Happy Holidays!

Hearty ham soup

Hearty ham soup

As many of you know, I prepared a holiday ham for my family’s Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) celebration. To make transport easy, I carved it off the bone and kept the bone for soup. My recipe? Well, it’s a combination of different ones I saw on the internet. I wanted something hearty, creamy. Perfect for winter and many servings for the next several days since my sis and I are moving. Here goes…
– 1 onion diced
– 1/4 lb of ham (shredded off the bone)
– 1/4 lb of ham fat for rendering
– 2 regular-sized cans of kidney beans
– 3 regular-sized cans of corn
– 2 regular-sized cans of peas
– 2 regular-sized cans of chicken stock/broth
– 1 pint of heavy cream
– 1 lb. red potatoes diced
– 3 tbsps. olive oil
– 1 pack mushrooms sliced
– 1/2 lb. cheddar cheese – cubed
1. Render ham fat and onions til the drippings start to get golden brown. 2. Add ham meat, mushrooms, and potatoes. 3. When meat, etc. starts to cook, add chicken broth and bring to a slow simmer over low-medium heat. 4. Once potatoes are cooked, add rest of beans, peas, and corn. 5. Allow to simmer for at least 15-20 minutes to allow flavors to come out. 6. Add heavy cream and cheese. 7. Salt to taste.

Upper East Side Filipino Thanksgiving = Turkey MIA

Lechon, originally uploaded by joeytoofresh.

My family has never really been big fans of turkey. The earliest Thanksgiving I remember my family celebrating when I was in grade school, the centerpiece was a chicken. We made turkey in following years, but never in the traditional American way. One year my uncle roasted it outside on a spit. The past two years my dad has been slow cooking it in our Webber to perfection.

So, in true Santos-Villacorta style, we served pork loin roast, pinakbet (pork w/ string beans and squash), baked chicken, and a ham accompanied by rice, stuffing, etc. The picture above is from the after party. YES – the day after. It just so happened that a bunch of family was visiting from the Philippines and Washington State so we were invited to not one, but two nights of revelry where Friday evening’s centerpiece was a suckling roast pig. Better than any turkey out there. Vegetarians beware when coming to my house…