Early yesterday morning, son said let’s have cold cuts and cheese for dinner tonight. See, the night before, he and I ate our (C’s and mine) Banana Leaf leftovers along with the sticky rice stew I had son buy from Bulgogi Brothers after he called to ask if I needed anything from Glorietta or Greenbelt while he was walking around waiting for 7pm (his car was number coded). I guess after a saucy Monday dinner, he wanted a more laid back dinner Tuesday night. His timing was just right because Monday, aside from buying bread from Jipan and cheeses and cold cuts from Rustan’s Marketplace, I had gone to Epicerie (R1 across Via Mare) for some more cheeses and cold cuts. The people in Epicerie are a helpful lot who know their stuff. The Ilongga from Victorias (I forgot her name) recommended the smoked Polish sausage and made me try it. She also recommended a cheese that was a combination of blue cheese and something. HHA said she thought the cheese had molds when she saw it.
So I drew up a menu of sorts for the dinner. I thought it would be simple, being virtually a no-cook one, but I wanted to approximate the cold cuts in hotel buffets (so ambitious, I know) and son had mentioned fruits and nuts would be good additions.
Here’s the menu, more or less:
Grapes – I had bought in Marketplace
Wine – Asti Spumanti, chilled months back
Planters’ peanuts – bought in S&R months back; but we didn’t touch it
Walnuts and casuy – candied – old stock at home which I had HHA cook following a recipe from simplyrecipes.com (1.5 cups of nuts, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/8 tsp salt. Roast nuts for 5 minutes. Cool. Cook sugar until amber colored in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Add the nuts. Pour on a parchment lined pan. Separate nuts quickly so they don’t stick together. Sprinkle with salt)
dates – from way back. Shhh… they were expired but tasted fresh and good
Cheeses – Edam and the moldy looking one
Truffled cream cheese spread – bought months back from Epicerie
Cold cuts – a hot and spicy something, salami milano, prosciutto ham from Bacchus (the salami – there were two kinds, I bought the cheaper one – not very good)
Garlic bread from Elsie’s – not used
Dinner Roll and Raisin and walnut french bread from Jipan
Italian bread sticks in yellow box – not used
Tinapa spread – not used (from Food Bin)
Boursin – bought in Santi’s – not used
Foie gras from epicerie – made in Abra – I tried it during merienda – it wasn’t very good, the meat was not pureed but minced, not bad but I prefer Pakoy’s pate so ordered some last night – for delivery Monday, Pakoy called to say)
Smoked fish? From December? – oops this had run out then when we had a guest (served it atop a cracker on which creamy cheese spread had been put); so I had JM of Rustan’s Katipunan find me smoked fish (along with horseradish)
Son was very happy with the spread and kept saying, “everything is very good.” I was happy.
Oh and HHA had this inspired idea of serving the candied nuts on the brown parchment paper itself – but she fixed it so that it looked like a flower on top of the plate. Interesting. She has her moments.
If you and your family are fond of cold cuts, serving a cold cuts and cheeses dinner is quite fun. A religious order I used to have a good friend in has such dinners once a week, I remember having been told.