Nov 20, 2022
People have many reasons to be excited for Christmas, like the extravagantly shimmering decorations that cover homes and streets, or the many gifts to are excited to give and receive! But perhaps, it’s the lavish parties and get-togethers that have most truly excited for the holidays–nothing screams party more than all the delicious dishes that we know will be served on every holiday table!
However, any party host will tell you that preparing for a crowd is no picnic, with lots of steps to run through, from deciding on recipes, to determining the serving size, to grabbing the ingredients and cookware you need before finally cooking the food.
That is why AllHome is here with helpful tips and mouth-watering recommendations that will turn your holiday get-together into a feast for the ages! In today’s Christmas-themed entry, we have recipes and cookware to try out that will ease your mind for the Yuletide festivities.
The one surefire sign that you have entered a Filipino party is the sight of a large, tasty Lechon at the serving table. Whatever the occasion, this pork dish has become such a staple in the Filipino party scene that having none makes the gathering feel incomplete. But what if we tell you there are other ways to cook Lechon? While roasting a pig under a charcoal fire has been the most popular method, different cultures across the Philippines have made their iterations of this beloved national dish that you can try out at home!
Among the most popular versions is the Lechon kawali, and, as the name implies, one cooks this in a kawali or wok by frying the pork in cube-sized, manageable servings.
To start, boil your pork belly in a mixture of water, vinegar, dry Laurel leaves, salt, and peppercorns. After forty-five minutes, take the now-tenderized meat out of the pot, rub it with salt, and air-dry for a few hours. Then, fry your pork in one liter of cooking oil, starting with the skin side. After a few minutes, flip the pork on the meat side. Once you have fried both sides, take the pork out of the oil and let it sit on a rack for a few minutes before returning it to frying for that extra crisp.
However, if you wish for a healthier way of cooking, there is another option you can try.
Although frying has been the most popular method of cooking Lechon kawali, the latest technologies have given Filipinos an alternative, the air fryer. This state-of-the-art appliance can cook your food to a nice crisp through heat convection while using significantly less oil! At AllHome, we provide the latest and best-selling air fryers, including the Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 Air Fryer! With this, you can customize your cooking time and temperature or choose from six settings, from broiling to baking!
Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 Air Fryer
Mac & Cheese
An all-American favorite, mac & cheese is a quintessential party food, thanks to its easy cooking and its creamy & tasty (well) cheesiness. However, with the right ingredients and our recommended cookware, you can take your mac & cheese to the next level!
Let’s start with your cheesy sauce. Melt half a stick of butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat; then, gradually add a cup of flour, and mix for three to five minutes until the sauce thickens to form your roux. Ready a cup of fresh milk, and pour it into the roux every ¼ cup; stir until the liquid thickens into a bechamel sauce, which will become the base of your melted cheese.
One thing to consider is that certain types of cheese melt better and more quickly than others. For instance, cheddar is most commonly used in this recipe, as it is cheap, flavorful, and easy to melt. However, most chefs recommend mixing cheddar with other types of cheese for more added tastes, such as gruyere and gouda. Regardless, it is best to get your cheeses whole and shred them yourselves, as pre-shredded cheeses contain preservatives that prevent them from melting evenly.
While preparing your cheezy sauce, you must also prepare your macaroni pasta. Elbow macaroni is the most commonly preferred due to its ability to carry the cheese with its bowed shape. However, you could try other pasta types with similar perks, like shell pasta, Farfalle, and penne. Whichever the case, boil your pasta in salted water, and cook until al dente.
After mixing your boiled pasta and cheese thoroughly, you could serve the mac & cheese as it is. However, many cooks would recommend the baked method. Transfer the mixture to a casserole, and top it with additional grated cheese. You can also use bread crumbs as a topping for an added crispy quality. Preheat your oven to about 180°C, bake your mac & cheese for 25 to 35 minutes, and you’re all set!
And one of the best qualities of this recipe is that it is safe for long-term refrigerator storage and, therefore, you can prepare this dish in advance!
For this recipe, you will need dishware that can conduct heat but also aids in a pleasingly visual presentation. At AllHome, we recommend this OMEGA Majestic Rectangular Ceramic Baking Dish to serve your mac & cheese in style and with ease!
OMEGA Majestic Rectangular Ceramic Baking Dish
No meal feels complete without desserts to balance out your gourmet palette, and what better way to match the saccharine aura of the holidays than a classic Christmas fruit cake?
To start, in a bowl, combine the following ingredients: mixed glazed fruits, dried apricot, dried cranberries, candied orange peel, walnuts, raisins, and cherries. Then, pour in ¾ cup of alcohol of your preference, which can vary from rum to brandy to whisky, as the beverage acts as the cake’s preservative against molding while also sharpening its sweetness.
While leaving the mixture soaked for four hours or overnight, create the batter with all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Sift it through a sieve to remove clumps, and mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, combine one stick of butter with a cup of brown sugar. After mixing them, add three eggs, one at a time, and whisk until it forms a thick brown liquid; add molasses and alcohol of choice afterward. Combine the dry and wet mixtures to form the batter.
Mix the soaked fruits & nuts and the batter, and pour into a mold of your choice, greased and lined with baking paper. Here at AllHome, we have several baking pans in store, but while you can choose basic shapes for your mold, you can try a more creative approach with this PRISM COLLECTION Non-Stick Tube Pan, with its unique form and non-stick surface for even cooking.
Bake in a preheated oven at about 170°C for an hour and a half, and set aside to cool. For storage, wrap the cake in aluminum foil before placing it in the refrigerator. Avoid touching to avoid spoilage.
PRISM COLLECTION Non-Stick Tube Pan
Don’t you just love how tasty all that sounds? We hope these recommended pieces of cookware and recipes inspire you to cook up a feast made for family-sized holidays! If so, drop by at AllHome, your one-stop shop for your home, to discover more items you could use for your cooking and baking needs! Come to one of your branches nationwide, or visit our website at www.allhome.com.ph to shop online!
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