Archive for December, 2009|Monthly archive page

a christmas turkey dinner

In good home eating, recipes on December 26, 2009 at 12:25 pm

as is tradition, each year i prepare the christmas turkey – whom we now fondly call “pabs.”

having done this so often, some parts of the preparation are done almost automatically. like we take the neck, the giblets, and the, um, bottom, and boil them to make stock for the gravy. as for the turkey itself, the most important thing for me is to get into the space between the skin and meat and insert a good number of garlic slivers in there – then rub the outside with rock salt and freshly/roughly ground pepper.

what i like to play with around sometimes is the stuffing – the basics for the base are always there of course: garlic, onion, carrots, celery – but this time around i added apples, chestnuts and mushrooms. i also pre-roasted the onion over coal to remove any strong “onioniness” and to bring out more sweet and smokey. these are my stuffing ingredients:

in the pan i put a little bread and a little knorr cube (a little cheating maybe hehe) just to act as a binder. not too much, it isn’t really a bread stuffing, but an aid in the scooping out and serving of the stuffing later on

another thing i did this year was to baste the turkey with the gravy – not the stock, not the drippings – but the actual gravy. not too much, just a couple of coats, but i do believe it did a lot to retain moisture in the bird and enhance flavor

so after 3 hours in the oven, here’s pabs

beside the turkey is mashed potato – and here’s something i recommend. roast some garlic over coal (or even in a oven will do) then mash it. cook it in a little milk and a little cream – season with salt and pepper then mix that into your potato as you mash. remember, roasted garlic. enjoy!

romulo cafe – seems like i was the only one who didn’t know about it

In eating in manila on December 23, 2009 at 4:28 pm

had dinner about a week ago with 2 of my favorite students – haydee and brie. asked them to suggest a place and haydee quickly mentioned romulo cafe in the scout area in QC. so hey, always on the look out for something new so off we went.

i knew the menu was filipino – as well it should be having been converted from the residence of the late carlos p. romulo. but one thing caught my eye when i scanned the menu – boneless binagoongan crispy pata (P500+). now i love binagoongan and crispy pata so this dish was a no brainer to order. but before it arrived we had gambas. and then ordered the kare kare

the kare kare was very nice (i think about P300+). it had ox tail and tripe – as any self-respecting kare kare should have and with my first mouthful i declared it to be the best restaurant kare kare i’ve ever had. and i stand by that. other restaurants usually just have regular beef cuts and don’t bother with the tail. you gotta have the tail, you just gotta.

the crispy pata was also pretty good – although personally i would have wanted more of the binagoongan flavor in there. as you can see from the pic, the preparation is basically crispy pata with some bagoong mixture on top. it was indeed crisp and quite tasty, but more crispy pata than binagoongan.

if you find the prices rather high, don’t worry, the servings are on the hefty side. and given that the three of us girls finished more food than the four guys at the table beside us hehe!

i would suggest this place if you’re entertaining balikbayan or foreign friends. good authentic touch.

oh, and i saw vicki belo that night, so that was fun. in my mind she’s one of those people you don’t really know if they exist in real life.