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Cuban Night

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We went to Amy's for a Cuban dinner party this past weekend and it was a great time. I have never had some of the ingredients and flavors she worked with and I was excited to try them all week. Mandi went over and helped her take pictures and cook in the afternoon, then we all showed up around 7. Amy will be writing the rest of the post, but I may leave a few comments in red. Also the Recipes (as usual) are at the bottom of the post.




Beautiful Boston Butt (don't be fooled - this is the shoulder of the piggy)

MMMM Mandi and I bought one of these on the way home!



Typical Cuban marinade or mojo



If you don't have this, use 2 parts OJ, 1 part lime juice, 1 part lemon juice



Had leftover pearl onions, so used that for the mojo



Black beans after soaking overnight



Just stirring the mojo. See here for recipe



Hello tomatillo!



Hello chayote, which I have appropriately named butt fruit



Husked and washed tomatillos. I just wanted to add a little something to the guacamole that wasn't customary. It was an impulse buy that morning at the store.



Mandi about to chop the pepper for the beans later



I'm with stupid



Ever seen the inside of a tomatillo?

Why yes, I have.



Roast tomatillos until they are soft and you can puree in the food processor



Mojito time

Isn't it like 1:30 pm?



Mull mint with some sugar



Mandi starts the quacamole (not Cuban, but I thought we should have something for the tostones)




Flavor injector of awesomeness!








Pureed tomatillos



Guacamole delicousness. The tomatillos have a slightly sour smoky taste, so very little lime juice was used in this guac



Lemon rind for the flan



Boil the chayotes/ mirlitons, whatever your country calls them. These are for the salad



An early peak at the pig after it's been in the oven for 30 minutes or so



Sugar for the flan (organic, of course - they actually have this at Marketplace!)






Melt sugar to make caramel






Sugar is hot



Note - don't use plastic utensils, or they will melt in your Carmel

That HAD to be Mandi...



Ok, second batch



Any proper Southern girl has ham hocks in her freezer. I am no exception. These are for the beans



Beat eggs with sugar



Flan after cooking



Beans cooking. Just beans and water and ham hocks



Get the thinnest steak you can find



Then pound the crap out of it on each side



Marinate for a couple of hours in the fridge



Happy ham hocks. I would normally pick the small amount of meat on these, but I ran out of time



Stirring in the cooked green peppers, onions, garlic etc, per recipe



Tony looks over us approvingly "Say Hello to my little friends!"



Salad (prior to dressing)



Happy piggy, soon to be inside happy tummies



Green plantains. Get them as green as you can find them






Heating up mariquitas salsa with oil






Shawn & Marek



My Puerto Rican friend Jen puts them in water with garlic salt before fry #1



Fry #1



Remove from oil and place between wet paper towels



Mash with something






In to fry 2nd time. Tostones literaly means "twice fried"



Sprinkle with salt when you remove from oil



I had about 20 of these.



Steak in skillet with butter. It shouldn't be so wet, so dump some of that marinade



You actually want to brown on each side for a couple of minutes



The finished plate (missing a tostone - it was in someone's mouth probably)

MINE






Release edges of flan with a toothpick



Put plate on top and flip



THANKS AMY! I had a great time. And it was delicious!



Recipes:

Flan:
The only change is that I used half and half in place of the cream. I saw several recipes that used just milk, so I figured this would be fine.

Beans:
I stuck to the ingredient list, but didn't really measure any of it. I also added ham hocks to mine (a little bit of pig makes everything super delicious)

Marinade for both the pork and steak:
Again, I didn't measure anything. I also added fresh orange, lime and lemon juices to liven it up a bit. The sour orange juice came from Miami, Sucka!

Guacamole: I never use a recipe. Mandi and I just threw in the following to our [impeccable] taste.
Avocados
Tomato
Onion
Tomatillo puree
Tad of lime juice - just enough to keep it from browning because the tomatillos have a sour taste to them already
Salt
Cumin
(No garlic - only because everything else had plenty of garlic)

Sauce for the tostones:
This is really what Cuban's use for fresh made yuca or plantain chips. It's not needed for the tostones, but I wanted to have a couple of things to dip them in, hence the guac and this. You sometimes see a garlic sauce served with tostones in Cuban restaurants. When I saw cilantro and garlic in this recipe, I just wanted to try it.

Mojitos : I used this recipe as a started on proportions, but then catered to our tastes.

I used Havana Club (of course). The only difference is that I used simple syrup and not sugar. Simple syrup is equal amounts of sugar and water, heated over medium heat until all sugar is dissolved.

Salad: Okay I totally winged this, including the dressing. Not a traditional Cuban salad, although some traditional ingredients. Just put in the proportion of whatever ingredients you would like

Baby lettuces
Avocado
Chayote
Radishes
Mango
Hearts of palm
Red onion (soaked in cold water for a bit to tone down)

Dressing:

Vinegar (whatever you have - I used both Cider and Red Wine)
Grain mustard
Lemon juice
EVOO
I ran out of oil, so put in the following to thicken it up
1 tomato
Pineapple and juice
Central Grocery olive salad (if you don't already know what this is, you'll have to wait for a muffulleta sandwich post this summer)







5 Comments

Thanks Dan! I have decided to cook this pork again for the Mexican party. YUM!

P.S. Your camera is awesome. Love the close ups.

How about sending some of this food my way :-)
Looks and am sure it tasted good as well.

Miss you my peeps.
RB2

oh my lordy. what a great post! what a great night!! yummm i was the most surprised with the salad, it was sooo tasty. a taste explosion haha... my favorite! hm maybe the pork was my favorite. or the tostones. oh man now im hungry!

PS... sorry about your spoon amy... that sugar was HOT! :)

The pork was definitely my fave! Thanks again Amy!

good googa mooga, what a meal! my taste buds are insanely jealous.

pork butt, butt fruit, it all sounds good to me. :)

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