What do you plan to serve on noche buena? Here are some recipe ideas for noche buena
What do you know? I smell Christmas in the air.
I bet some of you already planned the menu for your lunch or dinner on Christmas day or even your noche buena. For those that are still planning, here are some recipes that you can plan for your family and friends. Don’t expect fancy recipes but there will be a few so keep tuned.
You can start off with a few of my recipes that I’ve cooked for the past years. Click on the links below:
I am sipping hot tsokolate for merienda. My mom often called it SIKWATE!, the Visayan dialect for hot chocolate drink. I bought a lot of these tablea last year so I am just drinking the leftovers. Our Noche Buena is never complete without the hot tsokolate made from the native Tablea (cacao chocolate). I often visited my great grandmother in Cebu and her past time involved making tablea. The fragrant aroma is something that can never replace all those Starbucks frapucciono or chocolate drinks from fancy coffee shops. However, tablea is best prepared using a batirol and a tsokolatera so the consistency is smooth. A batirol is a wooden whisk used to mix tablea (a block of pure cocoa) and water into a thick, grainy, hot chocolate drink. The tablea and water are mixed in a cast-iron pitcher called a tsokolatera. Like a kawali or wok, a tsokolatera (Chocolatera or Chocolate Pot) performs better as it ages.
New Year’s Eve media noche must have a fruit salad on the dinner table. The most popular fruit salad is the Buko salad. The popularity of fruits during New Year’s Eve celebration is part of the tradition to bring in good luck, fortune and prosperity. Even before the New Year arrives, my children already wants to eat it.
5 large cans of Del Monte Fruit Cocktail (Imported)
Grated Coconut meat from 10 buko (young coconut)
2 cans lychees
1 small bottle nata de coco (green)
1 small bottle nata de coco (red)
1 small bottle kaong (green)
1/4 kilo seedless grapes
3 small china apples , cubed
2 can condensed milk
2 packs Nestle Cream
1 can Peaches for topping
Optional : walnuts, water chestnuts for extra texture
Few red or green kaong for topping
1. Drain the fruits from the can for at least 2 hours. This is to prevent a soggy fruit salad.
2. When all the juices have been drained, mix all the fruits together in a bowl.
3. Add the condensed milk and cream till well blended.
4. Transfer to serving bowls and top with peaches and cherries. I also add green kaong for additional decor.
5. Freeze or Refrigerate properly. (Buko spoils if not refrigerated or frozen. I prefer to freeze the rest of the buko salad if it isn’t eaten within the day.)
I have been preparing Pochero every Christmas day for the past 10 years. On Christmas eve, I serve Majestic Ham for Noche Buena. I rub the ham with brown sugar and cloves and bake it in the oven. After it has been baked, I decorate it with pineapple and cherries. What do we do with leftover ham from Christmas dinner? The solution….Pochero or cocido. I prefer to call it Pochero as it is a very common dish in my hometown Cebu.
Pochero (Spanish spelling , Puchero) with its bounty of meats, sausages and vegetables is known as the “real national dish of Spain. Brought to the shores through the Spanish conquistadores, it is a favorite dish at Filipino festive occasions. With extra ham from the noche buena, the pochero is one way of recycling left-over meats. This recipe is richly flavored by the ham bones and scrap ham simmered with the beef. The flavor of the ham bones, and the Chorizo de Bilbao seeps in to the beef cubes making it so tasty.
Of course, you can modify this recipe to your desired taste.
1 kilo cubed beef brisket
1/2 kilo leftover ham bones
1/4 kilo scrap ham
8 to 10 cups water or enough to cover meat
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in half
4 Saba bananas, peeled, sliced in half
3 pieces chorizo de bilbao sliced diagonally into 2 inch pieces (Preferably the one in the Purefoods can)
1 cup chick peas
1 head of cabbage quartered
1 Baguio pechay leaves separated
1. Put beef, ham bones, and scrap ham in large casserole.
2. Pour enough water to cover.
3. Bring to a boil, then simmer until beef is almost tender, about 40 minutes
4. Add potatoes and bananas. Simmer until bananas and potatoes are almost tender, about 20 minutes
5. Stir in chorizo de bilbao and chick peas and continue simmering for another 10 minutes. ( I prefer the chorizo bilbao in Purefood cans because there is no red coloring that seeps out during the cooking)
6. Add cabbage and pechay and let simmer until vegetables are cooked but still firm
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