Roast Pork (Pernil)

The word “Pernil” is derived from the Spanish word “pierna” or as we say in Chamorro, “petna” which means leg.  The slow cooking, in the oven, and the fattiness of the pork, makes for an amazing roast; that is succulent and full of flavor.  Give my recipe a try…..


1 (7 1/2 – 8 lb.) Pork Shoulder with skin
About 7 tsp. Salt (1 tsp. per lb. of meat)
2 1/2 tsp. ground Cumin
3 tsp. dried Oregano
1 1/4 tsp. ground Black pepper
2 tsp. Accent seasoning
1 whole head fresh Garlic (about 12 cloves)
4 Tbsp. white Vinegar
4 Tbsp. Olive oil
Goya brand Adobo seasoning
The first thing you need to do is make the marinade; combine all of the ingredients, except for the pork and Adobo goya, into a food processor.  Pulse the ingredients together until ground up.  Set this mixture aside.








Now, take a sharp knife and carefully peel back the layer of skin between next to the meat.  DO NOT take the skin off completely!  This step is actually not necessary if you don’t want to do it;  but I find that the marinade permeates the meat better this way.  Now; take a small serrated knife, and in several places, pierce holes into the meat; this will allow some of the marinade to seep into the meat better.

NOTE:  If you’d like, add whole pieces of garlic into the holes.

Now, take some of the marinade you set aside and lather it onto the exposed meat, making sure that the marinade goes down into the pierced areas.  Replace the skin back over the meat.











Rub the rest of the marinade all over the pork generously!











Sprinkle some of the Goya Adobo seasoning on the skin area.  Wrap the meat with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.











The next day or when you’re ready to cook your roast; preheat the oven to 350° degrees.  Using an oven roasting bag; follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.  Add the tbsp. of flour and shake the bag to coat.  Remove the pork from marinade and place it into the roasting bag.  Discard the marinade!

Tie the end of the bag.  Place the bagged roast into a baking pan and roast for about 3 – 3 1/2 hours.











Remove the cooked pernil from the oven and allow it to sit for a few minutes before cutting the bag away.  Do not discard the meat juices!  Remove the skin and cut into pieces.  Cut the meat and add it to the meat juices.  SERVE!










Achiote Ribs

Achiote Ribs, one of those recipes that everyone makes a certain way! I actually have another version of this recipe, which I will post later on. This dish is succulent with pieces of pork spareribs, cooked in a vinegar-garlic sauce and flavored with a bit of achiote or annatto seed powder. I love this dish most especially because it’s a ONE POT meal. Just throw all of the ingredients into the pot and cook it up. Serve this with some steaming hot rice and fina’denne’ sauce and watch the dish disappear, but that’s alright because now you have the recipe to make more! HAPPY COOKING! 😉

achiote ribs



1 (2 1/2 – 3 lb.) slab Pork ribs (I like baby back ribs)
1 medium Onion, sliced thinly
8 – 10 whole Garlic cloves, chopped
1 cups White vinegar
1 Tbsp. Soy sauce
2 tsp. Salt, to taste
1 1/4 tsp. ground Black pepper
1 tsp. Onion powder
1 tsp. Garlic powder
1 tsp. Accent seasoning (Ajinomoto)
1 pkg. Mamacita’s Achiote powder
1 small Bay leaf, optional

NOTE:  You can add 1/4 cup tomato ketchup in the end for a different flavor…..


Begin by slicing the baby back ribs into individual pieces and place them into a large pot.











Add the garlic and onions.











Now, into a medium sized bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and stir well to combine, dissolving the Achiote powder thoroughly.











Pour this mixture over the ribs, garlic, and onions.  Stir to combine everything together well.











Now place the pot over MEDIUM HIGH heat and bring this to a boil.  Stir once again, cover with a lid and reduce heat to MEDIUM LOW.  Allow the meat to cook for about 45 minutes or until tender.  Stir often in between cooking time and remove any fat that you see floating to the surface. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.  Serve alongside some hot steamed rice and fina’denne’, (Search for the recipe within my blog).


This is the Achiote Powder that I used.

This is the brand of Achiote powder that I used.

Crockpot Kalua Pork

KALUA PORK! The word “Kalua”, is a Hawaiian term, which means “to cook in an Imu or underground oven.” Often served as the main attraction for Hawaiian Luaus, Kalua pork is wrapped in banana and Ti leaves, and cooked until the succulent meat starts falling apart.  The pork meat is shredded and mixed with it’s juices to flavor the entire dish.  Today, with modern advances, we’re able to create that same flavor in our very own kitchen, minus the banana and Ti leaves of course.  You could add a sheet of banana leaves to the top of the meat, prior to wrapping it, since most Asian markets have them readily available.  Just make sure to wash and scald the leave over a hot flame before doing so.


1 (8 1/2 lb.) Pork or Boston Butt (It’s not really the butt of the pork, lol 😉 )
1 Tbsp. Salt (you will need to adjust after cooking time)
2 tsp. Garlic powder
2 tsp. Onion powder
2 tsp. ground Black pepper
2 tsp. Accent
6 – 8 Tbsp. Liquid smoke (I prefer the Mesquite flavor, but you could also use Hickory)
Aluminum Foil

Start by combining the seasoning in a small bowl; mix well.  Set this aside.










Line the inner well of your crock pot or slow cooker with aluminum foil.  I usually tear off 4 large pieces and lay 2 pieces crisscrossed in the well, conforming the foil to the bottom and sides of the inner well;  then crisscross the other two doing the same thing.










Rinse the pork and dry.  Sprinkle GENEROUSLY, the seasoning mix you prepared earlier, covering all sides of the pork.










Place the seasoned pork into the foil lined crock pot, fat side up!










Now, shake the bottle of liquid smoke before opening it, this loosens up the flavorings settled at the bottom.  I use this brand because this is what my area grocery stores carry.  Use whatever brand of liquid smoke you prefer. I like the “mesquite” with this recipe.  Add this to the pork, NOTE:  I’ve used the whole bottle several times just because I wanted a “smokier” flavored meat, but that’s up to you.










Now wrap the meat up with the foil.  I usually wrap each foil end with this partner as pictured, and continue with the other foil pieces.  Make sure to wrap each end TIGHTLY!










Cover with the lid and allow this to cook for 8 – 10 hours on the LOW cycle.  I usually cook mine right before I go to bed and then wake up to the most amazing aroma permeating the whole house.










Once the cooking time is up, carefully unravel the foil, being cautious of the steam!  Using a the tines of 2 forks, shred the meat, remove the bone and discard.  Using a large spoon, allow the meat to combine with the juices in the crock pot.  Taste and add more salt, which will probably be needed.  If you’d like more smoke flavor, add that too.  Stir to combine well in the juices, wrap once again and allow to cook on HIGH for about 1 more.  Serve as you would pulled pork, with some BBQ sauce and on hamburger buns OR like we islanders do, with some hot rice and fina’denne’ sauce.  The leftovers can also be made into Kalua Pork Cabbage stir fry.  You possibilities are endless with this recipe.  ENJOY!










NOTE:  When using smaller cuts of pork, you will need to scale back on the seasonings and cut the cooking time as well.  I used a 7 quart oval crock pot to cook this 8 1/2 pound pork butt.

Sparerib Stufau Version 1

STUFAU {pronounced: Stoo-fau}, as we call it back on the islands or “FUSTAU”, which is the way my husband says it, LOL!  Any which way you call it, it’s a medley of flavors combining vinegar, soy sauce, and bay leaves, that makes for a great meal!  There are so many different ways to cook up this popular local dish but my version is SO EASY, you literally throw all of the ingredients into one large pot and allow it to cook slowly.  Get ready for an aroma you can’t resist.  Make sure to have plenty of steamed white rice and fina’denne to serve on the side.


Serving suggestion…..


3 lbs. Pork spareribs, cut into individual riblets
1 small Onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh Garlic, finely minced
3/4 cup Apple cider vinegar (White vinegar can be substituted)
1/2 cup Kikkoman brand Soy sauce
1/4 cup Pineapple juice
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Accent
1 1/4 tsp. Black pepper
2 Bay leaves
1 Tbsp. Brown sugar

Into a large pot, add the sectioned riblets, chopped onion, finely minced garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves, salt, black pepper, and accent.










Add the pineapple juice.  The addition of the pineapple juice will not sweeten the dish at all.  Using it will help with the acidity of the vinegar.  But what the heck, just add it!  LOL 😉










Allow this to cook on HIGH heat, until a full boil is achieved.  Reduce the heat to LOW.  Make sure to skim off any fat that floats throughout the cooking time.  Cover the pot and simmer for about 1 hour OR until the meat is “fall off the bone” tender.










After the ribs have cooked and are just about falling off the bone, remove them from the pot and place them into a serving bowl.  Cover this and set aside.  Remove the bay leaves from the meat juices and discard.  Add the brown sugar and stir to dissolve.  On medium high heat, cook the meat juices until it has reduced and thickened slightly.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.










Pour the reduced mixture over the ribs in the serving bowl.  Serve this up with steamed white rice and fina’denne.  NOTE:  Chicken parts can also be substituted for the ribs. I DO NOT recommend using breast meat, it will turn out too dry.


Family’s Favorite Baked Pork Chops

All I can say about this dish is, Mmmmmmmm! This has to be one of the ALL TIME favorites of my family. What’s not to love about it, with it’s fork tender pork chops and lovely onion-y gravy! It’s sure to please YOUR family as well. Here’s what you’ll need:

Serving suggestion....

Serving suggestion….

3 lbs. center cut Pork rib chops, washed and patted dry
1 1/2 tsp. Seasoned salt (I used Lawry’s brand)
1 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. Onion powder
1 tsp. Black pepper
1/2 tsp. Accent
2 cups All-purpose Flour
1/4 cup Vegetable oil, for frying; more may be needed

3 Tbsp. Butter
1 large Onion OR 2 small, sliced into thin rings

2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
1/2 tsp. Black pepper
1/4 tsp. Accent
1/4 tsp. Salt, optional
2 soup cans whole Milk

First, let’s begin by combining the seasoning for the pork chops. In a small bowl, combine and mix well, the seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and the Accent.










Sprinkle the combined seasoning liberally over each pork chop piece and set aside.   Continue doing this until all the pork chops have been seasoned.   You should still have some seasoning left.

Seasoned pieces....

Seasoned pieces….












Add the all purpose flour to a 1 gallon ziploc bag and then add to it, the remaining seasoning left that you used to season the pork chops.









Heat about 1/4 cup Vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet on medium high – medium heat.  You may need to add more as you fry the pork chops.











Combine the flour and seasoning mix well in the bag and then lightly flour the pork chop pieces, a few at a time. Shake off excess and set aside while oil heats up.

Toss pork pieces lightly in seasoned flour.....

Toss pork pieces lightly in seasoned flour…..

Shake off the excess flour

Shake off the excess flour












Add the pork chop pieces, a few at a time into the hot skillet to fry.  We are only browning the pork chops, we are not cooking it. Once browned and golden, remove to a baking pan.  Continue frying until all the pork chops are done.

Fry just until golden on both sides.

Fry just until golden on both sides.












Place the pork chops into a deep baking dish, single layered.  At this time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  This will give it enough time to heat up while you’re preparing the dish.











While the pork chops are frying, peel your onion and slice them thinly into rings; as if you were making onion rings.











Add 2-3 Tbsp. butter to the same fry pan and allow it to melt.  Add the onions and fry until golden.











Fry the onions until golden in color.

Onions fried until golden.....

Onions fried until golden…..












To the pork chop layer in baking dish, top off with some of the fried onions.











Mix the ingredients for the gravy into a bowl and whisk together to combine well.











Pour some of the gravy over the layer of pork chops.











Add the rest of the pork chops to form another layer, top with the rest of the fried onions, and then the rest of the gravy mix…..


Add the rest of the pork chops to form another layer…..

Pour the rest of the onions and gravy mix over top....

Pour the rest of the onions and gravy mix over top….













Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for about 1 hour and 30 minutes OR until pork chop is for tender.

Tightly covered with foil.

Tightly covered with foil.












Remove the foil wrapper during the last 15 minutes of the baking time to brown the dish.

Cooked for 1 hr. and 30 minutes.  Foil removed last 15 minutes....

Cooked for 1 hr. and 30 minutes. Foil removed last 15 minutes….

If you have homemade Biscuits, you gotta have Sausage Gravy…..

Mmmm, BISCUITS  & SAUSAGE GRAVY!  For that special and not so special morning, why not make up a batch of these fluffy light biscuits, and while you’re at it, how about some homemade sausage gravy too?  Here’s the link to the sausage gravy:

Yummy Goodness!

Yummy Goodness!


1/2 cup Butter, softened
1 Egg
3/4 cup Buttermilk
1/4 cup Club soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
4 1/2 cups Bisquick baking mix (1/2 cup is if the dough is too sticky)
Butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.   Lightly grease a baking pan, set aside.

In a mixing bowl, I tend to use my Cuisinart mixer a lot,  combine the softened butter, beat this until creamy.  Add the egg, buttermilk, club soda, and salt and combine well.











Add in the 4 cups of the Bisquick mix.  Mix this just until it’s combine, do not over mix!  If the dough is still sticky, add in up to 1/2 cup more of the Bisquick.  Mix just until it is combined, without over mixing!

Add in the Bisquick

Add in the Bisquick












Generously flour your counter and place the dough on it.  Press the dough into a rectangle about 1/2″ –  3/4″ thick.











Cut the biscuits with a biscuit cutter, I used a clean, floured mason jar.

I cut around 12 biscuits, but this will depend on the size cutter you use.

I cut around 12 biscuits, but this will depend on the size cutter you use.













Place onto a your lightly greased baking pan and bake for about 13 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.











When baking time is complete, brush melted butter over the tops of each biscuit.  SERVE with Sausage Gravy or top with butter and jelly, ENJOY!

Golden brown and brushed with melted butter

Golden brown and brushed with melted butter

Old-Fashioned Sausage Gravy

What can one say about sausage gravy?  It’s a classic and a yummy companion to homemade biscuits…..


1 (1 lb. pkg.)  Pork breakfast sausage, I used Tennessee Pride MILD

1/4 cup Butter

1/4  cup All-purpose Flour

3 1/2 – 4 cups whole Milk

1/2 tsp. Black pepper

1/2 – 3/4 tsp. Salt, to taste

1/2 tsp. Accent seasoning

On medium high heat, brown the sausage in a large skillet, breaking large pieces and crumbling as the meat cooks.   Once the meat is cooked, add the butter and cook until melted through…..











Once the butter has completely melted,  add the flour and stir to combine well.  Allow to cook for about 2 or 3 minutes.











Reduce heat to medium low, while stirring the meat and flour mixture, add the milk.  Continue to stir this until gravy thickens.











Add your seasonings, all to taste.  For a spicier gravy add more black pepper.  Stir to combine and bring to a slight boil for about 2 minutes.  If the gravy is too thick, add more milk.