10 Jul2014


It was a casual dinner, and some of us were even dressed in shorts… But the table was gussied up just a bit and the food was certainly not everyday fare. My plate of salads and seafood to start.


A really colorful and utterly delicious heirloom tomato salad with a sprinkling of sea salt, drizzle of good extra-virgin olive oil and simply garnished with basil.


A beet salad made of roasted whole beets, peeled, then passed through a mandoline into thin slices that I laid on the bottom of the platter. I drizzled a bit of sherry vinegar and salt on the beets and covered that with plastic wrap and let it chill for an hour or two. I then peeled some oranges, sliced them into disks and laid that on top of the beets. Topped that with some julienned pear spritzed with lemon to help avoid oxidation (that didn’t work too well) and micro arugula.


A simple green salad with very fresh and crisp french beans (all this and herbs from Gejo’s Malipayon Farms) was dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette.


A platter of steamed large cross crab were the hit of the evening. I hadn’t planned on serving them, and wanted to get 2 large lobsters instead, but there weren’t any live lobsters at the Seaside market that morning and the cross crabs just looked so appealing so I bought those instead. Steamed them as soon as I got home and chilled them in the fridge before serving that evening with a mayonnaise, lemon, roasted garlic and dill sauce. Anyone who wanted good wine vinegar with raw garlic and salt got that as well. The crab were succulent, sweet and briny at the same time. Really delicious.


Some black tiger prawns, slathered in sweet butter, roasted garlic, salt, pepper and grilled over coals then garnished with chopped Italian parsley.


Another photo of the seafood choices.


Two of the four tomahawk steaks we grilled up for dinner that evening. Weighing in at well over a kilo each, these flintstone-like steaks either elicit amused smiles or feigned horror. I have only cooked this cut once before, for Father’s Day, and we enjoyed them so much we got them again (purchased at S&L Fine Foods). The steaks were from Australian Angus cows and were absolutely amazing, tender and tasty and perfect rare to medium-rare. We just seasoned them with salt 3 hours before cooking ( I like this whole salting in advance move of recent years) and added cracked black pepper, chopped fresh rosemary and olive oil and a bit more salt before putting them on the grill. As an added flavoring tactic, I cut a large white onion in half and wipe it across the grills to get just a hint of onion flavor on the meat.


We also served some baked potatoes, with some sides of butter, thick sour cream, chives and that dark stuff in the last container is actually lumpfish caviar or cheap fish roe. Yes, the caviar and sour cream and potato are a great mixture of textures and flavors.


Another shot to give you some idea just how darned large the tomahawk steaks were.


We never popped open the Veuve Clicquot because our guests brought along a couple of bottles of Dom Perignon and several bottles of Chateau de Gravillon. There was also a bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal which we are saving for another dinner with our generous guests.


The Teen was in charge of the dessert and she picked 9 cupcakes by Sonja with a few candles to blow out. :)


She also got a mango/chocolate/meringue cake that must have been 10 inches tall! Coffee and tea, chocolate, conversation, more wine and laughter ended a wonderful birthday dinner with friends.



  1. khrishyne says:

    malipayong adlawng natawhan Mr and Mrs MM!

    Jul 10, 2014 | 7:33 am


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  3. Footloose says:

    Vivid tempting colours. I can stop at a taco and the salads alone skipping the beets (I’m paranoid with red beets) but since I don’t want to intimidate the other guests by making them think I am more disciplined that them, I shall try a prawn, a crab claw and slice or two off the Bedrock rib but no lovely looking potato and since this is a celebration, several refills of champagne finishing with a slice of cake.

    The alimasag in front looks more surprised that crossed, partially covering its gape with a claw.

    Jul 10, 2014 | 9:12 am

  4. Khew says:

    Good if not better way to prevent pears from oxidising is to blanch them.

    Jul 10, 2014 | 10:13 am

  5. ami says:

    The cake is Mango Bravo from Conti’s. That is one mean looking steak. I’d transform into a cavewoman gnawing at that bone. I’ve never had crabs with mayonnaise sauce before so I’d give that a try next time.

    Jul 10, 2014 | 10:16 am

  6. Lou says:

    I want the cake and am normally not a cake person.

    Jul 10, 2014 | 10:16 am

  7. chrisb says:

    Belated birthday greetings to Mrs. MM!

    Jul 10, 2014 | 1:28 pm

  8. madgwenny says:

    Happy birthday, Mr. & Mrs. MM!

    Please continue to be a blessing to your avid readers. :)

    Jul 10, 2014 | 1:28 pm

  9. Knifenut says:

    Hey MM, where do you get the thick sour cream? The only sour cream I seem to see in Manila is the extremely runny nestle brand.

    Jul 10, 2014 | 2:50 pm

  10. Marketman says:

    Knifenut, Bulla sour cream from S&R, even I was surprised how thick it was! I suspect Rizal dairy does sour cream locally as well, but not sure how thick it is.

    Jul 10, 2014 | 3:23 pm

  11. joey @ 80 breakfasts says:

    Happy birthday Mrs. MM!! All the best to you! And that is one awesome dinner spread…everything looks delicious!

    Jul 10, 2014 | 4:09 pm

  12. Betchay says:

    Delicious dinner spread and yet simple to prepare!

    Jul 10, 2014 | 4:51 pm

  13. Chinky says:

    MM, can anyone just walk in S&L Foods? I’d like to get my hands on those tomahawks!

    Jul 10, 2014 | 7:21 pm

  14. Junb says:

    lovely spread!!!! the crab looks amazing! Just give me a sukang paombong and a Bagoong ;)

    Jul 10, 2014 | 8:52 pm

  15. Marketman says:

    Chinky, S&L has a retail butchery shop facing the street on Yakal Street, so yes, you can buy these retail. Wholesale accounts get a slight discount, but not big enough to make you feel bad. :)

    Jul 10, 2014 | 9:59 pm

  16. Thel from Florida says:

    AWESOME! I bet all dishes are so yummy! I cooked beets often–soooo good!

    Jul 10, 2014 | 11:23 pm

  17. dianne says:

    gorgeous salad tossers…

    Jul 11, 2014 | 12:06 am

  18. marilen says:

    Taking my cue from Footloose, on my plate – several slices of the heirloom tomatoes, single prawn, a sliver of the tomahawk steak and an entire crab – several glasses of the champagne bubbly to toast Mrs. MM !! Thank you, MM! Always lovely to ‘feast’ at the festive table you host.

    Jul 11, 2014 | 1:59 am

  19. millet says:

    love the salad servers. everything looks yummy!

    Jul 11, 2014 | 7:31 am

  20. Footloose says:

    Back for seconds. The huge ribs are indeed impressive and quite theatrical and have not been frenched like the ones I have come across in life which means most of the meat and gristle attached to the long expanse of bone (which is the selling point for me) have not been cleaned off for the sake of appearance and less-primitive presentation.

    In Brazil, I am denied the joy of picking off this muscles, fat and sinews spanning the rib spaces because they are cleanly sliced off the bones and sold separately as bananinha (tiny bananas). Same death-defying greasy treat but less effort and thus, less fun.

    Jul 11, 2014 | 10:08 am

  21. Kasseopeia says:

    Again, happy birthday Mrs MM!

    I pass S&L everyday on my way home from work. I think it’s time I popped in and get those humongous steaks for dinner. Rawr!

    And the tomato salad! The salad from the Friday the 13th EB haunts my dreams still, and here is another one to join it!

    Jul 11, 2014 | 1:15 pm

  22. jay says:

    the salad spoons look very familiar. have the same ones from south africa :)

    Jul 11, 2014 | 1:22 pm

  23. linda says:

    Those tomatoes are to die for! Belated Happy Birthday to Mrs. MM!

    Jul 11, 2014 | 3:18 pm

  24. ConnieC says:

    Never had a tomahawk steak ever in my life. How huge they are! but after slicing the meat off the bone, I’d love to sit in a corner in the kitchen and nibble on the meat remaining on the bone , the sinew included! Bet it would be so good as the nearer the bone the sweeter it is.

    Jul 11, 2014 | 6:37 pm

  25. Chinky says:

    Thanks, MM. Will go there and get my tomahawks!

    Jul 11, 2014 | 7:36 pm

  26. Avid Thinker says:

    Happy birthday Mrs. MM! May you have all the blessings, love and happiness in the world.

    Cheers! :=)

    Jul 11, 2014 | 9:30 pm

  27. bagito says:

    Yummy-looking surf and turf spread. Belated birthday greetings, Mr. & Mrs. MM!

    Jul 13, 2014 | 11:52 pm

  28. maria says:

    Gluten free yung mango/chocolate/meringue cake? Saan nabili?

    Jul 18, 2014 | 2:40 pm

  29. cucharatenedor says:

    This party looked absolutely perfect! The crabs do look very enticing. The simpler, the better! My Mama’s having her 50th birthday in October and I am scouting for ideas. One was to hire a caterer and go all-out. But after reading your post, boy, I’m having 2nd thoughts. An intimate dinner party might be a more meaningful way of celebrating a milestone. :) Enjoyed this post thoroughly!

    Jul 22, 2014 | 6:12 pm

  30. Marketman says:

    cucharatenedor, there was a time I would have done a formal plated sit-down dinner… but these days, more casual with luxurious food is more my speed… And I am nearly 50. :)

    Jul 22, 2014 | 7:00 pm

  31. Adobo Diaries says:

    Shouldn’t have read this at 3am. Groan!

    Jul 28, 2014 | 3:25 am


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