12.12 days of Christmas: Healthy recipes to try for holiday parties at home

MANILA, Philippines — Christmas is just around the corner, and with the pandemic still ongoing, Filipinos are turning their sights to a lot more home-cooking as the holidays roll by.

Being healthy has taken top priority these days, especially with a pandemic still raging on. Apart from the usual lechon, ham and sugar-loaded desserts, it’s about time to add more greens, grains and fiber on your holiday spread. Learn to substitute rich ingredients like sugar with muscovado for your dessert topping, or brown rice with the regular rice for that indulgent black paella.

Here are some recipes including ones from celebrated chefs you can make for a greener and healthier Noche Buena.

Guilt-free Christmas dishes from Sarsa’s Chef JP Anglo

From left: Tuna Soba Noodles, Tuna Arroz Caldo

Mega Tuna/Released

Mega Tuna brand ambassador Chef JP Anglo shared exclusive Christmas recipes prepared using the popular tuna brand.

Formulated for those who want to embrace a healthy lifestyle, during and after the Christmas season, Mega Tuna does not have extenders and comes in four different variants to every mood and appetite — Flakes in Oil, Hot and Spicy, Spanish Style and Sweet and Spicy.

Tuna Arroz Caldo – Spanish Style Tuna

Ingredients:

*rice-350g or brown rice

*chicharon -150g

*fresh garlic -20g

*ginger -50g

*friend garlic-30g

*spring onion -30g

*black pepper -5g

*patis -20ml

*kalamansi-4pcs

*cooking oil- 4 tbsp

Procedure:

1. In a pot, add some oil, then add the oil of the tuna, sautee onions ginger and garlic (last is garlic)

2. Add about a liter of water and then add your cooked rice, half of your tuna and bring to a boil. Keep stirring pot and cook for 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Add the fish sauce.

4. To plate, pour arroz caldo in bowl, add your tuna on top, sprinkle with spring onions, fried garlic, chicharon and black pepper.

5. Add hard boiled egg (optional)

Tuna Soba Noodles – Sweet & Spicy Tuna

Ingredients:

*soba noodles -500g

*sessame oil-30ml

*sessame seed-20g

*oyster sauce-60ml

*salt-5g

*fried egg-3pcs

*chilli garlic -optional

Procedure:

1. Cook soba noodles in hot water. Make sure not to overcook your soba noodles.

2. Toss all your ingredients with the noodles. Add only half your tuna and some of the oil to add flavor to the noodles.

3. To plate, top with the remaining tuna, fried garljc, spring onions and fried egg.

Spicy Tuna Salad – Hot & Spicy

Ingredients:

*chili powder -5g

*Japanese mayo-250g

*fresh garlic -20g

*grilled cherry tomatoes -100g

*salad -400g

*salt-0.5g

Procedure:

1. In a bowl, mix everything together and plate.

2. Garnish with chili leaves and spring onion (optional) or nori flakes (optional)

Tuna Egg Sandwich – Flakes in Oil

Ingredients:

*bread -1pack

*hard boiled egg -4pcs

*Japanese mayo -250g

*Parmesan cheese -100g

*Curry powder -10g

*sugar white -5g

*white pepper -0.5g

*red onion -100g

*chopped tomatoes -100g

*butter- 2 tbsp

Procedure:

1. In a bowl, mix tuna, tomato, red onion.

2. In a bowl, mixed all other ingredients (except bread).

3. Smear butter on bread and cook on a pan or toast in the toaster/ oven.

4. To assemble, egg mix first and then tuna on top. You can add some lettuce leaves (optional) or arugula (optional).

Deck the dishes with truffle

One way to level up your holiday meals is with truffle oil and sauce, a highly versatile ingredient that can significantly enhance the flavor and aroma of a wide variety of dishes.

Photo release

The approaching holiday season gives us the opportunity to celebrate all the things we are thankful with our families, despite a long and challenging year. Of course, meals are a special part of a Filipino family celebration and this year, why not find ways to make them extra special?

One way to level up your holiday meals is with truffle oil and sauce, a highly versatile ingredient that can significantly enhance the flavor and aroma of a wide variety of dishes. This has been used by restaurants to give ordinary recipes an extra boost in flavor and a unique twist.

Umbria Terra Di Tartufi, an Italian brand distributed by Dygen Food Ventures Inc., has a roster of artisan products including truffle oils and sauces are made with pure ingredients from the luxuriant area of Valnerina, the green heart of Italy, and do not contain any artificial colors, additives, or preservatives. Their products were created with years of research on the unique and authentic flavor of the truffle. Umbria Terra Di Tartufi has three variants of truffle oils and sauces – White Truffle Oil, Original Black Truffle Sauce and Black Truffle Sauce 5%. Dyna Drug Corporation, which offers globally-curated healthy products, are found at e-commerce site, goodwill.market.

White truffle oil

The brand’s white truffle oil is a condiment based on olive oil, dehydrated Bianchetto truffle and white truffle aroma. It has a more delicate flavor with a slight garlicky taste and a hint of pepper. It is used almost exclusively as a finishing oil, meaning it is added to a dish near or at the end of preparation, as its potency is heat-sensitive and not suitable as a cooking oil.

A few drops of white truffle oil can already go a long way towards enhancing the flavor of dishes. It works best mixed in fresh with pasta recipes and risotto, so if you will be serving spaghetti or carbonara this Christmas, try drizzling some white truffle oil. It also goes great with fish and chicken recipes such as chicken wings, fish fillet, or salmon and scallops and even simple toasted bread.

You can also simply pour some white truffle oil over movie snacks such as popcorn, French fries, or pizza, and you can even mix it with ketchup, mayonnaise, or hummus to make your holiday movie marathons even more extra. It can also be used to dress salads and soups to give them extra flavor.

Black truffle sauce

Meanwhile, black truffle has a more intense and robust flavor, which some may describe as more earthy and nutty with some chocolate notes. The brand’s black truffle sauce is made with fresh Champignon mushrooms, extra virgin olive oil, black olives, and the natural flavor of black summer truffle. Truffle sauces are heated up and mixed with other ingredients.

The black truffle sauce comes ready to use, and you can enhance its taste even more by sauteing some garlic and oil, letting it cool and then pouring the product contained in the jar.

Try experimenting with black truffle if you want to change up your Noche Buena or Media Noche line up a little. To use original black truffle sauce, simply heat it up and mix with your choice of pasta, meat, fish, potatoes, roasted vegetables, or salad, and you get an effortlessly luxurious meal. It is perfect for garnishing appetizers and canapés or for enhancing dishes with a delicate and fine flavor like pasta, meat or fish. If you want, you can even add some drops of fresh cooking cream.

The black truffle sauce also comes in a 5% variant, which is a special dressing sauce with intense flavor, naturally darker color and a high-quality selection of mushrooms and a special blend of spices. This variant is a perfect match both for Western and Eastern cuisines. A little goes a long way with this product and do not to heat it too much lest you lessen its aroma, so it’s best to add it towards the end of preparation. Try it when cooking shrimps or Risotto for a delicious flavor.

Truffle is a great and easy way to add a unique flavor and aroma to a lot of dishes to make your holiday celebrations extra special, so don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen.

Kitchen-tested recipes

Things may have been so different the past few months, but there’s one thing that won’t change: The Christmas season remains to be the most hopeful time of the year when you gather ‘round the table with your loved ones enjoying a spread of eats and treats that have been made from the heart.

While the holiday celebrations may be scaled back for everyone’s health and safety, the Christmas celebrations at home can still be merrier and brighter by carefully preparing a delicious menu that the entire family will love. Here are three recipes from The Maya Kitchen that can make your Christmas spread extra delightful this season.

Marseille Seafood Soup

This is a light and flavorful French soup that’s versatile enough that can include your family’s preferred seafood—it can be shrimp, squid, or clams, your call. The Maya Kitchen’s take comes out with a cheery ochre color from saffron powder.

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Ingredients:

4 pieces tomatoes

3 mugs fish broth

1 mug fish fillet, sliced into chunks

1 mug seafood (you can use shrimps, clams, squid or whatever you prefer)

1 teaspoon Pernod alcohol (you can use a teacup of diced fennel as a substitute, but unfortunately no local alcohols has the same taste)

1 piece small onion, sliced

1/3 teaspoon saffron powder

Instructions:

1. Choose a combination of your favorite kinds of seafood and fish. Just make sure to remove the bones, skin and shells.

2. Peel tomatoes. Slice them into four wedges.

3. In a large pot heat your broth and bring to a boil. Set a handful of seafood aside. Add tomatoes, fish chunks and the rest of your ingredients to your broth.

4. Reduce heat to low and cook for 30minutes without covering your pot to allow your liquid to reduce.

5. After 30minutes, remove from heat, and pour the soup in a blender (you might have to do this few times depending on the amount of soup). Blend well on full power until soup is smooth.

6. Pour soup back into the pot through a fine strainer. Use a wooden spoon to help press the soup through the strainer, allowing all the liquid through.

7. Set the fleshy residue that is left in the strainer aside. Add the rest of your seafood into the soup, along with the Pernod, and pepper to taste. Stir and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Note: To increase number of serving, simply multiply the ingredients measurements by the number of guests.

Lechon Belly with Bacon Saffron Rice Stuffing

As Noche Buena may be a bit pared down this year, ordering a whole lechon seems too much for a single household. Your family can opt to prepare Lechon Belly with Bacon Saffron Rice Stuffing, which combines the juicy tenderness of pork belly and the irresistible crispiness of lechon, plus some earthy and sweet saffron rice stuffing surprise.

Photo release

Ingredients:

2.5-3 kilos boneless whole pork belly slab

2-3 tablespoons rock salt, enough for rubbing

2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 ½ tablespoons freshly pan roasted black peppercorns, crushed

Rice stuffing:

¼ cup olive oil

200 grams picnic bacon, cut into small cubes

2 pieces medium-sized onions, finely chopped

1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped

5 cups cooked rice (sticky or Japanese rice)

2-3 small sachets saffron powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons curly parsley, finely chopped

zest of 1 lemon annatto oil (heat up ¼ cup annatto seeds in 1/3 cup olive oil)

Instructions:

1. In a large tray, lay flat the pork belly skin side down then prick or cut all the meat portion using the tip of a sharp knife then season or rub the meat on both sides with rock salt, garlic, ground pepper and freshly pan roasted crushed whole black peppercorns.

2. Place and chill in the refrigerator 1 to 2 hours without cover. Remove seasoned belly from the refrigerator and sew up both ends of the belly using an over-sized needle with the use of butcher’s twine or any kitchen twine until it looks like a body of a “lechon.”

3. Place again inside the refrigerator until ready for stuffing.

To make rice stuffing:

1. Heat oil in a pan and pan fry bacon until golden brown.

2. Add in onions and garlic and pan and sauté until aromatic.

3. Toss in cooked rice and give a few stir until the rice is fully covered with the sautéed ingredients.

4. Season with saffron powder, salt, parsley and zest of lemon.

5. Continue mixing the rice until the lemon is aromatic.

6. Turn off heat and cool the rice. Set aside for later use.

To assemble:

1. Get the sewn pork belly and stuffed with the prepared bacon saffron rice stuffing.

2. Enclose both ends of the stuffed pork belly with foil and cover the entire top of the pork belly with foil.

3. Arrange in a roasting pan and roast in a preheated oven 350°F/177°C for about an hour then turn up heat to 375°F/190°C removing the foil on both ends, every 30 minutes’ brush belly with prepared annatto oil.

4. After an hour turn up heat again to 400°F/204°C and continue roasting until the skin of the pork belly gives a crackling sound when knocked.

5. Remove belly lechon from the oven and rest for 10 to 15 minutes before chopping.

Yield: 10-15 servings

Assorted Mini Bibingka

This time, do something beyond traditional and get adventurous in the kitchen. Make your bibingka with ube, buko pandan, coffee, or chocolate flavors. You can even take some of your bibingka up a notch by topping it with leche flan for a sweet, creamy finish or slices of salted egg for a savory kick. .

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Ingredients:

  • 4 pieces eggs
  • 1 pack Maya Original Fluffy n’ Tasty Hotcake Mix 200 grams
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice flour
  • ¼ cup fresh milk
  • ¼ cup coconut cream store bought
  • ¼ cup coconut milk store bought
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • Different flavorings and toppings as desired ube flavoring, buko pandan flavoring, instant coffee powder, leche flan, chocolate ganache, etc.
  • salted egg, sliced
  • cheese sliced or grated
  • banana leaves for lining of pans (optional)
  • grated coconut optional

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350?F/177?C. Line mamon molder or 6-holes 8oz muffin pans with banana leaves. Set aside.

2. In a bowl beat eggs, then add hotcake mix, rice flour, sugar, milk, coconut milk, coconut cream, and melted butter. Mix well. Fold in desired flavors.

3. Fill up to ¾ of the mamon molder or muffin pans with the bibingka mixture. Bake bibingka for 10 to 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Note: In the middle of baking, around 5 to 6 minutes of baking, gently take the half-baked bibingka and top it up with sliced salted egg and sliced or grated cheese. Then put it back in the oven to completely bake the bibingka.

Serve with butter on top and grated coconut on side.

Yield: 8-10 pieces

Make holidays sparkle with sparkling juices

All three sparkling juices are easy to mix with other beverages, so you could concoct a variety of unique bubbly mocktails to impress your family.

Photo release

The holiday season of 2020 is so different from past years. Christmas parties and gatherings would be turned into online celebrations and gifts are now bought from online stores. So much has changed but one thing remains the same — the love for family.

There is still so much to celebrate and be thankful for, even at home. If you want the entire family to join the fun, Welch’s has a line of Sparkling Juices that are fizzy but guilt-free. Welch’s Sparkling Juices — Sparkling Red Grape, Sparkling White Grape, and its newest addition this year, the Sparkling Rosè — are bubbly and 100% alcohol-free, making it perfect for both kids and adults, even expecting mommies, too.

Pressed from fresh Concord and Niagara grapes across America by farmer-families, this 150-year tradition has made the brand one of the most loved beverages in the world, especially by Filipino families. On the other hand, Sparkling Rosè has a light, refreshing taste, and the sweetness of a ripe summer fruit. Pretty in its pink bottle, it looks great in any online party you may host at home. All three sparkling juices are easy to mix with other beverages, so you could concoct a variety of unique bubbly mocktails to impress your family.

Each bottle makes for a convenient Christmas gift, so you can have it delivered to the homes of your friends, relatives and co-workers to lift up everyone’s spirits, no pun intended.

Mistletoe Mocktini

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups water

1 bag cranberry tea

½ cup orange juice

2 tsp lemon juice

2 cups Cranberry Sparkling Cocktail

Procedure:

1. Microwave water on high for two minutes in a microwave safe dish. Add the tea and steep for five minutes. Cool completely.

2. Mix together chilled cranberry tea, orange juice, lemon juice and Cranberry Sparkling Cocktail.

Sparkling Holiday Punch

Add some sparkle to your next holiday party. Garnish with cinnamon sticks or fruit-filled ice cubes to make it extra-festive. Make it the day before your event so you can relax and have fun.

Ingredients:

3 cups of cold water

¾ cups sugar

5 cinnamon sticks

1 bottle Welch’s Sparkling Red or Sparkling White Grape Juice Cocktail, chilled

1 cup orange juice

½ cup lemon juice

3 bottles (16 oz. each) lemon-lime soda, chilled

Ice cubes made with Sparkling Red or Sparkling White Grape Juice Cocktail

Procedure:

1. In medium saucepan, combine water, sugar and cinnamon sticks to make cinnamon syrup. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

2. Heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks, cover and refrigerate two hours.

3. In a large punch bowl, combine cinnamon syrup, Sparkling Red or Sparkling White Grape Juice Cocktail, orange juice, lemon juice and soda.

4. Add ice cubes. If desired, garnish punch with additional cinnamon sticks or float fruit-filled ice cubes, orange, lemon or lime slices.

Passion & Pandan Cocktail by Run Rabbit Run and Bitters & Love

This cocktail is a collaboration between Singaporean and Filipino bartenders.

Singapore Tourism Board/Released

Ingredients:

  • 45ml Glendronach 12
  • 5ml Maraschino liqueur
  • 5ml Aperol
  • 5ml Campari
  • 15ml Sweet Vermouth
  • 10ml Pandan Essence
  • Half Sugar Cube
  • 1 dash orange bitters

Instructions:

Stir and strain, garnish with fresh pandan leaf and maraschino cherry

Festive baking projects

In time for Christmas, Gardenia recently launched its new fruitcake-inspired Festival Loaf and Sourdough Healthy Grain Loaf.

For those who want to try baking something special for Christmas, try these recipes:

Choco Marbled Brioche

Bake the loaf until it is well risen and deep golden for 35 to 40 minutes.

Joy of Baking/Released

Instructions:

1. One 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 7 cm) loaf pan buttered and the bottom lined with a rectangle of parchment of buttered wax paper cut to fit.

2. To make the brioche dough, heat the milk in a small saucepan until just lukewarm, about 11o F (45 C). Pour the milk into a small rubber spatula to stir in 1 cup of the flour thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes. The mixture will become bubbly and somewhat risen.

3. Combine the butter, sugar, salt, egg, egg yolk, lemon zest, and rum in a mixer bowl fitted with the dough hook attachment. Knead until the butter is evenly distributed through-out the resulting liquid. At this point the mixture may appear separated – it will come together soon as some of the flour is added.

4. Add the remaining flour and knead again until the flour is completely incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Use a thin-bladed metal spatula to scrape down the inside of the bowl. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

5. Invert the bowl over a floured work surface to turn out the dough. Use a bench scraper to fold the dough over on itself 5 to 6 times, adding pinches of flour if necessary, until it is slightly more elastic. Use a bench scraper or knife to divide the dough into 3 equal pieces.

6. Return one piece of the dough to the bowl. Cover the remaining pieces of dough with a dish towel or plastic wrap.

7. To prepare the Chocolate Enrichment, combine the water, baking soda, and cooled chocolate. Scrape the chocolate mixture into the food processor bowl and pulse 3 to 4 times to incorporate. Add the flour and pulse continuously for 10 seconds or until the dough is smooth. Invert the food processor bowl over a floured work surface to turn out the dough. Carefully remove the blade and transfer any dough on it to the surface. Use a bench scraper to fold the chocolate dough over on itself 5 to 6 times, adding pinches of flour if necessary until it is slightly more elastic.

8. Flour a cutting board and set it aside. Press one of the pieces of the plain dough into a 5 inch square and place it on the cutting board. Repeat with remaining piece of plain dough. The square and the stacking don’t need to be perfectly precise.

9. Use a knife or a bench scraper to cut the stacked dough into 3 strips each about 1 ¾ inches wide. Then cut across one of the strips making ten ½ inch pieces. Slide the cut pieces of dough into a bowl. Repeat the remaining strip of dough.

10. Slide your hands, palms upward, under the pieces of dough in the bowl and toss them gently a few times like a salad.

11. Sprinkle the pieces of dough in the bowl with 1 tsp of water to make them slightly sticky. Gently press and squeeze the dough together into a cohesive ball. Inver the dough onto a floured work surface and press it into a thick 4 x 8 inch rectangle. Place the rectangle of dough in the prepared pan and gently press it to fill the pan completely.

12. Cover the pan with buttered plastic wrap and let the dough rise about 1 inch over the top of the pan, for 1 to 2 hours. Depending on the temperature of the room.

13. About 20 minutes before the loaf is fully risen, set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 F ( 180 C).

14. Bake the loaf until it is well risen and deep golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool the loaf in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes then unmold it and finish cooling it on its side to prevent it from compressing and becoming heavy.

Yellow Cake with Choco Frosting

Cakes can be wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and kept at room temperature for up to one day.

Joy of Baking/Released

Instructions:

1. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven 350 degrees. Grease two (2) 9 inch round pans, line with parchment paper, greased parchment, and flour pans. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 ½ cups sugar together in large bowl. In medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, oil, vanilla, and egg yolks.

2. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip whites to soft billowy mounds, about 1 minute. Gradually add remaining ¼ cup sugar and whip until glossy, stiff peaks forms 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl and set aside.

3. Add flour mixture to now empty mixer bowl. With mixer on low speed, gradually pour in butter mixture and mix until almost incorporated (a few streaks of dry flour will remain) about 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl and beat on medium-low speed until smooth and fully incorporated, 10 to 15 seconds.

4. Using rubber spatula, stir one third of whites into batter, then add remaining two thirds of whites and gently fold into batter until no white streaks remain. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, smooth tops with rubber spatula, and gently tap pans on counter to release air bubbles.

5. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean 20 to 22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cakes cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, discard parchment, and let cool completely, about 2 hours, before frosting. (Cakes can be wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and kept at room temperature for up to 1 day. Wrapped tightly in plastic, then aluminum foil. Cakes can be frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost cakes at room temperature before unwrapping and frosting.)

6. For the frosting: Process butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed. Add corn syrup and vanilla and process until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Scrape down bowl, then add chocolate and process until smooth and creamy, 10 to 15 seconds (Frosting can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 hours before frosting cake or refrigerated for up to 3 days. If refrigerated, let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using.)

7. Line edges of cake platter with 4 strips of parchment paper to keep platter clean. Place 1 cake layer on prepared platter. Place about 1 ½ cups frosting in center of cake layer right to edge of cake. Place second cake layer on top, making sure layers are aligned, then frost top in same manner as first layer, this time spreading frosting until slightly over edge. Gather more frosting on top of spatula and gently spread icing onto side of cake. Smooth frosting by gently running edge of spatula around cake and leveling ridge that forms around top edge, or create billows by pressing back of spoon into frosting and twirling spoon as you lift away. Carefully pull out pieces of parchment from beneath cake before serving. (Assembled cake can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Macaroni salads with twists

Even if the way we celebrate Christmas this year will be different, that doesn’t mean we can’t make it memorable.

To make it extra special, popular mayonnaise brand Lady’s Choice recently launched its Mac-A-Sama kit for gift-giving or intimate gatherings. Here are some recipes you can try.

Creamy Sweet Macaroni Salad

This sweeter blend of the macaroni salad is easy-to-make. Just cook, chop and combine.

Photo release

Ingredients:

400 ml pack macaroni

470 ml jar Lady’s Choice mayonnaise

300 ml condensed milk

250 ml all-purpose cream

1 can fruit cocktail drained

1 pack diced cheese

1 bottle nata de coco

1 bottle kaong drained

Steps:

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well and set aside.

2. Chop the ingredients

3. Combine mayonnaise with all the ingredients, condensed milk and all-purpose cream in a bowl. Mix well.

4. Serve chilled.

Creamy Chicken Macaroni Salad

This creamier blend of the macaroni salad is easy-to-make. Just cook, chop and combine.

Photo release

Ingredients:

470 ml mayonnaise

200 grams macaroni

1/4 cup minced carrot

1 tbsp finely chopped onion

1/3 cup pickle relish

2/3 cup pineapple tidbits, drained and sliced

2/3 cup cooked shredded chicken breast fillet

2 tbsps sugar

fine salt to taste

ground black pepper to taste

Steps:

1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Rinse under running water and drain well. Set aside.

2. Chop the ingredients (carrots, onions, pickle relish, pineapple, and chicken).

3. Combine the ingredients and fold-in with mayonnaise, then toss well. Season with sugar, salt and pepper to taste.

4. Chill before serving.

Beef Brisket Bao

Celebrity couple Solenn Heussaff and Nico Bolzico recreate Asia’s 2017 Best Female Chef May Chow’sBeef Brisket Bao recipe (right).

HKTB/Released

Early this year, AIA Philam Life launched their latest protection product, AIA Med Assist, as part of its mission of racing against risk to protect every family and to address the protection gap in the country.

The product, launched with celebrity influencer Nico Bolzico, was designed to help customers with their medical expenses during hospitalization. It was initially offered to adults aged 18 to 55 years old, but this time they are relaunching it to cover ages zero to 17 or the juvenile age.

Bolzico, together with wife Solenn Heussaff, recently collaborated with Hong Kong Tourism Board to recreate a beef brisket bao dish made by Asia’s 2017 Best Female Chef, May Chow.

Main ingredients:

1 pc. bao buns

1.5 kg beef brisket

1 pc. white radish

1 pc. ginger

1 pc. scallion

Few slices of pickled cucumber

Small amount of butter

Sauce:

1 tbsp Chiu Chow chili oil

1 tbsp – mayonnaise

Batter:

120 g – all-purpose flour

140 g – corn starch

3 g – baking powder

200 g – water

220 g – vodka

5-spice marinade:

500 g – Japanese soy

75 g – Sweet Soy Kekap Manis

600 g – water

75 g – dark soy sauce

1 pc – bay leaf

1 pc – star anice

2 pc – dried red chili

6 g – 5-spice powder

275 g – rock sugar

2.5 g – Szechuan peppercorn

1 pc – cinnamon stick

Salad:

Celery

Dried radish

Coriander

Scallion

Fried shallots

Steps:

1. Prepare 5-spice marinade until rock sugar is melted. Put aside.

2. Prepare a pot of water and add 2 slices of ginger, scallion, and Szechuan pepper. Slice the beef brisket, add them into the pot of water, and let it boil for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, rinse the beef brisket with clean water.

3. Add white radish and cook for another 15 minutes.

4. Prepare salad by mixing all the ingredients together.

5. In a pressure cooker, add the 5-spice marinade and beef brisket. Cook for about 30 minutes.

6. Mix the sauce while waiting.

7. Slice the radish.

8. Prepare batter.

9. Steam the bao buns and then griddle them.

10. Prepare the batter for the beef brisket and ready to deep-fry until it’s crispy.

Bao assembly:

To assemble the beef brisket bao, start with the bottom end of the bao then add the salad, followed by the fried beef brisket, pickled cucumber, and chili mayo, finishing it off with the other end of the bao.

Stars share recipes using olive oil

Rich in good fats and antioxidants, olive oil monounsaturated oleic acids, heart-friendly fat known for supporting the health of the heart and enhancing brain function, two organs that could be hit by COVID-19, according to studies.

In this period of the new normal, with more and more people finding pleasure in home cooking, Doña Elena, a brand of olive oil made of olives directly sourced and harvested from the farms of Andalucia in Spain, reveals its new look that includes fine engravings on the bottle and its brand insignia near the top.

The brand, which is now available at AceMarket.ph, is a combination of two types of olives, hojiblanca and picual, and each bottle contains 80% monounsaturated oleic acids, which research says is proven to regulate insulin and support weight management.

Airline dishes you can recreate at home

For those who miss traveling, Emirates shared recipes for three special dishes that are part of the airline’s award-winning cuisine: Arabic lentil soup, prawn machbous and apple raisin crepes.

These three dishes are some of the most popular and highly requested food items on board Emirates flights and will surely give the special ladies in your life a memorable gastronomic experience. What’s better is that they’re easy to make and all ingredients that are needed for them are readily available at major supermarkets.

Arabic lentil soup

Ingredients:

Celery (80 g, chopped)

Carrots (120 g, julienned)

Yellow lentil (300 g)

Vegetable stock (1.5 liters)

Onion (100 g, sliced)

Potato (250 g, cubed)

White pepper powder (1 g)

Cumin powder (2 g)

Corn oil (40 g)

Salt (12 g)

Pita bread (optional)

Lemon wedges (optional)

Start by rinsing and draining the lentils. Next, heat the corn oil and sauté the onion, celery, potatoes, and carrots for three minutes until softened. Add the lentils and stir for five minutes, and then the salt, pepper, and cumin and stir for a minute. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 35 minutes or until the lentils are cooked. Blend the lentils into a smooth mixture with a hand blender, and then season to taste. Serve with fried or toasted pita bread pieces and lemon wedges.

Prawn Machbous

For the prawns, heat the oil in a large cooking pot and sauté the garlic and onion, and then crush the dried whole loomi and add to the garlic-onion mix.

Emirates/Released

Ingredients:

Fresh prawns (1.3 kg, peeled and tail removed)

Basmati rice (1.2 kg)

Loomi dried lime (1 pc. whole), can be substituted with lemon juice

Tomato paste (75 g)

Red onion (60 g, chopped)

Tomatoes (150 g, chopped)

Coriander (15 g, chopped)

Vegetable oil (50 ml, for cooking)

Water (1 l)

Butter (45 g, clarified)

Salt (30 g)

Garlic (30 g, chopped)

Vegetable oil (30 ml, for marinade)

Coriander seeds (45 g, ground)

Allspice powder (25 g)

White pepper powder (10 g)

Red chili powder (6 g)

Cumin powder (62 g)

Loomi powder (10 g), can be substituted with lemon zest or lemon peel powder

Cinnamon powder (45 g)

Cardamom powder (20 g)

Nutmeg powder (10 g)

Turmeric powder (250 g)

First, prepare the signature machbous spice mix by combining all the powdered spices: coriander, allspice, white pepper, red chili, cumin, loomi, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and turmeric. Set aside 50 grams of the spice mix for the recipe and pack the rest in an airtight container for future use. Marinate the prawns in the machbous spice mix, salt, and oil for 30 minutes. Wash and rinse the rice three times, soak for 45 minutes, and strain.

For the prawns, heat the oil in a large cooking pot and sauté the garlic and onion, and then crush the dried whole loomi and add to the garlic-onion mix. Sauté until onions are soft and translucent. Add butter and prawns and stir thoroughly. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a minute, and then add the chopped coriander, diced tomatoes and salt.

Finally, add the washed rice and the rest of the spices and stir. Add hot water and bring to boil. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes until the rice is cooked. Serve with a garnish of fresh coriander.

Apple Raisin Crepes

This fruity dessert can give any meal a festive ending.

Emirates/Released

Ingredients:

Cream cheese (150 g)

Sour cream (50 g)

Lemon juice (20 ml)

Vanilla extract (6 ml)

Sugar (120 g)

Cinnamon stick (1 stick)

Water (100 ml)

Granny Smith apples (250 g)

Raisins (70 g)

Vanilla bean (2 pods)

Butter (40 g, unsalted)

Flour (150 g)

Milk (300 ml)

Eggs (4 pieces)

Salt

Start with the apple raisin compote. Melt butter in a saucepan and stir in 60 g of sugar. Add water, cinnamon stick and one vanilla pod to the pot. Bring mixture to a boil and add apples. Cook over low heat, occasionally stirring until the apples are tender. Add more water if too much evaporates. Stir in raisins before removing the saucepan from heat. Remove the cinnamon stick and vanilla pods from the mixture.

For the cream cheese filling, dissolve 40 g of sugar in lemon juice, add vanilla extract. Mix cream cheese and sour cream. Stir in the lemon juice mixture into the cream cheese and sour cream mix.

For the crepes, combine eggs, 20 g of sugar, salt, melted butter, and flour. Slowly add milk while stirring the batter to ensure no lumps. Slice vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape off the seeds and stir into the batter. Let the batter sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and coat with butter or oil. Pour batter and spread with a crepe spreader. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until underside of crepe is golden brown. Loosen the edges with a spatula, flip and cook for 1 minute. Slide crepe off the skillet.

Finally, lay the crepe on a clean flat plate. Spread or pipe some cream cheese filling on the crepe. Spoon in the apple and raisin compote on one quarter of the crepe and fold to half. Folding one more time into a triangle. Repeat with the rest of the crepes.

Mimosa

A mimosa is a popular cocktail that provides a refreshing perk-up to any brunch meal. For this simple cocktail, all you need is freshly squeezed orange juice and brut champagne. The latter can also be substituted with sparkling water for a mocktail that still hits the spot.

First, make sure the orange juice and champagne are well-chilled. To make the cocktail, fill about a third of a champagne flute (or any glass of choice) with the orange juice, and then add the champagne. Garnish with orange wheels or top with cherries.

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