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Monday, February 11, 2013

Another Restaurant Redux

I was in a serious quandary about this weeks redo.  We have certainly been out to eat enough times this week that I should have easily been able to pick something that I wanted to try, but we had mostly been going to pretty basic restaurants and just how excited can you get over another salad or a steak.  Then Saturday night we had a surprise dinner.

 We were truly planning on staying in but decided at the last minute to go see Lincoln.  We went to the late afternoon matinee at the Vestavia theater and  had eaten nothing.  For some reason we even skipped popcorn and were actually hungry when we left the movie. (A rarity for us).  As we were leaving we noticed the OPEN sign still on at The Kool Korner.  There was no question of where we would eat.  It was Saturday night and at Kool Korner that means one thing__Cuban food.

I alternate between Cuban and Peruvian cuisines being my favorite.  If I am in a Cuban restaurant it is my favorite and the same happens if I am eating Peruvian.   If you have never been there before Monday-Friday the place operates much like any sandwich shop with the exception of a la carte empanadas and tortillas.  But on Saturday the heavens open up and the angels sing when they serve delicious Cuban meals.  The plates are all the same with the exception of whatever protein you choose. Rice, yucca, fried plantains, black beans and _fill in the blank____.  I generally choose the sliced pork or the shredded beef.  Those are offered each Saturday along with a grilled chicken.  Other options change occasionally.  They may have stuffed eye of round or chicken fricassee or a fish.  Or possibly all of the previously mentioned.  It seems to just be whatever they decide that day. I have pretty much had them all and have never been disappointed.

Tonight I had a defrosted pork tenderloin in the refrigerator.  Since I do love Cuban and had its deliciousness still in my brain I decided to try my hand at making it.

Attempted Cuban Roast Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin ( about 2 pounds)
1 cup mojo seasoning ( buy a bottle in the ethnic food section of Publix)
1/2 cup sour orange juice ( I know I bought this at Publix but uncertain if I got it here or in Florida)
2 tablespoons  dried oregano, separated
1 tablespoon dried cilantro ( could use fresh, I just didn't have any) separated
4 cloves garlic, minced

Mix the mojo seasoning, sour orange juice , 1 tablespoon oregano and cilantro and the minced garlic in the bottom of a non reactive pan long enough for the tenderloin to  fit without bending. Put the tenderloin in the pan and cover tightly with foil.  Let marinate in the fridge for about 4 hours turning midway through the process.   When ready to cook remove the pork from the marinade and place in an oven safe pan.  Pour a couple of tablespoons of the liquid back over the top and sprinkle the remaining oregano and cilantro over it.  Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.  Make diagonal slices, serve and enjoy.

This was pretty close in flavor, in fact it was really good.  I will start cooking it this way often.  The real key is to keep it undercooked a tiny bit.   ( Mine was not as rare as it appears in the picture)  Well cooked boneless pork tends to dry out a little too much. I am pretty sure you don't have to be in love with Cuban food to really like this.

We are supposed to eat out 4 nights this week.  Hopefully I can find something I want to redo at one of the places.

Oh and in case anyone likes jazz, Cleve Eaton and the Alabama All Stars are playing at Billy's Liberty Park Friday night.  The food there is typical pub food but the entertainment should be stellar!



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