Nothing Like the Holidays Movie: A Family Feast

To honor the movie  Nothing Like the Holidays we offer a collection of Puerto Rican-style recipes.

  • Nothing Like the Holidays: A Family Feast

    Nothing Like the Holidays: A Family Feast

    To honor the December 12th release of the newest of the holiday movies, Nothing Like the Holidays, we offer a collection of Puerto Rican-style recipes, some authentic enough to win approval from Mama Rodriguez.
  • Egg Nog

    Egg Nog

    In Nothing Like the Holidays, Mauricio's wife (played by Debra Messing) tries to impress her mother-in-law by telling her that she made coquito for the office Christmas party. Coquito is an eggnog-like alcoholic beverage made with rum, eggs, coconut milk, and coconut cream. You could transform this plain eggnog into a more Latin version by using coconut milk in place of the regular milk and coconut cream in place of the whipping cream if you have a mother-in-law you need to impress.

    Recipe: Egg Nog

  • Asopao de Pollo (Traditional Chicken Asopao)
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Mary Catherine Muir

    Asopao de Pollo (Traditional Chicken Asopao)

    The Puerto Rican dish asopao, a cross between soup and paella, is an easy, hearty one-dish meal. With both chicken thighs and ham, it's enough to satisfy a family of big appetites.

    Recipe: Asopao de Pollo

  • Chicken with Rice (Arroz con Pollo)
    Leigh Beisch

    Chicken with Rice (Arroz con Pollo)

    Instead of the arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas) that's featured in the movie, we offer the other immensely popular Puerto Rican dish: rice with chicken. This one features rice with chicken, onion, tomato, corn, and fresh mint.

    Recipe: Chicken with Rice

  • Barbecue Pork Tenderloin
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Lydia DeGaris-Pursell

    Barbecue Pork Tenderloin

    Another festive island dish is lechón asado, or barbecued pig, which is usually cooked for a party of 12 or 15. The pig is basted with sour orange juice and achiote coloring. Green plantains are peeled and roasted over hot stones, then served with the barbecued pig as a side dish. If it's just not practical for you to roast a whole pig this year, you might settle for barbecued pork tenderloin served with grilled plantains.

    Recipe: Barbecue Pork Tenderloin

  • Mofongo Relleno de Pollo Guisado (Plantains and Pork Cracklings with Stewed Chicken)
    Cooking Light

    Mofongo Relleno de Pollo Guisado (Plantains and Pork Cracklings with Stewed Chicken)

    Plaintains are used frequently in Puerto Rican cooking, and mofongo is mashed plantains with garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings that are shaped into individual balls or molded with a mortar and pestle into a bowl to hold meat or fish. The consistency of the stewed chicken is between simple roast chicken and asopao—the classic soupy Puerto-Rican stew.

    Recipe: Mofongo Relleno de Pollo Guisado

  • Tembleque (Coconut Custard)
    Cooking Light

    Tembleque (Coconut Custard)

    This classic Puerto Rican dessert is a light coconut custard whose name can be loosely translated as "jiggling."

    Recipe: Tembleque (Coconut Custard)

  • Tres Leches Cake (Three Milks Cake)
    Charles E. Walton IV

    Tres Leches Cake (Three Milks Cake)

    Tres leches cake is extremely popular throughout Central and South America, though it probably originated in either Mexico or Nicaragua. It consists of a sponge or butter cake soaked in evaporated milk, condensed milk, and whole milk or cream. Serve with whipped cream, melted chocolate, or dulce de leche.

    Recipe: Tres Leches Cake (Three Milks Cake)

  • Rum Punch
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Jan Gautro

    Rum Punch

    OK. Maybe there's not a scene of the Rodriguez clan sipping on a rum punch in the movie, but after viewing these family dynamics, you'll want to offer them one.

    Recipe: Rum Punch

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