Archive for the ‘Food Corner’ Category
First post of the month?? Kiki, what’s happening to us??
OK, in an effort to make up for our blog slacking, here’s a post I meant to do at some point over the holidays. Since the Christmas break was pretty much hijacked with Lolo’s passing, I totally forgot about it.
Nonetheless, I’m sure you will be as intrigued as we were by Ryuma Japanese Restaurant in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. The restaurant occupies the entire floor in its wing of the Paseo de Sta. Rosa complex. In fact, there’s also a Ryuma Grocery and Ryuma Clothing Store on that floor. It is all so Japanese and yet so, not.
Here’s what I mean…
The hyper stimulating Christmas decor and rondalla (rondalla!) are so not Japanese but you do get a sense of Japanese quirkiness through all of this. And it certainly wasn’t lost on this kid:
As it turns out, the wait staff in this place are big fans of mi esposo so we were offered the VIP room.
There were three long tables, each with its own giant flat screen TV. Service was really on the ball. We left our shoes outside in a somewhat cluttered state but within minutes, someone came in with our shoes fixed like this:
And they offered us the use of a baby swing or walker!! We went for the walker and someone sure was happy about that.
But what about the food, you ask! We had our hopes up when we saw Japanese chefs milling around and we were not disappointed.
While the food here lacked the finesse and sophistication of more high end restaurants, it was authentic and thoroughly enjoyable. Reasonably priced too!
But it doesn’t end there.
Shall we try it out when (when??!!) you come?
My sour cream was about to expire and I had all the other ingredients on stock so I thought I’d bake this easy to make cake. I love making this because it makes my kitchen smell like autumn spice. I really don’t know what autumn spice is supposed to smell like but in my Asian-bred mind, it smells cinnamon and nutty. And that’s exactly what this cake is all about: cinammon, chopped walnuts, light brown sugar and a sprinkle of chocolate chips. Because what’s a cake without a hint of chocolate right?
My cake fresh out of the oven.
And on the cake board. (Sorry for the blurred pic, my camera was finally laid to rest so I’m using my Blackberry)
I saved a slice for you…look at the cinnamon and chocolate filling swirl through the cake. The cake actually came out lighter and a bit fluffy because I used eggs, butter and sour cream at room temperature. You like?
Oh and that’s my kitchen in the background, in case you were curious.
This recipe was adapted from Nick Malgieri’s The Modern Baker.
I wanted to show you a cross section of the bread. Do you see the strawberry bits?
My office mate was thrilled. She said I made her morning. This baking gig is really becoming a joy!
Recipe was adapted from the Amateur Gourmet. Recipe below. I found it in my favorite baker site, Joy The Baker.
6 ounces unsalted butter, melted and browned to just over 1/2 cup of butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain yogurt (any fat content) or buttermilk
1 1/4 cup mashed banana (from about 3 medium bananas)
1/2 cup diced strawberries plus 1 strawberry very thinly sliced, for topping
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Butter will begin to foam and crackle as it melts. When the crackling subsides, the butter will begin to brown. Swirl the pan as the butter cooks. When the butter browns and begins to smell nutty, remove the pan from the flame and transfer the butter to a small bowl. Taking the butter out of the hot saucepan will stop the butter from overcooking and burning. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla extract, and yogurt or buttermilk. Whisk in the mashed bananas. When butter has cooled, whisk in the browned butter.
Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the dry ingredients. Fold together, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to reveal any hidden pockets of flour. Fold in the diced strawberries. Fold together ingredients, but try not to over stir.
Spoon batter into prepared pan and top with thinly sliced strawberries. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for 15 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
I’m saving my pennies to buy The Modernist Cuisine. Its a 5 volume book on cuisine.
It looks at cuisine more than just an art but as a science. It debunks old myths and answers festering questions like:
- Why plunging food in ice water doesn’t stop the cooking process; Uh-oh…
- When boiling cooks faster than steaming;
- Why raising the grill doesn’t lower the heat;
- How low-cost pots and pans can perform better than expensive ones; Yes!
- Why baking is mostly a drying process;
- Why deep-fried food tastes best and browns better when the oil is older;
- How modern cooking techniques can achieve ideal results without the perfect timing or good luck that traditional methods demand
So it’s a very technical and scientific approach to cooking and for information obsessed Geminis like you and me, I think this would be a great way to understand the world of cooking. The book is the brainchild of a bunch of scientists and cuisine artists: Nathan Myhrvold, an inventor and founder of Microsoft research; Chris Young and Maxime Bilet from the Fat Duck.
It costs close to $500. So perhaps you could pass the hat back home and get me this for my birthday?
…is all I did this weekend. One night, I checked out Pranna Lounge for dinner where I had a lovely time catching up with Little Twin-richie rich. While the company was fun and laughter filled, the food was also amazing. Pranna serves south asian cuisine with a modern twist.
For brunch, I finally checked out Maharlika. The service was great. Enzo sent over complimentary calamansi mimosas which we enjoyed. The food was good. But I was not adventurous enough to try the more exotic dishes which makes this pop-up worth talking about. I obviously stayed away from the Eggs Benigno, the Eggs Imelda and the balut. Nevertheless, I will definitely be back for the regular silogs.
Now it’s REALLY time to get back on the bike and work out.
I’ve been meaning to tell you about this place but never got around to doing so until now. Eataly is the brain child of Mario Batali, Oscar Farinetti and a bunch of other world renowned foodies. Basically, Eataly is an epicurean market space of everything Italian. Hence, the name. Amidst this chaotic market is a fine dining restaurant, a pizzeria, a bar and many more attractions. I love stopping by here on my way home from work.
There’s a chocolate festival going on right now and when I was there the other night I felt like I was 7 years old again who’s dream to go to the Goya Fun Factory finally came true!
With the hoards of people and the unlimited selection of just EVERYTHING, it’s so easy to pass hours of your day (or night) here. Would love to take you when you come.
Photo credits: With the heavy traffic, it was impossible for me to take pics, so i grabbed these from various food blogs.
Inspired by your recent baking efforts, I thought I’d get my hands a little dirty as well.
Enter a family favorite… bread pudding (with that sauce that has a kick, of course). It’s really easy to make and you don’t need to fumble with electric mixers of any kind.
Here’s how it went.
You need to chop up the bread – in this case, whole wheat sliced bread. And let it have a nice long swim in milk.
While that’s soaking, mix together all these ingredients…
… in a separate bowl. The consistency will be granular. Apparently, that’s ok.
When that’s done, grease a bowl (giant ramekin) with melted butter.
Hopefully by this time, your bread-milk mixture us a homogenized mush. If it isn’t and you’re impatient as I was, get a a fork or your fingers and mash away.
So you should have three bowls now.
Pour the granular mixture into the bread mush. Mix well. Then pour all of that into the greased bowl. Mix well so the butter gets incorporated into the mixture.
And that’s pretty much it!!
Pop that sucker in oven for about 2 hours – until set and golden brown on the outside.
Now for ze sauce…
Beat eggs till lemon yellow in color then slowly add in the sugar.
Don’t dump it in all at once. You’re going for sprinkle-beat-sprinkle-beat till all the sugar’s used up and it looks like this:
Then add in some piping hot butter but do NOT beat. Mix slowly. (Don’t ask me why, that’s what the index card said hahaha). Here’s the sauce with the butter. See the streaks of yellow?
Now’s the fun part. Bring in a good friend.
You need at least 4 tablespoons for that kick
And when all is said and done – indulge!
Clap, clap, clap. It turned out beautifully. Just the way it’s supposed to taste.
So there’s a new brunch place in town. This one is a little closer to our hearts as it Filipino.
It’s a pop-up in the East Village that serves brunch platters of our traditional Filipino grub. Of course the ubiquitous sisig is served as well as pan de sal and quesong puti. All served by creatively fusing contemporary and exotic ingredients. I have yet to try this place dishes and I cannot wait because their menu is making my mouth water and homesick. Check out the menu here. Yummy!
Oh and did I mention that Maharlika is the baby of Enzo Lim?
By now you can tell that I have an incurable obsession for chocolate. Can’t get enough of them so I thought I’d make classic brownies this time.
Here’s what you need.
2 sticks unsalted butter
10 ounces bitter sweet chocolate – I use 70% cocoa solid
2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
9 x 13 x 2 pan lined with buttered parchment paper
I first melt the butter in a saucepan until it sizzles after its melted.
Add the chocolate, make sure its submerged in the butter. Turn the heat off and set aside.
Then I combined the brown sugar, flour and salt in the bowl of my mixer and beat on the lowest speed until its all mixed together.
I added 2 eggs to the mixture and beat them until its fully absorbed. Then I added the remaining 2 eggs.
After, I stirred in the vanilla.
Then, I got my butter chocolate mixture and whisked it.
And combined both mixtures so that I end up with this rich, chocolate batter.
After this batter is mixed thoroughly, I poured it into the pan and popped it in the oven (pre-heated to 350 F) for about 30 minutes….
But wait, we’re not yet done. After I cooled the pan, I removed the brownies and double wrapped it in plastic wrap and stored it in the refrigerator overnight before cutting.
The next day, this is what I ended up with. I’m so proud of the texture and the gooey consistency in the middle.
I then packed them and took them with me to the office for my poor guinea pigs.
Personally, I think i could have used more chocolate because it wasn’t chocolatey enough. However, I am very happy with the texture of these goodies. I’ll try it again with more cocoa solids next time.
I thought I’d put my new 7 speed mixer from Cuisinart to good use by baking Cocoa Banana Muffins!
This is a simple recipe which was easy and quick to do. To get the full flavor of banana, make sure that the bananas are overripe. Don’t I sound like pro? Woohoo!
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 medium sized banas mashed to make 1 1/2 cup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 light brown sugar
3 large eggs
I started by mashing the overripe bananas and stirring in the non-fat sour cream.
Combined the butter, sugar and brown sugar and mixed it with the mixer on medium speed.
Beat in the eggs one at a time making sure the consistency is smooth after each addition.
Add half the flour mixture.
Then beat in the banana mixture. After the batter has absorbed the bananas, add the remaining flour mixture half.
Pour the batter in a muffin pan, pop it in the oven for 30 minutes and….tada!
I had leftover batter so I poured it into a loaf pan and baked it to make a Cocoa Banana Loaf. This is going with me to the office tomorrow. I have bananas coming out of my ears!
I think I’m getting better at this