A few weeks ago, I asked some local "celebrities" if they’d be willing to share a family favorite holiday recipe with readers. The quotes are mine, because if you were to ask them, they would probably say they don’t like to think of themselves as a celebrity, but rather as someone whose body of work in the community and in their profession speaks for itself. Enjoy!
Mojo Marinated Cuban Pork Roast
Growing up in Cuba, Julio Ortiz never celebrated Christmas. Fidel Castro declared Cuba an atheist nation in 1962, and Christmas was removed from the list of Cuban holidays in 1969.
"Cuban authorities banned Christmas trees, lights, nativity scenes, and decorations, except in tourist locations like hotels," wrote Ortiz, owner of The Twisted Cuban Café in Woodinville, in an email.
New Year’s Eve was the real day of celebration for Cuban families. Families would save the little money they had to buy meat and sometimes a whole pig to roast.
The day would be filled with music and food in celebration of the coming year. Cuban authorities allowed the celebration because the day coincided with the success of the revolution and deemed it to be a celebration of the revolution and not the New Year.
Ortiz left Cuba in 1997, just before Fidel Castro restored the Christmas holiday, in honor of Pope John Paul II’s visit to the country.
Ortiz shares his mother’s recipe for Cuban Pork Roast, a dish he enjoyed with his family on December 31, which also was his mother’s birthday.
Begin this recipe the night before you wish to serve it.
12-15 lb. pork shoulder
15 garlic cloves
2 c. orange juice
1 ½ c. lime juice
2 Tb cumin
1 t. dried basil
1 t. dried cilantro
1 t. black pepper
1 large onion, diced
2 ½ c. white cooking wine
1 t. salt
Using a sharp knife, poke holes in pork shoulder and insert garlic; rub with salt.
Mix remaining ingredients in a large, sealable plastic bag. Place roast in bag and marinate overnight (turning to coat several times).
Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove roast from marinade, reserving marinade.
Place roast in a roasting pan, and pour three-fourths of the marinade over the meat.
Cover and bake in oven for 5-6 hours, removing and basting several times with the remaining marinade during the baking process. Serve with rice and black beans.
Ron Upshaw’s Posole
Ron Upshaw moved to the Woodinville area earlier this year. If you’re a regular listener of KIRO Radio, you know that Upshaw is part of the "Ron & Don Show" which airs from 3-7 p.m. weekdays. Both he and his co-host, Don O’Neill, grew up in New Mexico. "This is a holiday staple in New Mexico where I grew up… and it’s good and super easy to make," Upshaw wrote in an email accompanying the recipe. "I usually eat it with a flour tortilla and cold beer."
1 - 1.5 lbs of pork loin, cut into cubes
1 large white onion, chopped small
4 - 5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cans of white or yellow hominy, drained
2 cans of red enchilada sauce
2 bay leaves
1 quart beef, chicken, or veggie stock (any will work)
Must get Queso Fresco, the best cheese with this
Fresh cilantro, optional
Salt and pepper to taste
Salt and pepper the pork then brown the cubes in a bit of olive oil in a frying pan, then put in a crockpot. In the same pan using the drippings, sauté the onions for 4-5 minutes.
Add the minced garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Add the onions and garlic to the crockpot, along with the drained hominy, enchilada sauce, stock, bay leaves and a few Tbs of Mexican spices to crock.
Cook on low for at least 5 hours, 9 hours is better. Ladle the posole into bowls, then put the Queso Fresco and chopped cilantro on at the last minute, adding hot sauce if you want it hotter.
* Mexican spices, ranging from mild to spicy, are usually found in a little bag in the ethnic aisle of most supermarkets.
A video of Upshaw making Posole and offering suggested modifications depending on how spicy to make it is on You Tube, titled, "R & D TV: 2/23/2009."
Black Forest Ham Quiche
Amy Lawrence is the owner and chef of Village Eatery & Tea Company in Country Village, and the author of Twelve Teas to Remember. Ten years ago, when she was so busy running a previous tea room in California, she found herself bringing home a frozen quiche to serve for Christmas breakfast. It’s since become a tradition in her family.
"I make the quiche weeks ahead of time and freeze it. The night before Christmas I put it in the refrigerator so it will thaw overnight. On Christmas morning, I get up early and bake scones, and then I make a giant pot of tea (the only time that pot is used) and reheat the quiche. We sit around the tree, open presents, eat quiche and scones and drink tea all morning. It’s one of my favorite times of the year," she wrote in an email.
2 c. of black forest ham, shredded
2 c. Jarlsberg cheese (or any Swiss will do), shredded
1½ c. milk
1½ c. whipping cream
2 T. flour
½ c. red onion, caramelized (brown chopped red onion in butter until golden brown)
2 T. fresh rosemary chopped to garnish on the top
2 9-inch pie shells
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake shells for about 10 minutes until almost done, but not yet brown. Cool. In a large mixer, mix together eggs, milk, cream and flour.
For each quiche sprinkle a small handful of cheese over the bottom of half-baked crust. This is to prevent the bottom from getting soggy from the onion layer.
Divide and spread about half of the caramelized onions between the two crusts. On top of onion layer, add 1 c. ham, then 2 c. of shredded cheese.
Place foil around the pie crusts. (Do not remove during baking). Carefully pour egg mixture over cheese, ham and onion layers. Fill just to top of crust. Sprinkle rosemary on top.
Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes. Then increase heat to 400°F and bake for 15-25 more minutes or until completely set (some ovens may take much longer). If the cheese starts to brown too quickly before the quiche is set, cover entire quiche with tented foil. Quiche is done when it doesn’t jiggle anymore. Look carefully or insert a knife to check as cheese may be set, but underneath may not be done.
Enjoy one and freeze the other. To reheat, thaw completely in refrigerator the night before. Cut into 8 pieces before reheating in oven. By cutting the quiche cold, you will be able to get nice exact cuts. Reheat until warm.
This recipe makes two quiches. From: Twelve Teas to Remember by Amy Lawrence.
Bobby Moore’s Turkey and Potato Bread Pudding
"Thinking back through my holiday memories as a child growing up in Texas, brings back memories of Christmas time which meant playing football in the street and Grandma Moore’s home cooking.
"My grandmother was a simple cook that had one secret ingredient ‘love.’ I tried for years to master G mom’s oyster stuffing and could never come close," Barking Frog’s executive chef Bobby Moore wrote in an email describing why he chose to share his Turkey and Potato Bread Pudding recipe.
"As I became more proficient in the kitchen, meaning after I graduated from culinary school, my creativity led me to making the stuffing like hers with love and replacing the oysters with confit turkey leg and sometimes Italian sausage. Over the years as most cooks went away from stuffing the turkey I decided to make the stuffing in little 4-ounce foil tins so the stuffing would stay moist and it was more composed ... meaning it makes more room on the plate for cranberry sauce.... Maybe next year I’ll share my cranberry sauce recipe with you!" Moore wrote.
1 loaf potato bread, medium dice
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
4 c. heavy cream
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 whole eggs
2 turkey legs (confit or roasted), meat removed & diced
1/3 c. chopped herbs (parsley, chive & thyme)
Salt & pepper
Sauté the onions in a sauté pan in a little canola oil or clarified butter (ghee) until caramelized. Whip cream and eggs together. Combine all ingredients and mix together. Spoon into 4" ramekins that have been greased with cooking spray or butter.
Bake for 20 minutes in a 350°F oven. Preferably, remove from ramekins before serving.