Saturday, July 28, 2007

Isang tulog na lang!

Isang tulog na lang! Sa mga pupunta sa Dine & Jam bukas, heto yung map. 6:30 PM po. Pakitawagan po ako; I need to know if you're coming so I can reserve seats. Thanks! :-)


Dine & Jam

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Ratatouille

Remy the tiny chef
I had high expectations of this movie, and it did not disappoint! I loved the humor, thoroughly enjoyed the culinary references, and was wowed by the animation. Wanna watch it again! My favorite characters were Remy & Colette. Funny, long before this film Steph & I've wanted to design aprons with mice peeking out of the pockets. And we thought of "corn puppies" and cooked them a long time ago! Pixar beat us to two of our ideas but we still love them for making this film!



I'm trying my best not to put any spoilers in here....



Remy had an interesting way of preparing ratatouille which is traditionally a really simple dish. I'm serving it Remy style at tomorrow's Dine & Jam :-)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Team 1 rules!

Certainly not my best photography, but conditions in the kitchen at school are not conducive. O ayan para sa inyo, teammates...
Read the rest of this post...

Certainly not my best photography, but conditions in the kitchen at school are not conducive. O ayan para sa inyo, teammates. Team1 dabest! :-)


Ervin
Ervin alias "Garlic Chives" alias "Saucy Boy"

Francis
Francis alias "Every Move You Make"

Derick
Derick aka "Party Animal"

Balot
Balot the "Roulade Mistress"


JB
me :-)

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Chicken Dinner Thursday


Wednesday was our 2nd poultry fabrication day in school. Poultry fab being a bit more involved than beef, lamb or pork fab, I wanted to get in some practice before I started to forget what I'd learned. So Thursday I went and bought a whole dressed chicken, a 4-pack of leg-and-thigh quarters, herbs and other sundry ingredients, and planned out a dinner menu for my family. I had Steph come over, and I had Ace bring Margie.


The menu:

  • Steamed Roulade of Chicken Stuffed with Prawn & Asparagus, paired with Shiitake Cream Penne
  • Breaded Suprême of Chicken Stuffed with Kesong Puti, served with Roasted Red Capsicum Cream Sauce
  • Ballotine of Chicken Stuffed with Apples & Cashews, served with Herbed Mashed Potato and Apple Brandy Demiglace



Read the rest of this post...
Wednesday was our 2nd poultry fabrication day in school. Poultry fab being a bit more involved than beef, lamb or pork fab, I wanted to get in some practice before I started to forget what I'd learned. So Thursday I went and bought a whole dressed chicken, a 4-pack of leg-and-thigh quarters, herbs and other sundry ingredients, and planned out a dinner menu for my family. I had Steph come over, and I had Ace bring Margie.

The menu:
Breaded Suprême of Chicken Stuffed with Kesong Puti, served with Roasted Red Capsicum Cream Sauce


Steamed Roulade of Chicken Stuffed with Prawn & Asparagus, paired with Shiitake Cream Penne


Ballotine of Chicken Stuffed with Apples & Cashews, served with Herbed Mashed Potato and Apple Brandy Demiglace


I had a slightly more ambitious menu planned out, but this was what time permitted. I fabricated the chicken into two suprêmes and two ballotines, and I turned two of the leg-and-thigh quarters into ballotines, and pounded out the other two into roulades. I had originally planned for walnuts to go in the apple stuffing, thinking that we still had walnuts in the fridge left over from baking, but I was wrong, we were out. I still had plenty of tarragon left over from Dine&Jam that I planned to put in the vinaigrette for the salad, but I guess it slipped my mind hehe.

JB plating while the family looks hungrily on

Here I am plating one of the roulades. Ace & Margie, Mama & Steph look hungrily on hehe.

JB plating

Steamed Roulade of Chicken Stuffed with Prawn & Asparagus, with Shiitake Creme Penne

Steamed Roulade of Chicken Stuffed with Prawn & Asparagus, with Shiitake Creme Penne.



Ballotine of Chicken Stuffed with Apples & Cashew Nuts, with Apple Brandy Demi Sauce

Ballotine of Chicken Stuffed with Apples & Cashew Nuts, with Apple Brandy Demi Sauce.



Breaded Suprême of Chicken Stuffed with Kesong Puti, with Roasted Red Pepper Creme

Breaded Suprême of Chicken Stuffed with Kesong Puti, with Roasted Red Pepper Creme.



Steph showing off the roulade

Steph showing off the roulade.



BJ & Steph
Steph & I can't wait to chow down on the ballotine.



Ace & Margie



dig in!
Dig in!



cheers!Cheers!



more wine, Ace?
More wine, Ace?

Sarah

Sarah, official photographer for the night.



Ace takaw
Ang takaw ni Ace!

dessert

Still room for dessert? No, I did not bake this (I wish!)

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Thoughts on Foodie Workshop at Serye Restaurant

Saturday last week I started the day excited about the food writing & photography workshop I was to attend at Serye Restaurant at the Quezon Memorial Circle. I had never been to Serye before. I’d passed this branch a dozen times on morning jogs and noticed that they were open for breakfast, but had never tried it. Well here was my chance. That morning though I was more excited about the learning than the eating. Organizer Jayvee Fernandez had told us to bring blindfolds…the day promised to be interesting.


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Read the rest of this post...
Saturday last week I started the day excited about the food writing & photography workshop I was to attend at Serye Restaurant at the Quezon Memorial Circle. I had never been to Serye before. I’d passed this branch a dozen times on morning jogs and noticed that they were open for breakfast, but had never tried it. Well here was my chance. That morning though I was more excited about the learning than the eating. Organizer Jayvee Fernandez had told us to bring blindfolds…the day promised to be interesting.

As soon as I walked in I found the place very inviting. Inexplicably I was reminded of my lola, even though I couldn’t honestly picture her in a café. The place had the appeal of the familiar, and the warm-cozy atmosphere of a bistro-café. As I spoke with the very friendly staff the cake selection beckoned but I resisted. First, to business.

Introductions first. I was amazed that lecturer Christine Nunag had actually taken the time to read each and everyone’s blogs, and remembered little details about all of us, including little personal details we’d each put in our profiles. This put me at ease real quick. What followed was a very informative, often funny but always thought-provoking exchange of ideas on viral marketing, food writing in the traditional media & parallels with the (relatively) new blog medium, the blogger’s responsibility to moderate reader comments, the late, great Doreen Fernandez, strange food stories, developing one’s observation skills, and sharpening one’s senses.

That brought us to the blindfold. Blindfolds on, we were walked through a food-sensing exercise. Eight food items were brought before us, and we smelled, prodded, tasted, chewed, swished-in-mouth, “mmmm”-ing and “yumm”-ing all the way. In spite of some people (me included) dribbling spoonfuls of soup on their chins, and almost putting forkfuls of meat up their noses, there were no major injuries. They say that when you can’t see, the other senses kick into overdrive. It’s true. Here’s a quick rundown:

 Sizzling Pork Sisig
Sizzling Pork Sisig

At first whiff I knew it was pork. At the first crunchy nibble I knew it was sisig. Unfortunately it wasn’t sizzling anymore (a small timing problem; the food had been ready some time before the discussion ended) but amazingly the sisig retained its crunch. It wasn’t drenched in oil, as some places serve it, but had just enough of the pork fat to give it a nice buttery mouth-feel & flavor. At the reveal I found that it came with a special sauce which I’d missed at the tasting.

Sinigang na Tiyan ng Bangus
The sinigang broth had moderate sourness, nice body, and thankfully no detectable gabi hehehe. The bangus was firm, and the vegetables were pleasantly crunchy. I think I would’ve liked a fattier cut of bangus, and more bite to the broth, but ah that’s just me. This dish was nice and familiar, and I settled more comfortably in my chair afterwards.


Boneless Chicken Barbecue
Boneless Chicken Barbecue

The first morsel of meat told me this was barbecued chicken. It was tender, had perfect caramelization, and went well with the smooth, peanuty sauce. I thought to myself, “Hmmm..tastes like the famous chicken barbecue from Aristocrat.” I was spot on, as it turned out. We were to discover later that our host Miña & her co-owners/siblings were of the 4th generation of the Reyes family of the Aristocrat Restaurant. The name Serye was in fact an anagram of their family name. By this time there was joking and chatting all around, especially as Chris Haravata started shooting pictures blindfolded.


 Miki Bihon Guisado
Miki Bihon Guisado

My mouth could tell there were two kinds of noodles in this, a great play on texture. Flavor texture and further tactile surprises were delivered by the crunchy sitsaro & carrot, shrimp, sliced kikiam, and a hint of chives & a sprinkling of sesame oil. At the reveal we found the color palette was just as lively as the dish was on the palate.


 Serye Express
Serye Express

With this dish the familiar ended. More accurately, it became harder to pin down. At first whiff I identified coconut milk. As I went through the dish though the flavor profile was at once familiar and elusive. Was there meat in it? Is that langka ginataan Bicol style? I was pleasantly bewildered. At the reveal Mina explained that Serye Express was a marriage of pinakbet and bicol express. Genius! Despite the playful juxstaposition this dish had coherence. Attractively served in a traditional palayok, it was at once a group favorite.


Ox-tail Kare-kare
Back to tradition with this dish. I have never been big on kare-kare, except when it is impeccably executed, and this was one such occasion. Missed at the tasting: steamed rice & bagoong alamang.

Serye Iced Tea
First I got the foamy head in my nose. Then I discovered the drinking straw. This was a refreshing draught. Real tea and real citrus. We all slurped it down to the last drop.


 Serye’s Filipino Fondue
Serye’s Filipino Fondue

The last item was several pieces of miniature turon, but each piece seemed to have a different filling. Langka, saging na saba, sago. There was a small piece of some sort of creamy soft bread which turned out at the reveal to be cute mini ensaymadas. The Filipino-style (er Spanish) chocolate was a great accent to each piece. It was easy to imagine Ibarra & Maria Clara enjoying this dessert. It seemed fitting that the minds behind this dessert were the new aristocracy of the restaurant business.

trigger-happy food bloggers

The writing workshop officially over, we all gathered for lunch. Yes, more food! We enjoyed more of the great pancit, the barbecued chicken with java rice, Serye Express, the wonderful iced tea, and platters of Boneless Crispy Pata. Tender meat, crispy skin, and look, Ma, no bones! Awesome dish! I had promised my doctor I’d lay off the pork, but between pork day at chef school and this dish at Serye, I've surrendered!


Boneless Crispy Pata
Boneless Crispy Pata

It’s sometimes supposed that bloggers are men and women of few words—shy types who speak little and need the written word, and the relative anonymity of the internet to find expression. Either that was untrue of this group, or merely because good food loosens tongues, or perhaps because the warm atmosphere & the solicitous Reyeses made us feel truly at home, but we were truly loquacious in between mouthfuls of crispy pata. Chris regaled us with his account of hunting wild boar and cooking it sinigang style in the wilds of Bataan, Betty talked about the horrors of traveling this far north, and I offered my thoughts on how the pata was deboned. Now I had a new reason to go to QC Memorial Circle. I kept wishing I hadn’t waited this long to try this resto out. The dishes are at once familiar, steeped in tradition, and new and playful. Similarly, Serye is a great place to bring family and old friends, and as I did that day, make new friends. Perhaps the name of the place has another meaning to it: you’ll want to keep coming back.

Serye Restaurant
Elliptical Rd.
Quezon Memorial Circle
Quezon City
Tel. 924-3411, 924-3394

More later: The photography workshop facilitated by Markku Seguerra & Jayveee Fernandez.

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Larousse Gastronomique Online

Old news, apparently, but it's new to me: Larousse Gastronomique, the ultimate culinary encyclopedia, is available online through Amazon's "search inside the book" feature. From abaisse to zuppa inglese, all of the entries in the tome's 1,360 pages are accessible through a simple keyword search (though you wont be able to print them out).

Two words: screen shot.

Cool. Now I have time to save up for the real thing, which will set me back Php3,000.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

School's Cool

Day 2: Basic Nutrition

Go foods, Grow foods, Glow foods. Those LDLs...they're bad for you. But dang does fatty food taste good!


Day 3: Basic Culinary French


I have never taken lessons in French. Being me though I've picked up a few phrases here and there (a little knowledge always being a dangerous thing, of course), specially as I self-taught myself more and more about cuisine. "Je connais!" which I will probably hardly ever get to use, and "Je ne comprends pas." which is most probably as far as I'll get in a conversation after I get past "Je m'appelle JB."

woman: "Sugar?"
Mr. Bean: "Oui."
woman: "Crème?"
Mr. Bean: "Non."
woman: "Your French is very good!"
Mr. Bean: "Gracias!"

Now my vocabulary extends a bit more than ratatouille, en papillote, bouillabaise & vichysoisse. Speaking of ratatouille, I can't wait for the movie to come out!


Day 4: Culinary Math

And you kids fresh out of highschool thought you could escape math by taking this course! One of my class mates remarked, "Totoo pala sabi ng tatay ko: 'gagamitin mo din yan [math] balang araw.'" I of course already knew this, as cooking at home & for Regali Kitchen has had me converting between British & Metric, scaling recipes, crunching cost control numbers for some years now. Math on the fly is of course essential when at the market & grocery store. It's all just basic algebra of course - we're not talking differential calculus here - but it's gotta be fast, and it aint kid stuff. Beyond math, I find that the scientific method is my friend in the kitchen. Boy am I glad I learned something in highschool!


Day 5: Introduction to Gastronomy - "Eat, and Eat Ink!"

Cuisine being all-encompassing, this discussion mixed equal parts history, psychology, pop and classical culture, flavored with sprinklings of political economy and archaelogy, simmered in sociology. Man oh man I love that kind of stuff, and I want seconds! Eat ink? Yeah, ink has always been my favorite.


Day 6: Sanitation - "Happy Birthday to You 2x"

Go wash your hands. You heard me.


Day 7: Meat Fabrication Part 1

Cooked this:
Entrêcote à la Bordelaise
Roast Beef Tenderloin w/ cognac demiglace
Veal Escalopes w/ Wild Mushroom Sauce
Ox tongue preparation
Veal kidneys preparation

Day 8: Meat Fabrication Part 2

Cooked this:
Grilled Lamb Medallions w/ Mint Jelly & Orange Confit
Roast Ribeye w/ Port Demiglace
Scallopini à la Marsala
Osso Buco preparation
Ox tripe preparation

Today, during a momentary lull, Chef Gene gave the class a huge compliment. The compliment was this: "I want to push you further." At the start of the course he said that if he feels that we have what it takes he will push us harder. So that was real cool!

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Blogger Food Writing and Photography Class July 14, 2007!

Astig 'to! Excited na'ko! :-D

Blogger Food Writing and Photography Class on July 14 2007!
WHAT: The first blogger food writing and photography class!
WHEN: July 14 10:00 AM
WHERE: Serye Restaurant at Quezon Memorial Circle