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Festive Feast Ideas

The holiday season is finally upon us. In spite of the fact that this has been a very challenging year for everyone, we Filipinos always believe in the spirit of Christmas. Come rain or shine, we’ve always pushed through and this year is no different. Yes, our movements within society have been limited by the COVID-19 pandemic, but no new strain of virus can ever put the holiday mood down. Even while reading this, you might have a loved one or a family member sorting out their delightful (yet somehow constricted) shopping list for this year. In such case, nothing screams Christmas louder than the prospect of enjoying a well-made holiday delicacy. We’ve gotten used toour traditional “lutong bahay” dishes, but due to the current economic situation, it is understandable that our idea of a grand feast may not be the same as the previous years. Some of us went through a lot this year, some of us might’ve lost a job, livelihood, or even a loved one due to the virus and that itself is already a huge blow, but that wouldn’t stop us Filipinos from even enjoying a meal this Christmas eve. With only a limited budget, we would be able to come up with a sufficient delicacy with the right amount of ingredients. However, not everyone can come up with a grand, yet affordable alternative to every meal, which is why we’ve prepared a couple of practical holiday delicacy recipes for you to follow this Christmas.

Classic Macaroni Salad

Nothing spells Christmas delicacy better for a Pinoy than your traditional Macaroni Salad. It’s one of those Christmas treats which has been a staple for many years. You may remember your aunt or grandmother bringing a huge bowl for everyone every Christmas eve, and understandably, we can’t blame them. Not only is it delicious, it is also very affordable and convenient to make.

The Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced carrot
  • 1/2 cup minced celery
  • 1 medium onion minced
  • 4 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 1/4 tablespoons mustard powder
  • 4 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 5 quarts water for boiling macaroni

How to Cook:

  1. Pour the water into a cooking pot. Let it boil.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and then put-in the elbow macaroni. Continue to boil for 6 minutes.
  3. Drain the hot water, then add cold water into the pot. Let is stay for 3 minutes and then drain. Set the macaroni aside.
  4. Combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard powder, ground black pepper, salt, and sugar. Mix it well.
  5. Add the minced vegetables (onion, carrot, celery, and bell peppers). Fold the mixture until blended.
  6. Add the macaroni. Continue to fold until all the ingredients are well blended.
  7. Cover the bowl. Refrigerate the macaroni salad for at least 3 hours.
  8. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve cold and enjoy.

Indeed, this is something that both kids and adults alike would enjoy. The sweet and homey taste would not only serve as somewhat of a Christmas comfort food, it is also a good conversation starter amongst the family. But if you think that the Macaroni Salad is the most iconic of all Christmas treats, here’s another affordable Pinoy Delicacy that owns that title by a mile.

Traditional Lumpiang Shanghai

Well, we did say that it is an iconic Filipino delicacy, but that is due to the fact that it transcends all sorts of event. It can be found in a birthday party, in a wedding party, in a company outing, in your family’s reunion, etc. It is somewhat omnipresent in all Pinoy gatherings, and for a very obvious reason, it has one of the most recognizable and very addicting taste. When you start to eat a piece, you’d definitely go for more. Luckily, it is also easy to make.

The Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lbs. ground pork
  • 1 piece branded pork cube (to add taste)
  • 50 pieces lumpia wrapper
  • 3/4 cup carrot minced
  • 2 pieces onions minced
  • 2 pieces eggs
  • ¼ cup parsley minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups cooking oil

How to Cook:

  1. Combine the ground pork, carrot, onion, and parsley in a bowl. Mix well.
  2. Add egg, ground black pepper, salt, garlic, powder, and Sesame oil. Continue to mix until all the ingredients are well blended.
  3. Crush the branded pork cube and add it into the mixture. Blend the ingredients altogether.
  4. Put 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of meat mixture over a piece of lumpia wrapper. Wrap and roll to secure the mixture. Continue this step until the mixture is completely consumed.
  5. Heat oil in a cooking pot in low to medium heat. Deep fry the lumpia until it turns golden brown.
  6. Remove from the pot and place in a plate lined with paper towel.
  7. Transfer to a serving plate. Serve with sweet and sour sauce and enjoy.

Wasn’t that easy? The only concern you’ll have right after is the argument as to who would get the last piece. Now, if you happen to be craving for something meatier without breaking the bank, here’s an alternative for you.

The Philippine Embutido

Yup, another traditional Christmas delicacy to cap off this list. It is somewhat similar to the Lumpiang Shanghai recipe above, albeit having no wrap at all. Here are the go-to ingredients and the step-by-step procedure in creating a couple of servings for the whole family.

The Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. ground pork
  • 1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
  • ¼ cup liquid seasoning
  • 2 pieces eggs
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese grated
  • 1 piece red bell pepper minced
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup carrots minced
  • 1 cup onion minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups bread crumbs

How to Cook:

  1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the water. Mix altogether until well blended.
  2. Wrap the mixture using aluminum foil. Cut a piece of aluminum foil to 12×8 inches. Lay it flat on a table. The shiny part of the foil should face down. Scoop 1 cup of mixture and place it on the middle top part of the foil. Mold into a cylinder. Roll the foil from top to bottom. Secure both ends of the foil. Perform this step until the mixture is consumed.
  3. Boil water in a pot. Arrange the wrapped embutido in a steamer. Steam for 1 hour.
  4. Remove from the steamer. Let it cool down. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Slice into serving pieces.
  5. Transfer to a serving plate and enjoy.

And, that’s just about it. Hopefully, these recipes would be able to help you out in saving  small amounts for future needs. If you’re looking for a well-trusted name that would ensure that your hard-earned money is safely kept in place, then look no further than Cebuana Lhuillier’s Micro Savings services. At its core, it aims to provide easier banking access to all Filipinos. This product is a regular savings account in the Philippines minus the numerous documentary requirements, a maintaining balance and even dormancy charges! It is also streamlined across all Cebuana Lhuillier branches, so you’d be able to experience the same wonderful Microsavings service without missing a beat. For more information, feel free to visit the nearest Cebuana Lhuillier now!