The most celebrated time of the year is here… Sparkling and different sizes of enchanting Christmas trees, houses and establishments adorned with glittering lights, busy shoppers rushing to buy gifts, congested roads leading to malls and bazaars, and the Christmas carols and songs played one after the other, it’s Christmas time once again!
The best things that we all look forward to on Christmas day aside from the grand and well-thought of gifts are the delish traditional foods served on Noche Buena like my grandma’s famous Pininyahang Manok and Kare-Kare, buttered shrimp, steamed crabs, rellenong bangus, crispy pata, pinakbet, lumpia plus the delectable desserts like creamy leche flan, buko pandan, buko salad, macaroni salad and more. Who doesn’t love these mouthwatering dishes that make us wish it’s Christmas every day?
On top of those I listed above, let me share with you several Filipino dishes my family serve on Christmas day. To make these different and not the usual food that we eat, I added some twists that my little family loves. Remember, you don’t have to be traditional at all times, use your creativity to reinvent the usual dishes to make it more enticing for your family. So here’s a preview of what I’ll serve on Noche Buena:
Fried lumpia is a well-loved appetizer and commonly served in birthday parties, anniversaries, holidays and all sorts of celebrations. You might wonder why I include this in my list. Here’s the big reveal, instead of using ground pork, I use tuna flakes as its main ingredient. Here’s the recipe:Ingredients:
1 can of tuna flakes in brine
1 small-sized carrots, diced
1 medium -sized onions, diced
1/2 turnips, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Drain the tuna until the flakes and oil are completely apart.
- Mix chopped parsley, carrots, onion to the drained tuna flakes. Add salt, pepper and egg.
- Place three tablespoons of the mixed tuna flakes on the lumpia wrapper. Leave 1/2 inch on both sides. Wrap it and fold the sides. Moisten the other side of the wrapper to seal the side.
- Heat a frying pan. Pour canola oil until it’s heated. Deep-fry the lumpia rolls until it’s golden brown.
- Drain on paper towels and serve.
Everlasting With A Twist: Marikina-Style Meat Loaf
I grew up with this dish served by my grandmother on special occasions particularly on Christmas day. Natives of Marikina which is my grandma’s hometown, call this sumptuous meal similar to the famous embutido, “Everlasting”. When I was younger I remember asking my grandma why was it called as such, she just smiled and said that this can be refrigerated and reheated for a couple of times and lasts for several days, that’s why it’s everlasting. Well, up to now, I honestly don’t know the veracity of her claim. The twist I made with grandma’s recipe is that I use pineapple chunks instead of pickles.
1/2 kilo of ground pork
2 pieces of hotdogs, diced
1 big sized onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced1 small box of raisins
1/2 cup of tomato sauce
1 can of pineapple tidbits
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 pork cube
3 tablespoons of cornstarch
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 tablespoons canola oil
- In a frying pan over medium heat, pour canola oil. Add onion and garlic, saute until softened. Then add the ground pork. Saute until it turns pinkish.
- Add 1/2 cup of tomato sauce and season with salt and ground black pepper.
- Then, add the diced hotdog, chopped red bell pepper and the pork cube. Simmer until the pork is tender. Drain the excess liquid. Set aside and let it cool for several minutes.
- Transfer the saute mixed ground pork to a large mixing bowl.
- Add raisins, pineapple tidbits, parsley, eggs and 3 tablespoons of cornstarch. Stir until all the spices are mixed with the ground pork.
- Prepare the llanera mold. Line banana leaves at the bottom part. If you don’t have banana leaves, you may grease the llanera with butter so the pork won’t stick on the pan.
- Garnish the llanera mold with a sliced pineapple and bell pepper. Put the ground pork mixture. Cover with foil and steam for 30minutes.
- Let it cool down. Run a knife on the side of the llanera, invert it and serve on a plate.
Filipino-Style Refrigerated Cake
I put a twist in this usual refrigerated cake by using biscocho instead of graham crackers.
1 pack (275 grams) Biscocho
1 can (836 g) Del Monte Fiesta Fruit Cocktail
2 packs (250 ml each) Del Monte All-Purpose Cream
1 can (300 ml) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 fresh kiwi
- Drain the fruit cocktail. Set aside the syrup.
- Dip biscocho to fruit cocktail syrup to add flavor.
- Arrange pieces of dipped biscocho to cover bottom of a 5″ x 9″ PYREX baking dish. You may use any similar pan of your preferred size.
- Mix all-purpose cream and sweetened condensed milk. Spread a portion on top of the biscocho. Drizzle fruit cocktail on top of the cream. Repeat layering using the remaining ingredients.
- Slice the kiwi and spread it on top.
- Cover and refrigerate. Serve chilled and with a smile. =)
For more Christmas recipes with a twist, you may visit and like Green Cross Alcohol Philippines Mommy PROs App on Facebook . This App is brought to us by Green Cross Insect Repellent Lotion, the best insect repellent lotion in town that I have been using for my daughter to keep her protected from dengue mosquitoes and other insect bites.
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