Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Grilled Bacon Cheese Egg sandwich with Strawberry Preserves

I love breakfast food even if I don't eat it in the morning, I can never wake up early. I have been down with the flu for the past couple of days and I just asked my maid to make soup for me. Either I'm really very sick I can't taste the food.... or the food really has no taste at all.

So, tonight .... I browsed the net what I can do with Bacon since it's the only thing I could defrost very fast. I saw a very simple Bacon egg cheese panini! I never realized that there is a correct way of cooking scrambled eggs! Mine would usually turn out dry and rubbery.

For every egg, add 1 teaspoon of water or low-fat milk and a pinch of salt. Beat for 2 MINUTES manually or use an electric hand mixer and beat for 25 seconds. Melt 1 T. butter in a non stick skillet, when butter is almost melted pour in the beaten egg. When it is beginning to set, use a spatula, push the egg into the center and tilt the pan. Continue pushing to the center gently until set. Remove from heat.

To assemble the panini, brush melted butter on one side of each bread, grate Chevital quickmelt cheese, put on the UNBUTTERED side of both bread, then add the scrambled egg and bacon. Cover with the bread, butter side up.

Heat your panini maker or if you don't have, a non stick pan will do. Grill your sandwich until it turns golden brown, cut in half.

Serve with Smucker's Strawberry preserves on the side.

Doesn't it look more appetizing than just serving toasted bread, scrambled egg with cheese and preserves? Sometimes, all you have to do is add a little "magic" to make everyday boring food more exciting. Hmmm Am I the only one who gets excited over food?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lesson Learned.... NOT!

One would have thought I learned my lesson early this morning when I was worshipping the porcelain God at 3:30 am. My throat still hurts and I was praying to God... Oh Lord! Please NO more! I promise not to over eat again! When I woke up, I still had the same mind set.

But come lunch time, I forgot all my promises to God and went to TGIF in Bonifacio High Street to have lunch with Tita Portia and Gilly who is my guest for the weekend. I even told my Ate that I will only eat soup and salad. You know what they say about good intentions.... The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Both of them ordered Cheeseburgers... soooo did I order the soup of the day and the salad????

This is what I had for lunch!

The cross section view....

For dessert ... we had the Chocolate Malted Turtle. The glass was frozen and the chocolate coated the inside... a slice of chocolate cake at the bottom...then a scoop of vanilla ice cream... drizzled with caramel sauce... sprinkled with sliced almonds and a little ball of chocolate malt on top.

Lesson learned????? NOT!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Happy Fiesta to me!

It is our annual Fiesta in Bel-Air called PASINAYA. The whole day was a Fiesta Celebration for me. It started with a very happy Saturday morning. I woke up early and for breakfast, went to Salcedo Market to buy.......

My favorite lumpia. This time I got 4 pieces!

The empanda "kaliskis"

Tamales from Pampanga

I had to rush home because my family was having lunch at my house. I cooked the favorite of my niece, Gilly, Nilagang Baka. She only eats the soup with rice.... so I always have to cook that for her. I even went to Robinson's Pioneer yesterday just to buy the Premium Beef shanks. Really tender and lots of marbling in the muscles.
I made Chicken Relleno, it's just the everyday kind of relleno.

Everyday Chicken Relleno

Ha! You thought my Fiesta is over already, huh???? Not by a long shot!
After lunch, Ate Gina, Gilly, Tita Portia and I decided to go to Shangrila Makati for the Afternoon Tea. We listened to music at the Lobby Lounge and ordered 2 sets, Chocolate Afternoon Tea and Classic Afternoon Tea.

Chocolate scone with clotted cream, chocolate macaroons, fruit tartlet, lemon/almond square, peanut butter cookies, 2 salmon sandwiches and roast beef sandwich and served with a pot of Tea.

Scones, clotted cream, strawberry jam, flourless chocolate cake topped with cream, brownies swirled with ganache, white chocolate filled with caramel, watercress cucumber with cream cheese sandwiches and salmon sandwich. Served with a pot of tea.

It was fun and relaxing to hang out with my family. We should do that more often.
Finally.... it was time to go to the park and check out what they were selling! There is the bazaar area where you can buy RTW, accessories, pet stuff, etc and there is the food area! Tita Portia and I went around and we saw the LECHON table! It is the same vendor from Salcedo Market. He let us try first, after chopping the skin, he was strating to scrape off the fat when I suddenly screamed "No! Do NOT scrape off the fat!" That's how Tita Portia likes her Lechon skin. It has to have a layer of a quarter of an inch of fat! He was such a nice guy and gave us the "batok" part.
When we got home Gilly asked us what is our criteria for judjing a good lechon. I told her the skin should be crispy and layered with fat that when you poke through the skin, it is as though you are poking through a piece of japanese paper. Then the meat should be moist and white as opposed to dark and dry.

We only ate the skin and a little meat. That's how we like our Lechon!

So..... Happy Fiesta to me!!!!!
P.S. This is the last time I am going to do this to myself! It's 3:30 am and I am feeling the after effects of what I did yesterday. Oh... No moreeeeeeee I will admit and surrender ... it was just too much eating. My stomach told me so! I think I have a hangover. Is that possible????

Thursday, April 22, 2010

T-Bone with mushrooms and mashed potatoes

I have been discussing with a friend lately the different kinds of steak and ways to cook it. So, the other day when I went to the supermarket, I bought from Mrs. Garcia's a slice of T-Bone steak. I didn't want to buy lot because I wanted to know first if I can cook it well and if the meat is tender. I rarely eat beef except if it is "Bulalo" but I only like the marrow and the broth.

My friend said just to put a little salt and pepper and cook in a lot of butter.... that's what I did. I also used my cast iron ridged pan. I suppose if you don't have that, any flat pan will do as long as it is thick.

When the pan is smoking hot, lower heat to medium, add about 1 t. cooking oil and 1-2 T. butter.

Season the meat with 1/4 t. salt and 1/8 t. pepper. (Since I like mine salty, it's up to you if you want to season. I know a few who do not like because they can not enjoy the taste of the meat.)

Now... this is the tricky part ... if you overcook the meat, it's going to get tough but then I don't like my steak bloody. So how do I cook it? For me... the minute I see blood oozing out already near the bone, I flip it over and continue cooking for about a minute or two. It depends on the thickness of the steak also. I don't know how to grill because it turns out super rare inside but charred outside. So the cast iron ridged pan is a safer bet for me.

Saute sliced button mushroom in the pan where the steak was cooked, remove and put on top of the meat.

In the same pan, pour the gravy and turn off heat. You can drizzle some on top of your meat and serve in a bowl for those who want more.

Boil 1 C. water and 1/2 Knorr Beef cube.

Melt 1 T. butter and add 1 T. flour in a saucepan, blend well.

Pour all at once the beef broth, not slowly or else you will see lumps in your gravy. Use a wire whisk to stir the gravy. Add 1 -2 t. soy sauce. Continue stirring until slightly thickened. When you pour the gravy in the steak pan, it will thicken some more.

Mashed Potaoes

1/2 K. potatoes, big or jumbo

1/4 C. butter

1/4 C. fresh milk

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

Peel potatoes and cut into big cubes. Boil until very tender.

Mash potatoes, add the butter.

Using the paddle attachment of the Kitchen Aid, mix the potatoes with butter, then season with salt and pepper.

Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Ladies Lunch

Almost every month, I go out with my Mom's friends and we call it , Ladies Lunch. They actucally adopted me as their friend in place of my Mom and also Tita Portia. We check out restaurants we haven't tried before or go to a place someone has recently discovered. There were times I browsed the net and recommended a few restos.

Today, we went to Brasserie Boheme in Leviste St. We usually choose a quiet place where we could "bond" with each other and share stories. So it is important the place should be cozy and quiet. The last time we had lunch, the restaurant wasn't really that nice because there was a problem with their "acoustics" (?) and the sound of voices would bounce back, gave us all a headache.

I ordered a simple lunch ... very, very simple because actually it was my "breakfast". I ordered grape shake with artificial sweetener and the pate with crusty rolls... it was actually just 2 slices of whole wheat baguette. I liked the pate, it even has ... if I'm not mistaken ... cranberry sauce on top on a bed of shredded lettuce.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What went wrong?

What went wrong? I can never get the Filipino Beef steak right. And it's one of my favorite comfort food. I have been trying for years and the result is always a disaster. The only time it tasted good was when Mona cooked it for me in my house.

I followed what she did. I researched a lot of recipe books and websites... I even called the helper of my sister to teach me. But as you can see... it doesn't look appetizing and it is too salty.

First thing I did was pound the meat with a mallet. I must have pounded the juice out if it because even if the meat was tender, it was dry as a cardboard. I went all the way to Market Market to buy meat from Mrs. Garcia's in Metro supermarket.

Then I marinated 1/4 K. Beef sirloin with 1 T. calamansi, 2 T. soysauce, 1/4 t. black pepper for 30 minutes.

Before frying the beef in 2 T. oil, I squeezed the meat and reserved the marinade. Maybe another reason why the beef was too dry.

When there was no more liquid from the meat in the pan, just the oil, I set aside the meat and sauted the onion rings. I
added the marinade , 1 T. soysauce and 1/2 water, then put back the meat to simmer slowly for 15 minutes.

My Filipino beef steak did not turn out the way I wanted. ..... So..... what went wrong?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Thai dinner

My sister and her family are in Bangkok right now. And I must admit I'm a little green with envy!!!! I love Thai food, one of my favorite restaurants is Somboon. Their Curry Crab is very good. Tita Jit taught me how to make it, she sent me papaya grater and chili paste! I can't wait to make curry crab as soon as I get the chili paste.

I've decided that my dinner would be Thai food. I used the Maliputo fish I bought yesterday and cooked Fish in Tamarind sauce. It is like our Filipino version of Escabeche. Sometimes your palette gets bored with food we eat over and over again. So this fish dish is a little different from our usual and at the same time quite familiar to your taste buds.

Fried Fish in Tamarind Sauce

1/2 K. whole fish

2 T. patis

1/2 C. cooking oil

garlic, chopped

onion, chopped

red/yellow pepper, chopped

1 pc. chili or jalapeno, sliced

1 T. Pantai Tamarind paste

3 T. sugar

2 T. patis

1/4 C. water

Score the fish, marinate with patis for 10-15 minutes. Fry in very hot oil, 5 minutes on each side. Put on a platter.

Saute garlic, onion and red pepper.

Mix in a bowl the tamarind paste, sugar, patis and water. Adjust according to your taste. Add to the pan. Simmer until syrupy. Add the chili or jalapeno. Remove from heat and pour over fried fish.

I also made Bagoong fried rice. It complemented the Fish in Tamarind sauce. Rice was salty and Fish was sweet, sour and spicy. My dinner consisted of different flavors!

Bagoong Fried Rice

2 C. day old rice

2 t. cooking oil

1 t. garlic, crushed

2 t. shrimp paste

1 T. brown sugar

Brown the garlic in cooking oil. Add the shrimp paste and stir for a few minutes. Add the rice and brown sugar. Continue stirring until well blended.

Garnish with the following:

2 T. dried hibe, fry in hot oil until crisp.

1/2 yellow-green mango, grated (Use the cheese grater with the big holes.)

Pork tocino, chopped

egg omelet, cut into strips

peanuts, chopped

chili flakes, optional

(Shrimp paste and Tamarind paste)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Loot from Salcedo Market

Salcedo Weekend Market

Whenever I go to Salcedo Weekend Market, I always buy stuff that I normally don't see in the groceries or wet markets. I was very happy to buy the MALIPUTO fish. If I'm not mistaken, it came from Batangas. I stored it in the freezer and I'm thinking of eating it with Thai Bagoong Rice. Will still research how to cook the fish.

Then, the next stall was selling KANDULI! Another rare find! I had to buy it. Another craving of mine last night, (yes, a person can have several food cravings in one night.) was sinigang na kanduli! I remember when I was young, my family and I would go all the way to Taytay on Sundays just to eat in Bahay Pawid. We would order sinigang na kanduli and inihaw na liempo. Really good memories. I learned that there is also another one, Bahay Kawayan. If there was no kanduli in Salcedo, I was ready to ride the bus to go all the way to Taytay and eat that memorable sinigang na kanduli sa miso. Some people don't like to eat it, I have no idea why. Maybe because it's from the same catfish family. It's ugly looking hahaha like a little killer shark.

Sinigang na Kanduli sa Miso (Don't be afraid, it looks scary but it really tastes good.)

garlic, crushed
onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup miso(not the japanese miso paste)
small pack Knorr sinigang mix or fresh tamarind
4 C. water or "hugas bigas"
1 jalapeno sili
mustard leaves
Clean the fish very well. If you have left over ash, rub it all over and rinse, if none, use rock salt. Clean the fish until it doesn't feel slimy anymore.

Saute garlic, onion and tomatoes until soft and wilted. Add the miso paste, stir for a few minutes. Slowly add the water. When it boils, add the sinigang mix or tamarind , radish and fish. Cover until cooked, for about 10 minutes. Add mustard leaves.

Serve with fish bagoong with garlic. (Thanks, Mayette for teaching me how to do the sauce.)

Heat cooking oil, brown the garlic, add the fish bagoong sauce. Remove from heat.
How can I not buy lechon?

Freshy baked baby pan de sal.

(I ate it for merienda with Golden Churn Pure Creamery Butter.)

Salcedo Market Bacolod Lumpiang Ubod

I couldn't sleep last night because I wanted to wake up already to go to Salcedo Weekend Market in Velasquez Park, Salcedo Village, Makati. I had this very bad craving for Bacolod Lumpiang ubod. It has light colored egg wrapper with whitish garlicky sauce inside. I prayed to God to help me sleep already because I was really so excited. I even set my alarm at 9:30 am.

Then.... 9:21 am I was awake already! Yay! Hahahaha but it normally takes me an hour to get up from bed. So, by the time I got to Salcedo it was almost 11:00 am. My first stop was the Bacolod stall - beside Tita Ope's (she serves very good food also). I could already taste the lumpia in my mind! I had this silly grin on my face. When I got there, someone bought the last box! ARRRGGGGGHHH She was paying already and I had to beg... please.. please.. please... can I buy 1 lumpia from you?!?!?!? Thank you Lord, she said, Yes! She even told me I can get more but I didn't want to impose. Pity me!!! But I was still grateful for that 1 piece.


As soon as I got to my car, I ate it! YUUUUUMMM... Let it be a lesson to me, I have to wake up earlier next time so I can buy more. I can finish 6 pieces in one sitting. Ok... I'm going to be honest, I ate the lumpia in the car so I didn't have to share when I get home.

Love at first bite!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jumbo Bangus Belly

For the past few days I have been craving for good bangus. I even asked my helper to go to Guadalupe Market yesterday morning to buy but I didn't like the taste and it did not have enough fat. My family usually eats the fat only. My mom would scoop out the black fat and not eat the white part of the fish. So, it was really a good idea to just buy the premium bangus belly, even though it is more expensive, at least all the parts are edible, nothing will go to waste.

I was surfing the net and came across pictures of bangus from the LZM restaurant in Tagaytay. People say it's one of the best! Deep fried about a foot and a half long! I almost rode the bus and went to Tagaytay! But then, the other day, Tita Portia served very good Bangus belly! I found out she bought it from the Fish Section of Rustan's Rockwell and not from the reach-in freezer in the grocery as I originally thought. I find frozen fish too dried out. I like my seafood fresh from the market.

Pan Fried "Daing na Bangus" Belly Steak

Last night, I asked her maid to teach me how to marinate the belly. She didn't use measuring spoons to measure the ingredients so I will just guess how much.

3 pcs. Kalamansi

2 T. vinegar

2 T. soysauce

2 T. oyster sauce

1 head native garlic, crushed

1/2 t. fine salt, rubbed on the skin and flesh side

* No pepper.

* Marinate overnight in the refrigerator

Use a ridged non stick frying pan.

When hot, add 1-2 T. cooking oil, 1-2 T. butter. Place bangus belly skin side down. Lower the heat. After 10 minutes, flip the fish gently and pan fry for another 10 minutes.

The bangus belly was so delish! It was crisp outside but super moist inside. Before, whenever I fried bangus, it would turn out dry and and too sour. But today, with the help of the maid of Tita Portia ... it was just perfect! And the fat! How do I describe thee???? Really quite thick and gelatinous! See for yourself!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

No Sweat White Spaghetti.

Today is the birthday of my niece Sophie. I told her she can invite a few friends for merienda. I was excited for her. It really wasn't a hardship for me, maybe because I love my niece. I just got pork BBQ from my store. My helper, Hermie, already knows how to do the chicken lollipop. I also served french fries and gulaman with sago. And made the easiest White Spaghetti. As Mona would say .... No sweat! I don't call it Carbonarra because the ingredients are different. This is so easy to cook, if you suddenly have surprise visitors, just open your pantry and whip up my version of White Spaghetti.

(The food thief is thinking of a way to snag a few of those lollipops.)

White Spaghetti

(Bad lighting)

White Spaghetti

1/2 K. spaghetti noodles, boiled

1 C. Magnolia Gold Butter

1 pack Purefoods sweet ham, cubed

1 can mushrooms, sliced

2 cans Jolly cream of Mushroom soup (Not Campbell's because I find it bland.)

2 tetra packs Alaska Cream

1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 C. cheddar cheese, grated

Melt butter in a big pan or wok. Add the ham, then the mushrooms. Saute for a few minutes. Add the mushroom soup and cream, stir. Add Parmesan cheese. Turn off heat. Toss in the spaghetti noodles and put in a serving platter. Top with cheddar cheese.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I understand now why tempura is expensive when you dine out. You pay hundreds of pesos for a few pieces. Because it is quite a long process. So, when I invite guests and they see tempura on the dining table, it only means one thing. I love the guests very, very, VERY much.

Of course if you cook it yourself, you can eat as much as you like without spending a lot.

First thing I do with the shrimps is I remove the head, freeze and save it for another dish. Then peel the shrimps and leave the tail on. Sometimes if I see there is a thick black line on the back, I remove it by slicing open the back but not all the way (I don't want to open it like a butterfly) and lift the black vein with the tip of the knife.

Then I make zigzag slices(not all the way through) on the bottom part of the shrimps where the legs used to be so the shrimps won't curl during frying and remain straight. This process also stretches the shrimp, making it longer. Let it drain on a piece of paper towel.

Shrimp Tempura

Shrimps or Prawns

Kasugai or Showa Tempura Batter Mix

Ice cold water

cooking oil

Measure 1 cup of the Tempura batter mix. Add less than 1 cup ICE cold water to the mix, stir just until blended, and consistency runny. Do not over mix or else you will have a thick, doughy batter. We are aiming for light and crispy.

Dredge the shrimp ONE by ONE in 1/2 Cup of the powdered batter mix, shake excess.

Dip in the ice cold batter and fry in very hot cooking oil but not smoking.

Drain on paper towel.

Tempura Sauce

white radish, grated and squeezed

ginger, grated and squeezed

2 T. Mirin

2 T. Kikoman soy sauce

1 C. water

1 sachet of dashi or sometimes referred to as hondashi in the supermarket.

Boil the mirin, Kikoman, water and dashi granules. Adjust according to taste. Before serving add the radish and ginger.

I ate the Tempura together with the Japanese fried rice. I posted the recipe a few days ago.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Breakfast at Three

Breakfast at Tiffany's? No... Breakfast FOR Three???? No again ... Breakfast at Three... PM. Yes. I do like the idea of all day breakfast. I could never wake up early enough to eat nor join a fun run for that matter. I had a very late night, which turned into morning before I was able to go to sleep at 8:30 am. So when I woke up at 3 pm, I started preparing my first meal of the day.

I removed the bacon from the chiller to thaw out a bit. I bought MEKENI from Rustan's grocery because I don't like Purefood's Honeycured bacon anymore. I don't know if I'm the only one who thinks it's not as salty as before. I like Mekeni Bacon because first of all, the price is lower than Purefood's. Second, it's saltier with the right amount of sweetness. And last, when it is crisp fried, it crumbles in your mouth unlike with Purefoods, it is a tug o war experience.

Sometimes, I crave for the bakery corner style ensaymada. Everytime I see a little bakery wherever I am, I always try their ensaymada or spanish bread. I bought my ensaymada from Insular Bakeshop in P. Burgos St. yesterday afternoon. I like my bread light and airy and not heavy and dense. As soon as I got the plastic bag, I ate 3 pieces in one sitting! YUM... I was in cheap ensaymada heaven! So this afternoon, my friend Mona, suggested I reheat the bread in the toaster oven. Of course I put a chunk of Magnolia butter on top. I heated it just right and not too long ... just enough for the butter to melt a bit. The result ..... MMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmm then I topped it with Maclaren's Imperial cheese.

Maclaren's Imperial Cheese is a favorite cheesespread of mine. Friends and relatives from Canada always give us. It is made by Kraft in Ontario. It was one of my Mom's favorites - she liked salty food. The taste is a cross between quezo de bola spread (same texture) and very sharp cheddar cheese.... salty... creamy and sweet. It is also best eaten with freshly baked HOT pandesal.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bicol Express

Today is the birthday of Jing's husband, Sherman. Happy Birthday, Man! To celebrate his birthday, I've decided to cook Bicol Express tonight. He was the one who taught me how to cook it. I also grilled Tilapia, asked my maid to buy live fish from Guadalupe market. Oh... and green mangoes and bagoong. Andddddddd gulaman drink.

I'm so full and bloated, even if the Bicol express was not super spicy, it still had a little ZING and had to drink water every other spoonful. Do you remember when we were young and the teachers told us how St. Lorenzo Ruiz was tortured???? Water torture! Then they would put a plank on top of his bloated stomach and play see-saw. Now, that is how full I feel!!!!

Sherman's Bicol Express

1/4 K. Pork Kasim, cute into small cubes
1 head native garlic, crushed
1 white onion, chopped
2 T. alamang
1 1/2 C. coconut milk (2nd extraction)
1/4 K. green sili (see instructions below how to clean)
pure coconut milk (1st extraction)

Squeeze milk from freshly grated coconut, set aside(1st extraction). Add 1 1/2 C. hot water to the grated coconut, squeeze to extract thin coconut milk. Boil chopped pork, onion, garlic, alamang and coconut milk from the second extraction on your smallest burner. When it boils rapidly, stir for a few seconds, lower heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add green sili and pure coconut milk. When the sili starts to wilt switch off burner.

*Slice the green sili lengthwise, remove the seeds by using a teaspoon. Make sure you wear plastic gloves or use a sandwich bag on your hand. Add 1-2 t. of rock salt, squeeze the sili. Rinse and soak in water until ready to use. Oh... make sure you drain the sili before adding to the Bicol express.

Note: You may use other vegetables such as sitaw, squash or anything you like instead of the sili. This is a basic recipe for any ginataang vegetable dish. You may add shrimps at the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I remember eating in Kimpura when I was kid and it was still in Makati Commercial Center (now it's called Glorietta) - beside Rustan's. Quite an unforgettable experience when I sat at the teppanyaki table and the chef cooked in front of me. Such a delight for the senses .... I could see ... smell ... hear and taste! You don't often get that kind of opportunity when dining.

I was the "chauffeur" tonight of Tita Portia, she attended a party in North Greenhills and she told me to have dinner at Kimpura, her treat. So, I was excited while driving, imagining already what I was going to eat. I didn't sit at the teppanyaki table because I knew I was going to kill time while waiting so I opted for a regular table. I even brought a book to read and my laptop in case I wanted to have coffee at Starbucks after dinner and surf.

I ordered Oysters Teppanyaki, Shitake Mushroom Tempura, Tofu with pork steak and mushrooms, mixed fried rice. When my food arrived I told the waiter I doubt if I could finish my dinner! It was a lot for 1 person.

I thought I won't be able to finish all of these!!!!

Surprisingly, towards the end of my dinner, I told the waiter : Look! I'm almost done!!!! The food was really great and I haven't eaten in Kimpura in a long, long time. My favorite was the Shitake Mushroom Tempura. The batter was so light and crisp, like you were eating kropek. The mushroom was soft as marshmallow... so imagine the combination of the crunchy coating and tender mushroom in your mouth. The oysters were big, plump and juicy sauteed in butter with white onion slivers and green pepper. The tofu steak was just alright but I liked the sweet sauce they used. Then there was the Japanese mixed fried rice. I learned how to do my own version when I was young by watching the chef.

Japanese Fried Rice

1/4 C. butter

1 T. cooking oil

onions, chopped

green pepper, chopped

carrots, chopped

1/2 C. ground pork

1/4 C. shrimps, chopped

1 T. Kikkoman soy sauce, to taste

1-2 T. sugar

pinch of msg, optional (but as I've said before, it is never optional to me)

2 eggs, beaten

4 C. boiled Japanese rice

salt and pepper

In a wok, melt butter and add the cooking oil, swirl the wok a few times to distribute evenly. Add onions, carrots and green pepper. Saute until carrots are soft and onions transparent over low heat. Add pork and shrimps. Cook pork until color changes then add the rice and the seasoning. Blend well and add the beaten eggs and continue stirring until eggs turn into yellow. Adjust seasoning according to taste.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"Crabby" Experiments

Wednesday is Baclaran day for me... which also translates to seafood shopping. I buy them near the church in front of Chowking. I don't buy inside the seaside market in Baclaran because it usually is more expensive there plus the vendors don't seem to need to sell their wares.... so they are not very attentive to the customers.
I bought female crabs, medium sized prawns, green mangoes and my favorite bagoong, PIYESTA. All day long I kept thinking of what I'm going to cook when I get home.... and I mean ALL day long.... occupied my waking moments. So I was excited to try something from my "recipe book". Unfortunately, even if it tasted ok, it wasn't the taste I was looking for. I was aiming for Chili Crabs but it turned out to be "Szechuan " crabs. So it was a bit disappointing.

See how scary it turned out?????

When I cook something, I don't always get it right but I learn from my mistakes. I do make really good chili crabs, I got the recipe from the Lee Kum Kee pamphlets years ago. I looked in my files for the picture. When I cooked the LKK recipe at that time, it turned out really YUM! Let me share with you one of my successful "crabby" experiments.

Chili Crabs

1 K. crabs

1 T. diced ginger

3 stalks leeks, cut into 1" pieces (white parts only)

2 T. Lee Kum Kee chili-garlic sauce

2 t. tomato ketchup

2 t. perrin's sauce

2 t. Kikoman soy sauce

2 t. sugar

Steam crabs till cooked. Saute ginger and leeks, add the rest of the ingredients. Add steamed halved crabs and heat through. Garnish with the green part of the leeks.

Another "crabby" experiment I found in my file is the Ginataan na Alimango. Very easy to make.

Ginataan na Alimango

1 K. steamed crabs, halved




1 C. coconut milk

salt and patis, to taste

green sili

Saute garlic, onion and ginger, add steamed crabs and continue sauteing for a few more minutes. Add coconut milk, season with salt and patis. Add the green sili.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Chicken in Mirinda

Chicken in Mirinda.... does it sound weird???? Maybe, but it is a delicious dish. When you are tired of cooking the normal, chicken adobo, chicken afritada, chicken tinola, chicken what not ... you will like this for a change. Sometimes we get tired of eating the same kind of food over and over, we look for something that will excite our taste buds once in a while.

There are days when I just want to cook even if I'm not going to eat the dish I've prepared that day. It's nice to know when you are lazy, you can grab something from the fridge and nuke it.

Chicken in Mirinda

1 K. chicken, cut into serving pieces
2 pcs. calamansi
rock salt and pepper
500 ml Mirinda (or Royal)
1/4 C. cooking oil
potatoes, cubed
carrot, cubed
1 knorr chicken cube
green beans, cut 1 inch long
1/2 bar Magnolia Quickmelt cheese, grated

Marinate chicken in salt, pepper and 1/4 C of the 500 ml Mirinda for 20 minutes. Roll in flour, shake off excess and fry slightly until light brown in color in cooking oil. Add the rest of the Mirinda. When it boils, add the chicken cube, carrots and potaotes, lower heat and simmer for about 25 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked. If it still has a lot of liquid, increase the heat, add the green beans. When you like the consistency of the sauce already, switch off and add the grated cheese. Toss lightly and serve.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Corn on a cob

Happy Easter! I wonder what you all had for lunch? Easter (and Christmas) lunch is not complete without LECHON. FYI, it is my most favorite food in the entire world! But only if I get to eat the crunchy skin. That is the only thing my family eats except for my brother in law who waits for everybody to strip the pig of its skin and grin like a mad scientist holding the carving knife and fork and he couldn't hide his grin while he contemplates which part of the whole pig he is going to get.

So when I woke up I started calling lechon houses if they are still selling per/kilo lechon. It was just for Tita Portia and myself so we couldn't order a whole lechon. I started with Leonardos in San Juan. Every Sunday you can buy lechon per/kilo, but when I called they only have the rump part, which for me and my aunt and the rest of my family is not an edible part but except for you know who! Hahaha That is the favorite portion of my brother in law. It was 11:30 am already, and of course they don't have the parts I like. I called Mila's lechon next. I told them I only like the rib part or the center of the whole pig. They told me I should just go to their store in West Avenue. I was excited and dressed up quickly, parked my car near Buendia gate, ready to ride the MRT. Lo and Behold! MRT was not operational and decided to ride the bus. Holy week in the city is great because the streets are empty but NOT if you are riding the bus which was speeding along EDSA. I had to pray several Our Fathers along the way. See how much I love to eat? I would brave speeding buses in EDSA.

To end the Lechon story... it was disappointing because when I brought it home and ate with Tita Portia, it wasn't that good anymore. Maybe because nobody buys lechon at 12:30 in the afternoon? I didn't bother to take a picture.

But.......... I was still able to save the day! I got hungry (again?!?!?! hahahaha - so what's new?) and decided to reheat the corn in the microwave. I bought several cobs of corn in Binondo and told my maid to boil it all at the same time to save gas and wrap in cling wrap.

How to enjoy a perfect corn on a cob .... let me share with you how.

The corn should be warm or hot so the butter would melt. I only like Magnolia Gold. I already tried the other brands, Queensland, Anchor, Lurpak, etc and I find them too bland for my taste. Magnolia Gold has the sweet, creamy salty taste one likes in butter. Golden Churn (in gold can) is my next favorite brand.

Put chunky pieces of butter on the corn. NO gentle pats of butter for me. Trust me... it may look like a heart attack in the waiting to happen but just don't do it often. Sprinkle fine salt. Wait for a few minutes for the butter to soften. I don't like it melted because then it will become oily.

Insert corn skewers at the end. I didn't want to look for mine in the cupboard so I just used the table knife. The core of the cob was tender so it was easy to insert the knife. I always choose corn with small kernels. Slowly roll the corn on the SOFT butter over and over until it is coated with creamy, salted/sweet butter.

Scary Green Experiment
There are times my experiments don't turn out as well as I want it to be. I have some left over "Mr. Gulaman" gelatin powder and asked my maid to cook for me last night. When it was firm already, the gelatin was cut into cubes and I added to the gulaman syrup. I put it in the fridge and forgot about it until this afternoon when I was about to eat my corn.
YIKES! Green toxic stuff! hahahaha the taste is still the same but if you are a queasy person, you will not like the looks of the green drink. I just realized the coloring of the gulaman mixed with the sugar syrup. So next time, either I should add the gulaman before serving or choose red or white.

Gulaman and Sago

1 sachet of Mr. Gulaman red or white powder (only 12.50 in groceries)
sago (raw small pearl sized)

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water.

Follow the instructions of the gulaman but use only 5 cups of water instead of 6 if you like it chewy, which I like.

Cook the sago as though you would cook pasta. Let the water(about 3 cups) boil, then add about 1/2 cup of sago. Stir occasionally. When the pearls are clear, rinse in cold running water.

Boil the water and brown sugar until melted. Let it cool.

Add enough ice or cold water to the brown sugar syrup. Scoop cubed gulaman and 1-2 tablespoon of sago into a glass, fill with ice and pour the syrup.

My cravings most of the time are simple. Tonight I just want to eat Inihaw na Hito(been dreaming about it for days) with broiled eggplant, and green mango with bagoong. The brand PIYESTA bagoong is very good! I buy it in Seaside Market in Baclaran.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Chinatown Merienda

Today is Holy Saturday and I have the city all to myself! I had a pleasant afternoon drive to Binondo in Chinatown. My first time! I normally ride the LRT or other modes of transportation when I go to Manila. It is a nightmare to drive there during regular days.

I invited my family to join me for a ride, only Tita Portia was brave enough to ride in my car. Hahaha I'm not a good driver so it is an IFFY situation. My Kuya did not allow my niece Sophie to go with me to Binondo.

I was able to find a parking lot in a street perpendicular to Ongpin where The President's restaurant is located.

I ordered my favorite Sizzling Noodles with crystal shrimps and pork. I could finish 1 platter by myself. I ordered their pork siomai but I didn't like it. They get their dimsum from a sister company (I think?) called Wah Ying in Benavidez St. because I used to see towers of those bamboo steamers being transferred from the dimsum place to The President's. I used to eat in Wah Ying with my friends but I don't think I like the quality of their food anymore.

My Tita ordered the minced crispy fried pigeon, I'm not a fan of pigeon so I just tasted a little. I'm a huge fan of suckling pig. That "craving" is for another day!

After eating merienda, we went fruit shopping around the area. I've always wanted to buy the fruits whenever I would eat in Chinatown but couldn't because it would be so heavy, I can't carry heavy stuff because of a wrist problem, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Since my car was parked very near, I was able to buy.

The next stop was Masuki, Benavidez st., to buy the pork siomai! I bought 4 pieces for take out. I can NOT eat at their restaurant but can eat the siomai at home! This is the all meat kind of siomai I used to eat in college (Assumption)with the sweet brown sauce.

There were times that I just walked around Chinatown to eat and buy ingredients from the little groceries around the area.

I could say it was a delicious afternoon!