Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pork Chops in Ketchup & Soy Sauce

Pork chops....so many ways of having it done. I'm planning on taking on the many versions. Most of the people i know, eat this the traditional way of it being seasoned with salt and pepper then fried. Dipped in vinegar and garlic or with gravy..it's good eats. I usually have my pork chops coated in bread crumbs, with or without herbs then deep fried. My wife introduced this version to me. I just suddenly had this version in my lunch box one day and I've enjoyed it ever since. It's also simple to make as i later found out. All this requires is a marinade of ketchup, calamansi, soy sauce and some water. Cook this in the marinade till tender and that's it. This was taken by my office window just before lunch.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Yummy Picadillo

This one dish that is quick and easy to do. There are many variations using more than just carrots and potatoes and i think they also taste good. I prefer the simple version though, just ground meat or in this case ground chicken, potatoes and carrots. The eggs i added because i think it goes well with it. Ground pork is usually used for this, but i prefer the flavor of ground chicken. All this needs is minced garlic, a chopped onion, ground meat (chicken, pork or beef), carrots and potatoes, tomato sauce and soy sauce. Saute the garlic, followed by the onions then the ground chicken, season with S&P and let it cook till no longer pink. Add about 2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1 pack of tomato sauce. Add some sugar if you like it a bit sweet. Boil some eggs and serve it with the Picadillo. Goes well with rice or bread or just as is!

Stir Fried Chicken

I have always been apprehensive about stir frying chicken without any dark sauce or tomato sauce. My few attempts in the past always ended up lacking any flavor or having a flavor i didn't like. With my previous blunders in mind, i used a fusion of ingredients to make sure i do not fall short in the flavor category. The way i usually cook, is i rarely taste what i cook till near the end, way past the point of no return, i just smell it as i cook. I know it's a bad practice which could lead to disaster, but so far any disasters have been minimal and still edible. ;)
With this i used garlic (lots), ginger (about a thumb), lemongrass 4 inner cores, 1 red bell pepper, 1 finger chili, chopped onion leeks (1/2 inch), chopped celery (1/2 inch + leaves), coarsely chopped coriander and basil, 1 tbsp sea salt, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, cracked black pepper and 1 tsp of sugar. I marinated the chicken fillets (1/2 kilo) in salt, pepper, Chinese cooking wine, 2 egg whites and a tablespoon or cornstarch and left it for 1/2 hour before cooking.
I made this by sauteing the garlic and ginger till fragrant, then added the bell peppers and lemongrass followed by the chicken. At this point i added about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water. Let this cook till the chicken is no longer pink. Add salt, pepper, sugar and fish sauce. Moving on, i added the celery (leaves and stalks), coriander and basil. The finger chili was added in the end just to add a little bite. Let this simmer for about 15 minutes till the flavors really blend together. If this gets dry just add a little more water, i don't like my stir fries to be dry. The verdict? It tastes like a Thai, Chinese and Filipino dish. The dish called on the memory of my taste buds. The chicken was tender and carried lots of flavor, a total turn around from my previous attempts. One thing i wanted to do was to add mushrooms, but i was disappointed with quality i had so i skipped it. There will definitely be next time for this.

Calling this Stir Fried Chicken because it was "stir fried" is probably too overused. I am terrible in making up names, so i guess the best i can do is Peter's-Pan Stir Fried Chicken. :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Chili Wraps

We had a party last night for a friend that was getting married. Congratulations Mady! I volunteered to make Chicken Salpicao while the Chili Wraps was a dish prepared by my other friend Michelle, I just assisted in the frying and buying the ingredients. To make this, i bought about 300 grams of long green peppers/finger chilies or locally known as siling haba. That was about 30 pieces. I also bought cheese, ham and small spring roll wrappers. Remove the seeds by making a slit lengthwise on one side of the pepper. Wash this in water and let it drip for a while. Once dry, place slices of ham and cheese inside, then wrap in spring roll wrappers. Fry till golden brown.
When handling spicy peppers, never make the mistake of touching your face and always wash your hands well after. For those not fond of spicy food, this will probably still be too hot. For those that love spicy food, it might be too mild. For me, it's spicy, but not too hot. It just lingers enough, waiting to be quenched by a sip of cold beer or a spoonful of rice.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Must Be Mom's

I’m going to classify newly found food as Foodie Finds from now on. Okay, so I didn’t exactly find this since this was brought by my cousin. (Thanks Cris). But then, again, I didn’t know she brought something last Sunday till I found it in the fridge. So I guess I still “found” it. ;) My wife got hungry around 9pm so I went down to get her some soup that I made . I then noticed this half empty box of small ensaymadas. I took one piece and even if it was cold, it really tasted well, so I had another piece. I also got 2 pieces, heated them in the microwave and brought it up together with the soup. My wife enjoyed them as well. It’s a fluffy light ensaymada topped with what seemed like melted yema and cheese.
Apart from the Parmesan Ensaymada of Tender Trap, this is one that i really like and would consider a good gift for friends and a favorite snack.

CAV - Wine Shop - Cafe

We had dinner at Silk at Serendra a few weeks ago and my friends suggested we go to CAV along Bonifacio High Street. CAV happens to be a wine bar. I am not a wine drinker, though I enjoy a couple every now and then, but most of the time I stick to cold beers, vodka or gin cocktails. That being said, apart from knowing that red goes with meat and white goes with fish or chicken, I knew very little.
When you enter CAV, you’ll immediately be faced with a row of wines that are ready to be sampled. They’ll give a card which is good per person or for your entire group. All you need to do is insert that card in a slot in the section of your preferred wine and choose whether you want a taste, which is about 20ml, half glass or a full glass. You select your choice as you would with a vendo machine. The prices here vary from P35 for a taste to a couple hundred. Just by tasting, you could easily rack up P1000 in you card!
I'm not sure if this is the same as the CAV wine bar in San Francisco, but it is a very interesting concept of serving wine. If you’re interested in sampling wines and don’t know where to start, this would be a nice place to go to.

Chicken with Pork & Beans

This is a quick meal to do and we've been having this way back before i learned to cook. I remember my used to use chicken feet for this dish, and it was delicious. Nowadays, we've switched to using chicken wings instead. I cooked this Sunday, and the photo above was all that was left for my lunch at the office.
To do this, just saute about a teaspoon of minced garlic in oil, add one chopped onion, then one chopped carrot, 1 chopped tomato, then the chicken. Season with salt and pepper and a tablespoon of soy sauce and continue to mix till it changes color. Add enough water to cover the chicken and let it cook till the meat is tender enough that it almost falls of the bone. Add 1 large can of Pork & Beans and 1 beaten egg. The addition of carrots, tomato and eggs is something i just thought of but originally we didn't use it. As i said, the photo above was all that was left... i guess they liked it. ;)

Chicken & Corn Soup V3

Here's another take on Chicken & Corn soup. Actually, this is much more than just chicken and corn. This is a complete meal as a soup. The steps to do this are basically the same as Version 2 with a few additions. With this version, i added a large tomato, 1 large carrot and a couple of stalks and leaves of celery, all chopped. While this was cooking, i had some pasta ready to be added. I cooked this twice in one day since i had to give away the 1st batch and the 2nd we had for dinner. The first batch made use of spaghetti cut into about 1 inch lengths while the other made use of pasta shells. The pasta shells looked better, but didn't get the chance to take photos of it.
I dunno if there is going to be a version 4 or maybe by that time, the name should be changed already. All i know is, this just keeps getting better.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Chicken Lollipops w/ Rosemary & Lemongrass

I guess I'm on a roll using Rosemary in my dishes lately. I really like the aroma it brings when you add it to food! Another thing that I've been using a lot of is Lemongrass, and like Rosemary imparts an aroma and flavor to liven up any dish. Chicken lollipops are readily available here in most major supermarkets, so no problem in acquiring that. The marinade is similar to my previous post except that i used Kecap Manis, added lots of finely minced garlic, salt, paprika, worcestershire sauce, dried rosemary and pounded lemongrass (the white inner core).
I used the leafy part of the lemongrass and tied it around the bone of the chicken lollipops. I then coated this in egg and flour then proceeded to deep fry it. The result are fragrant and crunchy chicken lollipops!

Buttered Rosemary Chicken

Chicken fillets, one of the easiest thing to cook and in so many delicious ways. All this took is a marinade of soy sauce, lots of garlic, pepper, some sugar and rosemary. Two hours in the fridge is enough for this to absorb the marinade.

To do this, i just fried some minced garlic in butter, added sliced mushrooms followed by the chicken. After a while, i added about 1/2 a teaspoon of Rosemary. This was done in less then 30 minutes.

To compliment this, I made some mashed potatoes with butter, cheese, milk and corn.