I love going down the ethnic aisle in the grocery store. There’s so much inspiration there. My latest grocery store endeavor left my pantry filled with the goodies I need to practice for my Cinco de Mayo festivities. Yea, I have a month to go but I need the practice. I want to make traditional Mexican dishes so I’m reaching out to some awesome Latin friends for those recipes.
I have a Latin background, with my father being Puerto Rican, but I want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with true Mexican foods. I asked my friend, Julia, what some of her favorite foods were and the first thing she mentioned was tamales. I have never made tamales before, so when she told me it was a lot of work I kind of brushed it off. Let me just say, making homemade tamales is a lot of work!
I found everything I needed to make homemade tamales in the ethnic aisle. I even found a tamalera, which is basically a steamer used for cooking the tamales. It’s also great for seafood and canning – a nice investment I can be proud of. I also picked up a bag of tamale flour and just followed the directions on the back for that.
While the tamales did take a while to prepare and cook, the process wasn’t complicated. I’ll definitely be adding this to our Cinco de Mayo menu and hopefully bringing others in to help make them.
Who says you have to pack up the grill once summer ends? I actually prefer to grill in the fall. The warmth from the grill adds some relief from that brisk air. What better way to warm up and feast than with grilled BBQ Country Style Ribs?!
Grilling makes everything better, especially meat (and corn on the cob – oh my goodness! There’s nothing like a flame grilled meat.
These Grilled BBQ Country Style Ribs are super simple too. All you really need to do is mix up the BBQ sauce, rub the meat with some salt and pepper and slap them on the hot grill. Open a beer, sit back and relax until it’s time to flip ’em.
The beauty is that you can use any sauce or rub you wish. It’s all personal preference. I’ll give you the recipe I use which is just a simple bbq sauce.
Just don’t expect there to be leftovers!
I thought my step dad made up the word coddle. It just sounds made up, doesn’t it? Then I grew up and discovered Google; coddle was one of the first things I searched for. Turns out he not only didn’t make it up but it’s actually a very popular traditional Irish dish. My mom used to make Dublin Coddle on poker night and my dad would eat it the next morning. He called it his hangover cure. Continue reading
My family always has a ham for Easter dinner. There may be other meats present, but the ham is always front and center. Each side of the family has their own methods of preparing their hams and it’s tough to pick a favorite. I learned how to glaze a ham on my own since none of my family members did it themselves.
Granny boils her ham with cabbage and potatoes. Well she boils her ham then adds the other stuff. Then she puts the ham in the oven to finish it off. I’m not sure what John’s grandmother does to cook her ham, but it’s always amazing. I’m sure she knows how to glaze a ham but she never seems to do it.
My mom gets the spiral hams with the glaze included. She’s busy so I let it slide, but would love if she knew how to glaze a ham with her own glaze. My mother in law bakes her ham with a simple glaze. It’s always perfectly tender and has a nice, simple flavor.
Not to sound bias, but I think I like my ham the best. The others are great, but they’re more relaxed and plain than I would like. I crave loud and vibrant flavors so that’s what I create with my ham glaze. I always use a spiral ham (Smithfield, preferably) because they’re so gorgeous and they take all that flavor in.
I think the single most important factor in glazing a ham is timing. You don’t want to apply the glaze too soon or else it could burn, but you want to give it enough time to flavor the ham and caramelize. So here’s how I glaze a ham:
Pre-heat the oven to 325. Wrap your ham in tin foil and put it in a roasting pan. Heat the ham for 20 minutes (for a 9 pound ham. adjust 10 minutes for each extra pound, or deduct 5 for each pound less.)
While the ham is heating prepare your glaze. I use 1 cup of orange juice, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of honey, 1 teaspoon of ground cloves, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk it until it’s thoroughly mixed.
After the ham has heated for 20 minutes carefully remove it from the oven (keep the oven on) and unwrap it. Brush the glaze over the ham, making sure to get each slice of the spiral. Return the ham to the oven for 15 minutes (uncovered). When your time is up, remove the pan from the oven and cover with tin foil and allow it to sit for at least 15 – 20 minutes. Slice it as you normally would, and enjoy 🙂
Here is a great Ham Butt Recipe.
Since being sick took so much out of me I haven’t really had the energy to make intricate meals. I’ve been trying to stick with easy food and these Easy Mexican Pork Chops were a life saver tonight. A few simple ingredients (whole kernel corn, tomato sauce and seasonings) mixed together with pork chops then served over steamed rice made for a complete meal.
The beauty of this meal is you can clean up or relax a little while the Mexican Pork Chops are cooking. The flavor is out of this world; my son told me “There’s a fiesta in my mouth!” and the addition of corn adds a pleasantly light sweetness to make it a full meal. I used Allen’s whole kernel corn which is amazing. There were no leftover hulls of corn like some other corn leaves behind which is a huge bonus. The corn has a great flavor – sweet but not overly and a wonderful texture.
I have other Allen’s and Trappey’s products in my pantry that I have big plans for. I’ll be using the black beans for my next Taco Casserole. These are definitely brands you want to check out and stock your pantry with. So, let’s find out how to make some easy Mexican Pork Chops, shall we?
I received products from Allen’s at no cost. All opinions are my own