Thankful for Thanksgiving
From the time I had my first child, I’ve always made it a point that my own little family celebrate Thanksgiving Day at home every year. Whether it be a simple, homemade delicious dinner (where mom and dad cook) with just family and close friends around or one with an elaborate menu and a bigger guest list, it is a tradition that the Hubby and I started to teach our children the value and importance of giving thanks to every one around us — who have helped us in one way or another throughout the year. It is something that we all look forward to as soon as the -ber months come in, for it signifies that the Christmas season is very near and it simply jumpstarts the whirlwind holiday festivities that come with it! (And secretly…another reason I celebrate Thanksgiving Day is because my birthday falls around this week! :))
This year’s table setting is black, white and gold. It was something more special than last year’s, for this year, I celebrated it with a group of very special friends who believed in me and supported me 🙂
As a special gift to my friends, I asked the very talented and award-winning dessert chef, Miko Aspiras to re-create the unforgettable Chocolate Fleur de Sel or Salted Chocolate Tart that I had in Impressions restaurant (and which I wrote about here) a few months back.
This is the scene in my kitchen before the guests arrived. The girl in pink is Chef Jackie Laudico who prepared the food for this special night. We only had a day to plan and so I just told her that my concept for this dinner is a Filipino-inspired Thanksgiving menu.
I took a peek at our Roast Leg of Lamb! And I was shocked to see it this BIG!!! (For we were only a total of 9!)
Trio of Appetizers : Turkey Sisig Basket, Adobo Pate Crostini with Apple Compote, Grilled Turkey Inasal wrapped in Lettuce.
My favorite here was the Turkey Sisig, for it was deep fried to crispy bits! The Adobo pate was our Filipino version of duck pate, but this one had a more pronounced Pinoy taste to it, if you know what I mean 🙂 The grilled Turkey Inasal meanwhile was the healthiest appetizer among the three, for it was simply grilled with the typical Filipino inihaw flavoring to it.
Roasted Squash Pakbet Puree with Malunggay Basil Pesto.
This was a modern take on the popular Filipino vegetable dish of Pinakbet…the squash was pureed and turned into a soup and our humble malunggay was deep fried and added on top. These fritters provided a different texture and that much needed extra crunch to this already hearty soup!
Organic Mesclun Salad with Etag bits, Poached Egg and Dried Mango Vinaigrette.
This had the perfect combination of salad greens, longganisa bits, egg, and that fruity mango flavor. It gave us the perfect balance of the healthy and the not-so-healthy kind! 🙂
And The Spoiled Mummy appreciates and loves perfectly poached eggs!
Seared Tiger Prawns with Chorizo and Garlic Herb Crumb Spaghetti.
The pasta was cooked al dente with just the right amount of garlic and Chorizo bits and the huge prawns were perfectly seared! (No one really likes their seafood overcooked, right?) And by this course, we were all stuffed already, until….
…Out came another main course which was bigger than all our faces combined! 🙂
Cumin Spiced Roast Leg of Lamb with Curry Coconut Gata served with Sweet Potato Croquette and Roasted Vegetables.
We were all pleasantly surprised to see this roasted leg of lamb, all cut up already and yet still this BIG!!! But no complaints, we all happily devoured this dish! 🙂 The curry sauce made of our Filipino coconut extract or gata, was the perfect accompaniment to this huge baby. The lamb was happily resting on a bed of Sweet Potato croquette or fried kamote which served as our carb dish for this main course.
Flambe action for the Desserts coming up!
Tablea Salted Muscovado Caramel Tart with homemade Vanilla ice cream topped with that Rhum flambe and Mango Coconut Creme Brulee.
Looking at this photo, Im sure you can already tell which one was The Spoiled Mummy’s favorite…Of course, it was the Filipino chocolate or cacao, Tablea, topped with that gorgeous swirl of Caramel! This was finished perfectly with that rhum flambe and a mini scoop of homemade Vanilla Ice cream!
BUT to me… the real star of the night was this specially made dessert for my guests by Chef Miko Aspiras (whom I have yet to meet personally!)
I just spoke to him briefly over the phone and told him how very particular I am with my desserts and chocolates especially…so i just gave him an idea of what I wanted and let everything else come from him….and what came out was really a winner!
Luscious 64% Felchlin Dark Chocolate with Fleur de Sel topped with Nutella Macaron and Gold Leaf .
It had the perfect combination of the sweetness of the dark chocolate and the saltiness of the Fleur de Sel. Although it was rich, it was not overpowering nor cloying (or what Filipinos refer to as “hindi nakaka-umay”). When I tasted it for the first time, I just knew it was decadent, but since it was in its purest form, I knew I had to have it again and again…until before I knew it, it was wiped out in a few minutes! This was indeed one of the very few chocolate cakes (or tarts if you want to be literal about it) that I’ve ever had that just made me close my eyes as I slowly savored every bite! 🙂
Thank you to Chef Rolando and his wife, Chef Jackie for helping me come up with a delicious spread for Thanksgiving Day.
And of course, I shall never forget to say THANK YOU to the ONE who just makes all things POSSIBLE for me.
I AM and WILL ALWAYS BE FOREVER GRATEFUL.