Monthly Archives: June 2010

Plating Using Inexpensive Plates

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While I feel adulated when somebody appreciates my plating, I can’t help but marvel in silence at how I mostly do the plating using inexpensive plates!

A friend once commented, ” I really like your plating. How I wish I could have your kind of china so I can make my plating look extra elegant!” . Plating a dish exquisitely requires lots of imagination, good sense of style and using very nice and appealing plates. It doesn’t have to be the very lavish and expensive Chinaware, really.

Large saucer plate, P25 (SM Hypermarket, Centris Stn, Quezon Avenue). Jumbo mug, P50.

By nice plates I mean shape, color and design. While I fancy on those elegant, contemporary white ceramic plates, I don’t mind using printed plates. No hard and fast rules, really.

Moroccan-inspired plate, P25 (SM Hypermarket Centris Stn, Quezon Avenue).

 And oh yes and not to be left unnoticed would be my all time favorite rectangular white plate. Quite unconventional, I use this plate as a dining plate when I have guests at home.

Rectangular white plate, P50 (SM Hypermarket, Centris Stn, Quezon Avenue).

 Lately I have been fancying on Japanese dishes and I thought of buying some Japanese plates, trays and other utensils  to ‘Japan-ize’ my spread.

Japanese sushi plate, P120 (Our Home).

It only takes a bit of squeezing your creative juices to produce an elegant plating. It doesn’t have to cost you even hundreds of Pesos. Plate for less, plate like a diva!
Last of my show and tell would be my fish fingers in a beer glass. Instead of using a regular plate, I ‘plated’ these fish fingers in a glass!

Beer glass, below P100 (SM North Avenue, Basement).

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Pasta Milano

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Like a child handed with a choochoo train, I was ecstatic getting a pack of some whole wheat spaghetti pasta direct from Italia. My husband, Jake, is back from a week-long conference in Italy and he came home with spices and other kitchen stuff that totally got me excited.

Okay, what to do. I scoured our freezer for possible ingredients to go with the pasta noodles. Ohhh, I saw a pack of ribeye (sukiyaki cut) and  mentally screened other potential ingredients that could to go with it. I wanted something light, healthy and very Italian tasting. So I settled for some olive oil-coated pasta with meats, peppers, tomatoes and herbs!

In fact, if I had roasted eggplants, zucchinis and capsicum peppers available in my ref, I would’ve let them join the rest of the ingredients. That would have been the ultimate. But hey, this one was a mighty hit just the same.

Oh, just a side comment– I’ve been going to SM Hypermarket Centris Stn and can I just say, the prices of their veggies are far lower than the standard prices of veggies in most supermarkets. Our helper even quipped, “Eh Mam mas mura pa ho dito ang gulay kesa sa palengke namin eh!”.  Just a quick tip for the budget-conscious shoppers.

Anyway, I immediately donned myself in my new apron from the land of pasta and risotto and off I went to cook away the pasta and everything that went with it!

Pasta Milano

1/4 kilo ribeye sukiyaki cut meat

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

1 can diced tomatoes

3 tbsps fresh basil, chopped

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup black mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

3/4 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a skillet, saute garlic. Add meat, bell peppers and mushrooms. Stir until meat is cooked (about 3 minutes). Pour in the mixture tomatoes and  basil.

Season with salt and pepper. Mix with drained pasta noodles.

Sprinkle with cheese on top. Serve with your favorite toast.

HK Choi (Choi Garden)

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Beef tenderloin, Chinese style, Php 240.

I wasn’t about to retreat from my long overdue diet until I saw the sumptious spread at the HK Choi Chinese restaurant in Megamall. The ‘halo-ed’ half of me kept nagging me inside to hold back from gorging on these lovely dishes and just stick by my diet. On the other hand, the temptress remaining half did her job, her wicked little voice just tempted me no end. I succumbed to it— and… I loved it! Lol.

Sweet and sour pork, Php 240.

The mega triumvirate of yang chow, roasted duck and soup—- just had me rolling my eyes in sheer delight.

Nestled right smack in the middle of Megamall, it was a great (read: yummy) chow stopover we had. My relatives who ate with my family dished out rave reviews of the place, too.

The opulent but modern interior oh HK Choi  set the stage for supreme lunch with engaging chats to boot. I thought the intricate pieces of those Asian furniture, utensils and perfect lighting was well put. Just the way I want to be ‘copied and pasted’ in a perfect, chillaxing restaurant.

House special wonton chicken soup, Php 380.

The house special wonton chicken soup prepped up our stomach bins  with its warm and comfort-rich broth. Why, it was to be Sam’s main course!

Conventionally in Chinese dining, rice is served after all the viands are served and almost consumed. That’s why we had to tell the waiter to serve it first– Pinoy eh!

Yang chow fried rice, Php 200.

And, the rest of the dining ‘superstars’ trickled in one by one. Oh, my plate was too small. Did my ‘halo-ed’ half do that purposely? I wouldn’t be surprised. Arg, the food I scooped for my plate looked like a baby plate! Lol.

Cold cuts, Php 340.

Salad seafood roll, Php 240.

I was munching on the salad seafood roll like I was eating chicharon! The puff, crunch and excellent taste got me gobbling up about two large pieces!

Sam and moi!

Happiness overload. Sould be back. Soon.

H.K. Choi restaurant
2nd floor,  SM Megamall Atrium
telephone: 382-7757

Tofu in Oyster Sauce

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The Japanese tofu truly does for a light, refreshing and healthy main dish. For weeks now, I’ve been mightily trying to bring to my table at least one staple viand of vegetable or just about anything healthy. The Japanese tofu has a smoother and tender properties as opposed to the local tokwa that we have here. Oh, I super love munching on these tofus minus the guilt!

Imagine the health benefits you get from eating tofu– One half-cup serving of raw firm tofu contains 10.1 grams of protein! It’s enough to fuel you up for a 5k run!

Yesterday, I made some tofu in oyster sauce. I fried about 1 block of a 6-inch tofu and cubed them about half an inch by half an inch thick. Then, in a separate skillet, I sauted 3 cloves of garlic and a bulb of minced onon. Brought back the tofu onto the pan, sprinkled with 2 tbsps of kinchay and slathered it with about half a cup of oyster sauce and seasoned with salt and pepper. Was that easy or what?