Healthy Cuban Creation (Chef Inspired)

Healthy Cuban Creation (Chef Inspired)

I have been begging Boris (my husband) to go see the feel good/ foodie film "Chef." Needless to say, I am now certain that in a year's time my own food truck will populate the streets of Philadelphia. Until then I have settled for my first attempt at a Cuban dinner. Lechon, the savory pulled pork which is the key ingredient in any Cuban Panini. Yucca, a root vegetable that is oddly reminiscent of a potato, with much more bite. Last but not least, Cuban Coleslaw, a tangy version of typical coleslaw with 90% fewer calories.

A Healthy Cuban Dinner!

A Healthy Cuban Dinner!

Lechon

      Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of pork butt (trimmed of the fat)
  • The juice of 5 limes
  • 15 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • The juice of 3-4 large oranges or 1 cup of orange juice (with or without pulp)
  • 2 Tbs of oregano
  • 1 Tbs of cumin
  • 1 Tsp of salt
    • Yield: 8 (1/4 lb servings)

1.   Take your pork butt and pierce with a fork on both sides so that the marinade can settle.

2. In a separate medium sized bowl, pour in 1 cup of orange juice. Roll limes on a hard surface until soft. Cut the limes in half and squeeze each lime into the orange juice. Discard the lime rinds.

3.  If you are using a bulb of garlic, separate the cloves and de-skin by mashing the clove first and peeling the skin. For this recipe, I bought pre-peeled garlic from Whole Foods. Slice off the end of each garlic clove and add them to your juice mixture.

4.  Pour the juice mixture into a blender. Add the oregano, cumin and salt. Puree until the garlic cloves are completely broken down.

5. Place the pork butt and pureed mixture into a large freezer bag and allow to marinate for 8-12 hours.

6.  After marinating the meat, place the pork butt into a crockpot and allow to cook for 8 hours on low.

7.  When the cooking process is complete, take your roast out of the crockpot and shred with a fork. Your roast is ready to serve!

 

Cuban Style Yucca

Ingredients

  • Two large yucca roots
  • 1 lime
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 TBS of olive oil

1. The yucca root has a waxy outer layer which requires a fairly sharp knife to peel. To peel the root, first cut off the ends.

2. Slice the root in half, horizontally. Stand one half up and use your knife to slice off the skin of the root. Repeat for the second half.

3. Once your root is completely peeled, you can chop it into cubes (shown in the photo above).

4. Fill a medium sized pot with water and bring to a boil. Place the yucca in the pot and let it cook for about 10 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. 

5. Drain the yucca in a colander then place into a serving dish.

6. Finely mince the garlic.

7.  In a sauté pan, heat 2 tbs of olive oil and add the garlic and lime juice.

8. When the garlic just begins to brown, pour the mixture over the cooked yucca. Add salt and pepper to taste. This dish should be served immediately. If you let it sit, the yucca will begin to dry out.

 Cuban Coleslaw

Ingredients

  • 1 (16oz) Package of coleslaw
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 lime
  • 1 TBS olive oil

For this one, just make it easy on yourself and go buy a pre-chopped package of coleslaw! I got one of those fancy ones with broccoli stems. The dark green color adds a beautiful visual contrast to your plate! Honestly, any coleslaw mix will work. Mix all of your ingredients in a bowl. Season the coleslaw according to your taste. I tend to make mine heavy on the cumin.