El Salvador: Pan con Pavo Recipe

Pavo, or turkey, is a popular Christmas meal in El Salvador. Salvadoran immigrants to the U.S. often serve it for Thanksgiving as well. The Salvadoran version of roast turkey has a variety of vegetables and spices that are roasted along with the turkey in the roasting pan. This tasty mixture is then pureed and served as a rich sauce to accompany the turkey.  See Recipe

Plantains and Sweet Potato Recipe

Plantains and sweet potatoes are a natural fit.  Both are high in fiber and naturally


Image and Recipe from Joyandfeast.com

sweet.  Even if you have a sweeter tooth, just sprinkle a half cup sugar to accentuate the natural sugars.


Candied yams are a classic soul food side dish.  Plantains are popular in African and Caribbean cuisine.

Try this combination as a great vegan side for the holidays.  Click Here for recipe.  

Hawaiian-Portuguese Smoked Turkey

A wave of Portuguese came to Hawaii in the late 1800s to work the sugarcane fields, and over time their cooking traditions fused with those of other cultures in the islands, including Chinese and Japanese.  

PREP AND COOK TIME 4 to 5 hours, plus 2 days to marinate

MAKES 1 turkey (18 to 20 lbs.)

starts with a frozen turkey and marinates it for 3 days; our version starts with a thawed or fresh bird. If your arms aren’t strong, it’s helpful to have a friend or relative help you ease the turkey on and off the grill.

1 turkey (18 to 20 lbs.), thawed if frozen
1 tbsp. each coarsely chopped ginger and
garlic, plus 4 tbsp. each minced garlic
and ginger
4 cups soy sauce
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. light brown or turbinado sugar
6 cups hickory chips
2 cups chicken broth
2 large onions, peeled and quartered


Click for Directions

(Original Direction link no longer exists)

The Secret Life of Fruit Cake

The fruit cakes a beating with Christmas time jokes, considered the gift that keeps on giving.  The fruitcake has an interesting and slightly fruit cakeunbelievable ancient history.

The earliest record of fruitcake goes back to Ancient Egypt, where a loaf was provided in tombs as an afterlife treat. Fruitcake did not become a common dessert until Roman times.

Roman Fruitcake included pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and barley mash. The ring-shaped loaf was often carried on the battlefield by Roman Soldiers, this battlefield tradition was also practiced by Crusaders during the Middle Ages.

Fruitcake became so popular (And if you can believe it, DECADENT.), it was once banned in Europe on the account of being “Sinfully rich.”

The anatomy of a fruitcake

The anatomy of a fruitcake

Fruitcakes are usually prepared one month to a year in advance of their consumption date. Bakers usually engage in “feeding” their cake (Pouring whiskey, brandy or rum over the loaf.) to enhance flavor. Nuts and fruits make up the bulk of the cake’s weight and vary from loaf to loaf. Once put into circulation as a Christmas gift, a fruitcake could be passed from one person to the next dozens of times.

Fruity Facts


  • The average fruitcake weighs two pounds.
  • Fruitcakes will last YEARS without spoiling.
  • Astronauts on Apollo 11 ate fruitcake with their second meal.
  • Claxton, Georgia is known as the Fruitcake Capital of the World.
  • According to Harper’s Index, 1991, the ratio of the density of the average fruitcake to the density of mahogany is 1:1.


Check out Julie Douglas’s Ultimate Guide to Fruitcake for more heavy fruitcake facts.

Talkin’ Turkey- Turkey Recipes and How to Brine

Photo by Crystal Johnson

Photo by Crystal Johnson

This is a story of encouragement for the person tackling their first turkey.  Veteran turkey makers looking to spice up your life, skip down to the variety of links below for instructions. .

During the Holiday Season in America usually starting at Thanksgiving and ending with Christmas, turkey is one of the most eaten birds.  Some are experts at cooking turkey.   Others are looking for the next best way to impress guests with an innovative interpretation of how to prepare it.  While are others are paralyzed at the thought of making one for the first time.   In fact, I admit to 20 years of adult age fear until someone assumed that because I am the editor of Multi Cultural Cooking Network that I knew how to prepare one.

She was a born in India, but grew up the first half of her life in England and has now lived in the states for over 20 years.  Her family wanted an American Thanksgiving meal.  She was all set to prepare Indian food then she asked for my help.  I put on my best poker face and talked her through and helped with the turkey, ham and other holiday sides.  Shee didn’t know we were both experiencing preparing our very first Thanksgiving turkey.

My dad and my mother had shown me different techniques over the years.  Somewhere in the recesses of my brain, it sunk in.  I hadn’t realized it.  My dad showed me how to brine. It is  a sure fire way for a flavorful  turkey.  Also don’t be ashamed of the turkey bag.  If it is your first time and you fear the dreaded dry turkey then use the bag. – Crystal A. Johnson, MCCN Editor and Chief

 Here are some recipes and techniques

Best Non-Traditional Christmas Celebration Ideas

Christmas is the holiday that defines tradition. Most families have traditional ways of celebrating this day that have been passed down generation after generation. But as our world continues to rapidly diversify with blended families of different ethnicities, religious traditions, and cultural backgrounds, a non-traditional approach to celebrating Christmas has become more and more popular. Here are a few new non-traditional ideas on how to celebrate Christmas:

Anywhere but Home:

Any Christmas celebration is strongly associated with our family home. This year, why don’t you try celebrating Christmas anywhere but at home? You could plan a winter camping trip with your family, or rent a cabin in the beautiful, quiet outdoors, or even fly to the other hemisphere and celebrate Christmas in South America or Australia, where it will be summer. READ MORE

Cuban Style Christmas

From TasteofCuba.com-If you’re thinking of having a Cuban style Christmas, plan on preparing a great deal of food.  Noche Buena is the time that you will want to have a great deal of Cuban cooking to keep everyone satisfied, here we’ll provide you with some details on how to throw a good Cuban Christmas party.

Typical staples of a Cuban Christmas Eve party include the lechon asado (roasted pig), Moros y Cristianos (Black beans and rice), and plenty of Cuban cider to drink.  The biggest tradition is to have a pig roast.  The day before Christmas Eve, a pig would be selected, slaughtered, cleaned and would begin marinating for the cookout the roast the next day.  Roasting your own pig is a big undertaking.  Most Cubans living in the U.S. will purchase an 80 pound pig (maybe 100 lbs if you plan on feeding over 70 people with single servings) from their local butcher store. (READ MORE)