Have you sorted out the family’s noche buena menu? If you’re still at a loss over which cake to bake, or pasta to make, then this article is for you, mommy! Sit back and relax as we offer you 5 Easy Christmas recipes you can prepare for noche buena. They’re not only easy, but they are also budget-friendly, and super delish!
Let’s get cookin’!
#1 – All-Time-Favorite-Brownies
Because it’s Christmas, let’s start with the dessert! Everybody loves a dessert and you can’t go wrong with a classic brownie recipe. Some people settle for mixed boxes and that is fine, but others go for that extra notch by making it from scratch! To make it merrier, add your favorite ingredient like bananas (to make it banana-brownies), or blueberries, walnuts, or with cream cheese swirled on top! Now that’s totally yummy.
Here’s a sample of an easy, 5-ingredient brownie recipe from Blue Apron.
- ½ cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup salted butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
Prepare the ingredients: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-9-inch baking pan.
Make the brownies: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar and cocoa powder. In another small bowl, whisk together the butter and eggs. Add the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring until just combined.
Bake the brownies for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut into 16 squares and serve.
NBS Foodie Recommendations:
Because it’s the season of giving, check out this handy booklet of baked goodies turned into gifts in a jar. There is no better gift than a homemade treat from your kitchen. Use the recipes and tags inside to create one–of–a–kind Gifts in a Jar for your family and friends. With favorite recipes such as Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Friendship Brownies and Coconut Macadamia Cookies, this book is full of inexpensive, easy and thoughtful ways to show your appreciation, care and love this holiday.
You might want to turn the noche buena preparation as your very own family tradition. Use this book created by Maya as a tool to create bonding activities in the kitchen. It contains 40 recipes for the whole family to make!
#2 – The Pinoy Pancit
Something seems amiss if you don’t have this on the table. However, beginner cooks tend to be intimidated by the medley of ingredients of pancit. But worry not! Once you get the hang of doing the initial steps, you’ll feel more confident cooking this dish for every occasion. Check out the recipe below. This is it pancit!
Recipe from Panlasang Pinoy: Pancit Bihon Guisado
- 1 lb pancit bihon (Rice Noodles)
- ½ lb. pork, cut into small thin slices
- ½ lb. chicken, cooked, deboned, and cut into thin slices
- ⅛ lb. pea pods or snow pea
- 1 cup carrot
- ½ small cabbage, chopped
- 1 cup celery leaves, chopped finely
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped
- ½ tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 pc chicken cube
- 5 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 to 4 cups water
- In a large pot, Saute the garlic and onion
- Add the pork and chicken then let cook for 2 minutes
- Add the chicken cube and water then simmer for 15 minutes
- Put in the carrots, pea pod, cabbage, and celery leaves and simmer for a few minutes
- Remove all the ingredients in the pot except for the liquid and set them aside
- In the pot with the liquid in, add the soy sauce and mix well
- Add the pancit bihon (makes sure to first soak it in water for about 10 minutes) and mix well. Cook until liquid evaporates completely
- Put-in the vegetables and meat that were previously cooked and simmer for a minute or two
- Serve hot. Share and enjoy!
NBS Foodie Recommendation:
“Skills muna, bago feels!”, says this recipe book! Perfect for the practicing misis, indeed! If you’re out to test your kitchen skills or would like to gain a new set of bragging rights as a new wife, then this book is for you. Learn the basics of Pinoy cooking. Cook your husband’s go-to-comfort food and he’ll surely love you even more!
#3 – Lechon Manok (Filipino Roasted Chicken)
Kids and adults love lechon manok – and for good reason! The Pinoy-style roasted chicken or lechon manok is savory, juicey, and familiar to our taste. It’s not too complicated to prepare, and will just need an hour in the oven.
Here’s a step-by-step guide in roasting lechon manok from Food Fanatics:
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 4 tablespoons sugar, divided use
- ½ gallon water
- One 3½-pound chicken
- ½ cup light* soy sauce or tamari
- ¼ cup cane vinegar
- 5 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
- 2 teaspoons cracked pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 stalk lemon grass, quartered
- 1 knob ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, melted
- Juice of 1 lime
Bring salt, 2 tablespoons sugar and water to a simmer in a large pot. Cool, immerse chicken and brine for 4 hours.
Combine soy sauce (or tamari), vinegar, garlic, remaining sugar, black pepper and bay leaf; stir well.
Remove chicken from brine and marinate in soy mixture for 4 to 6 hours.
Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper, and stuff with lemongrass and ginger. Combine butter and lime juice in small bowl. Truss chicken and place in a roasting pan.
Roast in preheated 350 F oven until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 F, approximately 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting with the annatto butter sauce every 15 minutes. Increase temperature to 400 F for the last 15 minutes. Rest chicken 15 minutes; quarter. Serves 4.
*Light refers to color, not sodium content.
NBS Foodie Recommendation:
This is THE CLASSIC-MUST-HAVE recipe book in every Filipino kitchen! Veteran, multi-awarded chef Sandy Daza shares his time-tested no-fail recipes. This is what her mom, Nora Daza tells of her son, Sandy: MY SON, SANDY, is undoubtedly the one who inherited the gastronomic savvy people associate most with the Dazas. He has an uncanny ability of appreciating food’s nuances and subtleties. If food were music, he must have perfect pitch. It’s talent.
#4 – Creamy Vigan Longganisa Pasta
If you’re more of a pasta person than a pancit one, then this unique twist to your favorite cream-based pasta would be a welcome recipe to try. It calls for a native ingredient that Ilocanos (and us, too!) love: Vigan Longganisa.
Here’s an easy to follow recipe for a creamy vigan longganisa pasta from Create with Cream:
- 1/2 kg Vigan longganisa filling (or any longganisa variant of choice, casing removed)
- 1 tbsp crushed garlic
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small green red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 packs All Purpose Cream 250 ml
- ¼ cup water
- 1 sachet 8g Magic Sarap
- 400g cooked spaghetti pasta
- salt, pepper and sugar to taste
In a pan, cook longganisa for 3 minutes or until oil is extracted. Add garlic and onion.
Continue stirring until fragrant and longganisa is cooked. Stir in bell pepper.
Pour in all purpose cream and water. Season with Magic Sarap, salt, pepper, and sugar according to taste.
Toss in cooked pasta. Mix to incorporate sauce with the pasta. Serve immediately.
NBS Foodie Recommendation:
Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo whips up a cookbook that is close to her heart. Judy Ann emphasizes, “There’s truly something special about preparing meals for the people who matter in your life. I see that food can put smiles on their faces, and I consider it an accomplishment that I am able to make people happy with the food I cook. So, really, this book is for my family, my friends, my supporters, and also everyone who have graciously allowed me to explore and work in their kitchens. This is also for moms, for people living alone, for those who are taking care of other people, and for adventurous and aspiring home cooks.”
#5 – Vegan Blueberry Jelly Cake
Its popular counterpart is the blueberry cheese cake that we all love. However, if you’re on the healthier side and don’t want to feel guilty after eating all that sweet-holiday themed dishes, then this one is perfect for you: Vegan Blueberry Jelly Cake! It’s just as mouthwatering, definitely a refreshing treat!
Check out the full recipe from Vegan Sandra:
- 2 cups / 220 g all-purpose or whole-wheat flour or use oat flour to make it gluten free
- 4 Tbsp sugar
- 5 ½ oz / 150 g vegan margarine
- ¾ cups / 200 ml vegan vanilla custard or vegan vanilla pudding (almost any thicker one will do)
- 8 Tbsp coconut flakes
- 2 cups / ½ l sweet liquid (for example some kind of juice or berry syrup mixed with some water. I used home-made cherry syrup and added some water to it)
- 2 tsp agar-agar powder
- blueberries or berries or fruits of your choice
Pre-heat the oven to 400 F / 200 C. Prepare the crust: mix the flour with sugar, add margarine cubes and use your fingers to mix the margarine and flour until the dough becomes crumbly. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready. Take a round cake pan and put a round sized parchment paper on it (I put the cake pan on the parchment paper and drew out the exact size of the pan then cut it out). Pour the crust dough into the cake pan and press onto the bottom with your fingers. Mix the vanilla cream with coconut flakes and pour it evenly on the crust (I used spatula). Bake the crust for 20 minutes at 400 F / 200 C, then cool it down and add berries or fruits to it.
When the crust is cooled down, prepare the jelly: in a little pot mix the agar-agar powder with a sweet liquid and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Then put the pot on the stove and let the mixture to boil for a few minutes. I has to boil hard so you can see the foam on the top of it. Try with a spoon – the mixture has to be pretty thick, almost like a syrup. Pour the mixture onto the cake and berries. Put the cake in a cold place and let the jelly get thicker.
NBS Foodie Recommendation:
If you think vegetarian food is bland, tasteless and totally unexciting, well, think again. Given the myriad of vegetarian ingredients available in restaurants, Chinatown and weekend markets, you can munch on vegetarian fare and not be able to tell the difference.
We surely hope you will have as much fun in cooking as in eating this holiday. Add some oomp in your Noche Buena spread by trying out these sure-fire, classic, but easy Christmas recipes and more from our recommended cookbooks. For more amazing recipes, order from our Food and Beverage section only at NBS Online.
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