Monday, September 6, 2010

Leftover on Fine China

(A typical weekend dinner in our house with the kids )

Party's over and there's some leftover food in the fridge. We didn't get to eat much during the party because we were busy entertaining the guests, ensuring they are having fun and enjoyment.

And so, the dinner after is our chance to savor the delicious food we prepared, alas all that is left are, you guessed it...leftovers!

As usual, it's difficult to keep Jeiel at the dinner table.

Talk normally, whisper, shout, rant....the kids will not come. When calling the kids to the dinner table, nothing beats sounding this cast iron bell.

Despite that, we enjoyed dining with our new set of dinnerware that is zen-inspired in design look and feel. Nevermind if we're eating leftover food as long as we eat on fine china!

It feels like fine dining.

The four-piece dinnerware set consists of an entree plate that is so supersized, it can double as a serving plate, too; a starter plate that we use as our main plate for everyday use, a soup bowl reminiscent of Japanese rice topping bowl and a mug.

The color is that of the sea, neither green nor blue but both! And it has this soft and subtle finish to it that calms you. It looks good on our kamagong table.

We enjoyed dining with the new dinnerware as much as we enjoyed dining together and the leftover food.

Food styled? No! Ate Cielo just dumped this leftover ribs into the bowl and it turned out to be magazine material!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Send Off Party for the Roños

We gave a sendoff party to the Roños whose family will be migrating to the US this Wednesday. They are one of the closest family friends we ever have and so it is just fitting to celebrate the friendship (which definitely is not going to end upon their departure) and the new chapter in the Roño family's life.

On the impromptu menu is a combination of Chinese and Italian dishes that, as expected, was a hit! For the main entree, I prepared Chinese sweet and spicy ribs, the recipe of which I cannot share because of proprietary reasons. The ribs will be featured on the menu of an upcoming Grill and Bar where my contract has a confidentiality clause. I'm honored to serve this dish to the Roños and I also feel they are lucky to preview the shape of things to come.

To accompany the main feature, I also prepared an Asian salad to get the ball rolling on the dining table. The salad is made of raw bean sprouts, carrots, white onion, steamed tofu, fried wanton wrappers, sesame seeds and a dressing of sesame oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar.

Of course i will never ever forget to serve the Roños' favorite Crispy Pata. Same old dish for same old faces, I guess. We have it every single party, every time; so much so that it has become the single most served dish on our table. Ever!

Then, for merienda, while we're busy on the videoke, I made a simple lasagna as requested by Ate Cielo. It was a four layer one with the usual tomato-meat and creamcheese sauces, garnished with basil leaves and green bell peppers. There was button mushrooms, too!

Flowers and foilage were provided for by our garden, arranged rustically by Ate Cielo with her super creativity. That saved us around P200 in achieving the mood we're trying to set.

We will certainly miss the Roños especially Jerson whom we all call NINONG. We feel a little bit sad that we're parting ways but we are definitely glad that their dreams are starting to come true.

I, personally wish them all the best that their new life has to offer! Happy trip and always remember.... always eat right! (And that means eating as much as your tummies want!)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Pork Tonkatsu on a Bed of Bean Sprouts

There has been an influx of Japanese or Japanese-style fastfood in Manila for the past several years which introduced the average Juan dela Cruz who earns within or just above the minimum wage to chopsticks (as another means of getting food into the mouth), Bento boxes (that eliminate cluttering in the plate) and soy-wasabi that can potentially displace toyo-mansi in the Pinoy vocabulary.

I never, ever imagined that I'll be eating raw fish in my entire life until sashimi and maki took me by the mouth! And what followed was a frenzy to try other unpronounceable but delectable dishes that is now part of the daily office lunch fare. I particularly like chilled soba with nori and shreds of crab meat.

Most Japanese-style fast food stores in Manila offer familiar dishes that don't intimidate the uninitiated like teriyaki, miso soup and yes, noodles! They are priced reasonably, too. One value meal at Karate Kid will cost you just P120.00 with bottomless red iced tea.

As a newbie to Japanese dining, Japanese-style fast food is a great entry point to familiarize one's self to the taste and flavor spectrum that Japanese cuisine offers.

Of course, being the Quack Chef that I am, I prepared a Quack Japanese dish that is also as Pinoy as Ginisang Togue.

Pork Tonkatsu

300g Pork Chop (About 3 pcs)
1/4 cup flour
1 small pack Japanese Bread crumbs
1 pc Egg, lightly beaten with
1 pea-sized squirt of Wasabi
Oil for frying
500g long Bean sprouts (Salad Time brand preferred--it's from Silang, Cavite)
Teriyaki sauce

Bread chops in 3 step-breading with the egg beaten with wasabi. Fry until golden brown. Allow to drain in paper towel.

In a serving dish, black bowl preferred, arrange about a cup of raw, chilled bean sprouts so as to create some height. Slice pork chop into thin strips and put on top of the sprouts.

Drizzle with store-bought teriyaki sauce.

Now that's Japanese Fast Food!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ginataang Manok

Another one of my favorites. Ginataang Manok is one dish I can eat everyday (
except that baka bunihin naman ako...). It is so delicious and tasty I can eat a kaldero-ful of rice with just a saucer of it!

Actually, for those who shun rice, Ginatang Manok can be a complete meal already with it's carbo-rich potatoes, protein-rich chicken plus an assortment of other veggies.

It is one dish anybody can make his own by adding all sort of herbs & spices like curry, turmeric, celery, lemongrass and many others.

Here is my version:


500 grams Chicken Meat
The milk of 1 large coconut
1/4 cup Vinegar
1 Bay leaf
8 pcs. Peppercorns, cracked
1 stalk lemongrass
1 medium potato, diced
1 small carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
3 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt to taste

Saute onion, garlic and lemon grass in oil.
Add chicken meat to brown a little.
Add vinegar, bay leaf, peppercorn, salt, potatoes, carrots, celery and the diluted coconut milk.
Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, checking once in a while for liquid.
Add the first press coconut milk and simmer for another 5-8 minutes until the sauce thickens.
Serve over steamed rice.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cheesy Tilapia Fillet

Here's a twist to the common fried tilapia. Instead of cooking it the usual way, fried whole or gilit, I filleted the fish and breaded it with Japanese breading with cheese.

Filleting Tilapia is not difficult. All you need is a long, sharp, knife that you'll run through from the tail up to the neck where the head and body connect.

You will then have to pull out the rib bones, about 7-8 of them using a tweezer. It is fairly easy. Then season the fillet with salt and pepper.

Prepare the breading system. 1/2 cup all purpose flour slightly seasoned, 1 egg beaten with 2 tsp evap milk, 1/2 cup Japanese breading with 1/2 cup grated cheese.

Dredge Tilapia fillet in flour. Shake off excess flour. Then coat the fish with the egg-milk mixture. Allow excess liquid to drip and finally dredge with Japanese breading with grated cheese.

Fry on a hot skillet with 2 tbsp vegetable oil and 1 tbsp butter over medium low heat until both sides are golden brown.

Serve with rice and lemon slices.