As a last minute ‘reward’ for being such good friends and company, Angela and I extended another invitation to Astrid and Bruno to come over for a Filipino Feast. Having had such good luck with The Adobo Road cookbook earlier in the week, Angela asked me to replicate these dishes one more time and share them.

Of course, I did ‘replicate’ them, though with some ever-so-subtle variations which ever so mildly disappointed my wife on just one dish, but overall, every dinner table needs a picky and reliable person with a good palate who doesn’t hesitate to speak their mind, so all to the good.

Dinner started with cocktails, the star being April In Paris, a drink which is light and refreshing and composed of pear vodka, Chambord (raspberry liquor), pineapple juice and a bit of sparkling wine. We adjusted the components’ ratios according to my wife’s direction (my new official mixologist) and they proved a big hit.

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April In Paris Recipe
(one drink)

1 oz Pear Vodka
1/2 oz Chambord
1/2 oz pineapple juice

Mix in cocktail mixer.

Add sparkling wine to fill a standard 6 oz cocktail glass.

Proceed to nom nom!

I also made some pritang mani, Filipino peanuts cooked in coconut oil and seasoned with fried garlic and salt. All in service to keeping the hunger abated until dinner time.

I followed this up with some oysters on the half-shell, using beau soleil and Miyagi varieties and served with a bit of mignonette sauce (vinegar, salt, diced shallots, white pepper). Two each, just to whet the appetite a bit.

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Dinner was complicated because all three dishes needed to be prepared at about the same time, so a lot of work at the stove with less time for chit-chat. Fortunately, my wife and Bruno kicked in a bit as sous chefs and ‘platers’ to bring all to the table.

First the salmon for the escabeche needed to initially get cooked and seared. Once the salmon was removed to rest under a foil blanket, I started on the escabeche relish which the salmon would lay; green and red bells, red onion, garlic and ginger, with a big of brown sugar and vinegar to wrap it all together.

Meanwhile, I had to get the bacon and mushroom adobo started so that it would finish roughly at the same time as the relish, not to mention the green beans with garlic and shallots. A lot of action on the stovetop!

Bacon and Mushroom Adobo

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Green Beans with Garlic, Shallots, and Oyster Sauce

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Of course, the rice had been ready for awhile; jasmine rice without adornment to serve as the canvas for the tastes.

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Dinner went well, and my Filipina guest and her Portuguese-honorary-Filipino husband, both well familiar with the taste profiles of Filipino cuisine gave the meal a general thumbs up. Happy day!

Dessert was a moderate challenge; I’d spent earlier in the day preparing coconut ice cream (home made) as well as turron (banana wrapped in spring roll wrappers and deep-fried). Pretty damn good, though all agreed that I had probably used the wrong wrappers–they were too thick by half and a thinner type would have been better, but the flavors all worked, we had happy, satisfied guests, both of whom finished their plates, got some baon (leftovers) to take home.

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For your general amusement, here I am with my wife pouring our 2nd servings of the cocktails (or was it the third?) as well as Bruno doing a bangup job of shaking and rattling the cocktail mixer.

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