Once in a while, I like to invite friends over for lunch and I've renewed old ties with some high school friends, thanks to Facebook. I hosted a small lunch get-together yesterday. Since it's a long weekend, only a small group were able to come. I had a blast despite having just a few people over. I actually prefer hosting a small group, it's more intimate and the conversations tend to be wackier and longer.
What I like about "parties between friends" is that the conversation takes centerstage, rather than try to impress them with my culinary expertise. I prepared simple dishes to my party with one "usual" kicker, the Sinigang sa Pakwan. A traditional sour soup with a twist. Here's the recipe:
Beef Sinigang sa Pakwan
1 kilo beef brisket (or ribs)
2 tomatoes, sliced in half
2 White onions, sliced in half
1/2 medium sized watermelon, cubed, ALL seeds removed
1 radish, sliced diagonally
2 Packs of Knorr Sinigang sa Sampaloc
2 to 3 Finger peppers
Kang-kong (water cabbage)
1. In a stock pot, combine beef, tomatoes, onions, watermelon and enough water to fully immerse all the ingredients. Add some salt. Boil for two hours or cook in a pressure cooker for one hour.
2. Remove the lid, get some of the broth and place in a different bowl. Mix in the two sinigang mixes until fully dissolved.
3. Pour the sinigang mixture and the radish to the pot and simmer for about 15 minutes or so.
4. Blanch the vegetables in the broth and set aside.
5. To the simmering broth, add the finger peppers, Let simmer for a minute and turn off the heat.
6. Serve piping hot.
I decided to serve the vegetable separately because they wilt so quickly and turn brown once you add them to the broth.
There is also a dish that I prepared (ok, the housekeeper fried) that's a different take on the usual, Lechon Kawali. I saw some Bacon Cut Pork Belly at S&R and fried those up with just a sprinkling of salt and pepper until they are crispy. This is sure to please any pork-loving, chicharon addicted individual. Serve with a dipping sauce of vinegar and minced garlic. For the love of anything holy, eat sparingly!
Crispy Bacon Liempo
I also served Salad with Mangoes and Jackfruit with a salad dressing that we purchased from Sonya's Garden the day before, Rellenong Bangus and Chicken Barbecue and Pancit Malabon for merienda.
For dessert, hubby requested Black Forest trifle. I also made some chocolate chip cookies.
It was a fun gathering, despite having only a few people over. Until next time!