A Christmas Dinner with a Filipino Menu…


The first Christmas dinner this year had a Filipino menu in honor of a visiting balikbayan. The total guest list numbered around 20 people. Despite all the planning, the careful preparations, and tables set early, of course Mother Nature would choose to mess with the weather. So a last minute downpour meant a sudden retreat indoors, hastily transferring one of the dining tables and the bar before they were utterly soaked, and worst of all, figuring out how to get a roaring fire going in the barbecue to make a large paella and roast some chicken inasal… Yipes. The first dinner is always the toughest! As if that wasn’t disaster enough, I managed to break TWO digital cameras that afternoon or at least cause them nervous breakdowns and so the limited photos in this post. You will have to visualize the feast from the write-up…sorry about that! :)

The menu included several huge bowls of chicharon from Carcar, flown in that afternoon and incredibly fresh and delicious. This was served with suka with lots of siling labuyo. din2We also had thin slices of smoked tanguigue on toast as well as trays of lumpiang shanghai served with a sweet and sour sauce. For the Pinoy Buffet, we had a lechon cebu style, a 3-4 kilo red lapu-lapu that was baked with lemons, tomatoes, olives, onions and herbs, an enormous paella with lots of shellfish and sausages, chicken inasal, homemade acharra, bicol express, a tomato salad with red egg and tuyo and the chicken galantina. Dessert is the subject of the next post…stay tuned. My apologies for the dark fuzzy photo of the buffet…


16 Responses

  1. Yum! I had chicharon as one of the appetizers in my wedding :) The menu is getting me hungry! That lapu lapu sounds fantastic…can’t wait for the next post :)

    What are those leaves in the first picture where your dishes are laid on? Nice texture…

  2. aaahhh. i’m so hungry pa naman. chicharon, lechon, lumpia shanghai and bicol express… i’m in porky heaven. then chase it down with a glass of coke with lots of ice…

  3. Conventional fare nothing fusion. Paella is great food for Christmas, it goes well with the Holiday. It reminds me of our fiesta foods back then.

  4. Joey, the leaves are kale…small leaves of kale that do have a terrific texture and color. Laid on a silver tray, they made an interesting “garnish”… Mandy, an ice cold glass of coke…you got it…somehow wine and this menu doesn’t seem to work… Maria Clara et al…yup, fiesta food is a good way to describe it!

  5. MM, somehow, despite its being pinoy na pinoy and sinful (huge bowls of chicharon carcar! i’m so envious!), your menu does not sound “nakaka-umay”. i re-read your menu and realized it’s probably because there’s very little of the “brown stuff” – you know, the usual suspects: kare-kare, adobo, mechado, and all the saucy pinoy fiesta favorites. nothing wrong with these, i love them except when they’re put all together on the buffet table and compete to be “main course of the night”. your menu is very well-chosen and balanced, and am sure made the guests want to savor everything…you made the pinoy buffet exciting again. thanks, MM! waiting for the dessert buffet….

  6. Just wanted to say “Thank You!”!

    I have been an ardent fan and daily reader of your blog. Great ideas!

    Keep up the good work and happy holidays to you and your family.

  7. Hi MM! Wow, your lumpia looked really good. By any chance, would you have a recipe of Lumpia Shanghai? I badly need one. I’m going to a friend’s house for Christmas and they want me to bring Lumpia. My friends are Caucasian so I was quite taken aback when they requested for it. Would you have a recipe for me? Thanks in advance.
    Will try to make the Chicken Galantina for New Year. Thanks for the wonderful blog!
    Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to you, your family and readers.



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