Monday, October 15, 2012

Serve the Kaluto

I freak out when I see books dealing with cooking and food and anything related to it. Just yesterday, I bought a book Serve the People: a Stir-fried journey through China by Jen Lin-Liu. She has a journalism degree in the United States but went on to become a chef or a restaurant owner in China, i think. I have not fully devoured the book but it is very interesting and funny. She is very witty.

What I am looking for is the book Kasaysayan ng Kalutong Bayan written by Milagros Enriquez. I came across her book in the internet when I was looking for old recipes and the food served during historic occasions in the Philippines. In the internet, the last post selling reprint copies of this book was a 2009 multiply account. I checked some libraries but the book is not available. I am still hopeful that I can find a copy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Paco and the Tilapia Tail

Paco loves the crunchiness of fried tilapia tail and has his own style of enjoying it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Si Pansit at ang Lumpiang Shanghai Recipe

Gusto ko magluto ng lumpiang shanghai pero pinagdadamutan ako ni Pansit ng recipe niya. Tangina tatlong araw ko inantay text niya para sa supposed to be ay original na lumpiang shanghai na lutong bulakan pero di naman nag text. Nung ti-next yung recipe, tanginang yan di -nownload lang sa internet! Di man lang nag-effort na magtanong sa mga dakilang matatanda na kapitbahay niya sa Paombong kung ano ang sekreto ng malulupit na lumpiang shanghai. Sabi niya di niya nagawa dahil kailangan niyang mag-ayos at anniversary ng in-laws niya. May business transaction siya na kailangan ng overtime work. Busy siya sa paghahatid sundo sa Kumon class ng daughter niya. Siya naglalaba ng mga damit nila. Yun lang pala eh tapos di pa mapadala sa akin recipe. Wasak talaga. Ako nga nakatanga lang sa bahay at nag-aantay nung recipe eh. Mahirap gawing tumanga at mag-intay. Na hassle ako mag-intay. Whew.

Ayoko ng may pasas. Natatamisan ako. Gusto ko yung swabe, yung tamang panghandaan na matipid pero masarap naman. Pero pinagdadamutan ako. Mayaman kasi si Pansit kaya mahirap maintindihan. Lumpiang shanghai recipe lang eh pinagdamutan pa ako. Buti nakakuha ako ng recipe sa Food Magazine. Tangina, giniling na baboy at hipong tinadtad lang pala ang tungtungan ng lumpiang shanghai. I kilong giniling na baboy at ½ kilong hipong tinadtad. Malamang yung maliit na hipon ito na parang bilog. Tapos singkamas at kerots para extenders kung talagang tipiran ang kamada.

Pero di ko pa rin naluto. Bad trip etong si Pansit eh. Payabang pa yan at masarap daw siyang mag Pata Tim. Mag pa pata tim siya dapat para good trip na siya.

Feeling Grilled Tuna Steak

Its definitely the timed grill. The original butter and not those trying to be “butter” butter. And the calamansi, that clinched the great grilled tuna steak. We were able to buy three mouth watering pieces of tuna steak at a very reasonable price and rushed home to preserve the freshness of the fish by cooking it right away. I just marinated it with liquid seasoning and calamansi and a pinch of salt then heated the pan grill then the butter then at the precise time that I felt it should hit the pan, I placed it gently and counted, through my gut hungry feeling, the exact time when I should sprinkle the ground black pepper, then the removal from the grill. I heated the excess marinade with the butter and poured it over the grilled tuna.

Andres and Ponso loved it and requested for seconds. There was none left so they slept with that hanging hunger for more great grilled tuna steak.  Well, that’s life. They just have to learn to live with it.

Afritadang Manok

Afritada in my young years evoked carinderia cooking as I remember the smell of Tita Sylvia’s simple Afritada in her mini turo-turo that attracted hordes of Balic-balic-Quiapo drivers during lunch time. It was a simple mix of chicken with fresh tomato sauce that others might taste as “malansa”. I do not recall ginger as part of her recipe but that simple preparation is more than enough for my 10 year-old taste at that time. It must have been the spirit of the times. It was the late 70s and everything was simple then, I guess.

Then my Pakil, Laguna summers in my high school years raised the ante of my Afritada appreciation when I tasted their version cooked in wood fire giving it that smoky tang. As time passed, my Afritada cooking bordered on the simple and never learned how to execute the Pakil version. It was only when I checked on some Food Magazine recipe on Chicken Afritada ala Laguna. I never thought that simply adding vinegar will turn the tables around making it almost closer but not quite that Laguna-style that I’ve been longing to duplicate. It must be the wood-fire.

mindful breakfast take

With the entry of summer 2012, I have decided to go back and again pursue that one passion that has eluded me for sometime: cooking. I have not seriously worked myself in the kitchen these past year and just ate whatever comes my way more for utilitarian reasons. Grocery became more of a duty to fill the pantry and refrigerator of edible stuff and not as an exciting exploration of what the food aisles has to offer. With summer, I have more time at home to again prepare menu line-ups and can try to be more discriminating in choosing what to cook.

I learned a simple breakfast preparation from my sister using eggs and cheese that raised the ante of eggs to new heights in our home. My relatives would normally send cheese from the United States and we’d melt it then mix it with scrambled eggs. It partners well with bread and juice.

There are different hotdog brands in the market and there are promising brands like Victoria Hotdogs that can give Purefoods Tender Juicy Hotdogs a run for their money. We used to visit Treffunkt Jederman in the corner of EDSA and Boni Serrano in Cubao before the turn of the century for their juicy veal bratwurst until the reality of our middle class life dictated that it is too much to pay 350 for a kilo of hotdog. The White King pancake mix is somewhat becoming too sweet for my taste and am looking for a less sweet instant pancake that might come near to that perfect breakfast.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fish Steak Galore

Ive been browsing the Food Magazines stacked inside the toilet whenever the call of nature arrives and the inviting succulent fish steak on the cover made me dream of concocting a delicious fish steak that the family would love. Thelma once bought slices of tuna for a song (because its price normally does not fit in with our household budget) and marinated it with Maggi seasoning and calamansi. We read that seafood should only be marinated for 30 minutes before cooking to maintain its freshness and taste.

So after 30 minutes of marinating, we heated the pan and put in margarine then the fish. Then we sprinkled salt and pepper and cooked both sides at 3 minutes each. It was panalo and so we tried blue marlin and believe me, it was juicy and very restaurant-elegant in terms of taste. It must be the kind of fish that defines it. I tried Dory today but it did not have that same refreshing taste while retaining that "lasang gilik" tang in the palate. But hunger is the best viand so we enjoyed it just the same.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Eid L’ Fitr and some Moron eating Roti

A day before the Ramadan ended, I found myself roaming the streets of Quiapo trying to check out the scene and what food find I might discover. It was interesting to mingle with Muslim brothers and sisters and chat with them how they feel fasting from dawn till sunset and as always, continued to learn a lot about their faith and culture. I arrived around 4:00 pm and people were preparing for their evening meal after fasting from 4:00 am in the morning up to 6:00 pm in the evening. Fruit salads ruled the stalls delicately prepared and wrapped in plastic waiting for the faithful to share and partake. I tried APANG, a round-shaped Muslim delicacy that has a very subtle taste made of rice. I was so shy to try it in front of my Muslim acquaintance while they wait for the fasting time to end but my curiosity got the better off me and ate it altogether with the refreshing fruit salad.

From what I’ve observed, most food sold in the Halal restaurants around the Quiapo Mosque have that curry-like texture and yellowish color due to the spices enjoyed by our Muslim brethrens. They have the ARUAN, a fish that looked so delicious with the fish roe and its meaty flesh swimming in a bowl of curry drenched soup. The aroma of grilled fish and roast chicken floated in the Globo de Oro and Elizondo streets teasing the Muslim faithful with its scrumptious promise to break the fast. I followed the smell and ended at the Maud Roast House and mingled with the people trying to buy out all the roast chicken the joint can offer. I was lucky to get a ¼ thigh part and literally enjoyed it with the special hot sauce that I have to go back again sometime and have another go. Then rushing at a special Roti store, I found a laid back seller telling me to come back some other day for they’ve sold out their stock. Man it was a downer not getting that Roti treat.

I went back on the day of Eid ‘L Fitr but most of the stores were closed due to the celebration. I just have to come back some other day.

My two day Quiapo experience all the more exposed the lowdown crassness and stupid ignorance of some moron I met two weeks ago while eating at some bourgeois-assimilated Roti store in Tomas Morato bragging his experience with his Muslim classmate. He just kept rattling and rattling of an experience way back in college when he allegedly manhandled a Muslim and that they are not courageous nor brave and that one just has to show his toughness and other stupid stereotyping and kabobohan that made me leave the premises and light up three sticks of cigarettes just to let go off that steam due to narrow-mindedness and stupidity of individuals.

So much for stupid neanderthals, Eid Mubarak! Allah is Great!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I've tried the Kulawo at Ugo Bigyan Pottery in Tiaong, Quezon and it is just awesome. Thanks to Anton Diaz of who went out of his way to email me the recipe of this masterpiece.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Awesome Red Tinola

San Rafael, Bulacan for me equals authentic provincial cooking. Arriving at Tiyong Amante and Tiyang Ine's house, I went straight to the kitchen to check out what they are preparing and sorted out the sauce bottles and spices. Most of the ingredients came from other Bulacan towns that all the more excited my waiting palate and appetite. I saw an Ate Conching brand Sukang Paombong and cooking oil on the table with fresh produce picked straight from their garden. For breakfast, it’s the overflowing carabao’s milk partnered with salt and rice that brought the house down but it’s the Tinola preparation for lunch that really fascinated me.

The Tinola was prepared meticulously with the chicken rubbed with rock salt before diving into the big metal wok with ginger, onion, and garlic already sizzling and flavoring the provincial fresh air. After the chicken dive, they put in atsuete, a red food coloring used for, well, food, I guess. Then it was not sautéed but “isinangkutsa”, a term that still haunts me in my dreams. I think it is when one put everything in the wok all at the same time to mix all the possible flavors. Then a calculated amount of water, an almost ripe papaya, some dahon ng sili, and chili pepper were added and slowly simmered until reaching that Red Tinola peak worthy of an encore.

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