeah, because I'm a crier when I'm chopping onions here.
But yeah, as you were saying also, like all the parts of the pig will go on the copper.
It's more like a pan. It's like a giant dove, you know.
So I remember growing up, I will go to the carniceria and then if you're lucky, as you said, on Sundays there will be carnitas.
And it's special because basically they put the whole pig in there and then you can get all the parts.
And the fun thing is like the different parts have like special names. Like the skin, you call it cueritos.
And then like the large muscles are called maciza.
It's kind of like the bigger chunks that you can get. And your meat place will have like a guy with a big like a piece of wood and they will be chopping more like with a knife, with a little tiny axe.
Yeah. And you can get just whatever you want.
Yeah. And definitely you hear this noise. Yes, exactly. And then you get all excited.
And here in Austin, I've had carnitas tacos almost everywhere I go. Yeah.
But my personal favorite is a place called Tacorrido. They have like four or five locations around Austin.
And their carnitas are pretty, pretty legit. Good. I'll say.
So when we get back into the office and we get some lunch together, you're going to we're going to make a stop, right?
Yeah, definitely. Carnitas. That would be a lot of fun.
I was also how do you marinate your carnitas? Because I know there's different ways to marinate it.
People put some orange juice in them while they're cooking some Coca-Cola.
So I've seen different variations. Even I've seen a recipe that throws cinnamon in there.
What's your preference? Do you have a favorite flavor of marinade?
I will go with the with the orange. And what do you call it?
There's these leaves of I forget the name. Bay leaves. Bay leaves. Yes. Yes.
Those guys. And that's what I normally see, like in the castles in Mexico.
A lot of orange. I've also heard of the Coca-Cola, too. And I think I had it.
It's yummy, too. It's like sweeter, I'll say. So mine are getting in there. Not going to start the tortillas just yet because I just don't like them too crispy.
And and you don't necessarily need to make tacos, right? You can make tamales uses, you know, the carnitas that you put inside.
You can get tortas, which is like a sandwich and of course, a burrito, right?
Wrapped around a flower with a lot of yummy stuffing.
Everybody does it different. And then newer to me, actually, because I didn't know this even existed, is the mulitas, which is the kind of a version of a quesadilla where it's stuffed with cheese and meat and onion and cilantro and it gets a little crispy on side.
So if you ever get a chance, try mulitas de carnitas.
Those are really good as well. That I've never had. That's that's a new experience to me.
Yeah. We're beeping here, so supposedly this should be about ready.
That looks delicious. It calls for two more minutes so it gets crispy without the cover.
So I guess it's time for me to start my tortillas here. And I'll shout it again to the wife that teach me this technique of heating tortillas.
What she does is she puts one against the other. And you know how tortillas have like a softer side and a harder side?
I never noticed that. So the trick that she does is get the softer side together.
So that way you start heating them up like in pairs.
Okay. Yeah. And my mitad de mitad. And let me, let me. Yeah, that's another one.
You definitely are opening my taco horizons here with those tortillas and the mulitas stuff and all that.
Yeah. Yeah. I'm originally from, so my parents are from Sonora, Mexico and from Jalisco, but I've never traveled past Sonora, right?
So I've done a lot of the border from California. So I've had an opportunity to have tacos from Tijuana, Mexico, and also Los Angeles has a lot of food trucks and taquerias.
So I've had my fair share of, of taquitos, right? I got to say carnitas is one of my favorite.
And so there's different versions of tacos that have pork.
There's like the pastor that has, but that's a different marinade. And I would say that the beef version of carnitas would be barbacoa.
So maybe that'll be our next one, right?
We can do all kinds of tacos here. Yeah. Sonora is famous for their meats actually, right?
Yes. And they're famous for flour tortillas as well.
I remember going to Mexico every summer and my aunts and my grandmother would sit me at the kitchen table and put together the ingredients, including the lard, and you just kind of stick your hand in there.
And, you know, in my mind, this is Play-Doh, this is a lot of fun, right?
And so I remember the hardest part for me was rolling them out.
I can never get them into a circle with the rolling pin and they would come out all crooked, but they were my grandpa's favorite, right?
Cause I made them. So that's my, my best memory. Yeah. They have this giant tortillas in Sonora, right?
Yes. Oh my God. Those things are so yummy. They are also famous for, have you ever had their hot dogs that they make there?
There's a place in Austin that has them. Okay. So there's another lunch spot that we can go to.
Yeah. So here's another trick when your tortilla flares up like that, that's when you know, it's done.
Yeah. Yes. So Sonora is known for their hot dogs, right?
And so the bun is what sets them apart. And this place that I'm talking about has the, the hot dog wrapped in bacon, and then has a bunch of ingredients on top.
So it's pretty legit. How's it tasting so far, Alex? Tell us about what you're tasting.
Very good. I like it more crispy. So I'm going to let it, um, dry up a little more here in the skillet.
Okay. So far so great. I'm a little behind on my salsa here.
Let me chop, chop. Yeah. And I wanted to go back to, um, we were talking about the, it's the copper pan, um, that you cook these in, like if you want it to make your own carnitas at home, you mentioned Santa Clara de Cobre in Michoacan.
And that is where the taqueros go and buy this copper pan.
I actually looked it up in Amazon and you can buy the kit for like $390. And it's legit, they're all handmade.
Um, and it, you know, it started at the beginning of the conquest, where most natives fled the Spaniards, but later they came back and they were given the opportunity to start making these copper pots.
And so it's said, and I don't know if it's true and maybe it is legit or not, but it gives it a lot of flavor and color, right?
Each pot holds their own flavor. Um, so there's a certain way that you cure them and that you cook your carnitas in.
Yeah, for sure. I was actually, uh, shout out to Eric on the Latin Flair chat room there, because he had like a full on setup with the castle and everything.
So yeah, he's putting us to shame, but, um, yeah, definitely.
If you ever get a chance to visit there, Michoacan is definitely a place to be.
They have not only carnitas, all kinds of different foods.
Um, they have their special kind of tamales that they cook there.
Definitely. It's a place. Um, if you like eating, go there. Okay. So I'm about to cut my avocado and I have a special way and I don't know, maybe everybody does it, but I like to slice it down the middle like this, and then you tear it apart and then you take the pit and then you twist it and then it, it should come right out.
See? Yeah. Now, do you put, uh, slices of avocado or do you make a guacamole?
Uh, I kind of mix it all together. Depends kind of on the mood that I have.
Sometimes can be slices. Okay. But sometimes, um, it's little squares or cubes more like my, my geometry teacher will be very disappointed on me.
Confusing 2D and 3D here.
Right. Yeah. So my cilantro too, right here. Yeah. I ran out of cilantro.
So I'm going to be lacking on that front. So why don't you tell us a little bit about how joining Cloudflare works, um, like the whole recruiting part.
So, um, I am part of the recruiting team here and I help support hiring for emerging technologies and incubation as well as engineering and BI.
Right. And so there's lots of areas in which we are hiring for.
We have our careers pages where you can go and apply for the roles, um, that we have open.
And, you know, what's so interesting about our recruiting process here is that our hiring managers are very highly engaged in the recruiting process.
So, you know, if you're apply for a role, don't be surprised when you hear directly from the hiring manager after he reviews he or she reviews your resume.
So I really enjoy that. Um, tell me about how, how was your recruiting experience when you joined Alex?
Oh, it was pretty awesome.
Actually. Um, I apply and here's, um, the best recruiting program that I've ever heard of is, um, Cloudflare has this program or used to have, I think it's still active.
We used to have to sponsor, uh, food for meetups. So that's how I learned about Cloudflare actually.
I've been, uh, volunteering for Mozilla, uh, since like 2008.
So as part of that volunteering, I participated in what they call the Mozilla tech speakers.
So one of my fellow tech speakers, let us know like, Hey, this company can sponsor the pizza for your next meetup.
So go check them out.
Um, so I went and I found this company, amazing company Cloudflare that wanted to help build a better Internet.
So being a Mozilla volunteer, that really resonated with me.
Um, and so I applied, um, I applied for this job that was, uh, uh, technical support engineer, uh, but they were looking for multilingual speaking, especially Spanish.
So I was like, well, I can speak Spanish and I know my way around tech.
Um, so yeah, next thing I know, they flew, uh, flew me from Monterey to Austin and had like a whole day of interviews with the most amazing team that I've ever met.
And later on, uh, they were like, well, we would like you to join the team.
So here I am. How long, how long have you been with Cloudflare already?
Uh, I joined in 2018 in April. So I'm going into the fourth year. I spent three amazing years and a few more months in support where I kind of learned the in and outs of Cloudflare products.
And then recently, um, I joined the solutions engineering team where I'm helping, uh, prospective customers of Cloudflare to find the best solutions for them, uh, around Cloudflare services and products.
And it's been, it's been quite a journey and I've been enjoying it.
Yeah. For those that might be watching that don't know what Cloudflare is, can you give us a quick, uh, overview of Cloudflare and what we do here?
Yeah. So Cloudflare is this, uh, amazing global anycast network that has presence in 20, I'm sorry, 250 or so cities around the world.
And what we do is we secure and optimize your web traffic. Um, that's, uh, in a nutshell, what we offer our customers.
Um, but we have all kinds of products that built on top of this amazing network.
Uh, we see it, um, about 50 to a hundred milliseconds of every human being in the world.
So if you have anything on the Internet, bring it to Cloudflare, we can help you optimize it, secure it and make it more, more performance.
Awesome. Yeah. It's been an amazing journey.
I got to say it was a great experience for myself as well. So tell us, so you're cubing the, uh, avocado.
I saw how you did it inside of the shell and now you're doing that.
And let me see your tortillas. Are they burnt? Now I'm burning tortillas.
Yeah. I got carried away with the, they are just crispy a little bit, not terribly burnt, but yeah, I got carried away with the explanations there.
We should be good. I think the meat is about ready to, how about you?
How are you doing? Um, I'm doing great. Um, I joined Cloudflare about four, no, I'm actually going on my six month here.
And so I actually come from a cybersecurity recruiting background.
So I knew, um, about Cloudflare. We were actually a customer.
Uh, I supported the security team, uh, at my last company. And so I had a couple, uh, I had a colleague, um, that came over to Cloudflare.
And so when I saw that they were hiring, you know, I reached out and one of my first questions was, how's the culture, you know, cause that's really important.
So, um, she was able to fill me in and tell me about the culture, how collaborative it was and how it really, really felt like, um, like a home and a family.
And I gotta say it did not disappoint.
Right. And so we all started, you know, um, you know, I, I was onboarded virtually and it was seamless, you know, three days of dedicated onboarding to emerge ourselves into all things.
Cloudflare I think was very, very smart.
Um, so now that I'm approaching, you know, my, uh, my six months, I gotta say that I'm really enjoying my journey here.
And now I understand why we get so many applicants that apply for roles here at Cloudflare.
Yeah, I guess the scale at that, at what Cloudflare operates is quite amazing.
So I think we have three or so minutes.
Okay. All right. Let's put our taco together. So here I got, I got involved too.
You're not the only one with the burnt tortilla. Oh my God.
No, no, no. That's not burnt. It's just crispy. It's just crisp. Put some cheese on top and then you're good.
This is yummy.
So I have my, my tortilla here and I am going to put my, my carnitas right on top.
I'm going to make it con copia. Do you know con copia? No. Okay. It means you put two tortillas.
Okay. Yeah. It's like when you do a CC on an email. Oh, wow.
Yeah, that makes sense. That's the meaning because you have double paper. Yeah.
I've even seen the taqueros when they, when they're cooking their tortillas, they dip them in the lard too, to give it that flavor as well.
Oh, yummy. Yeah.
All right. So that there's mine over there. All right. I'm going to put mine together.
You want to know a fun fact about me, Alex? Tell me what's up. I don't like lime on my taco.
I don't like the flavor of corn with the lime. I just, I don't find it appealing.
Oh, fun fact about me. Yeah. No, you have to actually right here.
Look, I made my own salsa. You're a real pro. I will share the recipe maybe on our next.
Put it on the wiki there. I will share it. For those of you familiar with a taco deli, again, we're not endorsing.
They have green, green salsa, and this is very similar to that.
So. All right. Well, we made a taco here, so.
That looks delicious. Have you had that version of that carnitas before?
No, this is the first time I get this one.
Look, I'm making you talk while you took a bite. Don't do that to me. Okay.
Sorry, I got a little ahead.
Well, I guess. Thanks, everybody, for tuning in today.
And show us your taco on Instagram or Twitter or wherever you got it or in the chat for our fellow Latin flare and cloud variants that are tuning in today.
I hope you enjoy our carnitas recipe.
And definitely was a delicious conversation to see.
Thanks for for sharing all that insight about recruiting at Cloudflare and your journey.
It was great to be here. Share your tacos with us. We want to see how you make them as well.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai