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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Unforgettable Tables

By: Juvy S. Iliwiliw

When one would learn the art of cooking, one should also learn the simple artistry of making the table look special and simply unforgettable. The way you set your table can range from sophisticated to cozy. Both styles can work equally well. How you top your table depends on the occasion and what you like.

I have learned that when it comes to table coverings, use your ingenuity - just about anything goes. For formal occasions, think about fine linen or lace. At informal get-togethers, turn to homey place mats, colorful sarongs, holiday runners, large print handkerchiefs, or even big squares of bright paper.

There are also few set rules about centerpieces. You can use anything from sophisticated floral arrangement to a simple collection of greenery. Or take a look at the knick-knacks around your house. A favorite dish filled with ornaments or fruit may work perfectly. For sit-down dinners, remember to keep centerpieces low enough that guests can easily see each other.

You can even add charm and warmth to the table with some well-thought-out personal touches. 

And there still plenty of ways how to make the family table look its best but the most unforgettable touch a mother could possibly do is to lavish it well for the occasion and to garnish beautifully the food on the table.

Here are some worth remembering recipes. Enjoy cooking!


You will need:

1     kg chicken breast, deboned and cut into wide strips
1     pc egg, beaten
2     cups Japanese breadcrumbs


1     cup Del Monte Original Blend Ketchup
1/4  cup Worcestershire Sauce
1     head garlic, crushed
2     tsp sugar
1/4  tsp pepper
1/4  cup water

Here's how:

1. Season chicken with 1/2 tsp iodized fine salt (or 1/2 tbsp iodized rock salt).
    Mix with egg. Roll each piece in breadcrumbs until well-coated.
    Fry until golden brown.

2. Sauce: Combine all ingredients for sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with chicken fingers.


You will need:

12      pc (1.5 g) medium crabs, cooked
          and flaked (reserve crab claws)
3        squares small tokwa, fried and chopped
1        pc medium carrot, chopped
1        pc medium red bell pepper, chopped
1        pouch (115 g) Del Monte Tomato Sauce
1/4     cup chopped kinchay
2        pc egg, beaten
2        tbsp all-purpose flour
1        cup breadcrumbs

Here's how:

1. Remove shells of crab claws ("sipit") except on pincers to expose meat. Set aside.

2. Combine crab meat with remaining ingredients except breadcrumbs.
    Season with 1-1/4 tsp iodized fine salt (or 1-1/4 tbsp iodized rock salt)
    and 1/4 tsp pepper. Mix well.

3. Coat each "sipit" with 2 tbsp of crab meat mixture. Form excess crab mixture into croquettes.
    Roll in breadcrumbs and deep-fry in 2 cups oil until golden brown.
    Serve with Del Monte Chili Sauce or Ketchup.


You will need:

1/4    kg Del Monte Spaghetti, cooked
100   g bacon, sliced
150   g chicken breast, deboned and cut into strips (1-1/2"x1/2")
1       stalk celery, sliced
22     pc (50 g) black pitted olives, sliced
1       can (385 g) Del Monte Italian Style Spaghetti Sauce
1       bunch (200 g) spinach, use leaves and tender stalks only
1/4    cup grated Parmesan cheese

Here's how:

1. Saute' bacon until crunchy. remove excess oil and reserve half of bacon for topping.
    Add chicken and saute' for 5 minutes. Add celery, olives, 1/4 tsp iodized fine salt
    (or 3/4 tsp iodized rock salt) and 1/8 tsp pepper. Cook for 2 minutes.

2. Add Del Monte Spaghetti sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in spinach leaves and half of cheese.
    Simmer for 2 minutes.

3. Pour over or blend with cooked Del Monte Spaghetti.
    Top with remaining Parmesan cheese.


You will need:

1     pc (1 to 1-1/4 kg) whole chicken, cleaned
1     tbsp cornstarch


1     pc large onion, chopped
1     stalk celery, chopped
2     tbsp margarine
10   slices small pan Americano, cut into cubes to make 2 cups
1     can (439 g) Del Monte Fresh Cut Crushed Pineapple, drained
       (reserve syrup)
1/4  cup raisins


       pineapple syrup
1     tsp grated ginger
4     cloves garlic, minced
1/4  cup soy sauce
1/4  tsp pepper
1/2  tsp iodized fine salt
       or 1/2 tbsp iodized rock salt)

Here's how:

1. Pour marinade inside and outside cavity of chicken, then marinate for 1 hour, turning occasionally.
    Drain. Combine cornstarch and marinade. Simmer until thick. Strain. Serve as gravy if desired.

2. Filling: Saute' onion and celery in margarine. Stir in bread and toast slightly.
    Combine with remaining ingredients. Season with 1/2 tsp iodized fine salt
    (or 1/2 tbsp iodized rock salt) and 1/8 tsp pepper. Mix well.

3. Loosely stuff chicken. Place in roasting rack of turbo broiler. Broil at 375F for 1 hour or until cooked,
    turning chicken after 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.


You will need:

250    g Del Monte Spaghetti, cooked
1        pc large onion, sliced
2        cloves garlic, crushed
6        tbsp extra virgin olive oil
350    g Italian sausage, crumbled or coarsely chopped
3        tbsp dry white wine
1        pouch (250 g) Del Monte Italian Style Spaghetti Sauce
150    g green bell pepper, cut into strips
150    g yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
2        tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Here's how:

1. Saute' onion and garlic in half of olive oil. Add Italian sausage and saute' until brown.
    Add wine and cook until wine evaporates.

2. Add Del Monte Spaghetti Sauce. Season with 1 tsp iodized fine salt
    (or 1 tbsp iodized rock salt). Cook for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, saute' bell peppers in remaining olive oil until almost tender.

4. Toss sausage mixture and bell pepper with cooked Del Monte Spaghetti.
    Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese just before serving.


You will need:

1-1/4  cups all-purpose flour
1/4      tsp white sugar
1/4      tsp iodized fine salt
7         tbsp margarine
3         tbsp ice water


1        pc small onion, chopped
2        slices (50 g) salami or ham, diced
50      g bacon, diced
1        pc each small green and red bell
          peppers, diced
1/2     cup grated cheddar cheese
3        tbsp grated quickmelt cheese


2       pc eggs
1/4    cup evaporated milk
1/4    cup all-purpose flour, dissolved in 1/4 cup water
1-1/2 tsp iodized fine salt
1/2    tsp pepper
2       tsp white sugar
1       pouch (115 g) Del Monte Classic Italian Pizza Sauce

Here's how:

1. Crust: Preheat oven to 350F. Combine flour, sugar and salt.
    Cut in  margarine until it takes on a coarse texture.
    Gradually add ice water while mixing until dough holds its shape.
    Form into a ball. Flatten dough in between sheets of wax paper into a 10" circle.
    Fit onto a 9" quiche/pie place. Fold overhanging dough.
    Prick bottom and sides of crust with fork. Set aside.

2. Saute' onion, salami and bacon for 2 minutes. Add bell peppers. Cook for 2 minutes.
    Spread half of mixture on the crust. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Set aside.

3. Blend ingredients for topping. Pour into crust. Sprinkle with quickmelt cheese
    and remaining meat mixture. Bake for 40 minutes.
    Take out from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.


You will need:

3       cloves garlic, crushed
1       pc small onion, sliced
200   g ground pork
150   g shrimps, shelled but tails intact
1/3    cup cooked/frozen green peas
1       pc small red bell pepper, cut into strips
1       pouch (200 g) Del Monte Tomato Sauce
4       cups cooked rice
1       pc egg, cooked into omelet
         then cut into strips
2       stalks green onions, chopped

Here's how:

1. Saute' garlic, onion and pork. Cook for 5 minutes.
    Add shrimps, green peas, bell pepper, 1/2 tsp iodized fine salt
    (or 1/2 tbsp iodized rock salt), 1/3 tsp pepper and Del Monte Tomato Sauce.
    Simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add rice. Mix until well-blended. Top with egg strips and green onions.


You will need:

1     pouch (250 g) Del Monte Tomato Sauce
12   cloves garlic, crushed
1/4  cup peanut butter
1/4  cup soy sauce
1/4  tsp iodized fine salt
       (or 3/4 tsp iodized rock salt)
6     tbsp brown sugar
1     kg pork pigue, sliced thinly tapa style
       then cut into 1-1/2 " wide strips

Here's how:

1. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a saucepan. Heat while stirring for 2 minutes.
    Cool, then pour over to marinate pork. Mix well. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
    Drain. Set aside pork and simmer marinade for 2 minutes.

2. Heat 3 to 4 tbsp oil in a pan. Pan-grill pork (both sides) while basting with marinade until cooked.
    If desired, thread pork into skewers before cooking.


You will need:

1        can (439 g) Del Monte Fiesta Fruit Cocktail,
          well drained (reserve 2 tbsp syrup)
2/3     cup margarine or butter
3/4     cup cocoa powder
2        cups sugar
4        pc eggs
1        tsp vanilla
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1        tsp baking powder
1        tsp iodized fine salt
1/2     cup coursely chopped cashew nuts

Here's how:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Melt margarine in a saucepan over low heat.
    Add cocoa. Stir to dissolve. Remove from heat.

2. Add sugar, eggs, vanilla and fruit cocktail syrup. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt.
    Blend thoroughly.

3. Add Del Monte Fiesta Fruit Cocktail and nuts.
    Spread in greased 13"x9" pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until brownies start to pull away
    from the sides of the pan. Cool slightly. Cut into bars.

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