Friday, January 13, 2012

MB adores adobo. One time, we had dinner at my grandma’s place and he really loved the adobo grandma cooked so a few days after, I decided to make a batch. But this time deconstructed.

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I first boiled the chicken and tore the meat from the bones. Then I fried them in oil. I added some water and some Sukang Pinakurat. Yes, that vinegar from MB’s hometown that he cannot live without. I was experimenting at this point. I didn’t know how the dish would taste after cooking with the Pinakurat. We always use this as a  condiment, never cooked. Fingers crossed.

Then I added my usual slew of ingredients – garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, patis, toyo and when I was about to reach for the sugar, I saw that the bottle was empty. What was I to do? The acidity of the vinegar will be too much so I needed something to break it. I saw my bottle of honey and used that. Again, fingers crossed. I cooked this until there was no liquid left.

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This is my plate. I always eat some hardboiled egg with adobo. MB likes it too. Anyway, moving on to the taste. It was marvelous, I tell you! It was sour then a bit sweet then spicy. MB loved it. For the leftovers, I mixed them with cold rice and made some adobo fried rice. Just remember to season the rice with a bit of soy sauce.

I’m making this my signature adobo dish. I wonder if it works well with a soupy version. Hmm…
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Friday, January 6, 2012

On the last day of December, MB and I had to check on some things at the store but before that, we had to eat lunch so we went to the nearest place with grub, which is SM Food Court and discovered this:

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Adobo Connection

As the name suggests, the specialty is adobo. But, they also had other offerings. I wanted to eat some vegetables that day so I settled with Beef Kare-Kare:

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Yes, that’s how they served the rice

MB, on the other hand, tried Kuya’s Special Adobo:

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The plate doesn’t look appetizing at all. It lacked color. They should just have separated the adobo from the rice. MB was annoyed with the small serving. Another thing he was annoyed with was this:


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There was so much oil in the adobo. MB doesn’t like oily food. You might enjoy this if you like oily adobo. We don’t.

For the kare-kare, it was okay for Php109 (same price as the adobo). It’s not great but it’s edible and it’s okay. It also didn’t give me tummy aches as other kare-kares do. The sitaw (long beans) was hard. I only tried one because sitaw makes my knees hurt. The eggplant was not overcooked and the beef was tender. My only problem was the rice. The serving was very small and it was too soft. It was like eating congee. I hate rice that has the texture and consistency of congee! I can’t stand it. Imagine MB’s rice being this soft and soaked in all that oiI. I even mentioned to MB that we should have just bought rice from Tokyo Tokyo. Oh, and the bagoong was swimming in oil as well.

I tried a little of MB’s adobo and found that it was okay too. Nothing special there. MB didn’t like it. I told him it might be because of the oil. I said that it would taste good without all that oil

The meal came with good sized drinks

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I have mixed feelings about this meal. I would probably just buy the kare-kare next time and get the rice from somewhere else. Another thing that really pissed us off were the staff.

We were saying our orders to the girl on the counter when suddenly, everyone from the kitchen burst out of the door following a girl holding a camera. The girl positioned herself to take a photo of the group. She even called the staff that was taking our orders and you know what the girl taking our order did? She looked at us and said, “wait lang po ha? magpicture lang kami” with her hand outstretched doing the stop gesture. She interrupted me while I was saying my order.  I was shocked! MB and I looked at each other with a mix of anger and disgust. You are in the business of customer service, how dare you make your PAYING customer wait so that you can have your picture taken? It was a very slow day judging by the first photo and it was already 3 in the afternoon so there was no lunch crowd. Aside from that, we were the only customers at the counter. It was December 31, a very slow day, wouldn’t you be grateful for every customer that come your way? Why couldn’t they just wait for us to finish our orders, pay and then leave the counter to take their picture? They still had to prepare our food so taking the order and our payment wouldn’t take so long. We are in customer service as well and when a customer suddenly drops by while we are eating, we immediately stop and assist the customer, paying or not. We assist them no matter how long they take. So we were really shocked with what the staff of Adobo Connection did to us. I hope someone from their management reads about this so that they can train their staff better.

Anyway, back to lighter topics. Because MB was so dissatisfied with his order, he bought some taho for dessert:

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He was asking if they had ube taho. Go figure. He’s had an ube craving for a month now.

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I had a White Hat yogurt with dark chocolate chips and Almond Clusters. Of course MB “shared” this cup with me.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

This blog was put up to document my kitchen adventures and to serve as my online recipe book but it seems that it’s been filled with my restaurant adventures lately. The reason for that is because I’m too busy with Hyphen and all its brands. The holidays were the only time I was able to visit my kitchen again. For Christmas, I made some roasted chicken as per request of my sister. For our advance New Year’s Eve dinner, MB requested a chicken macaroni salad:

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I was really thankful that my sister took over the cooking job for the holidays as I needed to work in the store. This is a very simple salad that you can bring to parties or stock in the fridge for impromptu meriendas when friends come over.

You will need:

salad macaroni (cooked according to package directions)
a tub of mayonnaise
some boiled eggs (I used the yolk only)
some cooked ham
pineapple chunks (3-4 packs)
2 big apples cut into chunks
boiled chicken, shredded
relish (one small bottle for 400g of salad macaroni)
salt and pepper to taste

I seasoned the mayo with salt and pepper first then mashed the egg yolks and added them to the mayo. I used around 6 hard boiled egg yolks. I’m allergic to the whites so I skipped that but you can use them anyway if you like. The trick is to mash them very well so that they blend with the mayo. Then I added the ingredients one by one, ending with the salad macaroni. For serving, you can also top it with some grated cheese:

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I discovered a few things in the supermarket when I bought ingredients for this dish.

1. Salad macaroni seems to be abundant during the holidays. They’re hard to find on regular days.

2. Packed grated cheese is now available among local brands. It comes in a small pouch that costs around 19 pesos. So convenient for busy people like me!

3. Pineapple chunks are now also available in pouches. I hate opening cans so this is very convenient for me. Plus, it’s not too heavy to bring when I’m alone grocery shopping.

4. There’s this brand of mayonnaise (Homeland, I think) that’s made in the US that is so affordable (Php176 for a big bottle compared to Lady’s Choice and Best Foods that cost Php330 and up) and tastes so good (not sweet like our local mayo). I bought this and bought a pack of Lady’s Choice as backup in case this didn’t taste good. I was hesitant because of the price. When I got home, I told my sister about it and she said, “Masarap yun!” She said that it’s her favorite brand of mayo because it’s not sweet. So I guess I did good on that.

I’d like to thank Kitten for the ham idea and my sister for the hard boiled egg idea.
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