Dinner with Friends

by Fran@frantasticfood.com on April 18, 2011

Saturday Night Dinner

I’m so lucky to have friends that not only appreciate good food, but like to get into the kitchen and cook too.  We decided to get together for another delicious dinner last night.  This time I opted not to cook.  Well, almost.  It was our host’s birthday and I couldn’t go empty handed, so I brought dessert, but more on that later.  Let’s talk about this delicious meal of Pernile — Puerto Rican Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder, Spanish Rice and Black Beans.

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Don was our chef last night and he did an outstanding job.  Always the analytical, research it until he knows the material inside out member of the group, I’ve heard him talk about this meal many times over the years and knew this it would not disappoint.  Starting with the sofrito.  A sofrito is the base for many dishes.  You may have heard of it referred to as a Mire Poix, the French term.  It’s carrots, celery and onions which are diced and cooked with butter or oil until it caramelizes and reduces to a sweet, flavorful base for so many dishes.  In this sofrito, I believe he used red bell peppers, onions and celery.


When I’m taking the time to make a hearty spaghetti sauce, while the beef bones are roasting, I’ll be stirring a pan of sofrito on another burner.  The timing works very well so that both are done at the same time.

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For the rice, Don massaged a sofrito until it was a pan of sweet vegetable goodness that added a wonderfully aromatic flavor to rice infused with saffron tea.


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We sat down to eat and like always, barely came up for air.  We polished off the beans in no time and while all of us would have loved more, I was glad there wasn’t another spoonful to tempt me.

I brought dessert along and while I thought it would be a bust, it was a huge success.  And I totally cheated.  I mean CHEATED as in a box of Duncan Hines Angel Food Cake Mix.

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OMG!  I feel so dirty.  But I couldn’t post these shots and not ‘fess up.  I was going to make it from scratch, but was following a recipe from the Kenmore applicance show on the Cooking Channel and thought I’d better follow the recipe as written because it was a microwave recipe.   Now, I’ve tried those one minute cake in a cup microwave recipes and have had miserable failures, so I decided my mistake might have been home made cake so I ran out, picked up a box of cake mix, added the 3/4 cup of cold water, whisked and poured.  I rested a cupcake liner in a dixie cup and gave it the 1 minute zap in the microwave and although the cakes were pristine white, just as the ones on the show were, they hadn’t risen nearly as much as what I saw on TV so I went back to the drawing board with the remaining mix and poured what was left into a dozen cupcake liners and two small tube pans.

And as you can see, the cakes and cupcakes are not the high rising masterpieces we normall associate with Angel Food Cake.

Angel Food Cupcakes Dinner with Friends

But all was not lost.  I pulled out frozen cherries and raspberries and whirred them up in my handy-dandy Vitamix until pureed and ran it through a fine mesh strainer to get as much of the grit of the seeds out.  I added a couple of tablespoons of powdered sugar and the fruit component of the evening was done.

Then I went to the fridge and pulled out a small carton of light cream and whipped it with dulce de leche and another topping was finished.

The fruit was my favorite, although the spoonful of dulce de leche cream I had was pretty darn good as well, but we attacked it all so quickly I didn’t get a shot good enough to post here, so I’ll leave that to your imagination.

All in all, it was another delicious and fun evening.  Next week, Easter at the Millers.  Since Passover will still be in full swing, I might get down to business and make home made gefilte fish to attempt to vanquish the fear that is poached fish balls in liquid.  We’ll see.

To see a recipe for Pernile Breakfast Tacos, see this poast at ThinRecipes

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 Dinner with Friends In 2007 my career with a large, but shrinking high tech Fortune 50 \"left me,\" leaving a void in my life. While lamenting the loss and flying around the world looking for a new career to get married to, I discovered a way to use a familiar outlet during tough times -- writing. My blog-writing morphed into writing about my favorite past time -- Food! I purchase food, sell food, make food, watch food being made, broadcast meal preparation, photograph and blog about food. Like I said; Food! To change this standard text, you have to enter some information about your self in the Dashboard -> Users -> Your Profile box.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

normaNo Gravatar April 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm

It’s Pernil…no e..
It is a traditional dish that we make in Puerto Rico and the accompaniment is “arroz con gandules” which is rice with pigeon peas. Our sofrito is made from sweet green peppers, cilanto, garlic, onions…no celery.

This dinner looks incredible and I am sure quite tasty. I see the picture of the Pernil and it also looks juicy and tender. I wish I had been part of your dinner party.

I have finally given up in trying to get back my blog that was lost and working on my new one which will be ready by mid May. Will let you know.

Happy Easter to you and yours…Norma


Fran@frantasticfood.comNo Gravatar April 21, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Thanks for the correction, Norma. I looked it up and found it both ways, so I had no idea. Next time maybe we can try the rice you speak of. All I know is that this sure was tasty and it was nice not to be the cook for a change. ;)


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