As interest in global cuisine grows, cooks are rediscovering the dinner party as an informal way to gather with friends and discover new flavors. Of course, time and inspiration are not always easy to come by, and sometimes even the most passionate cooks need a little spark. Centering the evening on cuisines from the Mediterranean, Caribbean or North Africa is a great way to guide recipe choices and set the mood for the evening.
Whether hosting a casual dinner or a festive occasion, food lovers understand that sharing a meal is always a celebration,* said Chef Mark Garcia, director of the McCormick Kitchens. *New McCormick Gourmet Blends are perfectly mixed herbs and spices. A delicious addition to dinner parties, they’re an easy way to take your guests on a global taste adventure–from Tuscany to the American Southwest, from Morocco to Cuba.*
Chef Mark shared his tips for putting together a fabulous Cuban dinner party in a flash, from drinks to dessert:
* Perfect Pairings: Beverages help set the tone for the meal, so make sure to select drinks that complement the evening’s theme. Try a refreshing minty mojito, or a smoky margarita.
* The Main Event: For the main course, choose bright, vibrant flavors. When going Cuban, mojo–a blend of citrus, garlic, onion and oregano–is a must. Try Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork Tenderloin, and pair with a zesty Black Bean Avocado Salsa.
* Sweet Finish: To bring your party to a close, treat your guests to a light, Caribbean-inspired dessert, like Sweet and Spicy Grilled Fruit Skewers. Create a marinade of rum, brown sugar, chile peppers and cinnamon to flavor bananas and pineapple chunks before grilling.
For more recipes and gourmet inspiration, visit www.mccormickgourmet.com or www.Facebook.com/McCormickGourmet. New McCormick Gourmet Blends are available in the spice aisle of supermarkets and mass merchandisers nationwide.
Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Black Bean Avocado Salsa
Makes 4 servings, preparation time: 20 minutes, refrigeration time: 1 hour, cook time: 30 minutes
Black Bean Avocado Salsa
* 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
* 2 seedless oranges, peeled, sectioned and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
* 1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
* 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
* 3 tablespoons orange juice
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 tablespoon McCormick Gourmet Collection Cuban Seasoning
Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork Tenderloin
* 1/3 cup olive oil
* 3 tablespoons white vinegar
* 3 tablespoons McCormick Gourmet Collection Cuban Seasoning
* 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
1. For the salsa, mix all ingredients in medium bowl until well blended. Cover. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until ready to serve.
2. For the pork, mix oil, vinegar and seasoning in small bowl. Place pork in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor.
3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Remove pork from marinade. Place in shallow roasting pan. Discard any remaining marinade.
4. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until pork is cooked through. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Serve pork with Black Bean Avocado Salsa.