New Year Recipes

New Year Recipes

Elizabeth Ann Quirino

The longest holiday season in the world is celebrated in the Philippines and the New Year is greeted with festive family reunions. The combination of a sumptuous multi-ingredient stew and a decadent dessert looks like an elaborate spread but gives one enough time to get the table ready long before guests arrive.

Spanish-Style Cocido  

From “My Mother’s Philippine Recipes” Cookbook

Spanish Cocido - the full spread of various meats with the sides of clear soup broth, vegetables, eggplant and tomato sauces, and the sweet plantains. (Photography by Elizabeth Ann Quirino)

Spanish Cocido - the full spread of various meats with the sides of clear soup broth, vegetables, eggplant and tomato sauces, and the sweet plantains. (Photography by Elizabeth Ann Quirino)

This Spanish-style Cocido defined our Sundays. We would sit down as a family after church to enjoy this sumptuous dish that seemed like a multi-course meal yet was simply several meats and vegetables boiled in a stockpot. Mom occasionally called this Cocido a la Madrileña, and to friends she described it as an entrée with chunks of beef, chicken, pork and Spanish chorizos with cabbage, potatoes and vegetables from our backyard.  

Serves 4 to 6


½ pound boneless beef short ribs, cut into 2-inch cubes 

1 ham bone 

10 to 12 cups organic broth or water 

1 large white onion, sliced 

1 Tablespoon black peppercorns 

1 teaspoon sea salt 

½ pound pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes 

4 to 5 pieces bone-in chicken cutlets, (about 2lbs) 

2 large Spanish chorizos or Chorizo de Bilbao, sliced  

1 can garbanzos, drained, about 1 cup

4 large potatoes, peeled and quartered 

1 large carrot, peeled and sliced 

1 cup green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces 

1 head of cabbage, cut into wedges 

4 to 6 pieces cooked saging saba (plantains) 

For the eggplant sauce

4 to 5 large Asian eggplants, boiled, peeled and mashed (about 2 cups) 

1 Tablespoon minced garlic 

¼ cup cider vinegar 

1 teaspoon sea salt 

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper  


For the tomato sauce

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

1 medium white onion, chopped 

1 Tablespoon minced garlic 

6 to 8 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped


  • Combine the beef, ham bone, broth or water, onion and black peppercorns in a large, heavy stockpot over medium-high heat. Cover meats with enough liquid. Cover stockpot and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Continue cooking for 50 minutes more until the beef is tender. 

  • Add the pork and chicken to the same stockpot. Add water if more liquid is needed. Turn the heat up back to medium-high. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil again, then lower the heat to a low simmer once more. Continue cooking until the pork and chicken are completely cooked, about 45 to 50 minutes more. 

  • When the meats are thoroughly cooked, add Spanish chorizos, garbanzos, potatoes and carrots. Cook for 20 minutes more until the potatoes are soft.  

  • Lastly, add the green beans and cabbage wedges, and continue cooking for 8 minutes until the greens are soft. 

  • To prepare the eggplant sauce: Boil the eggplants in water in a small stockpot for 25 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel the eggplants and then mash them. Add the minced garlic and vinegar, and season with salt and black pepper. 

  • To cook the tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat and sauté the garlic and onions. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and then cover the saucepan. Continue cooking for 25 to 30 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and mushy. 

  • To serve the cocido: Arrange the meat—beef, pork, chicken and chorizos—side by side on a large platter. If the platter has room, place the vegetables next to the meats, or else plate the vegetables separately. Transfer the clear broth into a soup tureen to be served alongside the meat platter. Serve the cocido warm with the cooked plantains, eggplant sauce, tomato sauce and boiled rice. 

  • Cook’s comments: If a ham bone is not available for the broth, use several chunks of cooked ham. 

Spanish Cocido - a bandejado of the meats which can serve a large crowd. (Photo by Elizabeth Ann Quirino)

Spanish Cocido - a bandejado of the meats which can serve a large crowd. (Photo by Elizabeth Ann Quirino)

Coconut Leche Flan 

From “My Mother’s Philippine Recipes” Cookbook

Coconut Leche Flan (Photo by Elizabeth Ann Quirino)

Coconut Leche Flan (Photo by Elizabeth Ann Quirino)

A Filipino party is not complete without Leche Flan, shaped in a classic oval llanera, on the dessert table. And this was true in our home: Mom always had a complete line of desserts for us to enjoy after a big feast. Coconut was always used from soup to dessert, thanks to the abundance of coconuts from the trees that lined the four corners of our backyard, their fronds swaying in the warm winds. Mom only needed to say the word, and someone would climb a coconut tree to harvest as many as she needed and have them chopped open and ready for use. Whenever I heard a “plop” on the grassy lawn, I knew instinctively that coconuts were being harvested and that the most divine desserts would soon appear on our table. 

Serves 4


¾ cup granulated sugar, for caramel topping 

10 egg yolks 

1 (300 ml) can condensed milk 

¾ cup canned coconut milk 

½ cup canned coconut cream 

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

½ cup bottled Sweet Macapuno Strings, for garnish


  • Have on hand a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan or a 9-inch round cake pan, either glass or metal. You can also use a classic Filipino oval llanera. 

  • To make the caramel topping: Pour the sugar into a medium-sized heavy stockpot set over medium heat. Tilt the pan every now and then as the white sugar turns amber and transforms into a thick, syrupy mixture. It should take about 5 minutes for the sugar to start bubbling, starting at the edges and moving to the center. Keep the heat on low-medium or else the sugar will burn. Once the sugar turns into a golden syrup, immediately pour the scalding hot caramel into the loaf or cake pan. Set aside while preparing the custard. 

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks until well blended. 

  • Pour the condensed milk, coconut milk and cream over the yolks and then add the vanilla extract. Blend the ingredients with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth.  

  • Using a strainer, pour the custard mixture into the caramel-lined pan. Cover with aluminum foil and seal tightly around the edges. 

  • Preheat the oven to 325F. Place the foil-covered custard pan in the center of a larger roasting pan. Pour hot water into the roasting pan; the water should reach halfway up the sides of the custard pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes.  

  • Test if the Coconut Leche Flan is done by inserting the tip of a sharp knife into the center; if it comes out clean, the flan is done. Be careful not to let water droplets from the steam fall onto the flan. 

  • Cool the flan on the counter for one hour. Keep it covered with foil and refrigerate overnight. 

  • When ready to serve, run a small, sharp knife around the inside edges of the pan and turn the flan over onto a dessert bandehado, or platter. 

  • Garnish each individual serving with one teaspoon of sweet macapuno strings if desired.

Published on : 12/03/2018 by Puerto Parrot

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