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Evelyn's Kitchen By Evelyn S. BunoanBy Evelyn S. Bunoan
This delicious appetizer was featured in Evelyns Kitchen Cooking With Friends third annual Christmas Presentation on December 8, 2007, which was also televised on Channel 58. Our special guest, Attorney Miriam Reidmiller, showed a very innovative way of cooking Morcon which will be published in the next issue of the Manila Mail.

On this joyous occasion, the spirit of Christmas was truly felt by everyone, owing to the festive mood of the guests and hosts alike. There was a plethora of enticing dishes served with style, and which in turn treated the guests to a gastronomic experience they would not soon forget. The following dishes were prepared with my guests health and benefits in mind Appetizers: Petit Spring Rolls, Menudo Pinwheels and Crab Meat in vegetable cups. Main dishes: Beef Tongue Estofado with Spicy Green Mango, Fresh Corned Beef Pochero, Lean Bopis, Lechon de Leche Sisig, Vegetarian Pancit, and Green Jackfruit in Coconut with Jalapeno and Black Olives. After dinner, these mouth-watering desserts were served: Purple Yam Preserve, Kutsinta, Cassava Cake, Great Great Grandmothers Leche Flan, steamed sugar-free Cassava Squares with coconut flakes (pichi-pichi), and Banana Turones. Calamansi with Kiwi was the main featured drink, which was prepared by my husband, Oscar.

Serves 30+
1 pound jumbo crabmeat (in can)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
2/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 medium size endives (washed, dried and separated)
2 pieces small zucchini (washed and sliced 1/8 thick)
2 pieces small yellow squash (washed and sliced 1/8 thick)
15-20 large mushrooms (cleaned, stems removed)

In a mixing bowl, combine the beaten eggs with mayonnaise, mustard and parsley. Gently fold in the crab meat and the breadcrumbs.

Preheat the skillet with vegetable oil and cook the crab meat in batches turning them gently 2 to 3 minutes each side. Transfer to a plate then carefully mix the batches making sure not to tear the meat.

While the crab meat is being cooled, prepare the vegetables. Arrange the endives, zucchini and yellow squash cups in separate platters. Cook the mushrooms in microwave oven bottom side down for 2-3 minutes, drained and also arrange in a platter bottom side up.

Scoop the crab meat (approximately 1 teaspoon) and drop into the endives, zucchini, yellow squash and mushroom cups.
Optional: Garnish the platters with salad greens, chives and red bell peppers made into poinsettias.

Household Hints:
With the holidays fast approaching, you may not have enough time to prepare dishes for your parties. It will make your life easier if you choose dishes that can be prepared ahead of time. Some examples: stews, casseroles, estofado, embutido, beef or chicken roulades, seafood, meat or vegetable egg rolls can be frozen indefinitely. Some appetizers and desserts can also be done ahead of time and can be frozen, such as empanaditas, kakanin, pastries, and cookies.

Ready all the serving platters, silverwares including linens and napkins well ahead of the party. You do not want to do this at the last minute as your time will be occupied with more important things. Use disposable plates, cutleries and wine glasses if you have more than 25 guests. But this is really up to you if you prefer using your dinnerware for this special occasion.

Hire a helper if you think you need it to give yourself time to concentrate on your guests.
Purchase all your favorite wines and drinks a week or so before your party so they can be chilled properly, if needed.
I know the next few days before the Christmas Holidays are never easy on anyone, but I assure you that with good planning and the right attitude, you can do it!

Editors note: Mrs. Evelyn S. Bunoan is Owner/Master Chef, Philippine Oriental Market & Deli (with more than 29 years of service to the Filipino-American community) – 3610 Lee Highway, Arlington, Virginia; (703)528-0300; Master Chef (French cuisine), Le Cordon Bleu, London, UK; recipe creator, improviser, food stylist, cake designer, and culinary writer; kitchen-tested and mastered more than 400 recipes, and counting. Host of the cooking show Evelyns Kitchen Cooking with Friends.

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