Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Stupid little me forgot how to access my blog. *Toinks*

I'm already excited to post my new kitchen modifications. 

Watch for it! 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tequila Porkloin

Raver asked me if I am game for a cookout last weekend. Of course I said yes. 

We asked each other, "What's the theme?"

MarshMalou: "Erm... let me check online and look up some recipes. What are you making?"

Raver: "Ovenbaked fries. I've been eating them for days now. And pizza!!"

MarshMalou: "So, we will have Italian? Oh.. what the heck! Will just check recipes online"

Doobidoobidoo.... *click* *click* *click* *click* then I came across Home Cooking Rocks. It looked so interesting and I was so intrigued with the Tequila...so Tequila Pork Loin it is! 

It looked fairly easy, so early Saturday morning, I went to Unimart with my sidekick (Dear Boyfriend) and bought the ingredients needed. First on the list... PORK LOIN! 

Unfortunately, my mom didn't accompany me so I had to ask the butcher and guess by myself, oh and dear sidekick too! 

Clean and wash 1 1/4 kg of pork loin. This is one whole slab but I asked the butcher to make 1" deep slits in between the mean. Although I saw smaller vertical cuts of pork loin in another meat shop. I think the next time that I make these, I will get the smaller strips instead for easier handling.

Pat the meat dry. Set aside.

Put the meat in a zip bag and prepare the marinade.
Prepare the marinade:
1/4 cup Tequila
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 pcs lemons, quartered
2 pcs onions, quartered
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pc finger chili, chopped

Put all the marinade in the bag. Seal and mash the marinade into the meat. Massage the lemons and onions into the meat to tenderize it. Let the meat absorb the marinade.

After giving it a good massage, place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

When you are ready to cook you porkloin, heat your pan with 2 tbsp olive oil and sear both sides.

This takes a while especially since the meat I used is quite thick.

Once both side are cooked, place the fried pork loin into the baking dish.

I added more slits so that it cooks easier and I have room for my apricot jam (erm.... the recipe called for apricot jam but dear sidekick somehow made a booboo and grabbed the peach jam instead. Not bad though=))

Bake the pork loin (slit side down) for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then flip the meat and add 1 tsp of dried rosemary.

Then, it goes back to the oven for another 10 minutes. For this recipe, I added the onions since I didn't want it to go to waste. The meat here is almost cooked. Just some final heating and yummy... it smells so delicious!

After the final 10 minutes, place foil and "tent" the meat for an hour or so.


P.S. In my friends' excitement to eat the dish... I forgot to take a final picture. oops!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

California "Futomaki"

I wanted to make California Maki for the Lenten break. But due to lack of ingredients and tools to make one.. it was postponed to last Sunday. 

A few Sundays back, I was browsing through Saizen, a daiso store in Robinsons Galleria, and I chanced upon plastic Sushi molds. There was a big one and a small one, specifically for the maki-type rolls. Thinking that we will stuff the rolls with mangoes and crabsticks, my mom and I opted for the larger molds (I will upload the photos later on...). Having those molds, I was excited to make my maki rolls! We finally completed the ingredients, or I thought so until the day I was gonna make them. 

Browsing through the Essential Guide to Japanese Cooking, I found a recipe on How to make Sushi Rice. I thought it was simple enough... Just cook the rice as directed on the package, add some mixture and "boom!" you have the sushi rice!

Apparently not.

Upon rinsing the grains and I had to add seaweeds, but since I didn't have that, I will just let it pass. Rice is still rice, right? When the rice is cooking, you have to prepare a wooden bowl... which I also didn't have so a glass pyrex will have to do. At least, I can say that I did have a wooden spatula! Having prepped those, you can now mix your vinegar mixture. 

Vinegar Mixture: 1 Tbsp rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp Sake (oops! I don't have this... time to substitute! I used rice wine), 1 Tbsp Sugar, 1 tsp salt. Mix it up! 

By the way, I'm really sorry I was not able to take photos of the step by step as my hands were kinda occupied. Oops! 

When the rice is cooked, transfer it to the pyrex and let it cool.. if you have nothing to do, you can fan the rice manually. When the rice is a bit cool, mix in the vinegar mixture and you will notice that the rice will become stickier and stickier. 

Prep your mangoes and kani and start making your maki using the maki mold. For this, I still recommend using the traditional bamboo roller lest you want to end up with Futomaki-looking California Maki. Haha!  When you work with the rice, make sure you wear gloves and make sure that you have a bowl of water near you so that you can dip your fingers once in a while to minimize the amount of sticky rice on your fingers. Once you have your rolls, cut it with a very sharp knife. Also, better to dip the knife in water so that the rice wont stick giving you crushed maki rolls. 

The only photo I was able to take was the final product.  Enjoy!

 **Sorry for the low quality photo. I just took it using my mobile phone.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Better Served When Cold?!?

When I started this blog, I told myself that it will be purely for recipes that I try and modify. But, after my experience with a restaurant last night, I changed my mind. I felt that it best to share my experience in a new resto that my family and I tried. 

When we arrived at SM Megamall, one restaurant caught my eye, especially since we love trying out new restos. 

Cajun Red Rock, it sounded interesting right? So, we decided that we will have our dinner there. 

We checked out the menu and they have an array of mouthwatering dishes. Soon enough, we have our orders ready and we called the Waiter. Upon giving our appetizer orders, the Waiter said he will just place our appetizer orders and come back for our main course orders (this despite the fact that we could have submitted our whole order already). Ok, we can let that pass right? 

Finally, they started serving the food. My brother's Chef Tony's Favorite Chops came first. He started eating it. Since I was curious how it tasted, I asked for a small slice. When I tasted the food, I noticed that the food was not hot. It was not warm at all. And I asked my brother if it was just the piece that he gave me. He said "No. The food really isn't hot nor warm." Then came my mom's order. She had a taste and also commented that the food was not hot nor warm. We complained to the Waiter that the food was not warm at all and the Waiter told us, "Ah..malamig kasi talaga yung sauce" (Oh, the sauce is really cold) However, we, being intelligent customers do know the difference between sauce that is not hot/ warm and food that is not hot/ warm. Even thought the sauce is cold, you will still taste the hotness or the warmness of the meat. But with our orders, there was not a trace of the hot entree. So, we requested that they heat the food. And heat they did. They placed the whole plate into the oven (that is my guess coz the plate was hot but the food not too much), and came back to us with food that is slightly hotter than what they served previously. When i say slightly, I really mean that... Shaking our heads, we ate the food anyway. Lastly, my other brother's order came and it was the same banana. The sidings were admittedly hot but the meat was not. Now the question is, are Cajun Red Rock's food really served better when cold?

A truly disappointing experience.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Shrimp Grape Salad

In time for the Lenten season, my mom and I were debating what we should cook for Maundy Thursday. As I was browsing through the Essentials Cookbook for salads, the Shrimp Grape Salad recipe captured my attention. I checked the ingredients and I think we have most of the ingredients in stock.... with a little tweak here and there, I came up with this recipe for the refreshing Shrimp Grape Salad.

3    cups shrimp (You can add more)
2    cups mixed grapes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1    cup plain yogurt (one serving cup of plain yogurt)
1-2 tbsp prepared mustard
1/4 tsp Tabasco
lemon pepper seasoning (or you can use 1 tbsp lemon juice) 
salt and pepper to taste
2    tbsp dill herb, chopped
2    tbsp scallions

As I said, the original recipe called for 1kg of prawns. Since I did not have that on hand, I had to make do with the frozen white shrimps my mom and I bought. Unfortunately, the frozen shrimps on the left are unrecognizable.

Defrost the shrimp and cook it for 2 minutes then remove from heat and place in an ice bath to stop cooking. You don't want your little shrimps overcooked. 
Beautiful red and green grapes. You can cut the grapes in half if you feel that they are too big in relation to the shrimps. For this, I cut in half the red grapes and retained the green ones as is. Also, you have to resist the temptation of popping those grapes in your mouth or you won't be left with any for the salad.

Having prepared all the main ingredients, mix together the mayonnaise (I used Olive oil mayo for this one... again, TRYING to make it a bit healthy), plain yogurt, mustard, Tabasco, lemon pepper seasoning, salt and pepper.

Toss in the scallions and the chopped dill. Taste it... add more salt and pepper if needed.

The chopped Stringer Cheese (or you can use any cheese of choice) is my surprise ingredient for this Salad. I think it adds a salty bite to the dish.
The stringer cheese. Honestly, it looked so cute so I added them in.
Toss in the cooked shrimp into the dressing.

Follow it with the colorful grapes.. yummm!

Toss the shrimp and grapes in the dressing. Taste it...

Then... refrigerate it for 4 hours. Or if your freezer has quick freeze, pop it into the freezer for a while. This dish is best enjoyed cold.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

White Chicken with Ginger-Scallion Sauce

I was never a fan of White Chicken. Nor was I a fan of ginger. That's why, it's ironic that White Chicken with Ginger-Scallion Sauce will be my first recipe post ever. 

It all started one afternoon when Dear Boyfriend was raving about White Chicken from a certain resto in Downtown. He made me taste the White Chicken and I was honestly intrigued by the flavors. How can something so white be flavorful? Then and there, I decided that I will search for a recipe and try to replicate it at home. 

Searching for the right recipe was no easy feat. There were only a few recipes on it online but they just didn't feel right. So which recipe was "The One"? I found a recipe on White Chicken that I liked, however, I was not partial to the recipe for the sauce... and the search continued. 

Finally, I decided to just combine the three recipes and see how it turns out. Good thing, I had most of the ingredients on hand.

White Chicken.... check!
Hainanese Rice.... check!
Ginger-Scallion Sauce.... check!

With the recipes on hand, let's put the combined recipes to the test!
For the White Chicken, I had to double the recipe since I have a pretty big family with hearty appetites. 
2     whole chickens, dressed
1/4  cup rock salt

20    cups of water
1/2  cup white wine
6      tbsp sugar
2      tbsp salt
6      stalks scallions (spring onions), cut into three
1      bunch of cilantro (though i used Wansoy for this one.. better scent)
4      thumbs ginger, smashed

Rub the chickens generously with rock salt. Rub rub the skin... rub rub inside the cavity, when you feel that you have rubbed salt enough, rinse the chicken thoroughly!

Set aside and start prepping the broth.
Scallions, Ginger, Wansoy Leaves
Bring 20 cups of water to a boil. Add the white wine, sugar and salt.  Let it simmer then add the scallions, wansoy and ginger. Let it boil.

When the broth is boiling, add in the chickens. Cover and let it cook for 30 minutes.

At the 15-minute mark, flip the chickens for even cooking. 

Ahh.... the chickens look glorious! And they smell so good!

The chickens are cooked. Remove the cover and let it sit in the broth for a few minutes.
After 15- 30 minutes or longer if you want it to cool completely... remove the chicken from the broth and let it sit on a strainer. 

Let the chicken rest. It's easier to cut the chicken when it's cooled.

As the chicken is cooling, you can now start with the Hainanese Rice.

Prepare the following:
2     tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or EVOO as Rachel Ray likes to call it)
3     tbsp ginger, cut into matchstick sizes
3     cloves garlic, minced
4     cups rice (you can use the regular rice or you can go with brown rice for a healthier twist)
salt and pepper to taste
2     tbsp sesame oil
6     cups chicken broth 

Heat a pan and add the EVOO. 

Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and ginger. Sauté for 2 minutes until aromatic. 

The scallions on the plate are for garnishing.

Add the rice (ooh... forgot to say that it's best to rinse the rice first before adding it to the pan). Careful though since the rice is wet, some grains might pop out. 

Stir the rice into the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. For a more fragrant rice, add in the sesame oil (do not add too much coz the flavor is quite strong). Continue stirring for 2-3 more minutes. Careful though that you do not burn it. 
From the pan, move the sauteed rice into the trusty rice cooker. Add in the chicken broth, give it a final stir and close the rice cooker. 
Cook the rice as you normally use a rice cooker. Once the plunger moves to the "Keep Warm" stage, do not open the rice cooker for another 20 minutes. Just let it cook. I know, I know it's tempting... but patience will do wonders!

Here you go!!! Add the chopped scallions for garnishing. Then close the rice cooker once again to keep the scallions warm (this was based on my mom's suggestion) Hehe!

As you are waiting for the rice to cook, you can keep yourself busy by making the oh-so wonderful ginger-scallion sauce. This sauce is so easy to make!

1     cup scallions, chopped
1     cup ginger, grated
1     cup peanut oil
3     pcs bird's eye chili, chopped (optional)

Chop it. Grate it.
Heat your pan with some peanut oil (do not put everything at once!!) 

When the oil is hot, add the scallions, ginger and bird's eye chili if you want the extra kick.

Let the color transform right in front of you. The scallions turn the nicest green. Give it a stir. Let it simmer.

Add the remaining peanut oil. Though I kinda use less than a cup coz I feel that adding to much makes the sauce too oily. It can do with less oil. 

Add salt to taste. Note, taste the ginger and not the oil before adding more salt. Or else, you just might end up with a sauce that is too salty. 

This is how the sauce will look like when cooked. 

So tempting to taste again... and again... and again. 

Now that we have cooked the three recipes, here's the finished product. Oops! I added some asparagus mushroom veggies to complete the meal. =) 


*Note: This recipe was adapted from three recipes found online. From the three sites.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lost in Space

I had a complete post ready... apparently it got lost in space. =( 

Really new to this blogging thing. 

Thanks to Jake.. I think a recipe post will finally be up later today.

Sigh... got to do it all over again.