Nancy and I hosted the 2010 event at our place this past Saturday. Happily after our cool and wet weather earlier this year and our fear we would all be huddling inside under blankets, Saturday was clear and warm.
Our guests (the party this year ultimately turned out to be a group of 28), all bearing their chosen culinary contributions, arrived starting around 2:00, and before long we were hunting for more table space on which to arrange the many dishes.
Filipino cuisine has a long and diverse history and diversity reflecting the history, geographical spread and ethnic mix of the Philippines.
Although I am just beginning to scratch the surface of Filipino cuisine, I have found that the “Memories of Philippine Kitchens” cookbook by Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan to be a good introduction, and have also found a number of helpful blogs, including:
~ Pinoy Food,
~ Burnt Lumpia,
~ Filipino Food Lovers, and
~ Purple Yam.
We are also lucky here in Northern California to have a large population at Filipino-Americans (happily including a number at our office) which allows us to enjoy the cuisine locally (my current favorite – albeit a bit more upscale than I prefer – is Intramuros in South San Francisco, named after a section of Manila), as well as to find ingredients.
So back to Saturday -- as has been the case with these events in the past, we ended up with enough food to serve at least two or three times the number attending. However, that is never a problem since taking home leftovers is part of the tradition! The 2010 lineup of dishes - primarily Filipino but with a few Italian, Mexican and Native American riffs) was as follows:
~ Fiore Sardo (a Sardinian sheep milk cheese – OK, not Filipino, but still delicious)
~ Fennel and orange salad
~ Fruit salad
~ Slow-roasted fennel-rubbed pork butt (aka “Forever Cooked Pork”)
~ Smoked baby back ribs
~ Dinuguan (assorted pork bits in a blood sauce)
~ Pork sisig (citrus/ vinegar marinated spicy pork)
~ Pork tinga (a spicy Mexican shredded pork dish with cabbage served on tostadas)
~ Goat calderetta (braised in a spicy tomato sauce)
~ Roast chicken
~ Dinaing na bangus (fried citrus/vinegar marinated milkfish)
~ Bangus sisig (citrus/ vinegar marinated milkfish)
~ California roll sushi
~ Pancit miki bihon (thin rice noodles with meat and vegetables)
~ Pancit palabok (round rice noodles in a shrimp sauce and topped with egg slices)
~ Pinakbet (mixed vegetable dish (eggplant, okra, bitter melon, squash, green beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic and ginger) with pork and bagoong (fermented shrimp paste))
~ Binagoongan na talong (a sauce of mango, jalapeños, chicharones and bagoong served over Chinese eggplant)
~ Laing (chopped taro leaves cooked in coconut milk and bagoong)
~ Choctaw banaha travel bread (vegetables and meat stuffed cornmeal wrapped in cornhusks)
~ Steamed rice
~ Turon (banana fritters)
~ Leche flan (two different versions!)
Pictures from our feast are below.
Finally, here is a shot of our entire group taken at the end of the day just before we broke up. Happily the deck held up despite all of those very full bellies.
Hopefully we can all be back together next year for a similar feast.