Humintas a la Olla

Humintas a la Olla

 

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Humintas are so additives once you start eating one you can stop it. It has the most basic ingredients; cheese and corn flavored with annis seeds,salt, sugar and a shortening.

My job as a little girl was to make the string out of husk and pair the 2 larger husk together that we were going to use to put in the corn mix and cheese. the bigger the corn leaves the bigger the humintas and yes they are humintas the size of my hands.

Making humintas in USA has not been easy for me,because of the corn. The corn we use in Bolivia has big starchy white kernel and they are nor sweet and they are not as juicy as the ones in the USA. So I wait and try different recipes and also start using white corn flour to add more body to the mix but somehow the humintas were to runny after cooked they were not right . Finally this past Easter I found the most horrible looking corn in the supermarket, and this bad looking corn made the most delicious so close to the Bolivian version that i know.

So here it is for you to try

Ingredients:

Yields 15 humintas

12 ear of corn (the one the husk is already yellow and the kernel inside look dehidrated)

1/4 cup crisco

1/2 cup white corn flour ( maseca works great )

12 slices of queso fresco or cotija

4 tsp sugar

2 tsp salt

1 tbsp annis

2 tablespoon partially hidrated raisin (optional)

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Cut one end of the ear corn the one that is attached to the stem. Just cut enought to get close to the kernells and is easy to rool the husk out.

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Select 30 husk leaves ans paired them according to size.

With the remaining husk make the 15 husk strings. brake a 1 inch thick husk and tied a know at the thinner end. Then from the thicker end separate them and you have your string.

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With a knife grade the kernells and divide in halfs. Put on half in a food processor and grind it until is a paste but you can still see pieces of corn you dont want it to look like a pure.

 

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Transfer to a bowl and do the same with the other half. Add the sugar,anise and raisin.Add the 1/2 cup of white corn flour.

Heat the shortenning until is hot and close to boiling. Poured into the dough and mix as you poured with a wooden spoon. Be carefull with the hot oil dont want to burn the dough. Mix really well. The dough should be in the drier side.

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To make the huminta

Depending of the size of the husk put 1 or 2 tbsp of the corn mix in the husk add the cheese and cover it with another tbsp of the corn mix.

 

Fold the bottom and then the top

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Then rooled the sizes and tied with the husk string.

 

 

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In a large pot use the to put in the bottom of the pot and put the humintas with the middle opening up

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Put enough water to cover half way trough the huminta. Do not cover the huminta completely with water.

 

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Cooked for about 1 1/2 hours in medium high heat, add water as needed if it evaporates. You will notice the change in color of the husk.

I love mine the next day when i reheat them on the grill.

Enjoy it!

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Aji Rojo Molido y Frito

Aji Rojo Molido y Frito

IMG_1950Aji rojo and  aji amarillo sauce are used a lot in Bolivian recipes.I love making a large batch of this sauce and freeze it for when I need it to use. The process is very simple you just need to get the “vainas de aji rojo”, look at any latino bodega for them. They are called Aji Panca in Peru. Use gloves when you are  preparing,otherwise you might have spicy hands for a week. If you like really spicy food you can leave the seeds but I usually don’t. Also You can just freeze the sauce without cooking it. Just peel the peppers with hot water and using the blender make the paste and put it in a container and freeze it.

Serves 3 cups.

Ingredients

38  dried red chillies or ajis (Capsicum baccatum) (about 1/2 lb)

1 cup water

2 garlic clove peeled.

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preparation:

 

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Cut the top with the stems out. You will see the seed inside.

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Put the peppers in a large pot and cover them with water.

Cook them for half and hour or until the skin starts separating from the pepper.

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Drained the hot water and move the pepper into cold water. Let it chill.

 

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Using gloves, peel the skin and remove the seeds out.

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Press the 2 garlics with a garlic press.

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Put in a blender the peeled seedles pepper and the water, cumin, garlic, sugar and salt.

 

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Blend until you have a smooth paste.

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Heat the oil and add the paste to it. Cook for about 10 min or until the sauce gets tick enough that starts separating from the pan. You need to stir constantly.

 

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To preserve the sauce freeze in in ice cube tray or mason jar. It freeze well up to 2 years.

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Menudito

Menudito

IMG_2978Whenever I was helping my mom in the kitchen making a dish that contained ground beef, she would tell me, “Vas a picar bien menudito la carne.” She never bought ground beef, so we would have to make it in our own way. She said, ‘menudito,’ I knew exactly what she meant: small pieces, really small pieces. I would slice the meat thinly with the knife and then pound the meat with the stone on the batan (grinding stone) and then cut the pounded meat by hand.  This process adds amazing flavor to the food.

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 lb pork (boneless prime roast)

1 lb chicken breast

1/2 lb beef ( NY sirloin steak)

2 medium size onions minced really well

3 garlic cloves minced really well

2 large tomatoes

1/2 cup aji rojo (spicy red pepper sauce) (or 1 tbsp chilli powder and 2 tbsp paprika)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cumin

3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup chopped parsley

2 tsp oregano

6 cups chicken broth (any broth)

1 can hominy (1 lb can)

For the side:

slices of baguette

slices of lemon

slices of jalapeno (or locoto)

Preparation:

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Using the large sized holes of a grader. Grade the 2 onions. We want them really in small pieces but not a paste.

Chop the parsley

Use a garlic press for the garlic cloves.

Boil water and add the tomatoes. Cook them for 2 min, no more than that. The skin will get loose.

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Cut the meat in tiny pieces by hand. This takes a little bit of time but it’s worth it and gives the menudito more body.

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Heat the oil in large pot and add the onion and garlic. Cook for about 5 min and then add the aji rojo (spicy red pepper sauce).

Cook for another 5 min and add the cumin, parsley and oregano. Mix really well.

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Add the pork and meat and salt. Cook for about 10 min or until the mix starts drying.

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Add the 2 tomatoes that are peeled. When you add them crush them in your hand so it’s more like a puree. Cook for another 5 min.

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Add the chicken and cook until the chicken changes color to a dark white. At this point add the 6 cups of broth.

Let it simmer for 20 min.

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Add the hominy and let it boiled until the soup starts getting thick. (10 min). I used la Preferida is a 1 lb can if you have Goya used 2 cans.

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Serve hot with bread, green onion and hot pepper on the side and if you like, squeeze a wedge of lemon on top.

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Empanada Picantita (Queso,Cilantro, Locoto)

Empanada Picantita  (Queso,Cilantro,Locoto)

IMG_2879So I love-love locoto and since I moved to Maine I have been trying to grow them here without success. Jalapeno does a good job as a replacement but it’s not as great as locoto. You can cut out the spicy pepper from the recipe and the empanada is still going to taste amazing!

Serves 20 empanadas

Dough

Ingredients

3 cups flour

1/2 cup shortening

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg yolk

1 cup warm milk (or warm water)

Preparation:

In a food processor mix the flour with the salt.

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Add the shortening and pulse until the flour looks like sand.

Add the egg yolk and slowly add the milk until the dough is soft. Put the dough on the table  and work with your hands until dough is soft but not wet. Divide the dough in 5 portion and wrap them in plastic. Set them aside for 1 hour.

Filling

Ingredients

1 cup diced red onion (small)

1 cup finely chopped cilantro

3 cups grated monterrey jack cheese ( if you can get queso fresco used that)

3 tbsp finely chopped jalapenos without seeds ( In Bolivia I would  use a locoto)

2 eggs

Preparation

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Mixed all the chopped ingredients together with the cheese. Cover and reserve

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Just before preparing the empanadas add one egg and mixed.

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Divide each ball of dough in 4 pieces for a total of 20 little balls.

Cover them with plastic and let it rest for 5 min.

Preheat the oven to 400 F

Work one empanada at a time.

Roll one ball at a time into a flat round oval.

Put the filling on one far side of the rolled dough, around 1 tbsp.

Close the empanada by folding the empty half over the filling.

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Place the empanadas on a baking sheet that is covered with parchment paper.

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Whisk the other egg and, using a brush, paint each empanada with the whisked egg. Make sure you brush the entire empanada.

For decoration: Put on top of each empanada a cilantro leaf.

Bake them for 20 min or until well brown.

Serve warm by itself or if you want you can add the chimichurri sauce.

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Empanada Con Relleno De Quinoa

Empanada Con Relleno De Quinoa

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My husband inspired me to make this empanada. He prefers not to eat meat and he really likes quinoa, so I made this for him. I like them with  chimichurri sauce or peanut sauce on it. The quinoa grains on top add a crispiness to the empanadas.

Serves 20 empanadas

Dough

Ingredients

3 cups flour

1/2 cup shortening

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg yolk

1 cup warm milk ( or warm water)

Preparation:

In a food processor mix the flour with the salt.

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Add the shortening and pulse until the flour looks like sand.

Add the egg yolk and slowly add the milk until the dough is soft. Put the dough on the table  and work with your hands until dough is soft but not wet. Divide the dough in 5 portion and wrap them in plastic. Set them aside for 1 hour.

Filling

Ingredients

1 1/2  cup cooked quinoa

1 cup diced onion (small)

1 cup chopped green onion

2 cups grated monterrey jack cheese ( if you can get queso fresco used that)

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp cumin

1 tbsp paprika

1 tsp garlic

1/4  tsp cayenne pepper (optional if you like a little bit spicy)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup broth or water

Preparation

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Heat the olive oil on a pan. Add the onion and garlic. Cook them for 5 min.

Add the paprika, cumin, salt and oregano. Cook  for another 3 min.

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Add the broth and cook until onions are soft. Let it cool.

Add the cooked quinoa green onions and the cheese. Set aside

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Divide each ball of dough in 4 pieces for a total of 20 little balls.

Cover them with plastic and let it rest for 5 min.

Preheat the oven to 400 F

Work one empanada at a time.

Roll one ball at a time into a flat round oval.

Put the filling on one far side of the rolled dough, around 1 tbsp.

Close the empanada by folding the empty half over the filling.

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Place the empanadas on a baking sheet that is covered with parchment paper.

Whisk the other egg and, using a brush, paint each empanada with the whisked egg. Make sure you brush the entire empanada.

For decoration:Sprinkle some quinoa grains on top of each empanada.

Bake them for 20 min or until well brown.

Serve warm by itself or if you want you can add the chimichurri sauce or peanut sauce.

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Empanada de Carne con Chimichurri

Empanada De Carne Con Chimichurri

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Empanadas are so easy to make. You can use any filling that you want and freeze them for when you need them. Making empanadas with my mom was a whole day process but we made 100 of them at once and we would give them away to our neighbors and family. When others made empanadas, they would bring some to us. It was a great way to share food and interact with family and friends and exchange recipes.

Serves 20 empanadas

Dough

Ingredients

3 cups flour

1/2 cup shortening

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg yolk

1 cup warm milk (or warm water)

Preparation:

In a food processor mix the flour with the salt.

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Add the shortening and pulse until the flour looks like sand.

Add the egg yolk and slowly add the milk until the dough is soft. Put the dough on the table and work with your hands until dough is soft but not wet. Divide the dough in 5 portions and wrap them in plastic. Set them aside for 1 hour.

Filling

Ingredients

1 cup diced onion (small)

1 lb ground beef

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup green onion chopped

1/2 cup frozen petite peas

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tbsp paprika

1 tsp garlic

1  tsp oregano

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup broth or water

5 hard boiled eggs

5 large green marinated olives ( 2 extra for decoration)

1 egg to paint the empanada

Preparation

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Heat the olive oil in a pan add the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 min.

Add the paprika, cumin, salt and oregano. Cook for another 3 min.

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Add the meat and cook them for 5 min.

Add the broth and cook until it starts boiling.

Add the peas and green onions and turn off the stove. You want the filling slightly dry but not too much. Let it chill for 1/2 hour.

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Divide each ball of dough in 4 pieces for a total of 20 little balls.

Cover them with plastic and let them rest for 5 min.

Preheat the oven to 400 F

Work one empanada at a time.

Roll one ball at a time into a flat round oval.

Put the filling in the rolled dough. 1/2 tbsp of the beef filling and add the egg and olive and cover with another 1/2 tbsp of filling.

Close the empanada by folding the empty half over the filling.

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Place the empanadas on a baking sheet that is covered with parchment paper.

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Whisk the egg and use a brush to paint each of them with the whisked egg. Cover the entire empanada.

For decoration: Slice the olives very thin and place on top. If you have fresh oregano add a leaf of oregano on top.

Bake them for 20 min or until well brown.

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Serve warm by itself or if you want you can add the chimichurri sauce or peanut sauce.

Chimichurri Sauce

Ingredients:

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano (just the leaves)

4 tbsp finely chopped parsley

1 large clove minced (like a paste)

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

5 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp finely chopped scallions

1/4 tsp salt.

Preparation

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate.

Prepare the sauce in the morning and use it by the afternoon,so the flavor will have time to mixed and marinated. Use the same day.

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Empanada de Queso

Empanada de Queso

IMG_4573 Yes, it’s Empanada time!

The dough for this empanada de queso has baking powder and butter in it. In Bolivia, I would eat this with coffee or hot cocoa in the morning for breakfast.

Enjoy!

Serves 20 empanadas

Dough

Ingredients

3 cups flour

1/2 cup butter

1/4 tsp salt

3 tsp baking powder

3 egg yolks

1 cup warm milk (or warm water)

Preparation:

In a food processor, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.

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Add the butter and pulse until the flour looks like sand.

Add the eggs yolks and slowly add the milk until the dough is soft. Put the dough on the table and work with your hands until dough is soft but not wet. Divide the dough in 5 portions and wrap them in plastic and set them aside for 1 hour.

Filling

Ingredients

4 cups grated monterrey jack cheese ( if you can get queso fresco use that)

3 egg whites

1 egg

Preparation

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Whisk the egg whites until they are hard.

Add the cheese to this mix just before you are making the empanadas, otherwise the egg whites will lose their foamy consistency.

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Divide each ball of dough in 4 pieces for a total of 20 little balls.

Cover them with plastic and let them rest for 5 min.

Preheat the oven to 400 F

Work one empanada at a time.

Roll one ball at a time into a flat round oval.

Put the filling on one far side of the rolled dough, around 1 tbsp.

Close the empanada by folding the empty half over the filling.

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Place the empanadas on a baking sheet that is covered with parchment paper.

Whisk the other egg and, using a brush, paint each empanada with the whisked egg. Make sure you brush the entire empanada.

Bake them for 20 min or until well brown.

Serve warm.

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Aji de habas secas ( Spice dried fava beans)

Aji de habas secas ( Spiced dried fava beans)

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Every time I went to visit my Dad’s side family in Colomi, I was shocked by the beauty and simplicity of everything. They grow potatoes and fava beans and we would go to visit them at harvest time. The smell of freshly dug potatoes and the crunchiness and tenderness of a fresh raw fava beans made those trips the best experiences of my childhood. They would dry some of the best fava beans and potatoes for seed and the other ones would be cooked. This is a recipe with dried fava beans, it goes so well with tiny little potatoes. Enjoy it.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 cups dry fava beans

5 medium yellow  potatoes (10 small yellow potatoes)

1/2 lb round steak

2 cups chicken broth

1 onion

1 tomato

2 tbsp vegetable oil

3 tbsp paste of red spicy pepper

1 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp cumin

1 garlic clove

1/2 tsp sugar

2 tbsp chopped parsley

1 small bunch of scallion

Preparation:

A night before measure the dry fava beans into a pot. Add boiling water and cook for a minute and drain the water. Cover with cold water and let it rest overnight.

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They will double the size and the skin should be easy to peel. Peel coverings and set aside

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Put the ingredients together for the sauce

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Cut the meat by hand in thin small sliced pieces.

Peel the potatoes and cut them in 3 pieces or keep them in a piece if they are the small.

Peel and dice the onion and dice the tomatoes into small pieces.

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Heat 2 tbsp oil and add the red spicy paste, garlic and cumin. Cook for 2 min and add the onion, cook for 5 min until onion is clear.

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Add the meat and mix. Cook for another min and add the tomatoes

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Cook for about 3 min until meat is tender, add the oregano, salt, sugar, pepper and parsley.

Mix and add the fava beans.

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Add the chicken broth and the potatoes and mix. Cover the pot and cook until potatoes are cooked. It’s so much better if you use small potatoes, they will cook faster and they are going to be bite sized.

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If it dries during this process, add more chicken broth or hot water.

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Serve warm with rice or just by itself. Top with scallions or green onion that are cut and washed. Enjoy!

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Pique a lo Macho (Pique Macho)

Pique a lo Macho (Pique Macho)

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If you say the word Pique Macho in Bolivia everyone will tell you what is it and that the best pique macho is from Cochabamba (of course I’m being biased). And everyone might also have an amazing history related to  this dish. The first day that my husband I met we went with a couple of friends to La Casa del Gordo, a restaurant very well know for its pique macho. After trying to convincing him that one dish would be enough for the 4 of us we ordered two. While we were playing cacho waiting for our food I bet Dave that there was no way we would finish the dish. When the plates arrived I remember seeing the surprised face  of Dave admiring the mountains of food. We did our best and he won the bet because after 1 hour of digging and digging we finished. The amount of meat, potatoes and locotos with their juices make this plate incredible and also made me look at this boy that I just met differently there are not to many non-bolivians that will finish and eat and entire pique macho. Enjoy it!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 lb top round first cut steak (any soft lean beef will do great)

8 large potatoes

4 uncured beef hot dogs (you can use pork hot dog)

4 eggs

1 large tomato

1 small red onion

1 small green pepper  (1/2 large pepper)

1 locoto or jalapeno (optional)

1/2 cup beer (I used Corona for this recipe but any light beer will work)

1 tsp white vinegar (for meat)

1 tbsp cider vinegar (for the salad)

1 tbsp vegetable oil (for the salad)

2 tbsp vegetable oil

3 cup vegetable oil to fry potatoes

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1/8 tsp cumin (optional)

1 garlic clove peeled and mashed (optional)

On the side

Llajua

4 slices of baguette

Preparation:

Put together the ingredients

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Peel the potatoes and cut in large wedges.

Peel the onion and slice in the juliana style (think strips), do the same with pepper and tomato

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Slice the hot dog in thin slices. Slice the hot dog giving it an edge, we don’t want them round.

Clean the meat and cut in cubes of 2 cm each side this is very important we don’t want the pieces too small or too big we want them bite size.

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Mix the vegetables together and set aside. Once all the ingredients are ready we start cooking.

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Start by frying the potatoes. You might end up cooking two batches, since we want them to cook slowly so they are crispy outside but slightly soft inside. This will help the potatoes to absorb the juices.

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While cooking the potatoes, hard boil the eggs and peel them and cut them in wedges or round shapes. I prefer wedges.

When the potatoes are half cooked start cooking the meat.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a skillet and when the oil is hot add the meat. We want to seal the edges and brown them but not burn them. This takes about 5 min

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Once they are brown add half of the salt and pepper. If you want, add the cumin and garlic, I like the flavor that this adds to the meat. Reduce the heat to medium high

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By this point the potatoes should be cooked and in the hot oil we cook the hot dogs. This step is important. We need to cook the hot dogs for about about one minute so they are nicely browned on the edges and crispy. Take to a paper towel.

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Add to the meat 1 tsp white vinegar and 1/2 cup beer and the hot dogs. If you are cooking in an electric stove you can turn off. If you are cooking in gas cook for about 1 min. We don’t want to be dry, we just want the alcohol of the beer to be reduced.

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Mix the vegetables with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 1 tbs vegetable oil salt and pepper.

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Serve immediately after the meat is cooked it is important to serve  hot.

Put one layer of potatoes, add the mix of meat and hot dog and add 4 tbsp of the juices from the pan. Top with the salad and decorate with the hard-boiled egg.

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I like it as simple as this you can put mayonnaise and ketchup on top, I like putting this on the table so it’s optional for people to add. The best way to eat it is with a nice llajua and pieces of marraqueta (roll) to absorb those juices and when it gets too spicey, a good beer goes so well with it.

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There are so many variations of this dish in Bolivia but I like this way for its simplicity.

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Mechado de pierna de cerdo (Bolivian Style Roast Ham)

Mechado de Pierna de Cerdo (Bolivian Style Roast Ham)

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The first time I tried this recipe was when I was in my first year of college. My friends and I got together to celebrate New Year’s Eve. I had seen my mom do this recipe and I thought it would be easy to replicate. Our first mistake was to buy a 20lb ham with the skin and everything for just four people. We started cooking around 9 pm thinking we would have it ready in a couple hours but we did not realize that it would take 4 hours to cook and that we would run out of natural gas in the process. We opened champagne and we had our grapes at midnight but we did not eat until 1:30 am but by that time we were all tired and went to bed. The good thing is that we had amazing left overs for a while. This dish really doesn’t take that long to cook and is so delicious that you can use the left over pork to make the amazing Sandwich De Chola (Cochabamba style).

Serves 6

Ingredients:

4 lb ham rump half (with the skin)

1 tbsp salt

1 large onion

1 large tomato

2 large carrots

1 small green pepper

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

3 garlic cloves

1/2 cup of spicy red pepper (paste)

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1/4 tsp sugar

1 tbsp vinegar

1 cup corona beer (any beer)

For the side?

3 sweet potatoes

12 small potatoes

1 head of lettuce

1/2 red onion

2 tomatoes

1 tbsp cilantro

salt and pepper

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp vinegar

Preparation:

Put together the first ingredients

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Make cuts in the ham all around big enough to put some of the cut vegetables in the holes. Rub the ham with the tbsp of salt and set aside.

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Peel the onions and carrots.

Cut the carrots, tomato, and pepper in a large thick size, about 1/2 inch thick. Put them in a large bowl and mix. Set aside.

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Put together all the spices.

Peel the garlic and mash with a garlic press.

Cook the red spice paste in 1 tbs oil add the garlic. Let it cool.

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Add the spices, the cooked red spice pepper and the beer to the vegetables. Mix.

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Insert the mix of vegetables in the cuts made in the ham. Cover it and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.

Preheat oven to 350F

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Place the ham in a container and bake cover for 2.5 hours covered. Uncover the last half hour. Broil the last 4 min to crisp the skin. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 min.

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One hour before the ham is ready, roast the potatoes with their skin on and cut them in half at 375F. Prepare the salad.

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Cut the ham in slices and place it in the plate. This goes so well with everything and there is usually plantain in this recipe. My husband and I had leftovers the next day with mashed potatoes and it was delicious. Enjoy with a nice cold beer.

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