Cook a Santis Dinner for Two, Under P1,000

February 13, 2016

That first trip to any delicatessen can be daunting. There’s strange cured meats and cheeses lying behind glass, unreadable boxes of food on the shelves, and, of course, the prices. I remember my mother taking me to Santis as a child and I would stare at the cheese, wondering why anyone would pay that amount for it. We have Chiz Wiz at home, mom! Growing up, though, I learned two things. One, the difference between good cheese (we still have Chiz Wiz at home) and quality cheese—and I have come to accept the disparity in cost. The other, is that with any market—whether it be a wet market or delicatessen—there’s always a way to stretch your budget.

Enter, the Santis challenge. We asked ourselves, how low can we go in creating meals with ingredients bought from the store. The thing is, there are a lot of good finds hidden there and, coupled with a little cooking know-how, you can experience quality food at a friendlier price. There is, however, the exception that other ingredients (those readily available at home), be excluded. We wouldn’t want that Himalayan salt eating up our budget now, would we? With Valentine’s Day a few hours away, and if you haven’t figured out what the hell to do yet, here’s our take on a somewhat grand dinner for two (or one—it’s okay buddy), all for under a grand.

Santi's Dinner for Two, Under P1000 Text Photo

 Baked Brie with Honey

Yield: 2 servings
Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 100–150g brie, small wheel or wedge
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped roughly (optional)
  • 1 small baguette, sliced for serving


  1. Preheat an oven to 180°C.
  2. On an oven-safe dish, drizzle the honey over the Brie. Sprinkle the walnuts over it.
  3. Bake the cheese for 8–10 minutes, or until it starts to melt and is warm in the center. Serve immediately with salami and toasted baguette slices.

Fusilli with Italian Sausage and Wilted Arugula

Yield: 2 servings
Total Time: 20 minutes (10 min prep, 10 min cooking)


  • 300g dried pasta of your choice
  • 2 fresh pork sausages, removed from casings and crumbled
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned and drained (reserve the oil)
  • 2 cups arugula leaves
  • 1 small white onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Prepare a large pot of boiling salted water to cook the pasta. Read the manufacturer’s directions and cook the pasta 1–2 minutes below the suggested cooking time.
  2. In a large pan on medium heat, add the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. Sauté the onions and garlic until the onions are completely translucent. Add the sausages and brown the meat, about 5–6 minutes.
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, add it to the sausage mixture. Add half a cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Stir it over low heat for a minute.
  4. Take the pasta off the flame and toss in the arugula, season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Can you make a cheaper recipe that’s just as good or even better? Or would you like us to focus on a specific ingredient? Hit us up in the comments below.

Miguel Ortega SEE AUTHOR Miguel Ortega

Miguel once worked for a bank before realizing words did so much more for him than numbers ever could (because if you can't dazzle with brilliance, you sure can baffle with bullshit). He has since gone on to write regular articles for Rogue magazine and video scripts for large-scale corporations, on top of working as a communications associate.

1 comments in this post SHOW

One response to “Cook a Santis Dinner for Two, Under P1,000”

  1. drooling now says:

    i’d do a bit of minced garlic instead of walnuts on the baked brie. and it’s a lot cheaper too!

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