15 Feb2014


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.



  1. corrine says:

    Wow, great quality food at much lesser cost! Your caviar pie is so pretty. Which wines did u have for this meal?
    You didnt invite friends over this time?

    Feb 15, 2014 | 7:57 pm


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  3. Betchay says:

    @Corrine, of course no invited friends… this is after all a romantic Valentine dinner for MM and Mrs. MM! :) Even the Teen was absent! I wonder what else can you do after that hefty dinner! ;)

    MM, I guess you assembled your caviar pie using a ring mold but how did you unmold it without it sticking to the sides of the mold?

    Feb 15, 2014 | 8:32 pm

  4. al says:


    Feb 16, 2014 | 8:22 am

  5. Dreaming! says:

    Nice! I can imagine how yummy!

    Feb 16, 2014 | 9:06 am

  6. Elaine says:

    Wow…You always manage to pull off a classy meal for less! Luv the photos as usual!

    Feb 16, 2014 | 4:20 pm

  7. ami says:

    Your whole menu is right up my alley.

    Is the caviar pie as simple as you described it? No pepper or lemon juice?

    Feb 17, 2014 | 9:20 am

  8. Marketman says:

    ami, will post a more detailed “how-to” on caviar pie in the days ahead, got several emails from folks asking for more detail…

    Feb 17, 2014 | 9:48 am

  9. Teresa Z says:

    Yes MM, please post the how-to of these splendid appetizers.

    Feb 17, 2014 | 12:13 pm

  10. millet says:

    very nice!

    Feb 18, 2014 | 8:11 am

  11. stef says:

    Hi! Will be looking forward to how to on the caviar pie! Loving your website. Lovely photos as well :)

    Feb 25, 2014 | 9:11 pm


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