Tag Archives: roast pork

A Typical Cuban Meal #Tuesday Tip

I’m in the process of writing #2 in the At the Shore Contemporary Romance series and am working on a scene where the hero visits the heroine at her condo in Jersey City. The heroine is Cuban and she knows that the hero loves Cuban food. Unfortunately, she’s been hard at work over the weekend, but she still knows where to go to pick up some great Cuban food before she comes home.

So what’s a typical kind of Cuban meal? I’ve shared some recipes with you before, so here’s a list of what you’ll see in the scene I’m busy writing. You can click on the links for the recipes or visit my Cook’s Treat page.

Black beans and rice for sure!
Citrus-marinated Roast Pork
Plantains of some kind – how about Mashed ones or ripe plantains (maduros)?
Ropa Vieja (a shredded beef dish)
Flan for dessert

I’m thinking maybe a nice sangria to help wash everything down!
Ropa Vieja

Look for ONE SUMMER NIGHT, #1 in the At the Shore Series, in October 2017. You can pre-order this contemporary romance at the following sites:

Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/2krMwfE
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/2kYLWZV
B&N: http://bit.ly/2kNuo0p
iBooks: Coming Soon!
Kobo: Coming Soon!

Thursday 13 – Holiday Favorites

With Christmas just over two weeks away, I am struggling with work and writing deadlines and getting the house ready for Christmas Eve, and yet there is no denying that I am getting in the holiday mood. I love this season with all that it represents – love for each other and sharing that love through the simple things like a hug or a smile. For Christians like me, the celebration of our Lord’s birth and embracing the principles of love and respect for all humans, regardless of race, ethnicity or religion. The important things, you know.

But there are also the little things that bring a smile and lift the heart and so today I am sharing thirteen of those little things that elicit joy in me during this holiday season!

1. Christmas carols. Love to hear them and sing them.

2. The smell of roast pork on Christmas Eve morning.

3. Hot apple cider.

4. Hot chocolate.

5. Christmas lights.

6. Santas. One year we were on a train filled with dozens of Santas on the way to Santacon. What a blast!

7. The Nutcracker. We go to see the ballet every year as part of our holiday tradition.

8. Christmas trees. Love picking one out and decorating it (look for more on this on Fun Friday).

9. Exchanging gifts with friends and family.

10. A child’s face on Christmas morning as it lights up at the presents Santa brought.

11. Watching Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original animated one).

12. Christmas Eve dinner with family and friends.

13. Going to NYC to see the holiday windows, the tree in Rockefeller Center and the pond at Bryant Park.

Hope you enjoyed today’s Thursday Thirteen. I welcome you to share some of your favorite things about the holiday season.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

As a P.S. – This is a photo my Christmas village from a few years back. It’s still in the works this season and I hope to finish it soon!

Thursday 13 – Favorite Foods

I had a chance to have a wonderful business-related dinner last night at an upscale New York City eatery – the Gotham Bar and Grill – which got me going on the theme for today’s Thursday 13, namely, my favorite foods. So here goes!

1. Foie gras. Yes, I know it’s outlawed in California and Oregon, but it’s tasty.

2. Lobster.

3. Hot Dogs.

4. Hot apple pie with vanilla ice cream.

5. Ice cream. Most any flavor except mint. Yech. I hate mint.

6. Ropa vieja. A tasty Cuban dish of shredded beef in tomato sauce.

7. Cuban roast pork. Love it! I gave out the recipe the other day if you want to try it for yourself. Just click here.

8. Tacos.

9. Cheese and bread.

10. Spaghetti and meatballs (my husband makes the best meatballs!)

11. My sister’s Thanksgiving Meal. (Corn casserole, turkey, pecan pie so many amazing foods!)

12. Eggs. Any way shape or form.

13. Tomato soup with either a tuna or peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the side.

Hope you enjoyed today’s Thursday Thirteen. I welcome you to add any of your foods and even give us some recipes if you can.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

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!