It’s the first time in atleast 4 years that mom and I spent Holy Week in Manila. So for Easter Sunday, the family got together for lunch and I took over the food preps while my tita Dorcie took care of the activities and her husband, tito Benjie fired up the grill. It’s been a while since the whole family gathered for a whole day event and we did spend the whole day with each other. We had enough stories and activities to keep everyone entertained and even quick naps for some in between.
As soon as we arrived, we were asked to go on an Easter egg hunt. My tita Marijo brought red salted eggs for the Easter egg hunt. Find an egg and you get to eat it too. That’s the best kind of reward. Haha! I on the other hand brought a golden chocolate egg to share with the family.
Here’s our menu:
Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini with Balsamic Vinaigrrette topped with Kesong Puti
Cajun Chicken Fajitas
Roasted bell peppers
Buttered Parmesan Marble Potatoes
Corn and Carrots
Corn on the cob – c/o Tita Dorcie
Brown Rice – c/o Tita Merj
The day before, I marinated the pork belly with calamansi, soy sauce and tomato sauce. And turned it over the next day to let the marinade seep through the meat. For the Cajun chicken, I purchased both thigh and breast parts and rubbed it with olive oil and my Cajun spice mix. The mix consists mainly of paprika, cayenne, thyme salt and pepper. On the day itself, I sent over the marinated meats for Tito Benjie to grill.
Preparing the side dishes took up most of my time. The first I roasted the vegetables, but take note that they can also be grilled since it is a summer barbeque. I just preferred to roast them so I didn’t have to worry about turning it over in the grill. All I had to do was drizzle the vegetables with olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper and mix it all up before popping them into a 350 degree oven for 20 mins.
While that was in the oven, I started to make the coleslaw.
1 head of green cabbage, shredded
½ head of red cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, julienne or grated (whichever is easier for you)
1 ½ lemons
Toss the cabbages and carrots all together. You may add finely chopped onions to this but my mom prefers it without onions. Squeeze the juice of 1 ½ lemons and add in mayonnaise. Not sure how much I used probably about half a cup. Add in salt, pepper and sugar to taste and set it in the refrigerator at least 2 hours before you serve it.
The buttered parmesan marble potatoes were the easy to prepare. I just picked out the bigger potatoes and cut them in the middle before boiling them so they would be more or less the same size and would cook at the same time. Once cooked, I added in a whole lot of butter, garlic salt, grated parmesan and chopped parsley. It’s good even cold since I prepared this ahead of time.
For the last side dish I prepared, saved the easiest for last, the buttered corn and carrots. I diced the carrots and sautéed it in butter. When almost done cooking, I added in 2 cans of corn kernels and okay, a bit more butter for a few seconds. Added in salt and pepper and voila! That’s a lot of stuff to do for one person considering we didn’t have a helper and I had to prewash the cooking utensils, pots, pans and platters used. Phew!
But seeing everyone enjoy the food was definitely worth it. The fajitas were amazing. I stuffed the tortilla was pieces of the Cajun chicken, green and red bell peppers, buttered corn & carrots topped with kesong puti. YUM! I had 4 of those atleast and just picked on the liempo and everything else after. Haha!
After lunch, we had the funniest activity ever. Well aside from being questioned by our titas and titos about why us 4 girls don’t have boyfriends, we also picked our own fruits for dessert. Haha! Lunch officially ended at 8pm that day since we were just eating the entire day. I guess it was a long due catch up for the family since we don’t get to have our weekly lunches or dinners any more.