Plan B: Brasas!

Last Saturday, my friends and I went to dinner at Brasas at the Podium. The initial plan was to dine at a buffet but we couldn’t make up the minimum number of people to avail of the promo. :p Nevertheless, Plan B was quite a success.

Having just a vague idea of what Brasas serves (Latin American Street Food), we headed to the top floor of Podium to find out.

When asked what their bestsellers were, the Rice Platter and the Beef Grill Wrap were mentioned. So Ian and I ordered the Beef Grill Wrap and the Chicken Rice Platter.

chicken rice plattergrill beef wrap

The chicken platter rice is made up of strips of char-grilled chicken, yellow rice, a plantain chip with chimichurri sauce. I really enjoyed this dish! The flavor was superb, the chicken moist and the rice was the sticky kind that I LOVE. The sauce was perfect for the dish. I had a taste of the wrap – which is strips of chargrilled beef, roasted bell pepper, sauteed onions in a flour tortilla. It’s served with 2 kinds of sauces – the chipotle sauce and a cheese sauce. Personally, I preferred the chipotle sauce which had an extra kick.

patacones

The first order to arrive was actually my friend Lyn’s. She ordered Patacones for the table which are plantain chips with smoked pulled pork, tomato salsa and cheese on top. These were amazing. We literally inhaled it as soon as it came. Best to eat them while hot, because once left to cool, the plantain chips becomes a bit hard.

beef rice platterpulledpork

The beef rice platter was exactly the same as the chicken one with tender juicy beef strips as its main ingredients. We also ordered the pulled pork sandwich which was good as well. The queso sauce was perfect with the accompanying french fries.

Pastel de choclopuercoasado

The Pastel de Choclo was, and i quote, “a Latin American version of shepherd’s pie” using corn mash instead of mashed potato. This was a lovely surprise and I really liked it. (Too bad it wasn’t my order so I made do with a quick and delightful taste. 🙂 Thanks Charo!) Puerco Asado is a dish of slow roasted, very tender pork belly and a veeerryy crispy & crunchy pork skin. I could literally hear Cho eat it!

Verdict: A very successful night of eating out. Good food, affordable and reasonable prices and good company. I’ll definitely be back. 🙂

The Gift of MisisPi

While I’m at home, trying to recover from all the fun I had during the holidays, let me wax poetic about a gift we got from one of our Ninangs (from the wedding).

It came prettily wrapped in a brown box with gold ribbon and a leaf ornament. It certainly piqued our interest regarding its contents… presenting MisisPi’s Oatmeal Cookies.Image

Not being aware of the product, we were pleasantly surprised by how good it was! It was crunchy while not being overly dry and very delicious! Each bite invites you to take more and more until you find yourself reaching for the next cookie. ImageAs you can see, we’re halfway through the first bundle of oatmeal cookies.. and we just got the gift last night. :p

You can find more information about MisisPi, her cookies and other products through http://www.misispi.com. It’s where I got the first pic actually since the hubby and I totally forgot to take a picture of the packaging in our haste to discover what lies within. 🙂

Food Post Monday

The fiancé arrived yesterday and brought a ton of goodies back with him. Mostly not for me though. :p But along with a few trinkets that he picked up during his trip, he did bring a few food items that he managed to squirrel away.

First up, madeleines!

perfect with coffee!

He also brought home some cheese..

cheese overload!

While running errands, we stopped by the weekend market at Eastwood Mall and picked up this white chocolate chip cookie (Php 120).  I’ve been craving chocolate chip cookies the whole time we were being barraged by the rains. This hit the spot perfectly!

yummy yummy cookies!

And lastly, a food experiment. (Really, I was just sick of eggs and tuna for breakfast. :p) I really want to get better at cooking (and at my current cooking level, there’s really nowhere to go but up. haha, can’t get any worse. :p)

Without further ado, I present my tuna in oyster sauce dish.

perfect with crackers!

I wasn’t really following any recipe.. mostly a hodgepodge of ingredients and spices that I had on hand.

What you’ll need:

1 can Century Tuna Hot and Spicy (better if you use tuna in water – so that no competing flavors are present)

1/4 small onion, finely diced

1/4 garlic, finely diced

oyster sauce (use sparingly, at your discretion)

canola oil (but other types of oil should work too)

ginger powder, cumin powder, white pepper

1. Sauté the garlic and onion in oil. Be careful not to burn the garlic (there’s a fine line between the browned and burnt garlic.. browned tastes awesome, burnt not so much.)

2. Add the tuna (minus its oil or water) and the oyster sauce. The oyster sauce should be used sparingly. Better if you add it a few at a time.

3. Add the spices. The oyster sauce should provide enough sodium for the dish (the one I used was actually low sodium but had enough (of it) to complete the dish.)

Surprisingly, it was very good. It would’ve been great with rice but I made do with 1 pack of Skyflakes. Yum!

Now Watching: Junior Master Chef Australia – Road to the Top 12

About a month ago, my friends Lyn and Cho were raving about this great cooking competition/show wherein the cooks were 12 and below (hence the Junior in the title). After a few conversations of just listening in, I thought why not check it out. After watching the first episode, I was hooked.
The show started with 5500 applicants that they narrowed down to 50 and divided into 5 groups of 10. They asked each group to cook a dish within 45 minutes depending on their theme (international food, dessert, seafood, young cooks (8-10yrs) and meat). From the 10 dishes of each heat, they pick the top 4 dishes which will make up the Top 20.
These kids are beyond amazing. They astound me with their skills, creating dishes that I’ve only ever seen in fancy restaurants. Some standout dishes for me (in the Top 50) were Isabella (12) with her Ricotta Gnocchi, Sam’s (11) Quatre-Quarts, Alex’s (11) Le Gout de la Mer (Taste of the Sea), Siena (9) and her Lemon and Lime Curd Tart and Anthony (10) with his Garlic Prawns. I can imagine actually ordering these food!

The Top 20 then had to be winnowed down to the Top 12 contestants who will be able to actually enter and cook in the Master Chef kitchen. In the first challenge, an invention test with 2 core ingredients – chicken and vegetables – the best 6 dishes (created within 1 hour and 15 minutes) were chosen to be in the Top 12. The remaining 14 contestants then battled it out with a pressure test, duplicating a dish brought in by a guest chef, and the best 6 dishes rounded up the remaining 6 spots of the Top 12.
I really wanted to be able to taste the twin’s dishes, Isabella and her Nonna’s cotolette and Sofia’s canneloni. They seem to be sooooo good! I wasn’t surprised that they both were in the Top 6 from the first challenge.

The second challenge, the pressure test, was brought in by guest chef Callum Hann (who I believe, participated in the Masterchef competition in 2010). The 14 remaining young cooks needed to duplicate his Chocolate Croissant Pudding with Berries, Cream and Chocolate Sauce within the 1 hour time limit.

I really wanted to taste Pierre’s and Lucy’s (both 11) chocolate croissant pudding. Pierre’s was declared to be tasting almost like Callum’s while Lucy was dubbed the “Princess of Pudding” from hers. (So these must be some kick-ass puddings. 😛)

The Top 12 was ultimately composed of Alex (11), Jack (12), the twins Sofia and Isabella (12), Siena (9), Sam (11), Emily (12), Cassidy (12), Pierre (12), Lucy (11), Anthony (10) and Nick (10). Coming up to the Top 12, my favorites would have to be the twins and Pierre. The twins are just awe-inspiring. They seem to be very skilled and very good at what they’re doing. Pierre is just adorable – very serious in the kitchen.

This show is really addicting. And I love the dishes these kids come up. Makes me be inspired to cook and to ultimately encourage (my future) kids to cook if they so want.

Junior MasterChef Australia can be seen on StarWorld in the Philippines.
Sundays 19:15-21:05, Mondays 18:25-19:15 and 22:50-23:40, Tuesdays 11:55-12:45 and 18:25-19:15, Wednesdays 11:55-12:45 and Saturdays 12:50-13:45.



*all pictures taken as screen captures from the episodes.