5 unconventional hosts share their Noche Buena recipes that you too can make
A stylist, a visual artist, a photographer, an all-around creative, and a champion of home cooking share their tried and tested recipes for the holidays
Dec 23, 2019
What do you serve dreaded Christmas crashers? What if you don’t celebrate the
holidays but have to put on your yuletide apron for guests? These hosts serve up
personal and foolproof recipes perfect for a crowd or a party of one.
I had this once at a Christmas dinner in New York years back and instantly became addicted. Since then, I’ve made it a point to cook this for family and friends whenever we have gatherings. This recipe can also be used for carrots if you’re craving something sweeter. This is also a great base for creating roasted butternut squash soup; just add it to soup stock and blend.
Roasted butternut squash (Adapted from Bon Appétit)
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1½-inch pieces
Olive oil for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 450° F.
- Toss squash and oil on a lined baking sheet; season with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 15 min, then let rest for 5 to 10 mins. After, return to the oven to roast until tender and browned 30-40 mins.
Visual artist and lecturer
It is a recipe that I learned when I was living in Osaka, Japan. I honestly can’t remember who taught me to do it but this dish was something I enjoyed a lot. I always stocked bell peppers and ground meat in my fridge in my apartment in Osaka. I was living alone so I had to cook for myself.
6 green bell peppers, cut into halves
300 g ground pork or beef
1/2 onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp flour
Oil for frying
Salt and pepper to taste
- Sauté onion in oil.
- To make the batter, mix egg, milk, and flour.
- Mix batter with meat. Season with salt and pepper.
- Lightly coat bell peppers with flour.
- Fill peppers with meat.
- Fill a preheated pan with oil.
- Facing down, meat side touching the pan, fry for 5 mins or until brown.
Stylist and owner, Herman & Miller
I just wanted to share the recipe for one of my favorite traditional dishes called chicken piyanggang from my family’s hometown of Sulu. We have it every time we want to be reminded of the flavors of home. My favorite way of eating it is with some agar-agar (seaweed salad) and flavorful rice.
Chicken braised in spices, coconut milk, and burnt coconut
Coconut meat, burnt
Ginger, yellow and normal
Salt, ground pepper, and fish sauce to taste
- Make a paste out of all the aromatics.
- Marinate the chicken in half of the paste.
- In a pan, sauté the remaining paste, then add the broth and coconut milk.
- Once boiling, add the grilled chicken and serve.
Owner, Glorious Dias
I actually don’t really celebrate the holidays. This would be my go-to holiday recipe for people who might want to get a kick-start some New Year’s resolutions of meal prepping or eating a bit healthier. These balls are good substitutes for store-bought treats and can provide a bit of an energy boost before a workout.
Sweet and salty holiday nut balls
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup Nutella
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup trail mix
1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon of chocolate powder
- In a bowl, mix wet and dry ingredients separately and then together.
- Form into balls with your hands.
- Freeze and enjoy.
Owner, Mafalda: A Queer Kitchen
Here’s a holiday scenario: you’ve got friends over, you’re having late-night drinks and discussing the year that was. It is sobering. Some friends are ready for a cup of tea, some crave a sugary nibble to leaven such a bleak topic. You are quite drunk. Luckily, there’s a sweet little snack for such an occasion! (Plus, some semblance of health through the addition of green tea powder.)
Financiers are buttery French pastries that sound fancy but are easy to pull off. I would know—I’ve made them at midnight, while tipsy and midway through a rant about the ecological burden of Christmas gift-giving! Traditionally, financiers are rectangular—like gold bars, hence the name—but meh, a small muffin mold will do. Just chill the batter before dinner and pour it in a tin during drinks. In a matter of minutes, you’ll be serving up a satisfying topic change to the tune of “No, you pronounce ‘financier’ like…” or “Matcha lattes are so basic but I love them.” All better than someone bitching about their boss yet again.
40g unsalted butter, a smidge more for greasing the tin
15g all-purpose flour
18g almond flour
8g matcha powder
1 egg white from a large egg
35g powdered sugar
- Prepare a large bowl with cold water and a handful of ice cubes. This is your ice bath.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Tilt and swirl the pan to spread the butter evenly, then cook it until it’s the shade of a drag queen’s boob contour.
- Once lightly browned, place your saucepan in the ice bath to put a full-stop on cooking. Then, strain the browned butter into a bowl to cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg white and sugar.
- Sift in the flours and matcha powder. Whisk everything, then stir in the browned butter and honey. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C.
- In butter-greased molds, pour the batter until just under the rim. Bake for 12 to 15 mins, or until golden brown. They’re done when a toothpick inserted at the center can be removed with hardly any residue. Let your financiers cool at least 10 mins before easing them out of their molds with a knife or spatula.
This story originally appeared in Southern Living Wrap-Up issue
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