We had Valentine’s dinner at home last night, just Mrs. MM and I. Starters were a small (3 inch diameter caviar pie that was almost too much for two) and some 15 slices or so of beet-cured salmon gravlax. Three types of bread from Eric Kayser. If we ate out last night, and managed to find a nice restaurant that served these starters, in these generous portions, they would have cost at least PHP2,500 or more. Homemade, with minimal effort but some advance planning, they cost a fraction of that…
The caviar pie had a layer of hard boiled eggs with some good mayonnaise, a layer of thinly sliced red onions, a layer of cream cheese with chives and a nice thick layer of lumpfish caviar on top. The “pie” is garnished with slices of lemon, more chives, and on top some beautiful fresh coriander flowers courtesy of Gejo from Malipayon Farms.
This was the first time I had ever made a caviar pie, and in fact, made two of them, thinking we would have one pie each! But I later realized there was no way we could finish one of these without a salt attack from the lumpfish caviar, so we saved the second pie for lunch today.
I have featured beet-cured salmon gravlax before, and had recently made a fresh batch, so all we had to do last night was thaw and slice the salmon and garnish it with micro-arugula. I wanted a “selection” of different breads, so it would feel like we had an abundant restaurant bread basket, and I bought 5 kinds from Kayser a few hours earlier. Actually, it was overkill, and Mrs. MM and I only ate one loaf of bread, and will use the other loaves for sandwiches, etc. But it all looked pretty good on our acacia serving board.
We had several servings of caviar pie each, and each serving was HEAPING with caviar and all the other goodies. The Salmon was not only gorgeous and colorful, it tasted great either as is or with a little squeeze of lemon.
So how much did this cost? Best I can figure, the caviar pie was roughly PHP250, yup that’s PHP250 (no extra 0 missing), the bread for one loaf was PHP85, and the salmon wasn’t more than PHP200 at most. So the total cost of this appetizer spread for two people was PHP535 or just $12. Not bad, huh? :)
After these photos I didn’t bother to take pictures of the rest of the meal. We had thick rib eye steaks (actually we split one large steak), baked potatoes with sour cream and chives, a mixed green salad, and either chocolate or salted caramel eclairs from Kayser for dessert.