Chef Ronaldo’s Sabores De Cuba

Although this cookbook is geared for diabetes-friendly dishes, anyone seeking healthy Cuban cuisine should check out this book.

Diabetes-Friendly Traditional and Nuevo Cubano Cuisine
by Ronaldo Linares

We were thrilled when we realized that Sabores De Cuba was written by Ronaldo Linares, executive chef of Martino’s in Somerville, as we have frequented this establishment often since his dad, Martino, opened it in 1992. Our most recent visit was in June 2015.

Although this cookbook is geared for diabetes-friendly dishes, anyone who is seeking healthy Cuban cuisine, and  flavorful new dishes to try will find themselves using the 100 recipes often. Recipes include Mojo Marinated Pork Tenderloin; Green Vegetable Egg Tortilla; Seared Scallops with Roasted Grape Tomatoes; Summer Peach & Corn Salad; and Slow-Cooker Chicken and Rice. And as an added plus the book is bilingual with one side in English and the other in Spanish allowing English-speaking cooks to learn Spanish food words.

Here is a recipe that beckoned to Lowell for me to try:

Mojo-Marinated Pork Tenderloin (Pernil)
(From Chef Ronaldo’s Sabores de Cuba, p. 48)

This recipe takes the classic pork shoulder dish (pernil) and makes it healthier, while still giving you the amazing Cubano flavor that we love. I have substituted pork tenderloin for pork shoulder in this version of the recipe. I can hear my father’s voice screaming at me, “Oye, chico, what are you doing changing the dish?” I’m not changing the essence of the dish, I’m just modifying it so people can enjoy it in a healthier way.

PREP TIME: 25 minutes
COOKING TIME: 15–20 minutes
SERVING SIZE: 1 (4-ounce) piece pork

2 navel oranges, peeled and cut in half
2 lemons, peeled
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons distilled vinegar
2 stems fresh thyme, leaves removed from stem
1 (20-ounce) pork tenderloin
Nonstick cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Grab your blender to make the mojo marinade. Add oranges, lemons, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, vinegar, and fresh thyme leaves to the blender. Pulsate the mixture four times, then purée for 1 minute. Set aside 4 ounces mojo and add the rest to a resealable plastic bag.

3. Remove the silver skin from the pork tenderloin. Add pork tenderloin to the resealable plastic bag with the mojo. Marinate pork for at least 20 minutes in the fridge.

4. Remove the pork tenderloin from the bag (discarding the marinade in the bag) and pat dry with a paper towel. Preheat an ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat, spray with nonstick cooking spray, and wait 10 seconds for oil to come up to temperature. Brown both sides of pork tenderloin in the pan, then place pan in the oven for 15–20 minutes. Internal temperature of cooked pork should read 145°F.

5. Remove pork from oven and let it rest for a few minutes so juices redistribute. Drizzle some of the reserved mojo marinade on the pork, and serve.

Exchanges/Food Choices:
1/2 fruit, 3 lean protein

Calories 160
Calories From Fat 25
Total Fat 3g
Saturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 75mg
Sodium 450mg
Potassium 590mg
Total Carbohydrate 10g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 5g
Protein 25g
Phosphorus 300mg

Copyright © 2016 by Ronaldo Linares. From Chef Ronaldo’s Sabores de Cuba Photography: Kelly Campbell Photography. Reprinted with permission from The American Diabetes Association. Chef Ronaldo’s Sabores de Cuba is available at, in bookstores nationwide, or by calling 1-800-232-6733.

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