Monday, October 30, 2017

My Los Dias de Los Muertos dinner party over the weekend

Last time I was in Oaxaca City, I came across a stall in the market that was selling this colorful oil cloth with Catrinas, skulls, flowers and paper picados on it.  I could not resist and bought three meters to use as my tablecloth for my next Day of the Dead dinner party.
Highly varnished clay skulls from San Bartola Coyotepec. 
Keeping with the theme, I made paper napkin holders with a skull and every one's name on it.  The typeface I used is called "thriller".  How appropriate.
A devil tin candle holder from San Miguel de Allende
Another tin candle holder along with a clay pumpkin that I had bought at El Tianguis, the Tuesday market on the outskirts of San Miguel.
An empty bottle of KAH Reposado tequila.  Every bottle is an individual, hand crafted work of art - no two bottles are alike.  Besides the bottles being very cool, the tequila is also excellent.
I had to get the pumpkin carved to great my guests at the front door.
Special adhesive wine labels that I put over the original ones that read "Embalming Juice", "Zombie Virus" and "Spider Venom". 
Silver and black mylar picados that I had found in the market in Oaxaca.  Perfect to hang between the living room and dining room.
The main course was a 6-pound bone-in Boston butt pork shoulder.  I made a paste of smashed garlic, salt, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, achiote paste and cider vinegar.  I scored 1-inch deep cuts on the fatty side, then rubbed the paste all over the pork and wrapped it securely in banana leaves.  I tied the banana-wrapped bundle of pork with kitchen string and let it sit in the refrigerator two days before I cooked it.  
I set it on a rack in my largest Le Crueset dutch oven.  Added some cut onions and jalapenos to the pot and enough water to come 1-inch up the sides.    Covered the pot and baked for 5 hours at 300 degrees.   After 2 1/2 hours, I turned the pork over.  
The pork turned out perfect, tender and delicious.  I shredded it with a fork and poured some of the braising liquid over it.
I served it with a salsa Veracruz, a cazuela of roasted poblanos and sauteed onions, and corn tortillas.  Along with a spinach and arugula salad tossed with a cilantro dressing and then sprinkled with pepitas.
I have plenty pork left over to make some green chili for my next tamale dinner or two. 
It was a very festive evening!

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