Just in time for my latest kitchen adventure is Roberto Santibañez' new book, Truly Mexican (with JJ Goode, Wiley Hardcover, April 25, 2011, $35.00, 272 pages).

I love tamales, well practically any meat-filled, lard-infused treat will do, so I'm eagerly anticipating the arrival of the New York chef and restaurateur's latest book.

 If I can't get my hot tamales from local pushcarts, I'll have to make my own. In preparation, I've laid in the supplies for a big batch of tamales - corn husks, masa harina, pasilla chiles, etc.

The chef promises fast, fresh and authentic Mexican for the home kitchen. I'm sure he'll deliver like he's been doing since 2009 at his Park Slope place, Fonda.

Santibañez is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and the culinary partner of The Taco Truck in Hoboken, NJ.

The Mexico City native is also author of Rosa’s New Mexican Table.

Tamale time this weekend!

Truly Mexican

Saturday night eat-in: Pernil asado or roast pork with spicy saffron rice

Comfort food for the homesick NYer

Since we've moved to North Carolina, I've been craving Latin food.

There's a large Hispanic community here, but (despite the welcome sight of a Taco Truck) I've yet to find cocina casero like you find on every street corner in NYC.

When you're handed a big bag of lemons, you start making lemonade. 

So, this week's recipe for Saturday night eat-in is a quick and dirty version of pernil asado. Click here to see video instructions for another version.

Pair this meal with a youthful and fresh Portuguese Vinho Verde.

Leftovers can be used to make super delicious Cubanos, meaty and magnificent heroes made with roast pork, ham, swiss cheese and dill pickles on Cuban rolls.

Mighty good eating, I say.




Yummy pork deliciousness

* 2 teaspoons ground cumin

 * 4 cloves garlic, chopped

* 1 teaspoon salt

* 1 teaspoon dried oregano

* 1/2 cup orange juice

* 1/2 cup dry sherry

* whole fresh lime, juiced

* zest of  fresh lime

* 1 tbs cilantro, chopped

4 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed and tied


Mix all marinade ingredients in a glass or non-reactive metal mixing  bowl. Place the pork in a large resealable plastic bag and then pour citrus marinade over meat, and seal.

Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours, turning the bag over occasionally to thoroughly marinate the pork roast.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Transfer pork and marinade to a roasting pan, and place in the oven.  Roast uncovered for half an hour, then cover and continue to oast for about an hour and 45 minutes, basting with pan juices occasionally, or until an instant read thermometer inserted in the center reads 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).

Add small amounts of water to the pan if it dries out.

Roast uncovered to crisp the pork roast, then transfer the pork to a carving board, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

For quick and easy sides, serve with Mahatma spicy saffron rice and seasoned pinto beans.

Serves 8-10.