Downtown Phoenix has developed to offer some many exciting opportunities.  Six years ago, their were not a lot of choices. Now, we have so many. Two of the convention hotels, The Sheraton Downtown Phoenix and The Westin Phoenix Downtown have continual ongoing specials and events that draw visitors and locals alike. They have captured the beat of the city and keep staying ahead of the curve.

Province restaurant at The Westin Phoenix Downtown is extending its Latin Passport Dinner Series through January 2014! Guests are invited to “travel” through Latin America by enjoying a flavorful adventure of Latin-inspired cuisine and beverages without leaving downtown Phoenix. The Latin Passport Dinner Series launched in 2012, and with much success the series has been extended again for another six months. Let the tour resume!


Each Latin Passport Dinner Series begins on the first Saturday of the month, and each corresponding country will be highlighted every Saturday throughout the month. Each dinner series features a four-course menu for $35 per person with supplemental beverage pairings available. These beverage pairings will highlight cocktails and wines from the featured regions.


Here is the six-month lineup:


  •        August | Peru | August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
  •       September | Cuba | September 7, 14, 21, 28 **I have attached three pictures and recipe of the Mojo Glazed Pork Belly dish that will be      featured on the September Latin Passport Dinner menu.
  •       October | Argentina | October 5, 12, 19, 26
  •       November | Brazil | November 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
  •       December | Puerto Rico | December 7, 14, 21, 28
  •       January | Mexico | January 4, 11, 18, 25


Total Time: 5 to 6 hours, plus 48 hours for marinating

Active Time: 35 minutes

Servings: 8

Equipment Recommendation: Le Creuset DutchOven

Mojo Ingredients

Note: Scotch bonnet peppers can be found at specialty produce stores or gourmet grocery stores.

They’re also among the hottest of hot peppers; wear gloves when slicing them. Makes 2 quarts.

• ½ cup finely diced garlic

• 1 teaspoon finelydiced scotch bonnet pepper

• 2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeño pepper

• ½ cup cumin, freshly toasted and ground

• ½ cup coriander, freshly toasted and ground

• 4 cups canola oil

• 2 cups orange juice

• ½ cup sherry vinegar

• 1½ cups chopped cilantro


1. Combine the garlic, both peppers, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper in a stainless steel bowl.

2. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot but not boiling

(approximately 175ºF). Pour the warm oil over the spice mixture and let cool to room temperature.

3. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, reduce the orange juice down to ½ cup and cool

to room temperature.

4. Combine the oil/spice mixture, sherry vinegar, orange juice reduction, and cilantro in a blender to

blend smooth.


5 pounds pork belly


1. Trim a bit of the fat off the outer pork belly.

2. Cut down the middle, then split each half into thirds.

Spice RubIngredients 

Note: Dried chile molido or chile mix can be found at most spice stores. A good source is Penzeys Spices


• 1½ tablespoons black peppercorns

• 2 tablespoons whole cumin

• 1 tablespoon whole coriander

• 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

• 1 tablespoon salt

• 1 tablespoon paprika

• 2 tablespoons dried chile molido


1. In a dry sauté pan, toast the peppercorns, cumin, and coriander for a few minutes over medium

heat until the spices just start to smoke. Remove spices immediately from pan.

2. Grind the smoked spices in a spice or coffee grinder. Mix together with the remaining ingredients.

To Assemble

1. Liberally apply the spice rub to the pork. Place in a large baking dish, wrap with plastic or place in

a plastic bag, and leave in the refrigerator overnight.

2. The next day, add 4 cups of the Mojo and marinate overnight.

3. On the third day, preheat a non-convection oven to 300ºF. Place the pork in a baking or braising

pan, add the remainder of the mojo and enough water to cover the porkin liquid. Cover with

aluminumfoil and place in the oven.

3. Cook for approximately 4 to 5 hours, until the pork is fork tender. During the cooking process, add

a little water if the liquid is reducing too much.


Total Time: 30 minutes

Active Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 8

The coconut milk must be unsweetened; most canned Thai varieties or fresh coconut milk will work for

this. Make sure to shake or whisk the milk together before adding as it sometimes separates.

Coconut Rice Ingredients 

• 3 tablespoons canola oil

• 1 cup finely diced red onion

• 4 cups coconut milk

• 4 cups long-grain rice

• Salt

• 1 ½ teaspoons ground white pepper


1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the canola oil and sautéthe red onion

for 3to 4 minutes until softened.

2. Add 4 cups water and the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add the rice and return to a boil. Add

salt and the white pepper.

3. Reduce the heat to medium low and bring down to a simmer. Tightly cover the rice and cook until

the rice is done and the liquid has dissipated, about 20 minutes.

4. Let rest for 5 minutes, then fluff the rice with a fork.


Total Time: 2 hours, plus 12 hours to soak beans

Active Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 8

Black Beans (Frijoles Negros) Ingredients 

• ¼ cup diced smoked bacon (such as Nueske’s brand)

• 3 tablespoons canola oil

• ½ cup finely diced red pepper

• ½ cup finely diced yellow pepper

• 1 tablespoon finely diced jalapeño

• ¼ cup finely diced poblano pepper

• 2 teaspoons finely diced garlic

• ½ cup finely diced red onion

• ½ cup finely diced carrots

• ¼ cup finely diced celery

• 4 cups dried black beans, rinsed and soaked in cold water overnight

• 1 bayleaf

• ½ tablespoon cumin, freshly toasted and ground

• ½ tablespoon coriander, freshly toasted and ground

• 2 ½ quarts chicken or vegetable stock

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, sauté the bacon with the canola oil at a medium temperature

until the bacon renders most of its fat.

2. Add all the vegetables and sauté until they’re slightly caramelized. Use a large enough pan so

that the vegetables are spread out and not piled high—so they sauté rather than steam.

3. Add the beans, spices, and stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook

uncovered until the beans are tender, about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours.

4. When the beans are ready, strain them but reserve the liquid and reduce it by half, then fold it

back into the cooling beans.

5. Season with salt and pepper.


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