Sunday, December 25, 2011

El Baile en Mi Cusina: The Christmas Eve Show

What's up on Christmas Eve?  Well, my migraine had its toll on me. But good thing I was able to make reservations the previous night  thru text messages for my fish, chicken and veggie purchases from my favorite market vendors.  Surprisingly, there were still a lot on display at 10 o'clock in the morning!  I was able to take home salmon belly, boneless bangus, cream dowry, chicken lollipops and breast fillet, and veggies, of course. But those wouldn't have been complete without fruits so I got persimmon, pear, apple and honey melon. And the leche flan, of course, I almost forgot to mention! 

And so the kitchen ballroom dance began… Maestro, music please...

 To usher you to the dance floor, I have written some kitchen tips especially for those who may want to relate with me in trying to enjoy the holiday celebration despite not having any assistant (to cut veggies, wash the dishes, do errands, etc). Organization and creativity are basic ingredients to come out spiritually victorious in times like these. You might also find these useful on your New Year's Eve stint.

First,  you start by praying, "Lord, please give me strength!"  You couldn't help it at times, you get distracted by calls, text messages, doorbells and family members asking questions. A hundred and one reasons. Like for me, reviewing recipes on line would cause me to burn something. So I would cry, "Lord, make it good, please, make it good!" Whenever things go wrong in between each dance, you also ask for miracles.

Second, you should have a list (either on paper or in your mind) of your menus in the order you would prepare them so as to maximize your most precious time.  For example, while baking the potatoes, you prepare the salad. Multitasking as ever. No time wasted.

Third, washing used items every after finishing each menu prevents you from hoarding piles of soiled dishes on your sink. Maintaining a clean sink keeps your mind clear, focused and organized so that you can all the more work even faster. Also prevents messing up with ingredients, spills and toppling over.

For today, my dancing spree included sinigang na salmon belly (Salmon Belly in Sour Soup) for lunch, and the Christmas Eve dinner menu consisted of baked potatoes, chicken lollipops, stir fried veggies with quail eggs, fried boneless bangus (milkfish), fruit salad and Angel's Hair spaghetti (cooked by Ayana Grace, my eldest daughter).

As the highlight of the kitchen dance floor, I'd like to  feature the recipe I used for the chicken lollipops. The recipe was posted by Tyler Florence at Click here to view the recipe. I chose this recipe because it is simple, very easy to follow and has fewer ingredients than the other recipes. The only four ingredients are chicken lollipops, honey, whole-grain mustard and bread crumbs. 

Now that you've viewed the recipe, here's the fourth kitchen tip: be innovative with substitutes especially if you don't have all the ingredients at hand.  Like for this recipe, I made some modifications. I marinated the chicken in salt and ground pepper first before going through the steps as indicated. 

Then, instead of whole-grain mustard, I just used what I already have in the ref---Clara Ole Honey Mustard Dips n' Dressing.

 The other reason why I prefer this recipe is because it's easy to prepare with only four ingredients and by baking instead of deep frying, I find it more healthy. Ssssshhhh…. I just realized I made a mistake here...the recipe actually says roast at 3500C for 20 - 25 minutes but instead of roasting, I baked it. Sorry Tyler, that was a real honest mistake!

So here's what I got… freshly baked from the oven.


And finally, the dance diva on center stage with baked potatoes in curtsy...
  Hope you enjoyed your Christmas Eve dinner with your loved ones and the movie marathon as well... or maybe the exchanging of gifts underneath your Christmas tree, and having a kiss on your nose from your favorite Santa? Whichever it is, may yours be a blessed and joyful celebration!

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