Monday, September 26, 2011

Ensaladang Labanos (White Radish and Tomato Salad) – The Patriotic Version

With the above image, I guess I really don’t need to explain at length why I have added the rather peculiar extra wordings in the title of what should have been a plain food post. This very humble Filipino dish especially made to resemble or at least reflect the colors and as attempted here, figure, of the National Flag of the Philippines (if it will really resembles at all :-)) and the color yellow famously associated with the martyrdom of Ninoy Aquino is actually my entry to the nationalistic August-September Culinary Challenge of the rapidly expanding Kulinarya Cooking Club (KCC). [Oh, I love that!]

The hosts of this power pack months’ challenge compose of Oggi of I Can Do That!, Day of Chef by Day, Ray of Wok with Ray and yours truly, Boyet of Reel and Grill. Collectively, we have chosen the theme – colors yellow, red white and blue taken all together in honor and consideration of the Philippines’ celebration of the significant Ninoy Aquino Day on 21st August 2011 and National Heroes Day last 29th August 2011. Although a little late, it has good intensions so therefore it is permissible. :)

While complying with the colors yellow, red and white is quite easy with the abundance of food ingredients which come naturally in such hues, the requirement for a shade of blue provided the difficulties, restrictions and depth to the challenge. While it intends to squeeze the possibilities, it added excitement and necessitated the dispatch of deeper imagination, creativity and ingenuity on the part of the participating KCC members

For my humble entry, I decided to dwell on the aspect of patriotism by trying [hard :)] to prepare an authentic Filipino dish, with some tweaking of course, which will somehow project the true image of the Philippine flag which incidentally also have the color yellow reminiscent of Ninoy Aquino. Your impression of the photos located far above and immediately below this will be the testament if I was able to realize my plan. :-)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bread and Butter Pudding

We are experiencing sweet tooth for the last several days. To satisfy the craving, I initially planned of making a “maja blanca” or Filipino white pudding but for some reasons, I can’t set the rhythm of starting the preparation. The other day, I purchased full ingredients for a single mixing of “leche flan” or caramel custard but still, even with the thought of the appetizing dish, I can’t shift myself into a cooking mode. :) I felt too lazy to even make the caramel syrup, so as expected I remained unable to prepare the luscious crème caramel until now. But after some contemplation and serious reevaluation though, I finally realized that the problem is that I am afflicted by a virus called “DITS”.

Yes, you heard it right, I have been suffering a minor case of “Do-It-Tomorrow-Syndrome” ……… wait …… based on the way I’m posting in Reel and Grill over the past few months, make that a chronic case of “DITS”. :-) Since I diagnosed it by myself ……… of course, I have to treat it by myself …… with force if necessary. :-)

This bread and butter pudding is probably my antiserum …… my salvation of sort. Firstly because it is so good that it could well please our sweet dish wanting. Secondly, it is so easy to do that I’ll need minimal effort to undertake it. And, lastly, we have a fridge full of several days-old sliced bread and lots of fresh milk. All together, it makes the perfect condition forceful enough to finally eradicate the unwanted syndrome. :-)

 As a backgrounder, bread and butter pudding is a bread-based dessert made by arranging layers of sliced or cubed bread (traditionally left-over or stale ones), added with butter and scattered with raisins and dried fruits in an oven dish into which mixture of egg, milk (or cream), sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon powder, vanilla and other spices, is poured. It is then baked in an oven until the mixture has set and crust is slightly browned on top. Some people may serve it with custard or cream, but often the pudding under the crust is moist enough to be eaten without sauce.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Calle Bistro on 11.11.11, Quality Fun for Everyone

If you love food (and I mean lots and lots of good food :)), pop and rock music, games and adventure and everything in between, read on ……… you’re in for a night filled with sumptuous cuisines, quality fun and excitement ……… all while fully enjoying those things you love. Does this sound thrilling to you? That’s because it really is. It’s seriously exhilarating! Calle Bistro is coming ……… our ticket to experiencing that electrifying moment …… to share with our friends and love ones ……… in an event where food, people, music, games, prizes and adventure will collide ……… into a supernova of FUN. So, book the date …… the collision is happening on 11.11.11. Remember, for boredom and monotonous night out, this is an ELI or extinction level impact. :-)

Calle Bistro is a revolutionized food sale project that would bring together local and foreign cuisines in the metro, particularly in an Open Area in Tomas Morato located within the heart of Quezon City, Metro Manila (Philippines). The food event (and more) will cater to young professionals and food enthusiasts to unwind, socialize and explore the rich oriental and western flavors dominating the Philippine food scene. Promising food retail brands and enterprises will be there to provide a one of a kind food socialization experience where people from different walks of life can get a slice of the world right on their plates.

This is promised to be a night of food adventure and grand time made more special by live bands that will be there to serenade the visitors as they indulge in Calle Bistro …… to fill the air with our favorite music …… while guests are savoring the delicious food dishes featured in the food fair. There will be complimentary drinks to quench our thirst, food-related games to fire-up the night and raffle draws of sponsor items and giveaways for lucky guests …… all to make it a true night of fun, delight and excitement for everyone.

The food lineup includes but not limited to the following: Pinoy Delicacies, Foreign Cuisine, Exotic Dishes, Street Food, Grilled Products, Snacks and Beverages, Coffee and Tea Products, Ready-to-eat Meals and Health and Organic Food.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Paksiw na Lapu-Lapu at Talakitok (Grouper & Trevally Stewed in Vinegar)

We are in the mood for another “paksiw na isda” or fish stewed in vinegar and ginger dish. But what we have in the freezer are just some small “lapu-lapu” or groupers and a medium “talakitok” or trevally. While these fish are considered special or prized and not commonly prepared into ordinary “paksiw”, we decided to give it a go for a change. Admittedly, with the high status of the two fishes in the Philippine market, we also thought that there will be some sort of pride in cooking “paksiw na lapu-lapu at talakitok”. :-)

Besides, due to financial and economic constraints, this might be difficult to do back home in the Philippines where the fish, particularly the grouper, are highly priced, scarce and are thus better reserved for extraordinary dishes, such as the fancy “steamed na lapu-lapu” or if you like sourly and soupy Filipino dish, the “sinigang na lapu-lapu”.

Being an avid angler and sportsman, I know the dish would be much better if the fish are personally caught by me using my rod and line. For some reasons, the fish are sweeter and tastier when acquire that way. Okay, okay …… I’m just dreaming and wishing that I could revisit the “playground” or my favorite fishing hole over the weekend. It has been quite a while since I last checked the coastline and wetted my line and the reel badly needs actual spinning for its operational reconditioning. :-)

However, it is just wishful thinking right now. It is still monsoon season here and the rain is heavily pouring at night and during early morning. The wind is blowing extremely strong and big waves are pummeling the rocky coastline and it not so fun to stay there at the moment. Not even with the passionate angler that I am. :-)


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