I am always dazzled by New Year's Eve. Every year I hope to get invited to some magical party where my hubby and I dance the night away and ring in the new year together. This particular scenario has not happened in 10 years of being together, but I'm hoping it will one day.
This month, the Recipe Redux challenge is to share a 2014 "good luck" recipe for celebrating New Year's Eve. The recipe I knew I wanted to share comes from the closest I've gotten to my dream NYE celebration.
In college, some of my good friends were Cuban and invited me to their family party twice. Let me tell you, they knew how to have fun and cook amazing food! I have some great memories of celebrating with many of their fun traditions, the most central of which is a pig roast. My friend's family would roast an entire pig (apple in mouth and the whole 9 yards), in a pit, in their back yard, all day. It was marinated in signature mojo (pronounced moe-hoe) and was amazing! This was served with their family's recipe of black beans and rice. Man, my mouth waters just thinking about it.
Another fun tradition they taught me was the Twelve Grapes. With each strike of the bell at midnight you eat a grape to ensure good fortune in the coming year. To do this, everyone was given a small cup of a dozen grapes right before the ball dropped in Times Square. This is a really easy and fun tradition to try this year.
Now, back to the pig and beans. Although we might have the room for a pig pit, I don't see us going quite that far this year with our new years pork. Instead, I'm going with an old-faithful preparation of pork tenderloin, the slowcooker.
I often buy bottled mojo marinade but don't love that they often contain added sugars and sometimes even food coloring. I've always wanted to make my own, fresh marinade and this is the perfect occasion.
Mojo is a combination of orange and lime juice, LOTS of garlic, fresh oregano, salt and pepper, olive oil and a little hint of chili. The marinade takes a little bit of elbow grease as you have to juice some citrus. You can cut a few corners by buying OJ and not making the juice reduction, but if you have the time, you should do it.
I've also included my black bean recipe to serve alongside this delicious pork. Here's a little hint I picked up from some Brazilian friends many years ago: add just a pinch of sugar to your personal serving of black beans. The combination of all those savory flavors with just a touch of sweetness is AMAZING!!
So I know it's not even Christmas yet, but just bookmark this page for when you mentally move on to thinking about NYE. And don't forget to check out all the other great ideas listed below from my fellow RD bloggers.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Mojo Pulled Pork (with homemade marinade)
1 pork tenderloin
2 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice, divided
1 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice, divided
Zest of one orange
Zest of one lime
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
8+ garlic cloves, finely chopped (add as many as you like)
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- In a small saucepan, bring one cup of orange juice and 1/2 cup lime juice to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and cook until liquid is reduced in half, about 25 minutes. (You can skip this step and just add all the juice to the slowcooker at one time. Reducing the juice concentrates the flavor though, helping it come through stronger.)
- In a large slowcooker add juice reduction, remaining orange and lime juice, all zest, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Stir to combine. Add tenderloin and turn to coat. Spoon marinade on top of any exposed meat. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 - 8 hours, turning meat several times through the cooking process. Meat will easily pull apart when ready.
Cuban Black Beans
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup beer (plus more if needed)
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Heat a medium pot over medium heat. Add oil, onions and peppers and sautee for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes.
- Pour in beer and stir. Add beans, tomato paste, oregano, cumin, sugar and salt. Stir to combine.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for at least 30 minutes. Add more beer if needed to keep moist. Serve with Mojo Pork.