Tag Archives: food

Chicken Cacciatore Thanks to Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers

I’m still a little behind, so today I’m offering up a recipe from my friends Lois Winston and Caroline Mickelson. So click here to visit the fabulous Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog for a very tasty recipe for Chicken Cacciatore!

Did you know “cacciatore’ is Italian for hunter? This style of meal was prepared hunter-style with whatever vegetables and meats were at hand.

Also, please take a moment to visit with me at Paranormal Dimensions! I’m sharing some behind the scenes details on my latest release in THE REBORN vampire novel series.

Citrus-Marinated Roast Pork

During my recent visit to the wonderful blog of my friend and fellow author Kelly Moran, I was asked about my signature dish for Christmas. Now in my house, Christmas Eve is a mix of Italian, Cuban and American foods, but the signature dish has to be the Cuban-style citrus-marinated roast pork.

We, because it is a family affair to cook this dish, start preparing it the night before after a trip to Union City, New Jersey to pick up some Cuban staples and the pork leg.

I’m normally feeding anywhere from 15 to 25 people on Christmas Eve, so I need a really really big pork leg (pork shoulder/picnic ham/pernil). I normally get a piece of pork that weighs around 25 pounds, but you can buy a much smaller piece and adjust the cooking times (more on that later).

Ingredients:

    10-15 navel oranges
    10 lemons
    10 limes
    6-8 Seville (aka Sour) Oranges
    6 pink grapefruit
    10-20 gloves of finely chopped garlic
    Ground cumin
    bay leaves
    Pork leg/shoulder/picnic ham

Directions:

Juice all the above citrus into a large pot. We use one of those large buckets in which your grocery store deli get its potato salad, etc. Drop by and ask them for one! Ours is only used for the Christmas Eve pork.

The citrus mix should be sour, but with a strong hit of sweet (the navel oranges and grapefruit really help with that). You should have enough citrus juice to fully cover your piece of pork. Once you’ve tasted the sweet/sour mix, then add 3 to 4 bay leaves, about a half cup of garlic (less for a smaller piece of pork) and about 1/4 cup of cumin. Mix this all up.

Take your piece of pork and make multiple slits in it so that the marinade can penetrate into the meat. Place the pork leg in the citrus juice, cover and refrigerate. You’re probably wondering how I keep that big a bucket cold? Put the bucket in one of those big party tubs, place it in your garage (which should be slightly colder anyway) and fill the tub with ice. It should be icy cold in the morning unless you are in a really hot environment in which case you will need to keep on adding ice to keep the meat cold.

In the morning (around 6 a.m. or so) pre-heat the oven to 425. Remove the pork from the citrus and place it in a large roasting dish. Keep some of the citrus juice, bay leaves and garlic for use as a marinade. Discard the rest. Ladle about 1 to 2 cups over the pork and then stick the pork into the oven for one hour at 425. For a small piece of pork, cut down this initial high temp roast accordingly. For ten pounds make it around 30 minutes, anything smaller than that no more than about 15 minutes.

Do not baste the pork during this high heat roast.

When the high heat roast time is up, baste the pork and lower the oven temp to 325. Then cook until the meat pulls away from the bone in the leg and is starting to fall off. Marinate every half an hour during the cooking process. For a 25 pound pork leg, I will cook it for about 8 to 9 hours. The pork will turn this beautiful mahogany brown and just melt in your mouth.

For smaller pieces of pork, adjust the cooking times. A 10 pound picnic ham may take only about 4 or so hours. The key is to keep on basting and cooking at a low temp to keep the meat juicy.

If the pork begins to brown too much, just cover with aluminum and keep on cooking until the meat is fork tender.

Hope you enjoyed today’s Tuesday Tip. Here’s a shot of family and friends sitting around the Christmas Eve table, waiting to start the big meal!

Fun Friday – Halloween Treats

Halloween is around the corner, so it’s time to start decorating and think of some neat treats to celebrate a paranormal writer’s favorite time of year (besides Christmas!)

Here are some interesting recipes to try this Halloween!

Courtesy of Pillsbury:

Thanks to Dangerous Reader Mimmi for sharing these treats with me and the other Dangerous Women.

Also check out these other fun treats from Kraft:

Hope these help you get into the Halloween spirit! Have a great weekend!

I’m making my list, checking it twice…

snowglobe1I’m in denial that Christmas Eve is exactly two weeks away!!

I’m having a crew this year and excited about sharing it with all my friends and family but in panic mode because not only do I have to still decorate the house, buy the gifts, do the food shopping and cooking, but also finish revisions on the next book in THE CALLING.

Luckily I’ve got lots of support from family and I know that when we gather around the table in two weeks, we will all have an awesome time.

Our Christmas Eve tradition is a melding of traditions from Italy, the North of Spain, Cuba and the good ol’ U.S.A. Lots of shellfish, fish, roast pork and other goodies.

How about you? Do you have any special holiday traditions? Do you celebrate on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve?