Monday, March 30, 2009

Fresh Basil And Mozzarella

We all know how hard it is to find gourmet ingredients here in the Philippines. I have my sources and I don't mind spending a little for those herbs and cheeses just to be able to get that Italian taste. I'm built for this!

One person I love is Rachael Ray. She makes easy Italian dishes. I jot down notes everytime I watch her shows. I also have her cookbooks and just recently my sister-in-law got me the latest issue of her magazine. I didn't know she has one.


Another show I love watching is Everyday Italian with Giada De Laurentiis she also makes Italian cooking so yummy.

I made this easy salad dish that goes with everything. Tomato and Mozzarella Salad.

It's Tomatoes, Mozzarella slices and Fresh Basil drizzled with olive oil and a hint of salt and pepper.

What I did? I sandwhiched a Mozzarella slice and a basil leaf between 2 slices of tomatoes. You can also add onions for a little kick.

For dinner, I made another batch to match my Pasta with Pesto... yummy! and healthy too...and while making this blog, Wolfgang Puck is on...after his show, Everyday Italian is next.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fresh Pasta!

I spent my sunday making fresh pasta. It took us about 2 hours to finish a 700g recipe. Best if made early in the morning or late at night. Not unless you have plans for your own use.
I had a recipe kept way back from my kitchen folders in college. I had second thoughts if I will use the old recipe, or if I will go back to the good 'ol Professional Cooking Book. By the way, you can also scout for easy pasta dough recipe over the net.
It was an enjoyable experience. We played with the flour a bit. And took turns on kneading the dough.

It was a very easy while making the dough. But it went pretty hard as we moved on making the pasta itself. Continuous rolling and inserting was required, until we finally got the right texture.
Over-all, it was a giant success! The texture of the pasta was perfect.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pan De Amerikana---Giant Pandesal

Giant Pandesal that is as big as your hand. Made out of wheat, so its healthy! The boss of my husband introduced it to us. Freshly baked and hot all the time. Perfect for breakfast. Since its wheat, it wouldn't hurt if some corned beef or ham will go with it. Don't forget some freshly brewed hot coffee :D

If you want to taste authentic 1950's PAN DE SAL (mega sized wheat P5.50, giant Pandesal Pan Amerikano.
If you want to dine in a garden setting (waterfalls, treehouse, rope bridge, koi pond, traviesa benches, old antique wood tables, batibot chairs and tables, tropical rain forest plants, wishing well, Italian colonnade European ruins)
Makati Ave Branch

Pan de Amerikana bakeshop Main office is at 92 Ordonez street Concepcion dos MARIKINA (tel. 475-2398)

And branches located:
WHITE PLAINS Quezon City (tel. 421-1966) beside Lola Idang's
Wilson street GREENHILLS San Juan(tel.384-6741)

Visit: Pan De Amerikana Official Site

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Perfect Diet This Lenten Season

Conventionally it is described as being forty days long, though different denominations calculate the forty days differently. It is observed as a period of fasting and prayer. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial — for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. -wiki-

Anyway, in part with this yearly event, I take advantage of it as a form of inspiration to keep a healthy body. Fish and Green Salad works best for my family at this time.

A bowl of fresh greens, tomatoes, onion slices and basil is one of our favorites. It's easy to prepare and the vegetables are always available. Romaine lettuce I particularly love, with a hint of some Italian Dressing. By the way, did you know that according to some findings, adding bacon or mayo-based dressing on your salad, is as good as eating 1 whole burger.

And another dish that can spice up Lent is a good Salmon Recipe.I actually got the idea from Liza of Mommy’s Little Corner
Fresh Pink Salmon - it's a good thing they already have the sliced ones in the fish section of the supermarket. You'll know when it's fresh by it's color and smell.The colors are just too bright, looks like pink and orange combined. And there's no trace of any smell.
3 tbsp of fresh or dried herbs of your choice (I used thyme)

3 tbsp of olive oil

salt and pepper

Buttered Garlic & Ginger Sauce

Butter (take 1/4 of the 225g stick)

1 whole garlic (chopped or minced)

Ginger (size of your thumb) chopped or minced

a pinch of salt & pepper

How To:


Season the fish on both sides with enough olive oil
Sprinkle some salt and pepper
And treat both sides with herbs.
Fry over the remaining olive oil until (see pic first pic)


In a sauce pan...Melt butter
Saute garlic and ginger
Add salt & pepper to taste
Simmer for 1 minute
Pour over the fried fish

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Siopao Express

Siopao are steamed bread buns filled with meat (usually pork or chicken), vegetables or sweet filling (like red bean paste, sesame paste, custard, etc). Siopao is the Cantonese pronunciation for the steamed bread buns.

Siopao is also the Filipino version of the Chinese Baozi or steamed buns. It is also called salapao in Thailand.

It is a popular food here in the Philippines. It does not require utensils to eat and can be consumed on-the-go.

I particularly love the Siopao from Pao Express. They come in mini, medium and large sizes. Not to forget stuffings of different kinds. From the usual Asado and Bola-bola...Chicken, Vegetable, Mongo are also available.

Pao Express serves ready-to-eat or frozen dimsum especially made for the Filipino taste. Pao Express started in 1999 and started franchising in 2002. Pao Express has 20 company-owned and franchised outlets.-source-

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Restaurant Thoughts----KAYA

Cuisine: Korean
Kaya Korean Restaurant
, SM Megamall

159b Megamall A, Doña Julia Vargas Ave., Ortigas
Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila
Php200 simple dish
Soups, noodles, spring rolls, meat and seafood dishes and various types of kimchi are served. Ask for your order to be cooked moderately spicy or very spicy, then adjust it with various condiments.-yahoo travel-

I honestly haven't tasted authentic Korean. The taste is a bit similar with Thai. They also have sweet dishes and of course spicy. One popular delicacy Korean cuisine that is famous is what we call the Kimchi . It is pickled dish made of vegetables with varied seasonings, most commonly referring to the spicy baechu (cabbage) variety-wiki-. I would assume that it is their Atchara version, just like the one we have here in the Philippines.
Another thing that captured my attention, was the table setting. There was a spoon and a set of chopsticks, but not a fork in sight.

Rice was served in a stainless container. I believe that's when the chopsticks will come in handy. Using the sticks, we ate the rice straight from its container. Then we get a piece of meat or vegetable to match it. Again, using the chopsticks.

My son used the spoon, and we had to ask for a fork, so it would be easier for the child to eat.
Sewu Gui---Grilled spicy shrimps
Yache Bokkum---Sauteed assorted vegetables

Here are two more of the dishes we ordered.
Sam Kyup Sal---Grilled fresh pork belly strips
Dweji Kalbi---Grilled spicy pork ribs
Over-all it was okay me. Because I was expecting an exotic taste, that will make it stand-out from the rest. But definitely, you will still love the experience.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Curry Dish

In India the word "curry" is heavily used in the southern parts in languages such as Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam. The word "kari" has its origins in Classical Tamil that means "vegetable in sauce" or "sauce". -source-
Curry is famous in the Mediterranenan area and Asia too. Part of the Thai menu we just had last weekend, were Curry dishes.
The term curry is used broadly, in English, to refer to almost any spiced, sauce-based dishes cooked in various southern and southeastern Asian styles. Though each curry has a specific name, generically any wet side dish made out of vegetables and/or meat is historically referred to as a "curry" - especially the yellow, Indian-inspired powders and sauces with high proportions of tumeric.
Yellow curry is the most famous of all. The curry I used for the dish above is the common powder we see in our local grocery store. The more curry, the spicier it gets.
The Recipe: Pork Curry

What You Will Be Needing

1 K of pork cubes
1 medium green bell pepper (sliced)
4 medium potatoes (cut into quarters)
5 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 medium onion (chopped)
ginger (thumb size sliced into pieces)
1/2 C milk
1 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsps olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

How To

In a sauce pan, saute garlic in olive oil until light brown
Add onions and ginger
Add pork, continue stirring for about a minute
Add water (enough to cover the pork) and simmer for a few minutes
When meat is soft and tender, add potatoes and enough water until potatoes are cooked
Add milk and curry powder, simmer for a few minutes until sauce is thick. (add water if necessary)
Add salt and pepper
Garnish with green bell pepper

Monday, March 2, 2009

Restaurant Thoughts---Thai At Silk

We just gotta have some Thai before the week ends and before it starts. We went around the streets of Makati famous for various cusines, but we found no Thai. Next best option was Serendra Fort Bonifacio. If you're on the look for special restaurants in the Philippines, High Street at The Fort is the place to be.

Thai At Silk offers the finest in Thai cuisine. From Rice mixed in special sauce. An option of ordering their sweet smelling Jasmine rice (which is bottomless). Sweet and Spicy are also one of their trademarks. The over-all ambience was spectacular. The lighting gave a cozy feeling. Fresh plant and flowers made it tropic, and who wouldn't forget the courteous servers and manager.

Thai at Silk, Serendra
G/F Serendra Piazza, 26th St., Fort Bonifacio
Taguig City, Metro Manila

Thai At Silk Dining

Gal Pad Grapow--- ground chicken with basil and fresh chilli. This dish is spicy, but I asked if they could make it a bit mild. So there, more choices to make your dining experience fun.

and I just love their Iced Tea! Php90

Moo KrathLem---Deep-fried pork spareribs in garlic oil and chips
Meal Php400
Their Jasmine Rice went best with these dishes.
Thai At Silk is a perfect place to chill out with friends and families. I would also recommend this restaurant if you have balik-bayan friends.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Restaurant Thoughts---Mediterranean Flavors Of The Sun

Cuisine: Italian, Greek, European. Flavors of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.
The Café Med's keen sense of taste and adventure offers a glimpse at the elusive Mediterranean mystique, and an escape to an exotic destination minus the travel, as well as a fresh tropical twist especially designed to capture the romance of the flavors of the sun. True to the essence of middle eastern cuisine, the secret, according to Mabanta, is not only in the sauces (Café Med's signature Garlic & Hot Sauce Duo), but in the passionate enjoyment of life, captured with every sensual bite, every glorious sip of wine, and the resultant conviviality of a table shared by good friends. With Café Med's business flourishing in the country's culinary capitals chances are, you will not want for that distinct flavor and service.- source-
This is the second week of our cuisine adventure. We were planning to go Thai. But It just so happen that we passed The Café Mediterranean in Robinson's Galleria, we decided to set aside our Thai cravings for next week. It was my first time to experience The Café Mediterranean . I didn't touch the Menu and let my husband order for me. Since I had no idea what their specialty was, it was indeed a thrilling one for me. Anything will do as long as it's not spicy.
We had Egyptian Fish Croquette and 2 orders of Grilled Beef Kebabs
The Egyptian Fish Dish truly carries the exotic flavors of Egyptian Cuisine. It was fresh, and savoury. The Garlic Sauce went well with it. For each rice dish you also have the option to choose between, Pita Bread, Buttered Rice and others to go with your chosen meat. The beef kebab was very juicy. The meat was of good quality. It tasted exactly like the usual savoury steak we're familiar with. This one was served into pieces. Talk about tender and juicy both at the same time. The beef kebab was served with a curry sauce that was fantastic!