Mojo sauce also can be drizzled on the roasted pork, though that seems a quintessential case of gilding the lily. The shoulder slices, studded with garlic cloves like fossil footprints in stone, taste as though the meat came scented with the pungent allium. I can only imagine what the pork is like when prepared in the traditional Cuban method: smoked in an earthen pit, covered with palm fronds.
The Guas Cuban Thanksgiving, at least this one, ends on a sweet note. That’s not a surprise. The two generations of Guas men explain that they’re sugar junkies, prone to raiding the fridge at midnight for something sweet to eat. For David’s final course, he has prepared flan, which he’s quick to note is nothing like the custards you’ll find in Cuba.
Flans in Cuba “all have that Swiss cheese [appearance], the moon craters on the side, from the overcooked egg. And that’s actually normal,” says David, the longtime corporate pastry chef for Passion Food Hospitality before he ventured out on his own. “They actually like to taste the egg, and I hate tasting the egg in flan.”
David prefers a velvety texture, with hints of vanilla. He wants you to taste the cream. The way David’s carrying on about his flan compared with the traditional Cuban version, I’m expecting a major showdown when Mariano finally samples it.
“This is excellent,” Mariano gushes when he tastes the custard, not a trace of irony in his voice.
His son practically stops in his tracks at the critique. He seems taken aback.
“Thank you,” David says, finally, humbly. “You look so surprised.”
sweet fried plantains
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