Monthly Archives: May 2010

Adobo Fetuccine

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I thought of whipping up pasta this morning for Jake’s baon. However, as I ran through, mentally, what pasta I usually send to his lunch bag, I thought it had been the same banana (or pasta!) over and over again.

Okay, eureka moment did it again and I found myself plucking out from my freezer some pork tenderloin that I rarely (read: Unhealthy kasi ang pork!) buy. Why, paminsan minsan lang naman.

I just happened to chance upon this great cut of loin when I did the grocery at SM Hypermarket, Centris Station over the weekend. Their meat selection was overwhelmingly abundant and had the best quality. However,  this pork tenderloin called my name the loudest! Lol.

I just had to give my usual adobo a facelift, though. I used balsamic vinegar instead of the usual white vinegar and ‘visiting’ spices from China, namely hoisin and oyster sauces. It turned out great. So, who says Italians, Pinoys and Tsinoys can’t get along?

1/2 kilo pork tenderloin, cut into bite sizes

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1 head of garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

1 3/4cup hoisin sauce

1/4 cup oyster sauce

1/2 kilo fetuccine noodles

water

1/2 cup olive oil

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meantime, season pork with salt and pepper. Add garlic , balsamic vinegar and cover with water. Cook until pork is VERY tender, about 1 1/2-2 hours and sauce is reduced by half, almost just enough to cover the meat mixture. Add about 1/2 cup olive oil then pour in hoisin and oyster sauce. Stir and simmer for another 4 minutes. Top meat mixture on pasta.

Oliver’s Twist– Queso Rice

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My brother-in-law, Oliver Garcia, gave me this gastronomic idea of melting some quickmelting  cheese over my hot cup of rice. You may just top the cheese over some hot cup of rice or microwave the cheese and rice.

I thought it would be perfect with some grilled slices of honeycured bacon. Cheese, rice and bacon– just spell awesome comfort food. Why, it just had me gobbling up everything on my plate. Fast, easy and totally delish, it’s definitely worth trying.

Mayo-Mustard Tuna Spread

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It was a panic morning for me last Saturday with me  forgetting to map out, at a much earlier time, what was supposed to be served for breakfast. My tummy abruptly growled for food and couldn’t wait longer than 5 minutes for food. Good thing, Sam had already munched down, by this time, her regular fix of pandesal toast with some hint of peanut butter. Now, what did I do? Well, I wanted something fast, delish, healthy and  energy inducing. And it went by the name mayo-mustard tuna spread with some freshly grilled ciabatta bread!

Ooooh, those ciabatta slices  just sandwiched heaven in between them. I love the crunch of ciabatta as you take your first bites and how it gets chewy as you bite some more. Then getting to the tuna spread makes the whole eating experience awesome to the power of ten.

I usually alternate my versions of this tuna spread depending on what’s available in the ref. This version I did was  closely similar to the taste of tartar sauce that’s been smothered onto some great tasting tuna flakes.

Okay, here’s how to make the tuna spread: You will need a can of drained flaked tuna in water, 1 head of minced onion, 1 tbsp pickle relish, 1/2 cup of mayo, 1 tsp of yellow mustard, juice of 1/2 lemon, salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything together. Plate with sliced tomatoes and serve with your favorite toast.

Cheese And Garlic Quesadillas

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Inspired by Mexicali’s cheese and garlic quesadillas, I did my own version today. Simple, extremely easy to make and downright scrumptious, I tell you, this better be a staple meryenda in your homes soon. Ingredients are all but three of them– 6 tortilla breads, 1 box of quick-melting cheese and 1 head of garlic, finely minced.

On one totilla bread, sprinkle cheese for filling plus 1 tsp of garlic. Cover with another tortilla (sandwich style). Lightly heat both sides of bread with the filling inside using a Teflon pan (about 1 minute per side). You may opt to grill the tortillas with the filling if you wish. DON’T overcook or the bread would come out crunchy, toasted and flaky.

Cut in wedges and serve with sour cream (1/2 cup heavy cream, 3 tbsps lemon juice , salt and pepper to taste then mix everything together).

Hearty Chicken Sopas

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Marty, my 3-year old uber cute nephew, spent the day at home playing with my Sam. Our place was literally fully charged, alive and brightened up by this little boy’s presence that Sam almost never let him go.

As if possesed by the same positive energy, I suddenly found myself cooking away in the kitchen  with chicken sopas in the lead role for today’s menu. This dish had the perfect triumvirate of what kids usually look for in their choice of  food– chicken, pasta and soup! Okay, the cream or milk is the welcome bonus.

I just love sipping this soup whether on a rainy or in hot, humid weather. The yumminess is simply timeless, universal and makes you go for seconds.

1/2 kilo thigh fillet

3 pcs small-sized chicken soup pack

1/2 kilo macaroni shells (elbow or salad)

2 large onions, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 carrot, cut into strips

3 tbsps patis (fish sauce)

1 box all purpose cream

3 pcs celery sticks, chopped

1 small head of cabbage, choped (optional)

oil

salt and pepper to taste

Season chicken parts with salt and pepper. In a cooking pot, boil chicken along with 1 quartered onion. Bring to a boil until chicken becomes tender. Once cooked, drain and shred the chicken thighs . Meantime, remove and shred chicken meat from the soup pack pieces. Save the stock.

Meantime, in a separate cooking pot, saute garlic and onion. Add celery, carrots and shredded chicken (do not include the bones this time). Season with patis. Add chicken stock. Pour macaroni shells. You may add about 1/2 liter (or more) of water if stock is not enough to cover the mixture. Cook until macaroni becomes al dente  in texture. NEVER overcook the macaroni shells. Add all purpose cream and cabbage. Adjust taste by seasoning with salt and pepper or dropping a piece of chicken cube. Serve hot.

Bistro Filipino By Chef Laudico

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3 mangoes salad

My husband, Jake, and I have been meaning to see for ourselves what the fuss was about Chef Rolly Laudico’s Bistro Filipino at The Fort. Chef Laudico, after all, has earned the badge of honor in becoming one of the country’s top-ranking Chefs with his innovative, out-of- the -box and unconventional way of presenting Filipino food in the most contemporary way.

bistro filipino interior

bistro filipino interior

Being a staunch advocate of the promotion of Filipino food, I feel that Chefs like him should get all the support and accolade for choosing to push for our local food that’s been clearly laidback for the past many years.

deep fried kangkong and kesong puti in wonton wrappers

I fancied on Chef  Laudico’s concept of predominantly deconstructing most of our local dishes to make it look a tad more ‘gourmetish‘ than the usual.

chicken in coconut cream soup

We opted to do the buffet. It was a departure from the usual food spread on a long table. We were served with a special menu for the buffet and we just picked out what we wanted— in batches.

us angus beef kare-kare

The real challenge was in the pacing as we ate. We couldn’t have possibly gobbled up the entire 50 viands on the buffet menu! Pacing and the selection were key, yeah. We had to choose only the best 15 or so dishes or what our stomachs could accomodate.

kesong puti with ham and potatoes

His food selection was pretty interesting. I personally enjoyed the wagyu and the lengua estofado. His kare-kare was majorly deconstructed (not that I complained), my foodie lolas would have raised a howl big time from their graves! I loved it just the same.

I downed my food with a chilled glass of margarita. I had to rush finishing it, though, as the liquor ban was to take effect after a few hours. Yes, I drink my fruity alcohol at a snail’s pace. Can’t do more than one glass!

chicken binacol

The servings came half less than the regular portions. I begged the waiter to make it even smaller but it still turned out a lot.

wagyu and lengua estofado

It’s been twelve years since Jake and I have been religiously doing this ‘date night’ on Saturdays. This one was one of the best, gastronomically. Wish I could take in  more glasses of Margarita so I could raise it a hundred times over to say, “Cheers to us, babes!”. I love, love date nights with good food– the date is already a ‘best gimmick partner hall of famer’.

tuna kilawin

Ahh, the night was young and so was the buffet! The last stretch of the dinner buffet was made of pasta and sardines-malunggay pesto sauce. At that point, I was beginning to feel restless and decided to walk around the place to jiggle the food down to give way to the last few dishes we were to order.

sardines and malunggay pesto

So, this was the fuss. A very scrumptious and unforgettable fuss, Chef Laudico. Bravo!

I’d definitely be back for the 35 dishes more that we haven’t sampled. Meantime, let me just do a bit of dieting for the next big munch!

Chef Laudico’s Bistro Filipino
Bistro Filipino, Net One Building, in the Fort
+632 856-0634, +632 856-0541

The Gustavian Restaurant

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Gravlax Salmon Carpaccio

My new friend, Chef Marijo Camarista, ushered me in to the new branch of The Gustavian restaurant at the new Eastwood mall. The original branch is in Cebu. The soft, casual but avante garde feel of the place made my lunch with Chef Marijo worthwhile.

The Gustavian restaurant serves great European food. Very reminiscent of the grandeur in the lifestyles, specifically in the kind of food the Kings ate  in the old world.  

And what feast we had! “Bring out the wine!”, we so excitedly said! Haha! Ah, at 12 noon, Chef Marijo and I were consuming a coupla glasses of wine already! The heck with the sun! Haha!

Okay, what meals did we gobble up? For starters we had the gravlax Salmon Carpaccio in dill sauce  that went with some crunchy french roll. Good start–I thought. I knew I was in for an uber gastronomic fantasy:)

The next food we sampled was the Nicoise Grilled Tuna Belly with Haricot
beans, Tomato, New Potato, Devilled Egg and Olives.

Nicoise Grilled Tuna Belly with Haricot, tomato, baby potatoes and olives

Salads always gear me up for better things to come (to my plate! Ha!). The salad was splendid. Light, perfect mix of acids and greens.

Okay, the next two dishes were:

Wild Mushroom Soup and Pesto Toast

 and…

 Two varieties of soups, yeah! I just had a feast!

Okay, at this point, I had to start pacing. My stomach was beginning to get cramped and I was not about to stop– yet! Haha! So, in between sips, Chef Marijo, told me The Gustavian’s beginnings in Cebu and how it dramatically attracted  a lot of patrons there. And, finally, it’s now in Manila.

Okay, next plate please!

Lengua Spanyol

 The lengua was my favorite. Creamy, tender and unoffensively rich, it just made me say the word, “yummy”, twenty times during my first six bites! At this point, I kinda started to grasp the European concept of country cooking from the old world of this place.

Pesto Crema

The ‘hangover’ from the lengua kinda dampened my excitement for the succeeding dishes but this plate of pasta was promising. The pine nuts subtly did the magic along with the olive olive oil and the freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Chicken Cacciatore

As if I wasn’t about to explode from the previous ‘gluttonious’ dining,  this plate just fell from Heaven. Being a fan of sour-y dishes that mostly use tomatoes to seal the deal of the sour power, I had a heyday tasting this! The chicken cacciatore was a great finale.

The Gustavian Restaurant should work its way to your must-go-to list soon. Oh, just make sure you got LOTS of tummy space should you decide to swing by:)

The Gustavian

Eastwood mall

Libis, Quezon City

Mobile # 0917-9853429
Telephone: +632 470-2971, 470-2984