Tag Archives: food blog

EARLY DEPARTURE DELAYED ARRIVAL

31 Aug

An early despedida for our friend Ana was had many moons ago and the photos should have been shared here many moons back as well.  However, TBW was too preoccupied with matters pertaining to future shifts that the particular post on Ana’s despedida was set aside  and thus, arrived late here .  She has left and is probably  flying half way through her vacation as this comes out.  Thankfully, TBW has lessened preoccupation and finds time to post, quite artistically this time =)

Food galore

COP Alabang in complete attendance

Better late than never =)

JUST BECAUSE

29 Aug

Presently toying with Picasa 3 and enjoying time immensely. Creating collages is TBW’s  choice of activity at the moment.  And because my posts are inexcusably delayed, a trio of collages of photos taken from a recent trip to China was made to make-up for the absence.  Mind you, these are pretty much very basic.  Nothing spectacular at all.  They were created just because…..

Nanjing breakfast buffet fare. Noodles stir fired & with soup, buns with all sorts of fillings, almond milk, sweet jellies, cut fruits

Stop over at Guangzhou airport...RBT for crème brûlée, tea with aloe vera, prunes & more

A stand alone fresh fruit market at the airport for last-minute fruit shopping.

Still unsure which TBW font to use for the photos.  Please help moi and let me know which looks best…font of photo #1, 2, or 3. Thanks !

FOOD SAFARI

25 Aug

FRESHLY INSPIRED TO BE HEALTHY

20 Aug

TBW was inspired by Forbes Luxe show on TLC featuring ten of the most extravagant meals in this planet.  There were white truffle 8 course dinners, a 24 karat gold Sultan cake worth USS 1,000, Thomas Keller’s French Laundry’s 12 course meal, caviar menu at Daniel Boulud’s Daniel in New York, etc.  Their common denominator was to use only the freshest and finest ingredients.

The inspiration then was to prepare a couple of  healthy items out of available fresh ingredients found in the kitchen and the garden.  And naturally,  to eat =)  These may be far from the extravagant meals seen on the Forbes Luxe show but they surely are good for the body.  And that alone is precious enough.

Portobello on greens

Sprinkle portobello mushroom with rosemary, freshly cracked black pepper and evoo (extra virgin olive oil) and grill.  Arrange mushroom on top of a huge, crisp iceberg lettuce leaf.  Few slices of curry seasoned chicken breast is added and finished with a home-made mango dressing.  Cut as you eat.  Do not cut & mix like usual when having a salad.

Creamy mango dressing

Mango dressing is made of ripened harvested green mangoes from FGR’s farm.  Not wanting it to go to waste, two to-be-ripened yellow-green mango cheeks were tossed in a food processor.  Evoo, garlic, dash of lemon, apple cider vinegar, cracked black pepper, mustard & mint leaves for the sweetish effect were added next.  Process until all ingredients have commingled and pureed.  Voila!  A spectacular tart, sweet, spicy, thick, creamy & super flavorful dressing, sans salt.  Goes well with anything =)

Refreshing drink of lemon grass from the garden & ginger extracts

Lemon grass & ginger tea.  Cut stalk and leaves of lemon grass diagonally to get those precious oils out.  Dice peeled ginger.  Boil both together in a pot of water.  Remove ginger pieces and strain remaining juices in pot using a sieve.  Add muscovado sugar according to your liking.  Transfer to a pitcher and chill.  Serve with ice cubes or crushed ice.  Add a few tapioca balls for novelty.  Truly refreshing & healthy even.

Salt and refined sugar, especially taken too frequent, contribute nothing good to our bodies.  If it is a necessity to have them in our food or beverage, a wise alternative is to replace salt with herbs & spices and white sugar with raw & unrefined.  Health is wealth!

RETURN TO BALE DUTUNG

14 Aug

A second trip to Bale Dutung recently was experienced and seen in a different perspective primarily because time was leisurely spent looking around the place rather than earnestly waiting for delectable food to be shown and savored like the first time.  Not that the excitement was gone.  It was very much present.  Perhaps the familiarity of everything  made the difference.

And look around TBW did. This time with a different camera angle as well.

Welcome

Beautiful, rustic wooden house. Aptly called Bale Dutung.

Rock garden

The man-made pond in the middle of the lush garden.

Tall trees that protect the huge property from noise and air pollution

The tindaan (store) which has wooden art objects made by artist Claude Tayag.

If I'm not mistaken, these are for sale.

Claude Tayag's art gallery

Noted and famed signatures of Filipino artists that look to me as cornices that crown the gallery's walls.

A cornice of who's who in Philippine art.

Claude's works of art....

....including these 2 lechons for they are to be carved & transformed into 5 delectable ways by the artist-cum-chef. It was interesting to note that the lechons are brought to this gallery to rest until "show time" to preserve the skin's crispness. Gallery doors are closed to avoid any draft which can affect the lechon's dermis & epidermis.

An interesting wooden table, no doubt made by the artist, occupying visible space in the gallery.

Outside the gallery, which is basically the dining area, one sees functional areas with pieces like these electric fan & fire extinguishers blending harmoniously with art work. Form and function successfully joined together.

A captivating grouping of vintage vinegar in jars.

Condiments area

Every part of the house reeks of style & artistry but in a natural & unpretentious manner. Indicative of who the house owners are.

One-of-a-kind lighting fixture

Another eye-catcher is this plastic bag filled with water & several 25 centavo coins inside. One can see many of these hanging around the sides of the al-fresco dining area to ward-off flies. An eye-catcher fly-catcher =)

Of course the glorious food, gracious hosting of Mary Ann Tayag and must-have take-home goodies are just as important, if not more, as they are what make Bale Dutung a destination in Pampanga.

All set for lunch

Our lunch mate

And the food…

Still my favorite among all the 5 ways. Crispy, shredded lechon belly on tortilla wrapper with tomatoes, coriander leaves, onions, thai basil sauce & the best tasting kimchi for moi. Mary Ann shares that diced fuji apples are thrown in the kimchi concoction to absorb the liquid so it won't be runny. Perhaps the apples contribute a certain sweetness to it that's why TBW likes it.

Lechon sinigang with brown rice wrapped in banana leaves

Eric and Claude together with the lechon.

Pig's brain added to roasted sisig.

Find out why and not just how sisig is made.

Heavenly dessert being prepared for the 60 plus lunch guests that Saturday. TBW was amazed at the range of demographics of Bale Dutung's guests. Claude and Mary Ann have definitely mastered the formula of success.

The necks and heads.

Call or text 09175359198 and check Bale Dutung’s next scheduled lunch.  Make this part of your bucket list =)

SWISS ON MY LIST

13 Aug

Chef Hans Neukom who is one of the friendliest chefs we know is the Executive Chef of Palms Country Club and concurrently the acting General Manager. He has come up with all sorts of food festivals and activities to entice members and their guests to dine in the club’s 4 main dining areas and patronize the club more.

One of the food festivals we enjoy attending is the Swiss festival because Chef Hans is Swiss and naturally, food offerings will be nothing short of authentic.

Chef Hans with the Swiss flag as backdrop taken during the Swiss food festival. Photo taken by Paolo

Some of our favorites….

Assorted terrines & pates

Braised meats...pork, chicken and my ultimate favorite...ox tongue!

Quiché

German influence via sausage on sauerkraut.

A Swiss spread won't be complete without rosti....

....and that wheel of a cheese....

..raclette!

Another fave..Tete de Moine cheese which literally means monk's head as invention was by them. This cheese is on a girolle or cheese curler & scraper as it needs to be carefully scraped to bring out its flavors.

Of course...Swiss chocolates & truffles.

Dessert galore....

Swiss be with you!

PRICELESS FAMILY DINNER

11 Aug

This is the post on how happily we used the super griller that was bought and featured previously.  See http://thebutcherswifey.com/2011/08/09/finds-at-wofex-2011/

We were overly excited with this amazing purchase that a raclette and grilled steak dinner was had at home a couple of times in a span of 3 days.  

Ready the raclette and favored accompaniments...pickled onions, marble potatoes , gherkins if you fancy...

...cured dried meat. Add some whole grain crackers with cumin and ham cheese spreads from Holland, bought in WOFEX.

Bring out the chilled white wine even if it's "cheepo" =)

Bring out the chilled white wine even if it's "cheepo" =)

Then unveil the apparatus maximus =) and lay those cheese slices on the non-stick trays to melt away. A Swiss lady friend was told of this find and she wants one pronto!

And melt it does...

Voila! Raclette in the house =)

Those that are not fond of pickled stuff can eat raclette with dried meats, even crackers, as long as white wine is drank right after =)

Use the granite top to grill steaks while the lower portion does the raclette motion.

One can even put meat slices on the non-stick trays to broil. Meat juices remain on tray and thus, served au jus =) Granite top is an easy breezy clean. For a no-hassle clean, wrap granite top with aluminum foil. No worries as foil will have the granite's temperature. When done, unwrap foil and throw.

Steak slabs on heated granite.

Paolo prepared a wonderful mushroom risotto, on a stove top this time, to complete the menu.

Grilling your own meats and melting your own raclette is a healthy, inter-active and fun way to have a family dinner at home.  This experience significantly contributes to precious bonding moments.  All these on account of  a 765 peso “apparatus maximus”.  Priceless!

FINDS AT WOFEX 2011

9 Aug

TBW has attended the WOFEX (World Food Exposition) for many years as a wide-eyed, avid spectator, searching for new & bright ideas in the vast area of food & beverage be it equipment, supplies, service, packaging, handling, business and more.  The past years had TBW’s bags filled with brochures, flyers, business cards & products to take home or to use & file at the office.  This year was no exception.  The only difference is that some photos were taken of those that were found interesting.   Just a few though, as there was a tendency to be too engrossed on the topic or product at hand that camera-clicking took a back seat.

Large & small booths at the WOFEX 2011

Many of the exhibitors had products & equipment from China & Taiwan. An indicative of power presence now & of things to come...

Was on the look out for heavy-duty blenders for the resto and found quite a number.

Longan & red date, plum, mulberry vinegar. The ones packaged in tetra packs can be drank straight like juice. These concentrated ones in bottles are to be diluted with water for a drink or used in pure form for cooking. Pineapple, apple and grape flavors are also available. Contact Hsueh-Fang Wu at excellencefood@gmail.com for orders. They carry an extensive range of vinegars, sauces & even miso.

Funny decorative plates to hang on kitchen walls or to use as spoon rests.

Uncle George bread. Found in weekend markets. Most if not all their products are preservative-free, reason why only a couple of variants are found on supermarket shelves for retail.

Spelling of pichi pichi (grated cassava patties) caught my eye....

...and taste buds. Good, not too sweet, firm & topped with generous amount of cheese. Branches are in Malabon, Quezon City, Makati with tel number: 7295689

They also sell chili-garlic sauce which is a best seller.

Crocodile meat! HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point), NMIS-AAA (National Meat Inspection Service) and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certified. Low in calories, good for asthma & heart, a natural aphrodisiac. Healthy indeed =)

Croc meat tenderloin. Available cuts are paws, fillet, ribs, legs, tail end, cross bone & neck chunks.

Croc cuisine: croc meat sisig & bicol express style. Also available in teriyaki & sausage. Call Coral Agri-Venture Farms 6348387 local 1675.

This super electric griller (as sold by sales people, good for 4) was the best discovery & buy for moi! The non-stick trays quickly gave me an idea to use this as a raclette maker!!! The granite top is ideal for grilling meats, seafood & more. It was a steal at 765 pesos. Others may have had the same mind-set as mine because this was the last piece left. A few days later, TBW saw a raclette maker, for 8, similar in design at Williams-Sonoma for US$150 or 6,500 pesos. Hope you dear readers get to spot this in local appliance stores (surprisingly with the brand Caribbean). Very happy not just due to the price but for the fun family eating activities we've had centered on this. Watch for the details in a future post.

These are a few of TBW’s many discoveries in this WOFEX 2011.   Looking forward to WOFEX 2012 for more finds!

PASTRY ARTS CERTIFICATE

7 Aug

MARKET CAFE DINNER

4 Aug

Dinner at Market Cafe of Hyatt Hotel and Casino proved to be an interesting food journey through Asia.  Several stations representing popular Asian cuisines and a number of international dishes are made available for the hungry diner wanting quick & freshly cooked buffet food.

Breads

Chinese station

Salad inclusions

An array of meats & seafood for grilling

Fresh prawns...

 …and oysters cooked any way you want.

Open grill area

à la minute grilled prawns & baked oysters

Assorted freshly grilled meats (fillet mignon, lamb, chicken, steak kebab)

Indian station

Melange of lamb briyani, chutney, tikka & rotina

Melange of faves: lamb briyani, papadum, chutney, raita

Naan bread newly cooked in Market Cafe's tandoor oven.

A Filipino station serving kare-kare, chicharon and other usual pinoy delights is well represented.

Prime rib roast carving

Best part for TBW...ze bone

The best for moi...teppanyaki. Beef teppan superbly done by the cooky chef.

Sushi & sashimi counter

Japanese station and its various offerings

Dessert

Chocolate fountain, a fixture in every dessert buffet.

Another fave. Made on the premises: dalandan sorbet, mango sugar-free sorbet, orange yogurt, bailey's ice cream with a rolled brittle. Yum x 2!

Sparkling wine

Cheers!

Market Cafe buffet dinner is priced at 1,600 pesos net per person inclusive of unlimited canned soda and local beer.

Location:  Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila. 1588 Pedro Gil corner M.H. del Pilar streets, Malate, Manila. Call 2451234 for reservations.  

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