For most Filipino families, preparing Noche Buena or Christmas Eve dinner is just as special as partaking in the actual feast. Proof is how every Filipino family seems to have its own specialty—be it a rich and saucy caldereta, mechado, or afritada, even the classic adobo, or the sweet Pinoy spaghetti starring on the dinner table.
This year, however, just in case you want to put a twist to dishes for Noche Buena, multi-awarded Chef Myrna Segismundo has a few ideas to share this Christmas.
Chef Myrna, as she is fondly called, is best known as a passionate advocate of Filipino cuisines. She has whipped up dishes for corporate dining hotels in Manila and New York and carried the Filipino flag in food festivals in Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Japan, India, Israel and the United States. Just in October, Chef Myrna, alongside popular Chef Margarita Fores, demonstrated how to prepare Filipino classic kinilaw for the participants of Madrid Fusion in Manila, the very first time the prestigious and biggest gastronomy congress of the world was held outside Spain.
Needless to say, this menu below from Chef Myrna will be a treat for the Holidays. But, don’t let her expertise intimidate you for there is not a single entry in the dishes that will exceed a six-step procedure, with the help of topnotch appliance brands Sub-zero and Wolf Philippines. Merry cooking!
The anti-umay dish
1/4 kilo fresh tanguigue fillet sliced sashimi style
1/3 cup coconut vinegar
1/4 cup fresh calamansi juice
2 tbsp ginger, minced
1 medium-sized white onion, minced
1 tablespoon bagoong balayan (to taste)
Garnish of seasonal fruits and micro greens
1. In a bowl, combine vinegar and fish fillets, toss, and squeeze lightly to discard acid wash. Transfer fish to another bowl.
2. Toss in calamansi juice, ginger and onion, then season with bagoong balayan.
3. Arrang fillets on a serving platter and garnish with seasonal fruits and micro greens.
3 to 4 cups toasted bread cubes
2 cups fresh cream seasoned with salt and pepper
1. Preheat your oven to 300 degree Fahrenheit.
2. Clean the inner cavity of the pumpkin by scraping off the seeds and stringy fibers from the inner portion of the pumpkin cavity.
3. Place the toasted breadcrumbs in the cavity and pour the fresh cream over the bread cubes.
4. Bake the pumpkin, uncovered, until soft to touch for about an hour. Allow to cool before serving.
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon rosemary salt and pepper rub
80 grams garlic cloves tossed in a little olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper
1. Rub the crown of pork with olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Refrigerate overnight covered with foil or cling wrap.
2. Preheat your oven to 300 degree Fahrenheit (use “bake” mode when using Wolf oven).
3. Place the crown of pork on a roasting pan with rack.
4. Roast the pork for about 2 hours and 30 minutes to 3 hours until tender. Change mode to convention broil and cook for about 10 minutes to brown the outer surface of the pork. Set aside and allow to cool before carving for service.
5. You may roast the garlic cloves together with the pork but remove when soft and caramelized, about 30 minutes.
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tablespoon butter
2 pieces ripe banana, each halved and sliced into 4 horizontal pieces juice from 1 piece fresh dalandan
4 pieces crepes
1 1/2 ounce cognac vanilla gelato
1. Preheat Teflon or flambé plan over medium flame.
2. Dust sugar over pan and caramelize.
3. Add the butter and bananas and continue stirring mixture for half a minute, then squeeze dalandan juice over mixture.
4. Raise heat to high, then tilt pan slightly towards the flames. Pour the cognac into the pan and ignite alcohol.
5. Turn off the heat and wait for the flames to die.
6. Proceed to plate the crepes, flambéed fruits and vanilla gelato.