Published On: Tue, Dec 6th, 2011

Urban Jibaro’s Quick Guide To Christmas Dinner The Way Mami Used To Make It!

Ever dreamt about making Christmas happen the way Mami and “Wela used to? Is it possible you took to much time indulging and did not pay attention. Well now you are probably on your own and have no idea how to make it happen, magically like she use to… but you know that adding these culinary memories will make this holiday perfect for you and your family, maybe even start some new traditions.

Most of what I found here was thru Hispanic Kitchen one of my favorite recipe sites on the web!

IMPORTANT… If you are still lucky enough to be with Mami or ‘Wela during the holidays… take some time and spend it with them in the kitchen… I promise you it will be an amazing experience and you will be able to share their recipes with your family.

but for those people who are not so lucky… I am going to give you a few links to really cool holiday recipes so that you can create your own very special “Cena De Navidad” and share some of your old Christmas memories.

My family is in Florida… so I will not be with Mami or Mama this year… but this blog post is my way of honoring them while we are apart.

Disclaimer: I am a Boricua, so this particular menu will appeal to Boricuas, Dominicans and maybe even some Cubans… but will be different from other Latino countries… please email me your countries menu items and we will post them. (email us at


BEFORE YOU START… TRY SOME MOOD MUSIC – Get on Pandora, Spotify or other music program and type in key words like PARRANDA, TRULLA and NAVIDENO and listen to some typical Christmas music while you get your COCINA on!

First off, I want to start with the official Puerto Rican Egg Nog…COQUITO… by the way… coquito is sooooo good I am not even sure why we do not drink it all year round. (Get Recipe Here)

Next off, probably the most time consuming but deliciously rewarding PASTELES (sorry… no translation here)… now pasteles come in many varieties Here we have a video demonstrating the process on how to make  PASTELES PUERTORIQUENOS… by the way I love the sountrack. For those of you who want an actual recipe… Hispanic Kitchen has you covered… here is a link to a great PASTELE DE YUCA recipe courtesy of (one of the oldest Boricua websites on the web and one of my personal favorites.

ok… so now that we have that going… we need to pull this together with the basics… yes I am talking about the rice… you cannot have a holiday dinner without ARROZ CON GANDULES (Rice with Pidgeon Peas)

The centerpiece is without a doubt… the PERNIL (Roast Pork Shoulder)… now when I was a kid, they would roast a whole Lechon… but if your home did not come equipped with an old fashioned VARA… check out this video below…


Disclaimer – This 9 part video is in Spanglish with a little strong language in parts, you can get the remaining parts of the video on the links at the very end…. and NO, that is not me in the video… it is another bald Boricua with great taste in food.

Now we cannot have such an amazing dinner and no dessert… one of my favorites is TEMBLEQUE (side note… I really love coconut) but Hispanic Kitchen has an incredible dessert section that incldes other favorites like budin, flan and arroz con leche. Here is the recipe for TEMBLEQUE but feel free to wander around the website…. there is so much that you can do.

Now I have equipped you with some basic tools that will allow you to have the most incredibly cultural Christmas ever…. send me some pics…. better yet, send me an invite!!!!

Oh and if I missed anything, Let me know what you would add in the comments….

Enjoy your holiday…

Buen Provecho,

George Torres

The Urban Jibaro

Last but not least… I want to end with one of my favorite poets homage to her moms cocinera skills… Mayda Del Valle performing Mami Is Making Mambo!


Will you help us deliver Christmas to Children in Brooklyn?

We are hosting a HUGE Christmas Parranda in Brooklyn to benefit kids in our Toy Drive

Make a donation at our eventbrite page or better yet…come down and party with us…



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Urban Jibaro’s Quick Guide To Christmas Dinner The Way Mami Used To Make It!