Supper Club, Latin-Style

From Susan: On Saturday night, we were invited to join a group of Montclairians who meet for an almost-monthly dinner party – they call it Supper Club – in each other’s homes. “Gourmet groups” like this one abound, but what strikes me about Supper Club is that they’ve been wining and dining together for more than 10 years! Saturday evening’s host, our friend Tabitha, got us all into a Latin mood with mojitos accompanied by chunky guacamole and Ted’s carnitas with chile de arbol salsa. Thanks to the gorgeous weather, we dined al fresco under the romantic, wisteria-draped pergola on Tabitha’s deck, glowing with dozens of candles.

Pork carnitas in Chile de Arbol Salsa

Freshly made salsa to cool things down a bit

Carnitas Tacos

Makes about 3 cups or 12 tacos

Don’t be turned off by the lard – during the long, slow cooking process it pulls the fat out of the pork, resulting in soft, tender meat that gets a flavor kick from the salsa.

2 lbs. lard

2 1/2 lbs. pork butt, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes (you want 2 1/2 lbs. after the bone has been removed)

2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 cup chile de arbol salsa (recipe follows)

Melt the lard in a large, deep saucepan over moderate heat. Add the pork, salt and pepper and simmer until tender, being careful not to crisp the meat, about 1 hour and 10 mins. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.

When cool enough to handle, shred the meat by hand or with a fork. Remove and discard any remaining fat. Transfer to a medium saucepan, add the arbol salsa and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, 5 -8 minutes.

Serve with warm corn tortillas, fresh salsa, chopped cilantro and avocado.

Chile de Arbol Salsa

Makes 2 1/2 cups

1/2 lb. plum tomatoes

3/4 lb. tomatillos, husked and washed

1 cup (30-40) arbol chiles (I can usually only find these dried – they are very spicy so don’t overdo it!)

1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves only, roughly chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 cups water

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the broiler. Place the tomatoes and tomatillos on a baking sheet and broil, turning occasionally, until charred all over – about 10-12 mins. Transfer to a saucepan with all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and cook until the onions are soft – about 12-15 mins. Transfer to a food processor or blender; puree and then strain.

Recipes from Mesa Mexicano by Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger

An amazing Flan for desert

About these ads

2 thoughts on “Supper Club, Latin-Style

  1. MY SUGGESTION TO ALL YOU READERS….NEVER READ THIS BLOG AND LOOK AT THE PHOTOS WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY!!! THIS SERIES OF PHOTOS IS GORGEOUS! HOWEVER, WHEN I WENT DOWN TO SEND A REPLY, I HAD TO PASS THE AD FOR “! TIP FOR A FLAT BELLY.” REALLY!! THAT JUST ISN’T FAIR.

    TABITHA, YOU REALLY COULD OPEN A LATIN CLUB WITH THAT DESIGN TALENT! FILL A NICHE IN MONTCLAIR. PERFECT.

  2. Congratulations to a woman who cooks from the heart, is a conscientious and enthusiastic host, and an innovative designer. Well Done!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s