HOLIDAY gatherings call for good company and excellent food. If you’re hosting a crowd, you’ll need big servings and the right combination of food treats that will brighten up your Christmas table. Here, we present to you some dishes ideal for parties, big or small.
Holiday gourmet spread
What: Make your holiday spread big, bold and bountiful with fabulous food creations that will leave your family and guests with a huge smile and a happy tummy. For starters, serve Carabao’s Milk Ricotta layered with pesto and sun-dried tomato over light crackers, or enjoy a huge scoop of Sushi Trifle with spicy tuna, uni, nori and kecap manis yogurt dressing on the side. The Sushi Trifle has enticing layers of avocado, grapes, crabstick, shrimps and cucumber, to name some.
For main course, enjoy Salmon in very thick Salt Crust served with an array of sauces, including shallot-verjus cream, egg-yogurt tartare, chimichurri, calamansi-brown butter. This dish stands out because the fish is wrapped in salt and baked, but once the salt is removed, the fish is not at all salty. Its skin and flesh are very moist, as if the fish has been steamed.
Another outstanding entry is the Crispy Roast Pork Belly that has super crunchy skin but tender and moist meat inside.
To cap off the feast, dig into either Kransekake (almond cake) or Honey Layer Cake (layers of soft, cream cake).
Price: Carabao’s Milk Ricotta Layered with Pesto and Sun Dried Tomato, P1,350 (good for 12-15 persons); P2,500 (for 15-25 persons); Sushi Trifle with Spicy Tuna, Uni, Nori, Tempura Crisps, and Kecap Manis Yogurt Dressing, P4,850 (for 10-12 persons with deposit of P2,000 for trifle dish container); Salmon in Salt Crust with Shallot-Verjus Cream/Egg-Yogurt Tartare/Chimichurri/Calamansi-Brown Butter, P 12,000 (for 18-30 persons); Crispy Roast Pork Belly with Gravy/Lingonberry/Apple Sauce/Dijon Mustard, P4,500 (for 8-12 persons); Kransekake, P 3,500; Honey Layer Cake, P2,450. Order four days in advance. For pickup only.
Moroccan Angus Meatballs and Baked Lapu-Lapu with Queso de Bola
What: This splendid Angus meatball dish is ideal either as a viand or sandwich filling. The meatballs are braised in rich, fresh tomatoes laced with Moroccan spices and fresh herbs and cumin and topped with eggs. Meanwhile, the lapu-lapu dish offers hearty layers of eggs, fish fillet, mushrooms and potatoes cloaked in a queso de bola cream sauce.
Price: Moroccan Angus Meatballs, P1,950 (serves 12-15 persons); Baked Lapu-Lapu with Queso de Bola, P1,500. Order five days in advance. For pick-up and delivery for a minimum quantity.
Maker: The Cookery Gourmet Catering (Michelle Dinglasan-Tomacruz)
Where: 130 Celery Drive, Valle Verde 5, Pasig City; tel nos. 6350351, 6310541, 0917-8122354 and 0918-2109700
Vegetarian festive meal
What: Who says you can’t be healthy during the season of bingeing? From The Vegetarian Kitchen comes an array of nutritious, savory dishes. Spinach and Cream Cheese Dumplings are a good start, leading you to the Classic Embutido made with vegan sausage, tofu egg, raisins and pimiento. The light embutido also goes well with another vegan treat, Spiced Ham with Candied Pineapple, made from soy protein with glazed candied pineapple.
Top it off with Manila’s first vegan fruitcake (no dairy, no egg) packed with traditional fruitcake trimmings such as candied fruits, walnuts, dates, raisins, apple sauce, pineapple and brown sugar.
Price: Spinach and Cream Cheese Dumplings, P600/25 pcs; Classic Embutido with Mushroom Gravy (Vegan), P620/tray good for 4-6 persons, available frozen or freshly cooked; Spiced Ham with Candied Pineapple (Vegan), P620/tray good for 4-6 persons; Holiday Specialty Fruitcake, P700/900g loaf. Available daily. For bulk orders, call two days in advance.
What: For potluck parties, these homemade tender chicken wings never fail to impress. The wings are marinated in a special blend of spices with soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil, then fried to perfection and tossed with chopped siling labuyo.
Price: Korean Chicken, P695/15 pieces of chicken wings. Order three days in advance.
Maker: Dorothy Melencion
Where: Philam Homes Sunday Bazaar, Quezon City; tel. no. 09326331277.
What: When it comes to holiday food, nothing beats the all-time favorite ham that serves as the highlight of your noche buena feast. Choose from any of the traditional Chinese-style Leg of Ham that offers extra-juicy, sweet-salty tender meat; Chicken Ham stuffed with galantina; Chinese-style Boneless Ham that’s ideally served with bread; and honey-cured American Ham that makes for a great party pica-pica. The holiday ham with golden brown glaze is cured with special herbs and spices and naturally smoked.
Price: Chinese-style Leg of Ham P1,050/kilo (minimum of three kilos); Chinese-style Boneless Ham P650/kilo (minimum of one kilo); American Ham P450/kilo; Chicken Ham P450 with additional P150 for chicken galantina stuffing. For pickup and delivery for bulk orders and special arrangements.
Maker: Josefina’s Ham, Jolly Boy Best Foods Corp. (Josie Sioson)
Where: 87 Kanlaon St. corner Maria Clara St., Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City; tel. nos. 7402024, 5144448, 7434238 or 0917-8448160.
Noche Buena dinner feast
What: Nothing spells out Christmas than a good selection of pork, beef, chicken and fish spread, such as Beef Scallopini, slow-cooked stewed beef with mushrooms; Chicken Galantina, deboned chicken stuffed with cheese, sausage, pimiento, pickles, ground pork and chicken; Fish Foldover with Lemon Butter Sauce, fish fillet stuffed with ham and cheese bathed in lemon butter sauce; Hickory Pork Belly, tender and sweet pork in barbecue marinade; and Callos, which has the aroma of the chorizo bilbao blending subtly with the ox tripe.
Price: Beef Scallopini, P1,250; Chicken Galantina, P1,200/whole, P650/half order; Fish Foldover with Lemon Butter Sauce, P850; Hickory Pork Belly, P1,300; Callos, P900; Mamang’s Leche Flan Cake, P775. Order three days in advance. For pickup and delivery to selected areas.
Maker: What’s Cookin’ Kitchenette (Diana Ang Uy)
Where: 90 Gen. Ordoñez St., Brgy. Concepcion II, SSS Village, Marikina City; tel. nos. 7181846, 2117121, 0917-7909813, 0917-5776635 and 0915-9100125; Visit www.facebook.com/whatscookinkitchenette.
Satisfy your cravings
What: Jazz up your holiday feasting with this delightful spread of Crispy Pork Belly Roulade with Arroz Valenciana, a modern version of lechon but made better. Stuffed with scented Spanish rice and roasted for an hour, the roulade has crispy skin but very moist lean meat.
The traditional Boneless Chicken Galantina is stuffed with ground chicken, chorizo and sausages, fresh herbs and spices, then slow-baked delicately and served with pineapple raisin compote, French bean and pumpkin casserole. Finally, enjoy the meal with Table Cheesecake, a very rich, thick and dense chocolate cheesecake.
Price: Crispy Pork Belly Roulade with Arroz Valenciana, P2,300 (good for 10-12 persons); Traditional Boneless Chicken Galantina, P1,600 (good for 10-12 persons); Table Cheesecake for P1,300
Maker: Cravings Restaurant/Epicurious/C2 Restaurants (Chef Sau del Rosario)
Where: 287 Katipunan Ave., Loyola Heights, Quezon City, tel. no. 4334498; 5/L, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City, tel. no. 6356087; 3/L, Eastwood Mall, Libis, Quezon City, tel. no. 4703500; 14 Cluster 2 Molito Lifestyle Bldg., Alabang Zapote Road, Muntinlupa City, tel. no. 5560927; 31/F, Fraser Place Serviced Residences, Valero St., Makati City, tel. no. 8154271; Epicurious, LG/F East Wing, Shangri-la Mall, Mandaluyong City.
What: This festive mix of Spanish and Pinoy favorites includes Adobong Bagnet with Taba ng Talangka, tasty stewed pork belly swimming in crab fat and bits of garlic; Callos Madrilena, stewed ox tripe, garbanzos and chorizo bilbao in thick tomato sauce; Paella Fideua, a flavorful paella made with pasta instead of rice; and Spicy Cheeseball with crackers, an all-day cheesy pica-pica indulgence.
Price: Adobong Bagnet with Taba ng Talangka, P995 (good for 8 persons); Callos Madrileña, P795 (group for 8 persons); Paella Fideua, P995; Spicy Cheeseball with Crackers, P875/500g. Order three days in advance. For pickup and delivery for a fee.
Maker: Ilustrado Restaurant (Boni Pimentel)
Where: 744 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila; tel. nos. 5272319, 5273674 and 4000947; www.ilustradorestaurant.com.ph
What: Convenient but mouth-watering fare that includes Smoked Salmon Caviar, very smooth in taste, rich in flavor and quite filling when eaten with Melba toast; Porchetta, slow-roasted pork belly marinated in garlic and fresh rosemary with crisp crackling skin in a duo of arugula pesto and apple-mango chutney sauces; 10-Hour Roast Beef Belly, melt-in-your mouth beef belly roast cooked for 10 hours and comes with crunchy vegetables and a creamy mushroom sauce.
Price: Smoked Salmon Caviar, P2,950 (good for 35 persons); Porchetta, P 6,500; 10-Hour Roast Beef Belly, P3,900; Noel Macaron de Paris, P70/piece; Sticky Date Cake, P755. Order three days in advance. For pickup and delivery for a fee.
Maker: Bizu Patisserie (Annabel Tanco)
Where: G/F Greenbelt 2, Ayala Center, Makati City; G/F Corte de las Palmas, Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City; The Promenade, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan City; G/F Concession Area, St. Luke’s Medical Center, Taguig City; G/F One Rockwell-West Tower, Rockwell Center, Makati City; Upper G/F Robinsons Magnolia, New Manila, Quezon City. For complete list of stores, visit website www.bizupatisserie.com. Call 7572498, 8092498, 7242498, 7897700, 4787755 and 6645904
Pork Barbeque and Crispy Pata
What: Party staples that are tender and marinated in special aromatic spices and herbs with soy-garlic sauces. They look and taste invitingly good, and are perfect as take-home treats.
Price: Pork Barbeque, P48; Crispy Pata, P450. Available daily. For pickup and delivery for a minimum order.
Maker: Three Sisters Restaurant
Where: 10 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City; tel. nos. 6319247 and 6314431.
A party for two or more
What: A complete noche buena feast ready in just a few minutes! These ready-to-eat treats are ideally packaged for condo dwellers or those with small families. Instead of cooking a large spread of food that just might go to waste, these packaged treats are ideal for not-so-big appetites. The tender lengua (Angus beef) comes with a delicious mushroom sauce, while the callos offers a touch of spiciness and loads of texture from oxtail and tripe, garbanzos and chorizos. The Angus beef mechado is a rich and hearty viand, while the Malunggay Pasta is very light but packed with flavor from pureed malunggay and pesto.
Prices: Lengua, P350; Callos, P380; Mechado, P350; Malunggay Pasta, P150. For pickup and delivery to selected areas
Maker: Commissary Kitchen (Chefs Day Salonga, Mon Urbano, Joy dela Rosa, Gem Tee, Gel Salonga and Nancy Reyes Lumen)
What: Delight your senses with this traditional, slow-roasted Chicken Relleno rubbed with special herbs and spices and stuffed with a perfectly balanced combination of chicken meat, chorizo bilbao, ground pork, onions, peas, raising, pickle relish, eggs and what-have-you. This filling dish comes with a thick gravy sauce. For starters and pica-pica, Ann Puno has bottled goodies to double the holiday fun, from Pickled Quail Eggs to Dulong in Olive Oil and Quesong Puti in herbs and spices.
Price: Chicken Relleno, P1,700 (available frozen or freshly cooked). Package comes with heating instruction. Pickled Quail Eggs, P195; Dulong in Olive Oil, P275; Quesong Puti in herbs and spices, P275. Order three days in advance. For pickup only. All food items come with ribbons and gift cards ready to give out.
Maker: Ann Puno’s Kitchen (Ann Puno)
Where: Meet ups only in Makati City and Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Call 8076431, 8072757 and 0908-8739636; Visit AnnPunosKitchen on Facebook
Sweets for my sweet
What: Whet your sweet tooth with Scout’s Honor’s signature Drip Cake in Chai Tea Tres Leches flavor. It’s a chocolate sponge cake soaked in chai tea tres leches mixture coated with French buttercream. The sweet temptation is topped with chocolate glaze drippings and dressed in Valrhonna crunchy dark chocolate pearls, Oreo and Malteesers. For a more refreshing indulgence, Watermelon Strawbery Rose Cake from Le Petit Soufflé will do the trick. It’s a cheesecake base covered with layers of vanilla joconde, rose-infused mousseline and fresh watermelon. It’s then decked with fresh and preserved strawberries, mint and edible dried rose petals. Another Le Petit Soufflé decadent dessert is Manchego Parmesan Cheesecake, a merry mix of manchego and parmesan cheese treat crowned with grated and torched manchego, chopped almonds and sheets of lavash.
Price: Scout’s Honor’s Chai Tea Tres Leches, P1,500. Design and flavor can also be customized according to client’s need. Le Petit Soufflé’s Watermelon Strawbery Rose Cake, P1,320; Manchego Parmesan Cheesecake, P1,320. Order three days in advance. For pickup only.
Maker: Scout’s Honor and Le Petit Soufflé (chefs Miko Aspiras and Kristine Lotilla)
Where: Scout’s Honor at 4/F, Hole in the Wall, Century City Mall, Kalayaan Ave., Makati City; Le Petit Soufflé, 3/F Century City Mall, Kalayaan Ave., Poblacion, Makati City; tel. nos. 8872698, 0927-3872703, 0917-8942657 and 8863056.
Visit on Facebook scoutshonorcraftcookies.
What: Impress your family and friends with a fab assortment of Spanish-inspired dishes, starting off with the all-time favorite Cochinillo, a week-old roasted suckling pig flavored in special herbs, spices and seasoning. It has thin and crispy skin with minimal fat underneath the skin that simply melts in the mouth. The whole plump golden brown Roast Turkey comes with relleno de pabo stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy. Paella Valenciana complements the all-meat holiday package.
Price: Cochinillo, P1,600/k; Roast Turkey with cranberry sauce and gravy and relleno de pabo stuffing, P1,450/k; Paella Valenciana, P1,850; Sugar-free Apple Pie, P1,650. Order three days in advance. For pickup only.