29 Dec2014


The evening of our annual Crew Christmas Party, we also had to entertain Mrs. MM’s cousins who had flown in from Italy, so we had some tapas and a soup while we fended for ourselves, and then joined the crew for the main meal and festivities. The main meal had lechon, several homemade paellas and all sorts of other goodies.


Our dining table was covered in a freshly pressed red linen tablecloth, and we placed yellow orange roses, some fringed with red. There was a lot less cutlery required for this meal and pretty much it was self-service as well.


The yellow mustard plates matched nicely with the tablecloth and the roses which I had purchased at 530am in Dimasalang, before a brave trip to Divisoria at 630am to get fruit in bulk for guests at that night’s party. It was worth braving the crowds, as spectacular grapes were purchased for just PHP1,500 a case of roughly 9.5 kilos (PHP1,100 for less desirable types of grapes) or roughly PHP160 a kilo. The same grapes were selling for nearly PHP400 a kilo in Makati groceries. Apples and oranges were also extremely well priced. We got out of there by 730am unscathed by the incredible crowds. Anything for a bargain, it’s in my DNA.


Not exactly a “tapas” but I put out a dish of blanched and chilled green beans with a shallot vinaigrette.


Homemade boquerones.


Roasted red and yellow peppers.


Kalamata olives.


Jamon serrano (again!) — the leg just keeps going and going and going…


A spinach and artichoke dip.


Cold steamed or braised leeks with mustard vinaigrette (these were terrific and so darned easy to make) — a dish I had enjoyed in Paris and wanted to re-create with much success.


Some new potatoes with olive oil and paprika.


Badly executed calamares. Bordered on evil, actually.


Another dish from Paris I wanted to try… but no recipe so I was flying blind — instead of smoked trout I used tinapang bangus in mashed potatoes over green puy lentils in a vinaigrette with liberal amounts of olive oil. The result? Pretty darned good. More on the leeks and this recipe in the days ahead so you can try it for yourselves!

We also had a simple but incredibly satisfying Sopa de Cartuja to warm the cockles…

I don’t have photos of the party this year but we had close to 50 folks in our home for the Crew Christmas party, and when it was over there were tons of prizes, tons of gifts, lots of lechon and other main course dishes, desserts, fruit and chocolates/sweets to take home to ensure that everyone would have a wonderful noche buena the following night. Mission accomplished. :)



  1. Rona Y says:

    re: cutlery, what made you go with American-style for this dinner vs European-style for the bigger dinners?

    I’m sorry there were no photos of the crew party this year. They always have so much fun!

    Dec 29, 2014 | 5:44 am


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  3. Connie C says:

    What happened to the calamares? Oil/ skillet not hot enough and got overwhelmed for what was thrown into the pan?

    Dec 29, 2014 | 6:33 am

  4. Marketman says:

    Connie C, actually, I think the pan/oil was TOO HOT, and the calamares TOO TINY so they got singed before we could fish them out… :)

    Rona Y, this set of silver has the design on the top, hence this type of setting. The previous set had the design on the back, thus it was set “upside down” to highlight the design. We were so crazed I forgot to take photos of the crew party, but besides the lack of dance numbers which we almost always have, it was a festive occasion.

    I didn’t notice it then, but the tapas them and the red and yellow table were really rather Iberian, no? :)

    Dec 29, 2014 | 6:47 am

  5. Khew says:

    Georg Jensen silver?

    Dec 29, 2014 | 8:53 am

  6. Marketman says:

    Khew, not quite, but often mistaken for. The pattern is Royal Danish, by International Silver. It’s sterling, and the pattern was introduced in 1939, and is made up until now… The set was a generous gift from family several years ago.

    Dec 29, 2014 | 2:55 pm


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