A Trip to Vegas

For my big 3-0 this year, my hubby treated me to a fun trip to Vegas. More than anything else, we just ate . . . a lot!

First we ventured to a late night happy hour at our hotel, the Mirage. It is a delicious little Japanese restaurant called Japonais.

For lunch the following day we headed to Bobby Flay’s restaurant, Mesa. This was not our first visit to Mesa but is now a must visit when we head to Vegas. I had a delicious salmon dish and the husband, a Cuban sandwich.

20121209-173646.jpg
20121209-173701.jpg
For dinner that night we went old school and hit up The Barrymore, a fun steak restaurant where we expected Frank Sinatra to come through the door at any moment.

20121209-173909.jpg
20121209-173923.jpg
Not a bad restaurant in the bunch. Can’t wait to go back for more delicious eats!

20121209-174021.jpg

Birthday Request

My mom started a tradition when I was growing up that the person celebrating a birthday got to select their birthday dinner. I have carried on the tradition. For my husband’s 31st birthday this year, he selected paseo Cuban pork sandwiches and peanut butter banana cupcakes.

Now, personally, I have never been to have the true paseo sandwich but I hear this is very similar and delicious (recipe below)! The cupcakes were just okay even though they looked fabulous.

20121209-172437.jpg

20121209-172458.jpg

Paseo Roast Cuban Pork Sandwich

1 baguette (something nice and crusty)
garlic mayo (see below)
roast pork (see below)
2 large yellow onions
olive oil
lettuce
cilantro
pickled jalapeño peppers

roast pork
1 cup mango juice (or sub 1 cup orange juice)
2 cups orange juice
2 tbsps olive oil
1 lime, juice of
2 tbsps garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 oz. rum
3-4 lb. pork shoulder, bone-in if possible

garlic mayo
1 bulb garlic
olive oil for drizzling
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsps olive oil
1 lime, juice of
1/2 tbsp dill pickle relish

Make the pork: Combine the mango juice, orange juice, olive oil, lime juice, chopped garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and rum in a large vessel or ziploc bag. Place the pork in the vessel or bag and marinate at least overnight (up to 24 hours). When the pork is ready, save the marinade and preheat the oven to 325°F. Pat the meat dry and then sear the meat on all sides in a lightly greased Dutch oven until it’s nicely browned. Pour the marinade into the baking dish. Tent the meat with foil or cover with lid and bake for 4 hours. At the two hour mark, turn the meat. During the last 2 hours, baste the meat with the marinade every 30 minutes. Remove from oven when the meat is fork-tender and comes off the bone easily. Shred the pork with two forks.

Make the garlic mayonnaise: While the pork is cooking in the oven, slice the top off the garlic bulb and place it in a small baking dish or on a piece of foil that has been pulled up at the edges (to form a bowl). Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and bake in the oven (next to the pork) for thirty minutes or until the garlic is soft. Peel the skins off the garlic cloves and mash the garlic into a paste. Combine the garlic with mayonnaise, olive oil, lime juice, and pickle relish. Stir until blended.

Caramelize the onions: Peel and slice the onions into 1/4-inch strips. Heat a little olive oil on medium flame in the same pan you used to sear the pork. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from heat when the onions are caramelized.

Assemble the goodness: Cut an 8-inch long piece of a baguette or other similarly shaped bread that has a nice, crusty outside and soft, chewy inside. Slice it in half, lengthwise. Spread garlic mayonnaise on both pieces of bread and bake or toast in the oven until the mayonnaise starts to bubble and puff. Remove from the oven. Layer the pork, onions, lettuce, cilantro, pickled jalapeños, and more garlic mayonnaise on one piece of the bread. Top with the other half of the bread and serve. The pork can probably yield a dozen sandwiches.