Luxurious but not stuffy. That’s what we aim for on Christmas Eve. And hopefully, crew done by 9:30 or 10:00 so they can make it to Mass nearby if they want. Christmas dinner started off with a toast — some very well chilled Taittinger champagne in classic crystal saucer.
Next a dish of homemade salmon gravlax served on pumpernickle bread and a dill and honey mustard sauce. We had made this a week or more before, and were just enjoying the most prime piece of the batch… Leftovers were made into scrambled eggs with salmon for Christmas morning brunch…
We casually laid out a large platter of salmon so guests could take as much or as little as they wanted.
On the buffet table were just three items for the main event. Roast Prime Rib, mushroom risotto and asparagus with hollandaise sauce.
If you wanted to be more european, you could have the mushroom risotto as a starter… spreading it relatively thinly on your plate to cool it a bit, while consuming it from edge to center… But in true pinoy fashion, I got a plate of beef and risotto at the same time! :) What’s the big deal with the beef? It was a four rib piece of Meyer Farms humanely raised, Angus Prime Rib. In other words, supposedly some of the best U.S. beef commercially available in the Philippines. It was absolutely wonderful and to describe it as MELT-IN-YOUR-MOUTH seems cliched, but that’s exactly what it was like. On the flavor side, it wasn’t the most flavorful beef I have had, but perhaps I should have just added more salt before cooking it to bring that all out…
This risotto was particularly good, made with the dwindling stocks of wild foraged dried mushrooms from Bettyq! A guest who wasn’t keen on beef (more veggies and poultry) was ecstatic to have this as her main course with the asparagus on the side.
Luckily, I found some medium thick asparagus at the markets that day, and these went very well with the hollandaise sauce.
A simple salad of greens and pomegranates with a vinaigrette dressing (sorry, forgot to take photo BEFORE eating it)…
…followed by a choice of fresh fruit, a cheesecake with fresh strawberries (a Teen request), or Sister’s fruitcake sent in someone’s luggage. Coffee or tea. Done. :)