Cuban Style Christmas

From you’re thinking of having a Cuban style Christmas, plan on preparing a great deal of food.  Noche Buena is the time that you will want to have a great deal of Cuban cooking to keep everyone satisfied, here we’ll provide you with some details on how to throw a good Cuban Christmas party.

Typical staples of a Cuban Christmas Eve party include the lechon asado (roasted pig), Moros y Cristianos (Black beans and rice), and plenty of Cuban cider to drink.  The biggest tradition is to have a pig roast.  The day before Christmas Eve, a pig would be selected, slaughtered, cleaned and would begin marinating for the cookout the roast the next day.  Roasting your own pig is a big undertaking.  Most Cubans living in the U.S. will purchase an 80 pound pig (maybe 100 lbs if you plan on feeding over 70 people with single servings) from their local butcher store. (READ MORE)


Alliance for Digital Equality Honors Mourning, The Estefans & More

Julius Hollis, Earl Cummings, Sean Pittman, Daniel Halpern, Robert Shumake, Sen. Rodney Ellis, David Rivers and Art Collins, in support of The Alliance for Digital Equality (ADE), kicked off Super Bowl XLIV™ weekend in style, as they hosted a private celebration, “A Gridiron Toast to Excellence,” at the lush Mia at Biscayne on Friday, February 5, 2010. The lavish event primarily served to honor well-respected luminaries who excel in their respective fields of practice, consistently enriching the communities in which they live and work. In the field of politics, the ADE honored U.S. House of Representatives Majority Whip (SC-Dem), Congressman James E. Clyburn; in the field of media, honorees included nationally syndicated radio personality and philanthropist, Tom Joyner, as well as Chairman and CEO of BET Holdings, Debra Lee; in the field of sports/philanthropy, Miami Heat superstar and Chairman Emeritus of Alonzo Mourning Charities, Alonzo Mourning were honored;

Alonzo Mourning

in the field of business, retired Executive Vice President of Coca-Cola, Vicki Palmer was recognized; and Miami legends, Gloria and Emilio Estefan were recognized in the field of entertainment/philanthropy.

Gloria Estefan, Emilio Estafan,(Part Owners -Miami Dolphins) Stephen Ross

Julius Hollis, Chairman of The Alliance for Digital Equality, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that seeks to bridge the technology divide between underserved ethnic and minority communities within the United States and the technology advanced marketplace, has staged this event since 1993 with past honorees including Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin; former Mayor of Houston, Lee P. Brown; music business pioneer and chief executive, Clarence Avant; Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, Harold Ford, Jr. real estate magnate, R. Donahue Peebles; and Ernie Greene to name only a few. Read More

See Video of Sheila E. at Recent ADE LA Summit:

Cuban Picadillo recipe – Beef Hash of Cuba

courtesy of Cocina Cubana Club (please join) / Pascual Perez and chef Sonia Martinez

The following can be added to white rice or used as filling in the “pastelitos” recipe in the dessert section to make small meat pies. For picadillo you can use ground lean beef or turkey.


  • 1 lb ground meat
  •  1 large onion, chopped
  •  2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  •  1 small can tomato sauce
  •  1/4 cup dry white wine
  •  Pimiento stuffed olives
  • Raisins
  •  Salt and pepper to taste


In a large skillet, brown the ground meat, onions and garlic. If meat is not too lean, pour out whatever fat you render. turn heat down to medium low. Add the tomato sauce and wine. While it simmers, chop up the pimiento stuffed olives and add to meat mixture, it is ok to add a little bit of the brine, if you wish. Add the raisins and adjust the seasonings. I like my picadillo almost dry, not too soupy. Serve over fluffy, white rice. If you like it soupier, just add more tomato sauce and/or wine, if you wish. For the pastelitos, let the sauce simmer almost to dry, so you will not have a runny mess on your hands. There is also a Cuban grocery website that sells Cuban-style picadillo in their fish & meat section if you want to try the version with potatoes (different from the meat-only one)

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New Year’s Around the World Food Traditions & Folklore

German Folklore says eating herring at the stroke of midnight will bring luck for the next year.

Phillipines: It is important to have food on the table at midnight to insure an abundance of food in the upcoming year.



Denmark: Boiled Cod is a must.

Cuba: Consume 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight.  The 12 grapes signify the 12 months of the year.

Southern United States

:  In addition to the consumption of Black eyed peas, consuming greens such as cabbage, collards, or kale is said to bring money.

Cuban Fufú (Turkey Dressing)

In the Caribbean and the nations with populations of West African origin, such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Puerto Rico, plantains or yams are mashed and then other ingredients are added. In Cuba, the dish retains its original African name, or is also known as fufú de platano.


4 sweet plantains

1/4 pound of pork meat with fat or bacon, cut into 1/4 inch squares

1 medium onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, mashed

1 lemon, juiced

3 cups chicken broth

salt and pepper to taste


  • Cut ends off plantains and discard.
  • Slice each plantain into two-inch chunks.
  • Make a light cut into skin with knife along one edge. DO NOT PEEL.
  • In large pot, add plantains to chicken stock.
  • Bring to boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer until tender.
  • For meat, you need pork with plenty of fat — either well marbled or with a fat layer or both. We’ve had good luck with de-boned pork ribs. Or have the butcher cut something to order.
  • Slice meat into small pieces about one inch.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Place in large sauce pan and add water to just barely cover.
  • Bring to boil and simmer, uncovered until all  water has boiled away.
  • Fry pork pieces in rendered fat just until brown, but NOT crispy! The meat should be tender and stringy.
  • Remove meat .
  • Sauté garlic and onion in rendered fat over medium heat, three to five minutes.
  • During  last minute add lemon juice.
  • Remove fully cooked plantains from  broth (do not discard broth) and peel.
  • Mash  plantains with a little broth — just enough to make a soft, thick paste – like mashed potatoes.
  • Mash together with garlic and lemon and fried pork. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve hot.

NOTE: Some cooks use green plantains, some use very ripe plantains for this dish. We like to use something in between. We use medium ripe plantains — not black, but a little softer texture.

MCCN Interviews Nautica De La Cruz

Nautica de la Cruz

Nautica de la Cruznautica_dela_cruz

Several Celebrities were in attendance for the YWCA Black & White Benefactrix Ball in Beverly Hills including former NBA player Doug Christie, Wendy Raquel Robinson (Steve Harvey/The Game) and many others.   Look for video interviews featuring these stars and more when  officially launches in mid November. However,  we thought we would share one exclusive interview with the lovely Nautica De La Cruz popular Los Angeles radio personality of 102.3 Radio free KJLH.  Erika L. Holmes of the upcoming entertainment & food news news show What’s the Dish reports:

ERIKA(MCCN): If it is alright with you we are going to talk about food.

NAUTICA: Oh good, I love food…and handbags.

Erika:  Me too, but let’s talk about food first. What’s your favorite dish?

Nautica: Well, I am half Puerto Rican…

Erika: So am I.

Nautica: Really (Smiling) I am half Puerto Rican and I am half Jamaican so I love anything that has to do with tropical food.  My favorite is Arroz Morro… Also a nice steak with lots of onions and garlic.

Erika: Yummy.  Do you know how to make all that?

Nautica: I do.  The morro I am not good at but the black beans I can break a leg on.

arroz morro(Arroz Morro/Cuban Congri)

MCCN– Thanks Nautica!

See Recipe at: