Folks, May is here and packed with so many entertaining days that I just can’t hardly stand it.
Yes, Yes, Yes….to May Day and Cinco de Mayo, and Mother’s Day and the Military Holidays, V E Day and Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day!
Sorry, I do get excited as Spring and Summer roll around and we can open up the house to bar-b-ques, picnics, potlucks and just plain entertaining.
It is a time for pig tails and pony tails and big floppy hats and baseball and home made ice cream and fresh corn on the cob.
Potato salads, macaroni salads, baked beans and deviled eggs….and I would be remiss if I didn’t add hamburgers and hot dogs and potato chips!
But I love entertaining with a theme!
I love Themes!
For the last week I have been planning a Cinco de Mayo dinner party with a bit of a Cuban flair.
We have met some wonderful cooks in our area of SW Florida….some that have come from Cuba and are so wonderful in sharing their family recipes.
The Captain loves Cuban Sandwiches and many times I make the sandwiches using my panini maker. Other times I make them much like I would a pulled pork or beef sandwich but no matter how I make the sandwiches or what kind of roll I put the meat on…the Cuban Pork Roast comes out a definite winner.
Below are two recipes that are so easy to make….the citrus in the marinades tenderize the pork roast so that it just melts in your mouth. And the Mojo Sauce….I can’t even tell you how wonderful that is. You can use it as a dipping sauce or just pour it over your roast pork at serving time.
And Empanadas…..I mean, can we talk?
These little pockets of ground beef hash can be made ahead of time and kept warm in the oven. They make a great appetizer or they can also be the main part of the meal. The filling is a little bit spicy (you control the heat) and the flavors are amazing. I promise you if you use these as an appetizer…your guests will be snatching them right up almost as fast as you can serve them. I mean, whats not to love about them? They are wonderful little finger foods full of flavor. And the secret to the flavor is…..olive juice! So don’t forget to add it to the filling mixture.
A bit of trivia for you…These Ground Beef Hash Empanadas are also called Picadillo Empanadas, which loosely translates to Cuban hash according to one of my Cuban friends….
Just thought you would want to know.
I like to keep you up on things like this.
You never know when you might be asked to give the definition of Picadillo Empanadas….
Or maybe not!
The handy dandy printable recipes are below.
I will be posting a few more recipes in celebration of Cinco de Mayo within the next couple of days
Have a great Day! Do you have a favorite Cinco de Mayo food?
- 2 pounds boneless, center-cut pork loin roast
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced to a paste
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 1 large onion, minced
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 serrano chile, chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Heat a small non-stick skillet over medium-high heat with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add garlic, salt, oregano, orange juice, lime juice and onion, and whisk until heated through.
- Pierce pork roast as many times as you can with a sharp knife or fork. Pour marinade mixture (reserving a little for roasting) over pork, cover and let sit in refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
- Using a suitable roasting pan or rack, sprinkle remaining marinade over pork and cook uncovered at 325 degrees. Roast until completely cooked (140-145 degrees internal temperature), about 40 minutes, basting occasionally.
- Bring pan juices to a boil and simmer until the juice is reduced by half. Sprinkle some juice onto the pork if you are making Cuban sandwiches...Or use the Mojo Dipping Sauce recipe below.
- Using a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic, serrano, cilantro and a few pinches of salt until it becomes a paste. Add the orange juice, lime juice and oil and stir to combine.
- You can also make this in your crock pot...cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. I like using the oven because I don't want my pork to dry out and I have more control over temperatures.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium-sized onion,
- 1 medium-sized green pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup beef broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup dark raisins
- 1/2 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped into small pieces (save some olive juice)
- 1 package Empanada Wrappers or you can use the pie pastry of your choice cut into circles with a cookie cutter
- Preheat the oven to 450.
- Place the onion, green pepper and garlic in a food processor, and chop until very fine (but don't chop it so long it turns to mush.)
- Drizzle the olive oil in the bottom of a skillet, and saute the finely chopped veggies until the onions are translucent.
- Add the oregano, cumin and cayenne pepper to the vegetables, and cook for about a minute to allow to blend and meld together
- Add the beef broth to the veggies and cook for another minute.
- Add the ground beef to the vegetables, stir frequently to break up the meat, and cook until the meat is cooked through and crumbly.
- Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, raisins, olives, and 1/4 cup of the olive juice from the jar.
- Let the meat cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
- Place a tablespoon of meat onto the center of each Empanada circle. Fold the dough over to make a half-moon, and seal with the tines of a fork or whatever you desire.
- Place the empanadas on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.
- Serve warm, or at room temperature.
- You can serve as is or with sauces of your choice...Mojo Sauce is always good with empanadas.