Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Beef Short Ribs and Pork Liempo Sinigang

I have been in Sinigang heaven these past few days.  Been eating it since Saturday!  And... I'm going to eat it again for lunch!  In case you do not know... I LOVE sinigang!

 After Lechon, of course.  It is quite ideal to eat lunch at Elar's along Quezon Avenue.  They have Lechon AND Beef and Pork Sinigang.  It was where I discovered that both meat in the soup made the humble sinigang taste even better.

Mariger taught me way back in college how to cook sinigang. The secret is the very ripe tomatoes!  About 6-8 pieces of them.  After boiling the meat, remove the broth, squeeze the ripe tomatoes in the pot and "saute".  When the tomatoes are soft, press with the back of the spoon, add the eggplant and radish slices.  Pour back the broth and use Knorr Sinigang with Gabi.  I don't like sitaw, so at the last minute of cooking, add the kang kong leaves, after EXACTLY one minute, turn off the heat and UNCOVER so the leaves will remain dark green.  Otherwise, it will turn into "fatigue colored" green.

Hahahaha  I just told my friend, Matess, I can make a dissertation on Sinigang.  She asked me if  pork and beef were combined, would the sinigang taste better???

I used to be contented with Pork Liempo Sinigang.  When the meat is really tender, the fat breaks into little pieces and the bits float on top.  My friends and I call it, Floating sinigang.

But add beef short ribs to the equation and we are talking about a different ball game.  Now,  aside from the floating bits... you will also see a layer of oil on top of the soup.  It is soooo bad and yet  sooooo good!  I will never be contented with just pork liempo sinigang anymore.

Let's not forget the dipping sauce!!!!  Patis, calamansi and the chili from the soup!!!  I learned this from Jopet, my HS classmate.

   Ohhh good thing I will be having Sinigang for lunch or else I will go crazy!  I could go on and on about my favorite comfort food.  But I have to restrain myself.  Hahahaha I'm sure not everybody would like to read about Sinigang.  You are reading this post, are you not? What does that make you?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Last Hurrah

My friends and I had our "last hurrah" for summer at Mona's house in Alabang Hills.  I have been  racking my brains for days on what  food to bring.  I wanted something I can prepare ahead of time... and something which will excite me.  We changed our menu several times... I told them the food has to be something that will make my heart beat a little faster. 

We love to eat Filipino food in our picnics.

I was prepared to make Chicken Pastel.  I already bought the ingredients.  But since it was raining yesterday, Saturday,  I thought the best potluck dish should be Sinigang!  My all time favorite after Lechon.

When I ate a Elar's a few weeks ago, they served Pork and Beef Sinigang.  I made an SOS trip to Rustan's, Rockwell yesterday and asked the butcher to give me a good cut of pork belly... the FATTER the BETTER because Dra. Corry,  is a fan of my "Floating" Sinigang... floating because you can see floating bits of fat in my soup.

Hahahaha Tricia calls it "wiggling fat".

I also asked the butcher to give me pork sinigang ribs and beef short ribs.

I can eat sinigang almost every day!  Thank you Mariger for teaching me how to cook my favorite dish!

Jing brought Chili Shrimps.  Spicy!!!  But i enjoyed eating it.

Celina's contribution was the Beef Caldereta.  She said it was spicy but it was perfect for me.

Mariger brought grilled liempo.

Good thing she did! The kids did not like our "adult" picnic menu, so the liempo was a life saver.

We also had Beef Mechado, c/o Tita Cena.  Very tender.  I liked the fact that it was thinly sliced.

Corry bought crabs for us!

Mona made her famous ginger/garlic-vinegar dip in olive oil.


Indian Mangoes from the tree!!!

Buko Pandan for dessert.

My lunch!

We get very hungry whenever we swim.  We had an early merienda.

There were two flavors of ice cream, Mango and Ube.

Mona's potluck contributions were the Ruffles potato chips

onion dip

and her layered salsa dip!

Hahahaha My favorite is Ruffles Sour Cream and Cheddar Potato chips.  It is also the favorite of my god daughter, Mariel.  The adults have been very bad..... hahahaha  while we were eating the chips and dip and the kids were swimming, I told them to be quiet because the kids might hear us!   Bad!!!

Tricia also brought Lay's potato chips and the tortilla shaped like a cup!

Perfect for scooping dips!

We also ate the Buco Pie from San Pablo (c/o Celina) for merienda.

Class picture of the gang.

I am very thankful I have such wonderful friends  who are also very "healthy" and love to eat!  Hehehe.

It was such an enjoyable picnic!


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Homemade Pritchon

I had dinner with my ASB friends tonight.  We used to work for ASB Land Corporation.  I was an Executive Secretary to the Vice President.  We were together for such a brief time, 5 months only, but developed a lasting friendship with each other.

When I started sending them text messages, I asked Maya what kind of food she wanted me to cook.  Her request was the Homemade Pritchon and declared the food theme would be Filipino.

Homemade Pritchon

1 K. Lechon Kawali, chopped into thick strips
Village Gourmet Tortilla
Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce
cucumber, peeled and cut lengthwise into thick strips
spring onions

Cut the tortilla in two.  Spread Hoisin sauce on the tortilla, place the cucumber and lechon strips on one side and roll.  Secure the wrap with spring onions. 

It was everybody's favorite for the night.

Be brought assorted munchies: green peas,

garlic nuts

 Lapid's chicharon,


canned juices, fish balls, squid balls

and green mangoes.

Matess brought lumpiang ubod from Goldilocks.

Maya brought a lot!  We were only 4 but she brought food for 6 persons.  Two big orders of Pancit from Buddy's, I only served one because Hermie only prepared 1 serving platter for the pancit.

Maya also brought 3 Cassava cakes.

We ate it together with the Salabat tea from Be.

It was a delightful night, we talked about our former office mates and the fun we had 18 years ago!!!  It is a good thing we still keep in touch with each other... we always organize a mini-reunion at least once a year. 

Even Wriggly was part of the evening's gathering.  The girls said, HI, Wriggly! when they entered my home.  We have to do this again but with everybody's busy schedule it would be hard.  What works really well is when we do not have a plan and just have an impromptu get together.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cafe Havana, Greenbelt

Tita Portia and I had lunch at Cafe Havana today.  We were supposed to eat the Stuffed Chicken in Lorenzo's way but she said we should check out Cafe Havana, last time she ate there, she liked the pork ribs with guava sauce.  When we got there, the main feature of the buffet was their version of Lechon.  We decided to give the buffet a try.

Lechon with Liver Sauce

Pork Country Ribs with Sweet Potato in Rhum

 Chicken Roll with Cheese and Chili

Lengua Sevilla

Poached Fish

Grilled Vegetables

Pasta dish

Salad bar

Bulalo Soup

Assorted dessert

Of course I got the Lechon.

The meat was very tender and white, my only problem was the skin was crunchy but very hard.  I was afraid I might break a tooth!  My Lechon Kawali's skin is crunchy and easy to bite because I make sure when I tenderize the pork, the skin is very soft before baking in the turbo broiler.

I like the sweet camote of the pork ribs!  I also liked the Bulalo soup.  I was like Gilly, I put  rice in my soup bowl.  I also had a second serving of the fried saba banana!  Hehehe Tita Portia said we should have just made sweet camote and fried banana at home.

We were looking at the other diners and they seemed quite contented and happy with their food.  They went back several times and their plates were piled high with food.  Sometimes, it is difficult when I know how to cook because when I dine out, more often than not, my own cooking taste better or rather I am just used to the taste of my own cooking.  Hehehehe  But I know my food is better! My friends said so.

Flat Bacon Strips

I wonder what happens when you cook bacon... does it curl or it comes out flat?  Do you know I had to research online because my bacon strips would end up curly when I wanted them to be straight and flat.

Finally....  after searching... I was able to discover how to fry flat bacon strips! 

I attended a two day recollection last Tuesday and Wednesday at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel sponsored by Barangay Bel-Air. I doubt if Msgr. Chito Bernardo will appreciate it if I applied his words of wisdom to bacon.  Hahahaha.    He said, we have to "search" only then we will be able to "discover"!!!!

Do not use a non stick pan, add oil nor water... the bacon will definitely curl.      Thaw out the bacon strips and lay them one layer at a time on the COLD flat frying pan.  Cook over low heat for the first few minutes to render the fat from the bacon.  When it is a bit brown already turn over the slices and increase the heat.  Remove when crispy but not over "fried".  If you have to cook another batch, remove the oil from the pan and start again with low heat.

I do not know how to cook eggs, I do not even know how to boil an egg ... so my sunny side up egg I fried this morning is already an accomplishment for me!!!  But really bad for the health,  I used a non stick frying pan and the bacon oil.

So now ... you already know how to cook flat bacon strips! Great for sandwiches!  Mona and I were supposed to eat BLT the other day but when I saw the lettuce in the fridge, it was a sorry  pathetic head of leaves.  I will just have to reschedule our BLT!  But then ... I only eat bacon about every 6-8 weeks.  People think because I'm "FAT" that my cholesterol level is very high, on the contrary, it is very low.  I rarely eat deep fried food or Lechon.  Hehehehe  That is why when friends see me eat a plateful of Lechon skin ... I have the license to eat!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Ever since I saw  Michelle's picture of a slice of chocolate cake in FB, I've been craving for it.  I wanted to bake one but who would eat it?  I used to supply chocolate cupcakes to AC years ago.

Good thing Mona also felt the same way.  We did an emergency run to UCC,  Rockwell after dinner.  I read a few "best chocolate cakes" blogs and one of them is Karen Young's Chocolate Ganache Cake.  We already ordered it several years ago.  She is the cakes and pastries supplier of UCC.

It is called Chocolate Fudge Cake in UCC according to the waiter.

It was just a small personal cake Mona and I shared. 

I loved the icing because it was not too sweet.  The cake was a bit crumbly ... maybe because it has been in the chiller for quite a while?  Or it is really the texture of the cake?

I remember the chocolate cake of Cookie Monster way back in the 80's... really good.  I also got envious when Celine said she ate at Polly's in Galleria... it is a small kiosk and they are famous for their chocolate cake (Shell Magallanes Chocolate Cake).

I want to bake Death By Chocolate soon, will wait for my friends.  It is made up of chunks of chocolate cake, honeycomb crunch and chocolate ganache assembled like a trifle.  I made it before in one of our Christmas parties .I hope I find time in my very busy schedule :) 

Hahahaha  Not that I am really, really, really busy ..... but I make sure I have things to do to occupy my time or else I will go crazy and eat myself to death.  I can not wait to make my own!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Salvation came in the form of Tita Portia.  I was wallowing in food depression this afternoon when she knocked on my door and invited me to go out for dinner.  I told her I am fed up with all kinds of food...  Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Serendra, Greenbelt, Bonifacio High Street and Rockwell.

She suggested we go to Manna Korean Garden Restaurant near Kalayaan Ave. just outside Bel-Air.  Lots of Koreans... a sign that the food is authentic in taste.

We ordered the Special Bulgogi cooked in front of us.

Served with lettuce, Chinese cabbage, garlic, chili, and cucumber sticks. 

They gave us assorted appetizers...

My favorite Korean dish - Korean Beef Stew - Steaming hot.

Onion and Seafood Pancake

I thought I was the only one who did not want to dine out any more and eat the same type of food.  Apparently, Tita Portia also felt the same way.   Sometimes, I see people enjoying the restaurants all over the city,  maybe because they do not frequent those places often.

Tonight, we stayed away from our usual jaunts.... had to get out of our comfort zones.  It was a pleasant change of palate.