Here’s What To Make With All That Holiday Ham and Queso de Bola

December 30, 2015

Every holiday season, it seems as if ham and queso de bola are in excess—they’re on every table, and are accessible gifts that show up frequently, over-stocking pantries. If the parties are over, but the ham and red balls of cheese are still overflowing, don’t cast these staples aside or dismiss them as after-dinner-party fodder. Instead, showcase their versatility with recipes that will transform them easily into transitional dishes eaten from breakfast to dinner. You’ll never get sick of leftovers when they resurge into these idyllic forms.

Ham and Queso de Bola Frittata


A classic combination takes this everyday breakfast dish from the mundane to the exciting.

Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 2-3 servings


  • 5 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Cream
  • 1/3 cup Ham, cubed
  • 1/2 cup Queso de bola, grated
  • 2 Native tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 small Onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Beat the eggs, salt, pepper, and cream.
  2. Heat a pan to medium and sauté the onions and garlic until soft. Pour over the egg mixture, tomatoes, ham, and half of the cheese.
  3. Stir the eggs with a spatula until it is starting to set but still soft. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
  4. Broil under the oven or toasted to melt the cheese. Quarter and serve.

Queso de Bola Custard with Candied Ham

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This light custard eats like a chawanmushi, with candied ham adding both texture and sweetness.

Total Time: 55 minutes (15 minutes prep, 40 minutes cooking)
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients: Custard

  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups Cream
  • 1 cup Queso de bola, grated
  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed whole
  • 2 sprigs Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika, optional
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 tsp Salt

Ingredients: Candied Ham

  • 1 cup Ham, cubed
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 1 Tsp. Vegetable oil

Procedure: Custard

  1. Preheat an oven to 300’C.
  2. Simmer the cream for 5 minutes with the garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Strain and discard the solids.
  3. In a bowl, mix the eggs, paprika, and cheese. Pour over the cream mixture and mix well.
  4. Divide the custard into 4 ramekins set in a water bath.
  5. Put into the oven uncovered and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the custard is set but still soft in the center.

Procedure: Candied Ham

  1. Put the ham and sugar in a nonstick pan over medium heat.
  2. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved completely and has turned an amber color.
  3. Cool and sprinkle over the custard.

Ham and Queso de Bola Carbonara


The classic carbonara becomes instantly richer when leftover queso de bola combines with eggs for a thick, creamy sauce.

Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 2 servings


  • 250g Dry Spaghetti, or any shape pasta
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Queso de bola, grated
  • 1/3 cup Ham, cubes
  • Parsley, for garnishing
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, cheese, and ham. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook the pasta al dente in salted water. Immediately pour the piping hot pasta over the eggs and toss thoroughly.
  3. Serve immediately and sprinkle parsley and more cheese if desired.
Pamela Cortez Pamela Cortez

Pamela Cortez writes about food full-time, and has honed her craft while writing for publications such as Rogue, Town and Country, and The Philippine Star. She once rode on a mule for a mile just to eat mint tea and lamb in Morocco, and has eaten a block of Quickmelt in one sitting. Her attempt at food photography can be viewed online @meyarrr.

5 comments in this post SHOW

5 responses to “Here’s What To Make With All That Holiday Ham and Queso de Bola”

  1. Marty Tuazon says:

    No, you don’t pour the piping hot pasta over the eggs when making the carbonara… You have to wait a minute or so, or else you’ll get scrambled eggs. Best to heat up the ham in the pan first so it will get the flavor, pour in the pasta, wait 1 or 2 minutes, then pour in egg with cheese mixture..

  2. DEEZQUS says:

    I made croque madame with all the left over ham and queso de bola (mornay sauce)..and whatever’s left of it i made croque madame chips…

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