Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lechon Asado con Tostones (sort of...)

I woke up yesterday feeling pretty good...
New England runs on Dunkin'

I started my morning with my fuel (b.k.a. Dunkin' Donuts Coffee) and nice chat with Mami & Abuela...forget the fact that a windstorm the previous night had knocked a tree down, which in turn knocked out our power, internet and phone line. Oh yeah, and the water decided to shut off in the middle of my shower leaving me a soapy mess and on the hunt for bottles of water to rinse off...but I digress!

I started last night's supper early in the morning -- maybe because I was so excited to be making it.  Whoever knows me might be shocked to see that I make pork very frequently (never ate it back home and Mami on more than one occasion had to make me something separate).  What can I say?  Price is right and a pierna can feed you for days if you buy one big enough.

Trying to get the most bang for my buck, I noticed that the local grocery stores mark down their meat one day before it reaches its "best by" date...that don't bother me none since we have a freezer in the garage and I can freeze the stuff until I am ready to use it. The beauty that I roasted last night was a whole $2.50 off...I think I ended up paying like six bucks for a 6-lb roast. Ka-ching!

Here is last night's supper: Lechon Asado con Tostones (sort of...). Why sort of, you ask?  Well, it was the first time that yours truly had ever touched a platano, let alone smashed and fried one.  Abuela's pep talk and good Juju wasn't strong enough, I gather.  The flavor was there but--well, read below and the pictures can tell the tale!

Lechon Asado
1 Pork Shoulder (4 lbs or more)
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
**Remember that I don't really measure--It must be ingrained in me from Abuela!

  • Place pork skin side down in a 13x9" glass pan
  • Pierce pork with a sharp knife all over

  • Sprinkle garlic powder, cumin & onion powder all over the roast -- enough that it is completely coated

  • Pour mojo on top of roast, making sure it is seeping into the pierce marks and filling the pan approximately half way up

  • Cover roast with foil and let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours (if you're in a hurry, you can marinade right before sticking it in the oven -- the flavor just won't be as prominent)

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Place roast in the oven for 2 hours
  • Remove roast from oven, uncover and turn roast (skin should be facing up). Sprinkle top with spices again and add more mojo (or water) to the pan so that it's again halfway full. Return to oven for an additional 2 hours.

  • Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.

  • Tear meat from the bone and shred it into bite sized pieces...the pieces will soak up the liquid in the pan and make the pork moist.  

2 green plantains

  • Cut off ends of the plantains and with a sharp knife, score a line across each of them

  • Place plantains on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 4 minutes (they will be hot, be cautious!!)
  • Peel off the skin and cut the plantains into sections
  • Place the cut sections into a salt water bath

  • Using a tostonera (Thanks Mami!!) smash the plantains. You can also place the plantain pieces between some paper towels and smash with a can or a bowl or long as it flattens the sucker, you're doing OK!

  • Fry the plantains in oil until they are a golden color -- approximately 6 minutes.

  • Remove from oil and let them drain on a paper towel
  • Sprinkle salt on them when they are still glistening with oil.  Serve immediately.

I think I cut the plantains too thick and that's why they fell apart.  They ended up being plantain fries, but tasted just as good.

I got lazy towards the end and instead of making black beans and rice, I opted for the Minute rice individual cups--I swear by these and each one comes with a $0.50 coupon for your next purchase! What do you think, my friends?

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