‘Tis the season… for families and friends to gather together and delight in each other’s company as they celebrate the joy of the season.
It’s also the time to savour all the delicious goodness of the holidays and in a Filipino Home during Christmas, there’s a whole lot to relish in.
Food is one of the major components during any holiday and event and this rings true for Filipino’s all across the globe.
Christmas is one of the most (if not the most) celebrated holidays in the year.
In fact, Christmas in the Philippines (Pasko sa Pilipinas) is the world’s longest festive season, including lavish light displays, masses, and festivals held throughout the country from September until January.
A paról is an ornamental, star-shaped Christmas lantern from the Philippines and a must in every home.
You’ll even see them shining in windows across the world as proud Filipinos share their love for Christmas.
It is traditionally made out of bamboo and paper and comes in various sizes and shapes, but generally the basic star pattern remains dominant.
The design of the paról evokes the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Kings to the manger. It also symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and the Filipinos’ hope and goodwill during the Christmas season.
To say Filipinos love Christmas is an understatement!
For Filipinos, Christmas Eve (“Bisperas ng Pasko”) on 24 December is celebrated with the Midnight Mass, and the traditional Noche Buena feast.
Family members dine together at around midnight on traditional yuletide fare, which includes: queso de bola (Filipino Spanish for “ball of cheese”, which is made of edam sealed in red paraffin wax); tsokoláte (Filipino hot chocolate), noodles (pancit) and pasta, fruit salad, pandesal, relleno and hamón (Christmas ham) among many others!
Some families would also open presents at this time. My family usually does it during this time and have the kids wait closer to midnight. Since we have younger ones, we tend to open them a little earlier.
One of my favourite traditional dishes for Noche Buena is the Christmas hamón (ham).
Filipino ham is a staple food during the Christmas and New Year’s season in the Philippines.
It is usually a mixture of sweet and salty, the sweet glaze flavored with pineapple juice, contrasting the salty and juicy ham.
And it also takes quite some time to create in order for it to be perfectly juicy and delicious.
I remember my Grandma curing a 10 pound pork for a week before even cooking it.
I just don’t have that much time on my hands, especially during this time of year.
SO, I came up with something that is much quicker to prepare without sacrificing the taste of the traditional Filipino Ham.
- Half a Leg of Smoked Ham (I use the Maple Leaf smoked ham to make it quicker!)
- 1 can pineapple chunks in syrup
- 250g of brown sugar
- 2 tbsp of Pulo Cuisine Pineapple Tamarind Marinade
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 2 tbsp of juice from maraschino cherries + cherries for glaze and topping
- Start by preparing your glaze. Crush up half a cup of pineapple chunks and including all the liquid in the can, the pineapple juice, Pulo Cuisine Pineapple Tamarind Marinade and brown sugar, add in a sauce pan and reduce to about half its original volume. Cool down and set aside.
- Prepare your ham by removing the rind. If you are using store-bought ready ham like I do when I'm pressed for time, throw into a baking dish.
- Rub the ham with some brown sugar.
- Pour half the glaze onto the ham.
- Bake the ham in a 180°C oven for 25 minutes or until the glaze has turned nice and dark.
- Pull out the baking dish and cut the ham in slices and then pour more glaze on top, including the drippings in the baking pan. Bake for another 10 minutes.
- Serve hot or cold.
Okay who’s starving?
You can learn more about Pulo Products including the Pineapple Tamarind Marinade I included in my recipe here at http://www.pulocuisine.com.
To help inspire you in the kitchen this coming holiday season, I am giving my readers another chance to win a Pulo Cuisine Prize Pack including their delicious sauces and marinades plus a $25 Walmart Gift Card to help you with your shopping.
To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me what your family traditionally serves during the holiday season below.
Additional entries via rafflecopter.
1) You must leave a comment to be eligible to win
2) Winners must be 18+ to claim prize
Contest ends December 7, 2014.
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