Here is a decadent, delicious and totally fattening way to start off a weekend of good eatingâ€¦ merienda on the veranda with three fantastic optionsâ€¦ first, a caviar pie made up of cream cheese, chopped eggs, and black fish roe that is plastered all along the external part of the â€œpieâ€ with some snuck into the middle as well. This little black wonder is just 4 inches in diameter but whoa! is it seriously over the top. All of these pica-picaâ€™s were provided by a friend, and I donâ€™t know where they ordered them from, but I suspect they are relatively easy to make at home. For this one, you will need cream cheese, chopped boiled eggs, some salt and pepper, and two tins of black fish roe, available from Santis delicatessen for a few hundred pesos each. Do not use premium quality caviar, it would be wasted with the cream cheese. Always enjoy top quality caviar on its own. You can also add some chopped onions if you like and some lemons as garnishing. On a piece of toast or sliced French bread, this was a terrific way to start the weekend of eatingâ€¦ At say PHP1,000 to make, it easily served 8-10 persons with other things on offer, so seen from that light, it doesnâ€™t have to be totally extravagant at PHP125 per personâ€¦and enjoy it only once in a while.
Now if you throw in a bottle of good champagne, we are definitely starting to go over the top. Aside from the caviar pie, there was a salmon and caper pie as well. Into the cream cheese is mixed in chopped smoked salmon, some fresh dill and chopped capers and this is garnished with whole capers. This should also be relatively easy to do at home, and if you do it yourself, you can even add more salmon to really ramp up the flavor! This pie can be a bit salty as the smoked salmon is salty on its own so you need to taste as you go to make sure you have the right balance of richness and saltiness. Perhaps the capers also added to the salt quotient. rinse your capers and dry them before using. Alternating one of these with one of the caviar pies is heaven on a lazy Saturday afternoonâ€¦
As if the first two pies arenâ€™ t enough, why not throw in a third one made with cream cheese, chopped walnuts, basil pesto and some soft sun-dried tomatoes? This, the vegetarian version, is meant to make you feel like you are eating healthyâ€¦ I liked the mixtures of flavors and textures on this pie/dip and I will disclose that I ate at least 10 pieces of bread with large amounts of these three pies slathered on. And wait till you see what meal I had to cook up for dinner just an hour or two laterâ€¦ I donâ€™t encourage most folks to partake in such a feast of a merienda more than once or twice a year but if you have a reason to celebrate, go for it!