Winner Winner Pan-Fried Chicken Dinner

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.

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Basic Stock Recipe: Leftover vegetables and other scraps that can save you some money

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!

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Some leftover vegetables I found lying around. These three are the main vegetables I put whenever I make a vegetable stock.

Note: For this batch of stock, I used the prawn shells from last week’s gambas for a flavorful shrimp stock.

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Gambas al Ajillo: Building flavors to complement rather than overpower the traditional

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.

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What you’ll see when you search for “gambas” in Google.

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.

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Pan-grilled Pork Belly: The no frills dish when you want something simple but delicious

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.

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The plant that made me cook.

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My take on a green pea risotto: A cheap but fresh take on what is usually a fatty dish

Green peas. Parmesan. Lemon. Rice.
Green peas. Parmesan. Lemon. Rice.

It was my older brother’s last day in Manila before he flies back to Hong Kong for his internship. This offered up the perfect opportunity to cook something up for the whole family since I feel that the occasion called for it. I saw one of the contestants in Iron Chef America make a sweet pea risotto and that got me thinking about attempting to make one myself. This would turn out to be a significantly healthier take on what usually turns out to be extra rich and fatty!

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Nestle Fruit Selection Yogurt Recipes Shoot

Behind the scenes of the yogurt shoot.
Behind the scenes of the yogurt shoot. One umbrella for the main light, illustration board to bounce light back to the food, and one extra light on axis to brighten things up and make everything look more fresh. The background greenery was just switched around every few shots.

Had the pleasure of shooting images for online use of one of the brands in the company. These will be used for a campaign that aims to promote a healthy breakfast eating habit among Filipinos by giving one 4-minute breakfast suggestion every month this 2015. The fun part about the whole experience was being able to see how else you can make use of yogurt to match it with other ingredients! Prior to the shoot, all I did with yogurt was either eat it as is from the container or i throw it in the freezer and treat it like ice cream.

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