Monday, September 21, 2009

Cuban Style Roast Pig

Sharon came back from music camp last winter with a hankering for a new pork dish that the cheif at Bishop's Ranch had prepared for diner on Saturday evening. She asked for the recipe and he referred her to this book on cooking pork, Bruce Aidells's Complete Book of Pork: A Guide to Buying, Storing, and Cooking the World's Favorite Meat. We read some yesterday and decided to make the lechon for Sharon's birthday meal on Saturday (or did I just want an excuse to cook this weekend?)

His essay on ham was quite informative and entertaining. Made me want to read the book chrome://foxytunes-public/content/signatures/signature-button.pngcover to cover and to explore his culinary world of pork. I have made a couple of pork recipes that I love, pulled pork and pepsi pork, so I expect to find more winners here.

Of course there is a more authentic/Cuban Lechon Asado recipe for suckling pig if you want to go whole hog. (-8 pun intended :-)

Roasted Pork Shoulder, Cuban Style (serves 8)

1 bone-in (or boneless) Boston butt (pork shoulder cut), 5 to 7 pounds

For marinating and cooking:

1/4 cup triple sec or Grand Marnier
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or dried oregano
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil

1) Make the Cuban Marinade by combining all ingredients, except pork, in bowl and mix well. Set aside/refrigerate 1/3 cup of the marinade for the Citrus Sauce.

2) Place pork in 2-gallon zip-lock plastic bag and pour in remaining marinade. Seal and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days, turning bag occasionally to redistribute marinade.

3) When ready to roast, remove pork from marinade, shake off excess and discard marinade. Let meat sit at room temperature 1 hour.

4) Preheat oven to 325° F. Place roast in roasting pan and begin cooking. After 2 hours, begin checking roast for doneness. When meat is fork tender in several spots, remove from oven. Transfer pork to cutting board and tent with foil. Let rest 15 to 30 minutes.

5) While roast is cooking make the Citrus Mojo Sauce. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and bloom the garlic and cumin for 30 seconds.

6) Pour most of the remaining ingredients except the cilantro and dissolved cornstarch into saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Adjust acidity and sweetness to taste with additional lime juice and sugar.

7) Stir in dissolved cornstarch, bring to boil 30 seconds to thicken slightly then set aside.

Citrus Mojo Sauce (for serving):

3 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp cumin powder
1 T olive oil
1/3 cup reserved marinade
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste
1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste (omit if you used sweet oranges)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

8) Right before serving pork rewarm the Citrus Sauce and add in the cilantro.

9) Carve pork into 1/4-inch-thick slices, arrange on a platter, drizzle with a little sauce and serve remaining sauce in gravy boat at the table.

Note 1: Alternatively you can grill the pork on a BBQ with indirect heat at about 300° to 325° F oven instead of using a oven. Use a drip pan under the grill to catch the fat and juices. The cooking time and range for doneness are roughly the same. Use some hickory wood for that outdoorsy flavor.

Note 2: For bigger parties use a whole pork shoulder (butt and picnic as one big hunk of meat). Just double the marinade and sauce recipes. Grill/roast the shoulder for 3 to 4 hours. Serves 12 to 16 folks.

Jaya's Citrus Mojo Sauce:

Before serving add 1 to 2 parts Joe Caribe' Caribbean To-go's Habanero sauce to 6 parts Citrus Mojo Sauce. Nice heat but not recommended for most people.

Nude Descending Staircase No. 2 Aside: This painting is what I first thought of when Sharon started talking about the Cubist pork she had for dinner; Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2) by Marcel Duchamp, 1912.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Vincent: Want some bacon?
Jules: No, man. I don't eat pork.
Vincent: Are you Jewish?
Jules: Nah, I ain't Jewish, I just don't dig on swine, that's all.
Vincent: Why not?
Jules: Pigs are filthy animals. I don't eat filthy animals.
Vincent: Yeah, but bacon tastes good. Pork chops taste good.
Jules: Hey, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy motherfucker. Pigs sleep and root in shit. That's a filthy animal. I ain't eatin' nothing that ain't got sense enough to disregard its own feces.
Vincent: How about a dog? Dog eats its own feces.
Jules: I don't eat dog either.
Vincent: Yeah, but do you consider a dog to be a filthy animal?
Jules: I wouldn't go so far as to call a dog filthy, but they're definitely dirty. A dog's got personality. Personality goes a long way.
Vincent: Ah, so by that rationale, if a pig had a better personality, he would cease to be a filthy animal. Is that true?
Jules: Well, we'd have to be talkin' about one charming motherfucking pig. I mean, he'd have to be ten times more charming than that Arnold on Green Acres, you know what I'm saying?
Vincent: [laughing] That's good.

Chicken Fried Steak

We got this recipe from American's Test Kitchen Season 4, the Truck Stop Favorites episode.

The Coconut Cream Pie was good but since I don't particularly get excited over non-chocolate deserts we haven't made it a second time. The chick fried steak on the other hand has become my favorite meal. Sharon makes it for me on my birthday every year.

Makes a real mess of the kitchen with the batter and hot oil. We use the dutch oven for frying. Since you have the oil going might as well bread up a few vegetables and deep fry them while your at it. Takes about two and a half hours to prepare.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

LoughHaven Restaurant

LoughHaven Restaurant is going to reopen. Several years ago Sharon and I were inspired by Robert Rodriguez's supplemental material on the Once Upon A Time In Mexico (2003) DVD. He said that everyone should have a hand full of great recipes that they can put together at the drop of a hat. Then when people come over you have several thing that are fantastic that you can serve.

There is a new keyword, menu, used in this blog to identify the recipes on the LoughHaven dinner menu. When you are coming over tell us what you would like and we'll make it for you. Goood!

We only include dishes that we thoroughly enjoy and know how to prepare.

There are a few other things that are on the menu but have not been recorded here yet. Check back for the grilled salmon with spice rub asperigous and maybe even upma/uppammaa/upama (a spicy Indian dish using curry, vegetables and Cream of Wheat).

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Testing Time

Reading an article by Steven Woody on "Software Longevity Testing" in Better Software today, September 2009 edition, and though I would record the important dates/times that should be considered when testing.
  • GPS systems reach 999,999,999 seconds on September 14, 2011.
  • GPS systems weeks rollover on April 7, 2019.
  • UNIX 32-bit time overruns on January 19, 2038.
  • System uptime 32 bit counter rollover. Hint, use a debugger to set the counter to just before rollover and verify all date/time related functions after a rollover occurs.
    1 mS = 24.9 days
    2 mS = 49.7 days
    2 mS unsigned = 99.4 days
    5 mS = 124.3 days
    10 mS = 248.6 days
    10 mS unsigned = 497.1 days
New term Soak Test; a long period of time running the application under heavy load without letting it up for air. Place the system under increasing load until the load-regulating, rate-limiting or discard mechanisms become active then maintain this load for hours/days.

New term Quiescent Test; a long period of idle time followed by work to verify that she wakes up and is ready to go after things have been quite. What happens when processes are swapped out, connections dropped, sleep mode, powersave, firewall timed out, key process not woken up in time, et cetera.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I download images from the Astronomy Picture of the Day(APOD) site occasionally for my screen saver and the PS3.

Check out this video of a moonbow filmed in Patagonia Chili. Visit the APOD page for a discription of the phenomenon.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Eusocial Networking

One of my favorite authors is Scott Sigler. Scott just won a Parsec Award for his novella EUSOCIAL NETWORKING at Dragon*Con 2009.

I am including a link to the short story (50 minutes) for you. The audio file starts with a ten minute introduction that explains a bit about Scott and the Obsidian podcasts followed by Scott reading his story. Click to download/listen to the MP3 file. I subscribe to both authors podcast feeds via iTunes and listen on my iPhone.

You don't need to be familiar with the J.C. Hutchins 7th Son books for the story to work. But if you want to find out about the Saudi nuke and the project financier (A.U. Rookman) then listen to the 7th Son books (really just one very long story in three volumes).

T2, The Future Begins Today

Thursday, September 10, 2009


If you like European films that allow you to think then check out JCVD (via Netflix).

Please don't read the Netflix description, reviews, the DVD box cover or watch any previews. This film does not fit into a pigeon hole and everything I have see written about it has it wrong. Like many non-Hollywood films, a key element is the disclosure of the story (as opposed to Hollywood movies that follow well understood formulas).

JCVD is NOT an action movie.

JCVD is NOT a comedy.

JCVD is NOT a mixed martial arts blood bath.

JCVD is NOT a romance.

JCVD is NOT predictable.

JCVD is NOT an American movie, English subtitles.

After your have seen it let me know what you think.
That last scene, the coda, kick my ass. Run Lola Run.

TIME Magazine named Jean-Claude Van Damme's performance in the film the second best of the year (after Heath Ledger's The Joker in The Dark Knight). "He deserves not a black belt, but an Oscar®", said TIME Magazine.


I saw something new at the skate park today, a rip stick.

It is not easy to push a four wheel dolly because of the omnidirectional casters. Now try to balance on a board with just two casters, yee ha!

Add this to the list of things to avoid after getting a hip replacement.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Auburn 49 Fire, August 30, 2009

I was playing GTA IV Sunday afternoon when I saw a massive wall of smoke through the parlor window. Great billowing thick dark gray smoke in the center churning up looming on the horizon. It looked like it was just past the ridge north of us, across I80 up toward the new Home Depot on 49.

Sharon, get the camera and take a picture out the front door.

3:55 PM

3:55 PM
A short time later we received a robocall to evacuate our house. We started packing by collecting the important papers, irreplaceable family pictures, et cetera. Packed clothes for a few days stay and backed up the computers. Planned on taking the computers/drives with us in both cars.

4:01 PM

4:01 PM

4:01 PM

4:01 PM, click to see the air support.

Problem, where to go? There are a few friends we know would welcome us but the two cats would be an issue (allergies/dogs)?

With most of our stuff collected and before we started loading the cars we received a follow up call rescinding the evacuation order.

Last year there was a lot of smoke in the air from massive wildfires but we never felt threatened. Remember the "fog" the morning that Legacy was here for their house concert (pictures)?

Check out this collection of aftermath photographs taken by the community.

We found the was an excellent source of fire information. It seems that the local radio station KVMR gets their information from, in fact the person who runs the fire service at called into KVMR to give regular authoritative updates on the emergency. Specifically, we followed on Sunday for our news (Are we really going to evacuate and possibly lose the house?).

The next day, highway 49 was partially open, the Governator declared a disaster area during his site visit, and my dojo (just across the street) was open for training :). The fire's name changed from the 'Rock Creek Auburn Fire' to the '49 Fire'.

This map shows the area engulfed by the 49 Fire. Click on the picture to enlarge and read.