Diamond Hotel Offers Exciting Deals
for Chinese New Year 2018

Wok-fried Crab for prosperity

Wok-fried Crab symbolizes wealth

THE Year of the Earth Dog promises to be and active and eventful one, with the dog’s energies guided by the earth element in its Yang form. So make way for the Chinese New Year 2018 and kick-start the celebration. Diamond Hotel Philippines joins in the celebration with its high-spirited activities and special perks.

Planning to have an auspicious Chinese lunch or dinner to mark Chinese New Year 2018? Corniche presents its Chinese New Year Lunch and Dinner Buffet from February 15 to 18, 2018, featuring the culinary specialties of the hotel’s new Chinese chef Yang Yong. Priced at Php2,500 nett per person, the Chinese New Year gastronomic feast includes Salmon Yu Sheng for prosperity, Wok-fried Crab for wealth, and Teochew Style Roast Suckling Pig for luck. Other auspicious and symbolic food will also be served to bring a more meaningful celebration and to boost good fortune throughout the year.

Diamond Hotel Philippines' new Chinese chef Yang Yong

Diamond Hotel Philippines’ new Chinese chef Yang Yong

What’s more: For every Php5,000 expenditure, diners get a chance to pick a prize and win something from the Prosperity Tree. And if you spend it at the Corniche Lunch Buffet on February 16, 2018, you get a free 10-minute Feng Shui consultation with Feng Shui expert Angel Macalino.

To complete the Chinese New Year celebration, Diamond Hotel treats its guests to a vibrant Lion and Dragon Dance by the Philippine Ling Nam Athletic Federation at 11:00 a.m. on February 16. The Chinese musicians belonging to the Kim Hwa Ensemble are also providing live entertainment by playing traditional musical instruments.

Then there are the amulets and charms available at the hotel lobby from February 10 to 18, where guests can select the best Feng Shui cures to bring about an atmosphere that will make them stronger and to invite prosperity and health into their respective homes.

And for guests who wish to stay over in the hotel, overnight stays in a Deluxe Room are priced at Php7,500 nett, inclusive of breakfast for two at Corniche, unlimited WiFi access, 20% off on laundry service and on reflexology, and complimentary shuttle service during weekends to Intramuros and SM Mall of Asia. Booking a room may also be done online via www.diamondhotel.com, with promo code LUCKYGETAWAY.

For inquiries, call 528-3000 extension 1121 (restaurant reservations) and extension 1140 (room reservations).


(Diamond Hotel Philippines is located at Roxas Blvd. corner Dr. J. Quintos St., Manila.)

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Morcon a la Emilia
(Chef Myrna Segismundo
for The Maya Kitchen)

Morcon a la Emilia

Morcon a la Emilia

Chef Myrna Segismundo

Chef Myrna Segismundo

CHEF Myrna Segismundo, a multi-awarded Filipino chef who has made great strides in the promotion of Filipino cuisine, was the featured chef in the most recent Culinary Elite Series cooking session of The Maya Kitchen.

Stressing that Filipino food does not need to be made gourmet or fused with other cuisines to be good, Chef Myrna lined up five Filipino dishes for her cooking demo, and one of them was Morcon a la Emilia.

The dish is a tribute to her mother, from whom Chef Myrna learned her very first lessons in cooking, as she was a good cook and served her big brood with good food every mealtime. The recipe of the hearty and filling dish is shared here.

2 kgs. beef sirloin, cut into 2 portions, each measuring 8x5x1/2 inches
juice from 2 pcs. lemons or limes or 10 pcs. calamansi
1 cup soy sauce
1 head garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp. black peppercorns, cracked
1/2 cup unsalted butter
8-10 pcs. sweet pickles, quartered
4-6 pcs. Spanish sausages (chorizo), each cut into 4 horizontal strips
200 grams pork fat, cut into 1/4×2-inch strips
1/3 kg. Edam cheese or queso de bola, cut into 1/4×2-inch strips
150 grams ham strips
1 can pimiento, sliced into strips
5 eggs, boiled, peeled and cut into wedges
butcher’s thread
2 pcs. white onion, minced, sautéed in a little oil
4 pcs. tomatoes, peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped, sautéed in a little oil
enough water to cover meat
1 cup tomato sauce
3 pcs. potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/3 cup green olives
salt and pepper to taste

1. Marinate beef slices in lemon, lime or calamansi juice, soy sauce, garlic and pepper for 2 hours.
2. Remove beef from marinade and spread slices flat on a tray. Reserve marinade.
3. Spread butter on the top side of each slice of beef. Then line the buttered slice of beef with strips of pickles, sausages, pork fat, cheese, ham, pimientos and boiled eggs. Roll each slice into a cylinder and tie with butcher’s thread to bind beef and stuffing together. Rub and coat rolls with sautéed onions and tomatoes.
4. Place beef rolls in a pot or casserole. Pour marinade over the rolls. Add water and tomato sauce.
5. Cook rolls, covered, over medium heat for about 30 minutes or until sauce thicks and beef is half-done. Add quartered potatoes and olives, and continue simmering until beef is tender. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Cool beef rolls thoroughly. Remove string. Carefully slice the rolled beef into half-inch thick cuts, making sure the stuffing is intact.
7. Arrange slices neatly on a platter. Heat sauce with potatoes and olives. Pour sauce over slices and garnish with potatoes and olives. Serve warm.

Serves 4 to 6.

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Now Serving Exquisite Abalone
at Marco Polo Ortigas’ Lung Hin

Exquisite South African Abalone

Exquisite South African Abalone

IF you’re craving for exquisite abalone, you’re not alone. A lot of people, especially those who have tried it before, dream of indulging in that lavish and luxurious experience of eating exquisite abalone for lunch or dinner.

These marine snails called abalone are, after all, considered to be a fine ingredient in the culinary world. Diners usually indulge in the special treat only during special occasions due to the limited supply—and, thus, high value—of abalone. Besides being delicious, abalone is also much coveted due to its multiple health benefits on the immune system, eyes, liver and kidneys. It is also used as an additional therapy for cancer.

Braised Whole South African Abalone with Oyster Sauce

Braised Whole South African Dried Abalone with Supreme Oyster Sauce

Now, there is every reason to indulge in abalone, as Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Cantonese restaurant, Lung Hin, puts the spotlight on the abalone. The chefs, led by Chinese Executive Chef Terry Lai, has made exquisite abalone readily available at the restaurant, with a choice of Braised Whole Australian Abalone with Supreme Oyster Sauce in six heads at Php1,200 per piece, Braised Whole South African Dried Abalone with Supreme Oyster Sauce in twelve heads at Php2,088 per piece, and Braised South African Abalone with Hong Kong Dried Sausage and Waxed Meat Fried Rice in 12 heads at Php3,288 per piece.

Peking Duck with Osmanthus Jelly on Potato Chip

Peking Duck with Osmanthus Jelly on Potato Chip

Enjoy exquisite abalone dishes with other specialties of Lung Hin by ordering set menus that have been crafted to bring the best of Hong Kong to the dinner table. The Sea Special Set Menu includes Peking Duck with Osmanthus Jelly on Potato Chip, Double-boiled Chicken with Red Dates and Wolfberry Soup, and Steamed Cantonese Sausage Rice with Garoupa Fillet, along with Braised Whole Australian Abalone with Supreme Oyster Sauce in six heads. The Healthy Classic Set Menu, meanwhile, offers Braised Whole South African Dried Abalone with Supreme Oyster Sauce in twelve heads.


(Marco Polo Ortigas Manila can be found at Meralco Ave. corner Sapphire St., Ortigas Center, Pasig City; with telephone number (632) 7207777.)

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Healthy Eating in 2018:
Pesto Sauce for the Win!

Doña Elena Pesto Sauce in three variants, from left: Red Pesto Sauce, Classic Green Pesto Sauce, and Ricotta & Smoked Provola Cheese Pesto Sauce

Doña Elena Pesto Sauce in three variants, from left: Red Pesto Sauce, Classic Green Pesto Sauce, and Ricotta & Smoked Provola Cheese Pesto Sauce

HAD too much spaghetti with red meat sauce loaded with slices of hotdog last Christmas season? It’s time to eat lighter and healthier—and that includes the kind of pasta that you eat. Move over, meat sauce; it is time for pesto sauce to shine.

Originating from Liguria, Italy, pesto sauce is traditionally made with fresh basil leaves, crushed garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and cheese blended together in a food processor or blender into a paste. It is commonly used as a pasta sauce, but, today, it can also be used in so many other ways.

With the recent introduction of Doña Elena Pesto Sauce, utilizing pesto sauce in recipes is not so tedious anymore because you do not have to make pesto sauce from scratch to enjoy real pesto goodness. Packaged in bottles, the ready-to-use Doña Elena Pesto Sauce comes in three different variants—Classic Green Pesto Sauce, Red Pesto Sauce, and Ricotta & Smoked Provola Cheese Pesto Sauce.
All three variants can be used as:

Pasta sauce. Simply cook pasta according to package directions. As the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce. Heat up a pan, and add olive oil. Add minced garlic, chopped shrimps and sliced button mushrooms; then season to taste and fold in cooked pasta.

Spread on bread. On pandesal, French baguettes, English muffin or even slices of loaf bread, a good spread of pesto sauce should provide enough flavor for the crunchy bread. Add grated cheese and taste it, and you’ve got a feast.

Seafood Pizza with Pesto Sauce

Seafood Pizza with Pesto Sauce

Pizza sauce. Who says pizza sauce has to always be red and tomato based? Pesto goes better with seafood toppings. Spread pesto sauce sparingly on ready-to-cook pizza crust, sprinkle with grated cheese, top with sautéed or steamed squid rings, shrimps, clams or mussels, toast and enjoy.

Salad dressing. Whisk pesto sauce with extra virgin olive oil, drizzle on a fresh garden salad, sprinkle with grated cheese and have your fill.

Dipping sauce. Serve it alongside ketchup, mayonnaise and cheese sauce as dips for French fries, potato chips or toasted pita bread quarters.

Personally, when publicist Redge Jimenez-Lopez sent me samples of all three variants of Doña Elena Pesto Sauce, I used them as pasta sauce. All three variants turned out nice when I made Shrimp and Cheese Pasta with them, first using the Ricotta & Smoked Provola Cheese Pesto Sauce, then the Red Pesto Sauce and, finally, the Classic Green Pesto Sauce. I cooked spaghetti/penne/spiral pasta until al dente according to package directions. While the pasta was cooking, I made the pasta sauce, heating up olive oil in a pan, sautéing minced garlic until lightly toasted, adding peeled shrimps sliced in half and button mushrooms, then pouring in the contents of one bottle of pesto sauce, and cooking the mixture for a few minutes before tasting and seasoning with salt and pepper according to taste. Before serving, I sprinkled the pasta with grated Parmesan cheese. Perfect—and done in just a few minutes!

DSCF9807Doña Elena Pesto Sauce is exclusively distributed in the Philippines by Fly Ace Corporation, a leading food and beverage consumer goods company in the country, as part of its Mediterranean line. Doña Elena Pesto Sauce is available in major supermarkets, such as Landmark, Fishermall, Alabang Supermarket, Cash and Carry, Waltermart, Rustans, Shopwise, Unimart and selected Robinsons and Puregold branches.

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Turkey Sandwich with Cranberry Slaw
(Heritage Dried Fruits and Nuts)

Turkey Sandwich with Cranberry Slaw

Turkey Sandwich with Cranberry Slaw

TO help you fulfill your New Year’s Resolution of eating light and healthy starting this January, Flavors of Life shares with you this recipe of a healthy snack—Turkey Sandwich with Cranberry Slaw—which was one of the featured recipes during a recent cooking demonstration put together by Heritage Dried Fruits and Nuts.

Held at Hemady Square, California Produce, Endless Possibilities had Chef Jo Gosiaco whipping up four delightfully healthy recipes, and this recipe is perhaps the most versatile because the Turkey Sandwich can go with a regular Coleslaw Salad and the exciting Cranberry Slaw can accompany any other sandwich. It can be layered with the roast turkey in the sandwich, or it can be served on the side.


For the cranberry jam:
1 cup Heritage Dried Cranberries, rehydrated and chopped
1 cup white sugar
2 pcs. star anise
3 pcs. cardamom pods (optional)
1 pc. cinnamon stick
6 Tbsps. water

1. Melt sugar in a pan. Add star anise, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick. Cook until sugar is caramelized.
2. Add dried cranberries and 3 Tbsps. water. Simmer, covered, for 6 minutes.
3. Lift up lid, add remaining 3 Tbsps. water and simmer uncovered. Stir once in a while. (*If the cranberries still need to be cooked a little longer, add a few tablespoons of water.)
4. Discard the star anise, cardamom and cinnamon stick from the jam, and coarsely blend mixture using a hand blender. Let cool.

For the turkey sandwich:
2 Tbsps. mayonnaise or plain yogurt
2 Tbsps. cranberry jam
1 cup shredded red and green cabbage
6 slices whole wheat bread or sourdough bread, toasted
softened butter
sliced tomatoes
sliced roast turkey
sliced Brie cheese

1. In a bowl, combine mayonnaise or yogurt, cranberry jam and shredded cabbage. Set aside. This will serve as your cranberry slaw.
2. Butter slices of toasts on one side. On three bread slices, layer with cranberry slaw, sliced tomatoes, roast turkey and Brie cheese.
3. Cover sandwiches with remaining three bread slices, buttered side down.
4. Slice and serve.

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