Been a while since the last time I wrote here. Long enough, in fact, for the layout of WordPress to change. Being that it’s a Friday night and that I’m just bumming around here in the condo, I decided to cook up this simple chicken dish that I’ve been making quite often these passed few weeks. If you want the blow by blow of how I make it, keep reading.
Alternate title: Stock so rich it can buy you, your friends, and that club.
It’s rare that I use up all of the ingredients that I buy whenever I cook at home. More often than not, I would end up with half an onion or a few sticks of celery left over from the recipe. Luckily, these vegetable scraps and any other bones or shells would actually make a delicious stock that you can keep in your freezer for future use!
Note: For this batch of stock, I used the prawn shells from last week’s gambas for a flavorful shrimp stock.
One mention of gambas here in the Philippines would usually bring to mind images of shrimps in a deep red-orange sauce (that’s usually more sweet than spicy) with some bellpeppers and onions thrown in for good measure. In some cases, this even comes in a smoking hot sizzling plate. Personally, I’m not a fan of this style of gambas mainly because the shrimps tend to come out overcooked and all the flavors that are added in the dish just overwhelm the subtle taste of the shrimp.
My preference for gambas is to have it as gambas al ajillo, shrimps in garlic to put it simply. Traditional recipes I have seen make use of just four ingredients outside of your basic salt and pepper seasoning: Shrimps, olive oil, garlic, and chili. The dish, as you would expect, lets the shrimps shine with none of the other flavors getting in the way. My take on this though adds a few more ingredients that work to elevate the shrimp flavor even more than just having your basic ingredients.
The new cast iron pan and my baby mint plant got me excited to make something in the kitchen tonight. I wanted to make something simple and the first thing that came to mind was some inihaw na liempo or grilled pork belly. This was a dish that always takes me back to Sunday lunches back home with the family and how I did it couldn’t have been simpler! A word of caution though: This can get smokey.
My friend Jizz and I decided to meet up a few days ago to try out Peperoni Pizzeria, a new pizza shop in the not-quite-open-yet Uptown Mall. Since our other friend that we were planning to meet up with wasn’t going to be in Peperoni, we decided to just check out Halal Guys instead. Now I’ve always heard stories from my friends about how awesome a place Halal Guys was in New York. How it was a stall that you should NOT miss if you find yourself in the Big Apple. Needless to say, much was expected.
(Note: Before you even begin reading this, please be warned that this is possibly my lengthiest post. I will not share and food or cocktail recipes nor will I share lighting information. What you will read here are some random thoughts that have been running around in my head since my last few shoots.)
Hello, 2016! Happy new year to everyone taking the time to read this entry, my first for the year. The first two weeks of January have been exciting, to say the least. In the first three weekends of the year, I’ve already had the chance to shoot a variety of subjects ranging from family portraits to food shots for a restaurant menu to a more conceptual coffee shoot, all of which have their own set of quirks.
What surprised me though was my new found appreciation for shooting food on a purely white background, something that I didn’t think of highly prior to shooting the restaurant menu and coffee. I know that my little disclaimer on not thinking highly of this genre of food photography might seem a bit douche-y but please do let me explain. My initial foray into food photography was focused mainly on one thing: Mimic what I see in food magazines and learn to improve on these or put my own twist to it. This, in hindsight, wasn’t really the best mindset to have with most food magazines showing photos that are, more often than not, rustic.
I’ve been craving for a good carbonara ever since this video of some Italian restaurant started making its rounds in my Facebook feed. Since it was just my dad and my younger brother here at home for a few weeks, I decided to cook up a batch for a midweek dinner! I already had them block off one weeknight for this and tonight finally arrived! So here’s the basic recipe that I used for the pasta. These are pretty rough estimates but this is the closest I’ve gone to actually measuring my ingredients.
- 300g Spaghetti
- 120g Freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 Whole eggs
- 1 Egg yolk
- 6 strips Streaky bacon
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cook the bacon strips over medium heat to preferred doneness. Once cooked, cut into pieces. Leave the oil warm on the pan.
- Combine the eggs, yolk, parmesan cheese, and black pepper in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Boil your pasta up until a minute before indicated cooking time.
- Transfer the pasta into the pan with the bacon fat and toss it around in the oil.
- While the pasta and pan are still warm but not piping hot, add in the egg, cheese, and black pepper mixture.
- Add in your cut bacon and enjoy!
This recipe is just right for three people and is perfect with a little freshly toasted garlic bread. If you want a very quick recap of the procedure, do check out my 15 second recipe video over at Vimeo. Just click on the link below!
Recipe video link: To follow
Gave the classic cocktail a little spicy twist. I added a chili “liqueur” made of 50% chili syrup and 50% vodka. This added a very subtle sweetness and just a little bit of heat to the drink, something that I think can make the Negroni a more palatable cocktail to first time drinkers.
- 40ml Luxardo Bitters
- 40ml Martini Rosso
- 30ml Bombay Sapphire
- 20ml Chili liqueur
The Japanese food of late here in Manila has been dominated by every restaurant doing signature sushi rolls and, more recently, deep-fried breaded cuts of pork and seafood that we all lovingly know as katsu. It was a pleasure to find out that a new Japanese restaurant that specializes in tempura had opened over at the Grove, which is a quick 20 minute drive from the house.
Now I have always had a soft spot for tempura. When I was a kid, my parents knew that the only way to make me eat whenever I would get sick would be to bring me to Kamirori over in Katipunan to get me an order of ebi tempura. If we were lucky, we’d drop by the video rental shop next door and rent ourselves a laser disc copy of either Top Gun or Mighty Ducks. So yes, sick times were good times when I was a kid.
Decided to keep things really simple for today’s “cocktail” and, honestly, it really can’t get any simpler than this. I’ll be sharing the ingredients for the vodkas as well after the jump so do check that out too!
- 70ml Indian mango infused vodka
- 20ml Chili “liqueur”
- Orange twist
One key thing that I’ve learned when adding orange/lemon twists to drinks is the importance of using the freshest fruits that you can get your hands on for the simple reason that fresh fruit zest will give you more essential oils. I’ve had trouble with some of the oranges that I’ve used for previous drinks in that they don’t really give out that much oil.