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.
Roasted red and yellow peppers.
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. :)