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Feliz Noche Buena!!! Happy Christmas Eve!!

I have so many fond memories of Noche Buena. The night that most Latinos celebrate over a roasted succulent pork leg with rice and beans and all the extras. I can still remember the smell of my Puerto Rican Madrina making arroz con gandules, pasteles and pernil!!! Que Rico!!! I always buy a pork leg every year and marinate it for at least 24 hours. I cut the skin and take large garlic cloves and house seasoning to put in every crevice of the leg. Then I pour naranja agria (sour orange juice made by Goya) all over the pernil. The next day I roast my pernil at 325 degrees for 5 hours (depending on the weight of the pernil). Once the thermometer tells me the pernil is thoroughly cooked I turn up the heat to 400 degrees just so the skin will crisp. Mmmmm Que Ricooo!! All of this while playing my favorite Latin Music like Hector Lavoe, Los Van Van or La India..Takes me back to when I visited family in Cuba for the first time and we had a huge celebration where we took one of our farm raised pigs in Sagua la Grande and roasted the pig in the ground. My sons aunt made the best chicharrones (cracklings) I have ever tried! Now that I live in New Orleans and have for more than 5 years I have to make gumbo with the food I grew up on….It’s going down in my house y’all! What are you cooking for Noche Buena? Here are a few pics of my pernil, Cuban picadillo and a cool pic of Cuban food.

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