How to throw a Cuban party

21st_bday_collageOkay, I'm not just saying this, but we really know how to throw a great party. Seriously.

I think it's probably because we go into it with the idea that we are not entertaining so much as sharing.  We love to have people in our home. We want them to feel welcome. We want them to come back. It's not about perfection or showing off.  It's about enjoying good food and each other's company. That's our simple formula.

Everyone agreed that Adam's birthday party the other night was a great success.
I don't claim to be an expert or anything, but I'm Cuban and I know how to throw a party (it's part of my genetic code = D). 

I also have an amazing "team" of expert party-givers who live here and have done it often enough. ;-)

And having a Cuban theme is pretty much a no-brainer for us. =D

But, because you asked, here's The Menu:

-Pan con Lechon (literally "bread with pork" - recipe follows)
-Green Salad (okay, so that's not really a Cuban thing, but I"ve been raised in California and I like to see a bit of green on my plate. =D)
-Coca-Cola (must be "The Real Thing")

For dessert, I made these beforehand:
-Pastelitos de Guayaba
-Pastelitos Refugiados (same as above, but add cream cheese to the guava)



Pan con Lechon (for 20)

The Lechon:
2 1/2 lbs. Pork loin chops (boneless) – the big, thick ones
1 large bottle of Mojo Criollo
2 large white onions – sliced into rings
10 garlic cloves - crushed

1) Stab each of the chops two or three times and
put them into a crockpot.
2) Cover with the mojo and the onion slices and crushed garlic.
3) Cook on high for 4-5 hours. Or on low for 6-8 hours.

The Pan:
5 loaves of Cuban bread (long loaves) cut lengthwise and then into quarters

When the pork is fully cooked and falling apart, take a knife and shred it (you can do this right in the crockpot).  Cook on high for about 30 minutes longer in the crockpot.


The Sandwiches:

1) Take each sandwich and fill it with the shredded pork/onion/garlic mixture

2) Lightly butter the outsides

3) Grill in a sandwich press (any of the George Foreman grills will also work)

4) Wrap sandwiches in foil and keep warm in a chafing dish until you're ready to serve.

The Playlist:

Buena Vista Social Club
En Vivo: 35 Aniversario (LIVE) - Willy Chirino
Cuba Linda - Cachao
Lo Mejor de lo Mejor - Beny Moré
Todos Sus Exitos - Trio Matamoros
That Cuban Cha cha cha - Orquesta Aragon

P7086603The Decorations:

-Cover the table with burlap.

-Scatter some fresh coffee beans on it.

-Put votives in coconut dishes.

-Add a few strings of party lights.

-Put some luminarias outside leading to your front door.

I have a better idea...
save yourself all the trouble and just come over on any summer weekend.

There's always plenty of Cuban food.

P70866251And the door is always open. =D

"Estas en tu casa."