Monthly Archives: April 2008

my favorite girl group

*raffle! raffle! reminder *

a bunch of blue she-crabs!

i was STUNNED at how the prices have gone up everywhere. $100 of groceries used to be quite a few heavy bags of substantial food–chicken and seafood included. now the bags are few and they’re light-as-a-feather.
it was even sadder to see that even the signature blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay area, though still affordable, have gone up in price.

enjoy now while they’re still here i say–these were heavy with crab roe and sweet meat. perfect, just steamed with rock salt and served over hot rice with a dipping sauce nearby (lemon juice and patis for me).

a sushi buffet?!

*raffle! raffle! reminder *

finally we made it out to the Minado Seafood Buffet restaurant in Natick! we’d been “sitting” on a joint birthday gift card from the lovely and generous “GooGoo” (auntie) A. for almost a year. (although we missed the lunch sitting and decided to go malling next door at the “Natick Collection” and run an errand or two at the posh town of Wellesley.)

i must admit i had very little confidence in a sushi/sashimi buffet. it seems to be an irreconcilable notion, antithetical. buffet means food sitting in chafing dishes waiting to be scooped up, instead of being served at the exact point of readiness.
it seemed an impossible notion. how fresh could it be?
answer: incredibly so!
above is as neat a plate i could compose for my first nibbles. i just kept portions bite-size and sample-size.
one of my favorites was the ceviche of a seafood medley. hmmm. the salmon tataki with cilantro sauce. the salmon roe and uni rice rolls, the sushi and sashimi, although not quite impeccably-cut by samurai-knife-wielding sushi chefs, were of pristine quality.
for those who don’t eat raw fish (por que por que???) there are various types of teriyaki and lots of fresh salads (seaweed and jellyfish among them) and a hibachi grill too (which i ignored but husband said was more than passable).
the surroundings are kept clean, spills being immediately cleaned up and platters constantly refilled.
they need more oyster shuckers i think–the “raw bar” was the bottle-neck-traffic congestion area of the whole place.
this photo is for my #1son who could not dine with us (he’s not on spring break, but we promised to go back with him VERY soon)–the cute petits fours (tiny frosted cakes in carrot, green tea, mocha, chocolate, raspberry flavors) were just heavenly! carrot, green tea, red bean, and mango ice creams, pineapple sorbet, cookies and jello…my younger two were quite appeased after a hard day’s malling; i must confess my eyes glazed over after a half-hour at the stores :drunk: .
i fervently hope we won’t be disappointed on our return visit.

Minado Seafood Buffet
1282 Worcester Road (cross street: Speen St.)
Natick, MA 01760
Phone: (508) 647-0495

Litratong Pinoy 4: hugis ay pahaba (rectangle, oblong, elongated)

sorry, please forgive me, for not being able to do the rounds and return the visits, but i really do appreciate all the support for my silly little entries to Litratong Pinoy. i know it takes so much time but you all made such a great effort while i just could not manage to return the favor. thank you thank you. :wave:

ipagpaumanhin po! patawad po! hindi ako nakapag ikot ikot o sagot man lamang sa mga dumalaw dito nitong mga nakaraang Litratong Pinoy. maraming salamat sa pag-ukol nyo ng panahon dito sa bugnuting kusinerang t.h..

heto na lang, ang hirap mag isip,
sana nga eh isang buong pirasong HILAW na liempo
pero baka may magkasakit 😆 :fryingpan :stirthepot

pangpatawa, heto ang buntot ng aming kuting na pagkalikot likot at napakaharot.

cookbooks to vie for! RAFFLE! RAFFLE!

if, like me, you are a mommy who has spent sometime at a children’s library or at the children’s section of the great Big Bookstores then you’re familiar with DK Publishing. they publish lavishly photographed books–we have one that is now so well-worn, a volume that taught my #1son to tell analog time at a very early age. our other favorites are the world atlas and multi-cultural books for kids.
well now i’ve discovered they’ve got wonderful cookbooks, two of which are now featured in the website:
Spain , and the World Table

i just love cookbooks that are generous with illustrations and photographs. escabeche and tapas dishes abound. a lot of the recipes we are already familiar with, but there are also a lot of new and intriguing dishes (stuffed figs with blue cheese!)
Grilled Pizzas and Piadinas

just in time for barbecue season…today it was 80F in the metropolitan Boston area, and we all quite forgot it is just April. everywhere people seem to have dug out their shorts and bright cotton shirts! if you are into wood-fire-grilled pizzas (who isn’t?!) then this cookbook is just the ticket.

so, would you like to win one of these cookbooks?
yes? then if you can answer this very easy question (easy, if you’ve been a faithful and loyal reader of this horribly sporadic and moody blog): what fruit from the Philippines does my #2son and i crave more than any other fruit we can think of? (hint: it is green and it is sour!)

email me with your answer and preference for either cookbook and we will raffle it off…deadline for submission is May 15. contest is open to everyone as long as i can afford the postage and packaging!!

good luck! :wave: :glasses-slip: :grandma:

springtime blahs and blues

hummus on feta cheese and kalamata olive bread

i don’t know why it is. the crocuses are peeking out, the lily of the valley shoots are all over, and even the old hundred year old maples’ leaf buds are shyly unfolding. i should be leaping for joy now that we’re finally crawling out of the winter that seems to have lasted six months.

instead i don’t have any appetite, and have no desire to cook. cookbooks are “falling” from the sky into my lap. my food magazines still get delivered. lucky for me i have a husband who likes to experiment in the kitchen/lab and who has taken this week off to hang out with our kids on their spring break.

lucky for me too i have the bread machine to play with, it is just about the only thing drawing me in to the kitchen.
i’ve made five loaves so far: white bread, sweet bread, whole wheat, feta cheese and olive, and brioche. yes! brioche! i’ve labored over that dough–it usually takes me 2 days for each attempt (gooey sticky buns; ensaymada). it is my favorite one so far, and it is all i can do to stop myself hugging my R2D2–for that it what the Dak auto bakery looks like.

we have just a small loaf each time, but it’s just right for sampling and because of the ease of use, i am contemplating the possibilities, of all the fresh hot loaves i can make. daily?!

it’s almost enough to shake off these springtime blues.

Litratong Pinoy: apat na kanto (square)

bigla kasi akong ginutom at ang pinanggigilan ko ay adobong baboy, liempo sa katunayan…

yung talagang tabain at may balat pang mangangatngat? paraisong parisukat? bawal na pag-ibig ko?
paano na lang ang buhay, kung bawal itong pagkasarap sarap na barbeque at adobo at sinigang at….haaaaay.

hala bilis inom ng gamot na pangpababa ng cholesterol….

this is my entry for Litratong Pinoy #3…a square/a cube of fatty pork belly, which i will put into my adobo pot along with some chicken thighs.

play time

i thought a bread machine would be fun to have in the kitchen.
i wanted a Japanese one..but have you seen how much those cost? i couldn’t justify spending too much on a brand new Zojirushi that i might not use much in the end. or that i’d feel pressured to use, to make it worthwhile…so i turned to eBay. i got really lucky and got a barely-used Dak (out of business, but parts are still available). i made our first bread machine loaf the day it arrived…

it was a bit alarming in the beginning, with all the noise it made. but 3 and a half hours later i got the best surprise…

it worked! and it was beautiful, moist-inside-crusty-outside kind of loaf. oddly shaped, but the magical way that it kneaded the dough, “fermented”, baked and cooled it…all you do is measure everything in, in proper order.

freshly baked, i slathered on some carabao butter…*sigh*
thank heavens for all the people who share recipes (the machine didn’t have its original cookbooklet)–i hope to try out as many as i can, who knows how long this machine will last?!

he’s 19!?!

the young man. #1son, requested Beef Wellington for his birthday, April 14. his 19th birthday!

Gordon Ramsay’s recipe from, calls for wrapping the seared beef tenderloin in slices of prosciutto instead of crepes. i didn’t feel like adding on more carbs to the pastry, i added more fat instead. :fryingpan
complete recipe here.

and he requested Schwarzwalder torte but i didn’t have enough time nor nuts (almonds, hazelnuts) so instead i bought what i thought would be a close approximation, a hazelnut orange torte from the Whole Foods bake “shoppe”–
a gamble i lost. the “sales associate,” i discovered when i got home, had dented the top of the ganache frosting in a most unsightly place. uggh. i thought a Whole Foods item was bound to be good. it tasted really bland and nothing like hazelnuts at all… :uhoh: and so i ended up quickly baking a ten-inch double chocolate layer cake with a rich ganache frosting.

and everything turned out okay naman….anything to make the birthday boy happy on his 19th celebration! wow, he’s 19….

chicken Kiev

this is a dish that i’ve been longing to replicate, since way back when.
chicken kiev

somehow it has been embedded in my consciousness/awareness.
i must have seen its preparation on a Philippine TV cooking show, or my Ma might have had a little booklet from the premium butter brand at the time, Anchor. i don’t remember. whatever it was, it stuck in my brain.
chicken Kiev is not really of Russian descent according to the Wiki, but was probably so christened due to a Russian empress’ love of French cuisine. the empress in turn influenced her loyal subjects, and it is theorized that it was named Kiev by New York City cooks trying to please Russian emigres who demanded it on their menus.

a chicken paillard with a hidden “treasure”, breaded, fried, sliced, and then revealing, no, oozing its rich golden butter secret.

i cobbled together a recipe from quite a few that i searched for online and from cookbooks and magazines.

most recipes call for chicken breasts, which, if you’ve been at all plowing through my wordy posts, you will have
noticed, i don’t care for. i like skinless boneless thighs.

first step is to make a very well chilled herb butter.
soften butter until it succumbs easily to a spatula, then add chopped herbs like parsley, chives, thyme, your choice!, form into a log, wrap tightly in plastic, chill until ready;
pound each chicken thigh until very thin fillet, between two sheets of cling film, see below; set a baton in the middle of it, then enfold and wrap tightly, secured together with toothpicks (the only time i thought i should have gone with those breasts as the thighs flattened out into odd irregular shapes), dipped in turn in a bowl each of seasoned flour, beaten eggs thinned down with milk, then rolled in bread crumbs (Japanese panko will work too).

if you end up, like i did, with a tortured looking piece of meat, all riddled with bamboo skewers, just use your hands or two spoons to completely cover the chicken rolls with the respective coatings.

herb butter
little herb butter logs

pan fry in a combination of mostly olive oil and a bit of butter, about a depth of one inch, over medium-high heat, until brown, around 4 minutes per side.

let rest a minute or two before slicing and serving. (i loved mine dipped in Heinz chili sauce and Franks Red Hot original!)

tatsulok (triangle)

ang ganda ng salitang tatsulok…pinaigsing tatlong sulok. hindi nga naman puwedeng trianggulo dahil bukod sa Kastila yon, paputok pa sa Bagong Taon.

this is my entry for Litratong Pinoy 2, with “triangle” as its theme.

ta’s yung isa nanganak…
which is the regular size? is there a jumbo or a mini?