As has been our practice for the past decade and a half or so, there was nothing traditional about our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals this year. Sam cooked shrimp and squid tempura for the Christmas Eve dinner (she takes a break from her vegetarian diet on special occasions), I prepared a Mexican-style salsa and Alex did the smoked salmon and cream cheese spread. For dessert, there was fruit salad served trifle style (no canned fruit cocktail). It was a rather late dinner after which we watched movies. We forgot to open the bottle of wine that we had set aside for the occasion.
No one woke up before lunch on Christmas Day. Pretty sure that the girls won’t be up until mid-afternoon, Speedy and I had tortilla wraps — and I’m calling them tortilla wraps rather than tacos or burritos because, except for the tortillas, there was really nothing authentic Mexican about them. There were three or four varieties of sausages in the freezer, I paused momentarily trying to decide between bratwurst and Spanish chorizo, then decided to go with bratwurst.
I fried the bratwurst lightly just until the outside was browned and, in another pan, I heated two flour tortillas. I sliced the bratwurst, took out from the fridge the salsa I made the night before and started assembling the wraps.
Spicy and tangy mango and tomato salsa
- 4 to 6 plump tomatoes
- 1 large onion
- 2 finger chilies
- 1 semi-ripe mango
- salt and pepper to taste
- kalamansi (or lime or lemon) juice, to taste
- Cut each tomato in half vertically and squeeze out the seeds. Discard the seeds. Cut the tomatoes into small cubes.
- Peel the onion and give it a regular chop (see how to chop, illustrated).
- Cut the mango open, discard the stone and cut the flesh into the same size as the tomato cubes.
- Toss all the cut ingredients together with a bit of salt and pepper.
- Drizzle in kalamansi (or lime or lemon) juice, toss and taste. Add more salt, pepper or kalamansi juice, as needed.
- Transfer the salsa to a covered container and keep in the fridge until needed.
Salsa tastes better if allowed to sit for an hour before serving.
I laid a tortilla flat, placed a couple of lettuce leaves on top, piled on the bratwurst slices, spooned salsa over the meat and, as an afterthought, sprinkled in grated cheese. So simple and so satisfying with all those festive colors to boot. Speedy didn’t want cheese so he assembled his wrap.
Because Sam was supposed to make rice rolls, I cooked Japanese rice, fluffed it up as soon as it was done and stirred in rice vinegar. I lightly fried three bangus (milkfish) back fillets as well. When Sam came downstairs, she started prepping the rest of the filling for the rice rolls.
We’re full right now; we’ll probably eat a light meal while watching more movies later. It is my personal tradition to watch Die Hard on Christmas Eve, I completely forgot to do it last night, so I must — I MUST — do so before Christmas Day ends.