Sunday, June 03, 2007

A Night in Havana

Last night we hosted another international dinner party--this time the destination was Cuba. The menu was incredible: Becky and I provided plantains, and roasted pork (recipe to follow), Sharon and Desi brought plantain chips and salsa, and a really wonderful shrimp and plantain appetizer that Desi picked out. Then there was Pam and Phil's Moros y Cristianos (black beans and rice, literally, Moors and Christians), a nice green salad with mango, and a delicious lemon mango ginger sorbet for dessert, courtesy of Leslie and Scott.

The drinks of choice for the night were Dark and Stormies, the ubiquitous Mojito (pictured above, recipe below), ginger beer and some Jamaican Red Stripe (as close as we could get to Cuba for beer).

The outdoor speakers were playing all the Cuban music in my collection: Buena Vista Social Club, Afro Cuban All Stars, Celia Cruz, the soundtrack to The Mambo Kings, and several Spanish-only albums of Gloria Estefan.

Cuban tunes piped outdoors, a nice gentle breeze, and a force-field of citronella candles against the gnats made for a very wonderful evening.

Patricia's Cuban Roast
7 lbs. Fresh Ham (or Fresh Picnic Shoulder or Boston Butt, we used butt)
1 c. olive oil
4 Tbsp. oregano (preferably Mexican)
3 Tbsp. parsley
4-5 cloves garlic, crushed

Cover the roast in Adobo. Mix all the ingredients together and marinate the meat in a bag overnight. Cook at 325 degrees for approximately 4 to 4 1/2 hours. The meat will literally fall off the bone.

3 leaves of fresh mint
2 tsp sugar
1-3 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice (about 1.5 small limes)
1-2 oz. white rum
Club soda

Tear one mint leaf into tiny bits and place in a high-ball glass with the sugar. Using the back of a spoon, smash, scrape and otherwise molest the mint until it is ground up by the sugar and smeared on the inside of the glass. Add the lime juice and rum. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Fill the cup the rest of the way with ice. Top off with club soda and add the final two mint leaves for garnish.

© Copyright 2005-2014, Scott E. Harris. All Rights Reserved.
Please do not reproduce or copy without the permission of the author.