What SheSays: Caribbean Sun Buffet

Caribbean Sun Buffet (serves approx. 12)
Spanish Wines
Caribbean or Mexican Beers (Red Stripe, Corona etc.)
Assorted Tortilla & Plantain Chips
*Mango Salsa
*Corn, Black Bean, Avocado & Tomato Salad with Chipotle-Lime Dressing
*Spicy Cole Slaw
*Cuban Roasted Pork with Mojo
Corn & Flour Tortillas
*Cuban Sandwiches
*Orange cupcakes with anisette-orange syrup or orange-amaretto syrup
Spicy dark chocolate

Mojito (makes 1) (can be made up to two weeks in advance)
Over crushed ice add 2 ½ tbsp. **minted syrup, 1 jigger rum, juice from ½ lime & splash of club soda
**Minted Syrup (can be made ahead) Bring to boil then simmer, 1 cup sugar and 1cup of water until sugar is dissolved. Take off heat and throw in a 1 ½ cups mint leaves and steep for an hour. Strain and store in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use (may keep up to two weeks). Besides mojitos, I love using mint syrup on fresh melon and berries!

Mango Salsa (can be made up to a week in advance). This is a family favorite!
2 mangoes diced
1 red pepper diced
4 plum tomatoes diced (or 2 large tomatoes) – whatever looks best!
½ red onion diced (Or more if you like onion)
½ jalapeno pepper, seeded & finely diced
2 tbsp. Olive oil
2 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
Juice of one lemon & juice of two limes
1/2 to 1 tsp. of red pepper flakes (adjust to your desire of heat) & 2 tsp. ground cumin
1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
-Combine all ingredients except cilantro, cover and let sit one to two hours. Add cilantro before serving. May be refrigerated up to one week (It won’t last that long though because it’s yummy)!!

Corn, Black Bean, Tomato & Avocado Salad (can be made the day before but add avocado right before serving)
2 cans black beans rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn, thawed (fresh corn taken from ear then sautéed in a bit of olive oil is very yummy if you have time)!
1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
½ a finely diced chipotle from canned chipotle in adobo sauce (I added this to dressing below)
One to two avocadoes, large diced (if making ahead, add avocado right before serving)

Mix ingredients with Chipotle-Lime Vinaigrette (adapted from Recipe by alaskafromscratch)
Juice of two limes 1 ½ tbsp. honey
1tblsp apple cider vinegar 1 ½ tbsp. adobo sauce
2 tbsp. olive oil
-Whisk together dressing ingredients then toss with all salad ingredients except avocado up to day before. Add diced avocado before serving.

Spicy Cole Slaw (Can dice and shred carrots the day before but slice cabbage fresh)
3 cups thinly sliced cabbage (I love purple for the color)
¼ cup finely diced yellow onion
3 grated carrots
Mix with dressing (can be made the day before and refrigerated)
1/3 cup mayo ½ tsp. celery seed
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. sugar
-whisk dressing ingredients together and store covered in refrigerator until use
-toss dressing, sliced cabbage, onion and carrot before serving.

Cuban Roasted Pork with Mojo Sauce (Cuban Pork Pernil adapted from justapinch.com Pernil O Pierna Asada Estilo Cubano) (May be roasted the day before and reheated)
5-6 pound pork roast shoulder
1 ½ tbsp. kosher salt
*2 cups mojo sauce
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 large yellow onion
-The night before roasting cut several slits around pork roast and rub with kosher salt. Next massage in 1 cup of mojo sauce into pork then sprinkle oregano, ground cumin and freshly ground pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
-Take out of refrigerator and let sit on counter for one hour before roasting.
-Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
-Roast in preheated oven four to five hours until juices are clear and meat is fall apart tender. Baste with ½ cup of mojo sauce.
-Remove roast when done and let rest. Let pork cool to touch then shred or slice.
-Remove quite a bit of fat from pan drippings. (I put pan drippings in refrigerator to cool. Fat then hardens making it very easy to removes).
-To pan drippings, add thinly sliced yellow onion and sauté until onions are tender, and then add remaining ½ cup mojo sauce
– Add reserved pork back into onion mixture.
**Pork can either be shredded or sliced. Serve sliced pork over black beans and rice. Shredded pork can be served on tortillas with slaw and various salsas. Pork can also be used for traditional Cuban sandwiches.
Mojo Sauce
There are many variations for mojo sauce, some with oil and some without. When using the marinade for roast pork you really don’t need the oil as pork has enough fat. If using the marinade for poultry, fish or beef the oil helps to keep the meat from drying out. Mojo sauce calls for sour oranges. Typically around here we can’t find sour oranges, therefore a combination of orange and lime juice is used. Here is the sauce that I used.
Juice of three oranges Cloves from one head of garlic, peeled
Juice of one lemon 2 tbsp. fresh oregano (or 2 tsp. dried oregano)
Juice of two limes 1 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper
-Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until liquefied. This should yield approximately two cups.

Cubano Sandwich
I had a sandwich like this for the first time in the airport in Port au Prince, Haiti so although not in Cuba, the sandwich I had was a take on the recipe below!

2- 16 in French bread (not baguette) or hoagie loaves (unless you can find Cuban bread…)
Yellow mustard- like good ol’ French’s (some sites argue that a traditional Cubano does not have mustard but only butter, so if you don’t like mustard, leave it off)!
Shredded or sliced pork
Deli ham (traditional cubano) or deli smoked turkey (because I have a lot of pork here)!
Mild Swiss cheese
Sliced dill pickles – sliced lengthwise makes it easy
-Bring ingredients to room temperature so that when grilling sandwiches the bread doesn’t burn before the cheese melts!
-Slice loaves lengthwise.
-Spread yellow mustard on each side of bread
-Layer 3-4 slices of ham or turkey on one side of bread
-Follow with a nice heap of sliced or shredded pork
-Lay pickle slices on top of pork
-Layer 3-4 slices of Swiss cheese
-Close and butter the outside of bread
-Use either a sandwich press or a griddle.
-Grill approx. 8-10 minutes with sandwich press, until cheese melts.
-If using a griddle, place a cast iron skillet or a heavy brick wrapped in tin foil to provide the “press” and grill on both sides (approx. 4-5 minutes per side until cheese melts).
– Since I’m serving as part of a buffet, I slice each sandwich diagonally into 2-3 inch slices.

Orange Cupcakes with Orange-Anisette syrup or Orange-Amaretto syrup
I have yet to duplicate a yummy yellow, citrus flavored cake we were served at the celebration dinner as we ended our work in Pignon, Haiti. The recipe below is a variation on an orange cupcake but uses syrup traditionally used for a Cuban Capuchino Cake (not to be confused with the coffee drink).
Cupcake recipe (adapted from recipe by Diane Rattray, southernfood.about.com)
1 cup softened unsalted butter
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla
1 tbsp. orange zest
½ cup orange juice
3 cups all-purpose flour (I used unbleached)
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Line 20-22 muffin tin with paper liners. I also lightly spray the paper liners
-Sift together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda & salt) in one bowl.
– In separate bowl, beat softened butter and sugar until light, then beat in eggs one at a time.
-Add vanilla, orange juice and zest to sugar-egg mixture until blended.
-Slowly beat in half of flour mixture.
-Blend in Buttermilk then beat in remaining flour mixture until smooth and blended.
-Fill muffin cups about ¾ full.
-Bake 20-25 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
-While warm and still in pan, spoon approximately 1 tsp. of orange based syrup on each cupcake.
-Serve warm or cold.
*Orange-Anisette syrup (found in some Cuban sites – anisette has a licorice flavor)
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup orange juice
½ cup water
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp. Anisette liquor
Bring first four ingredients to a boil then simmer until sugar is dissolved. Add anisette. Keep warm.
*Orange-Amaretto syrup (because I like an almond flavor better than a licorice flavor)!
1 ½ cups orange juice
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp. orange zest
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. amaretto
Bring first three ingredients to a boil then simmer until sugar is dissolved. Add butter and amaretto. Keep warm.

**Since I used two different syrups, I cut the syrup recipes in half and still had plenty of syrup!!