Friday, November 22, 2019



Lechon Asado – the Cuban National dish:

1- 5 or 6 pound pork shoulder
5 teaspoons of salt
5 medium garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed oregano or, 1/8 cup minced fresh)
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of vinegar

Guava Jelly
1 orange

Wash the pork shoulder.  With a sharp knife make incisions in
different place of the pork shoulder.  Put salt in the incisions and on the
outside.  Rub in the salt.
Grind together the garlic, pepper, oregano, and 1 tablespoon of salt.
Spread this mix on the outside of the pork.
Mix the vinegar and the remaining oil and spread on the outside of the
pork.  Put away in the refrigerator for 1 day.  If you planned to cook it
the same day, prepare the pork at least 3 hour ahead of time.
Remove the pork shoulder from the refrigerator 2 hours before putting
it in the oven.
Pre-Heat before you place the pork shoulder in the
oven and set the temperature to 350ºF.
Cook the pork for 3 1/2 hours.  Then raise the temperature to 375ºF
and cook for 15 to 30 minutes until the skin is CRISP. The crunchy skin or crackle is served on the side with the Lechon.
Serve with: White Rice, Black Beans and fried Plantains are good accompaniments. I for one love tamales with my Lechon. If you find tamales intimidating to make buy them from your favorite Hispanic restaurant.

NOTE: Traditional Lechon in Cuba is whole roast pig. Like North carolina BBQ a lengthy process. I use shoulder but also suckling pig.
ALSO: This takes it slightly out of the traditional realm, but I like to rub the skin with soy which caramelizes the skin without discern-able flavor. I also like to cross hatch the pork and rub pureed onions (4 kinds) mixed with herbs. The garlic penetrates but the herb onion mix only slightly.

Garden Fresh Thanksgiving dinner – above all, make it simple”

Garden Fresh Thanksgiving dinner – above all, make it simple” Pick your vegetables and herbs from your garden the day you prepare them. Make sure you have enough and supplement what you do not have with sustainably produced food from your market or farmers market. Turkey should be fresh and OG. Try to get as much crafted and local foods as possible – it makes a big difference.  

Fresh Herb Roast Turkey with Giblet Stuffing Turkey – wash until cavity runs clear, remove neck and Giblets, save the giblets (you can do this in the sink, it is easier to clean up after turkey if you work with it in a clean and disinfected sink – just make sure you rinse it real well with cold water.) Rough chop celery tops, carrot end and onion – throw those in a roasting pan Throw the peals of all vegetables (but the green ones) in a soup pot with water and wine to cover and a little more since it will reduce. Think at least 2 qts. Rub the turkey with soy then season with salt and pepper inside and out Place the turkey on the vegetables and season with fresh garden herbs, paprika, pepper, chopped garlic (minced) and drizzle olive oil over herbs & garlic seasoning. Let air dry  

Stock –with fresh oregano, thyme, Bay leaf and S and P with a good pour of wine and the Turkey neck. If you have chicken stock add a cup or two. Every time you cut up something or break an egg throw it in the stock. Medium heat – reduce this by half. It is for your gravy, to moisten your stuffing, add to your greens or baste the turkey.

Stuffing Two packages of cheap hamburger rolls and a big bowl – break them up in fairly good size chunks and let them dry out some. Dice 3 onions, 4 carrots, 4 celery sticks and sauté’ When the diced vegetables are cooked but not caramelized, add diced garlic cook for 2 minutes then turn off heat. Break three large eggs and Whisk them in a bowl Now take the giblets from the turkey and poach them in the stock for 5 – 10 minutes (best done in a small strainer) – remove and slice then dice – add to the hamburger rolls. Moisten the rolls with stock (ladle), add the egg - mix with a rubber spatula and stuff the turkey cavity and neck – really pack it in (the neck will hold more than you think.) – Also leave it mounded out at the cavity. Cover the roasting dish with its top and the turkey is ready to cook. Add white wine (about two cups) before you put the turkey in the oven.  

Turkey Gravy – melt one stick of butter, add an equal amount of flour do this over medium to medium high heat – this is a roux. Cook it until it is a light brown color. When the turkey is done, remove the vegetables you do not want in the gravy, pour off and reserve in a measuring cup some of the fat (you can also add some of this to the roux when you make it.) De glaze the pan with white wine, loosen the bits at the bottom, add stock in desired amount and begin to whisk the cooled off roux into the gravy. Add a little canned milk and adjust with wine, let simmer and season to taste just before you serve it (the sauce sits on the stove reduces and gets saltier so be careful unless you are serving right away)