Home >> Munchin' >> Noche Buena recipes from Chef Aracama

As you can see, there have been no food and resto features for a long time. Am not about to blame Typhoon Yolanda, but some friends were really serious when they urged netizens (like me) not to post food photos while hunger was prevalent in Tacloban & neighboring areas. So be it!

Anyway, this is not about food for the sake of eating. Will be sharing some recipes which you can use for the family’s all-important gathering for either the Noche Buena (during Christmas Eve) or Media Noche (during New Year’s Eve) this year. It is only three days before December after all!

This was from last Saturday’s class at The Maya Kitchen which I announced previously. Even though weekends are sacred to me because of family time, I didn’t pass up the opportunity to attend the class because the recipes up for demo by noted restaurateur and Chef Fern Aracama looked really good. Besides, I’ve been loving Spanish food lately.

Here was the line-up of dishes (from left): Malunggay/Spinach & Mozzarella Dip, Insalata Uvato which is the chef’s signature salad with honey balsamic vinaigrette, Grilled Ensaymada Media Noche Style, and the Bunuelos (fritters) with Warm Chocolate Dip. The Potato & Chorizo Soup was covered with the cast iron red Staub cookware which I was eyeing to be in my Christmas wish list 🙂

Maya Kitchen set up

The Potato & Chorizo Soup uncovered. Rich, filling & comforting.

Potato & Chorizo Soup

Maya publicist Tess Laurente and I’s photo op with Chef Fern. Picture taking pag may time! I enjoyed the class because the chef threw in interesting anecdotes, wasn’t scrimping with his insider tips and there was lots of food to share afterwards.

With Chef Aracama

The Grilled Ensaymada was the bomb. Utterly sinful because you’ve got all these fillings on a sandwich of ensaymada and the finale is frying the whole thing in butter. But hey it’s Christmas… we get an allowance to indulge 🙂

Grilled Ensaymada

The chef recommends pairing the ensaymada with salad

Salad & Ensaymada

Here’s how to make it:

You need –

4 pcs. large classic ensaymada (save yourself the effort, buy ready-made)
4 tbsp Dijon or yellow mustard
4 tbsp pickle relish
½ cup grated queso de bola or your choice of cheese
1-1 ½ cup shredded Chinese ham
½ cup butter, softened


1. Cut the ensaimada in half and turn it inside out.
2. Spread the mustard and the pickle relish on the bottom slice.
3. Top with the grated cheese and the shredded Chinese ham. Turn over the other half to cover the filling.
4. Heat up a non-stick pan over medium heat and add about a tablespoon of butter. When the butter has melted, grill the ensaimada until nice and crusty.
5. Add some more butter and turn over to grill the other side of the ensaimada. It should have a golden brown crust.
6. Slice the sandwich in half and serve with a side of Insalata Uva.

I guarantee this is soo good!

The others I will be posting in my (dormant) recipe blog soon.

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the author

This blog is my own happy place where I've written on a sundry of topics since 2004. Am an entrepreneur and busy mom who's passionate about travel, food and fitness. Email me at annalyn.jusay@gmail.com for inquiries & collaborations....thank you!

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