Cooking Quest: Aglio Olio

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I know its the simplest pasta dish one can ever make.  But every time I tried in the past, the garlic burns out.  As you all know, I prefer baking to cooking - but since I have been craving for food, food - then I need to cook!  I just recently discovered (a late bloomer in me) that I can actually watch how a dish is made over youtube!  What a brilliant idea right?  I think this has been done for years but the late-techie-bloomer in me just discovered this - just last December.

And so, here - the fruit of my labor!!

According to the video that I saw, the trick was to place the garlic on a cool pan with olive oil and then cook it in low heat.  It was just that simple!

I now have an easy dish to prepare for impromptu guests!  Hehe..

So there, another successful cooking quest!

Cooking Quest: Iberian Chicken

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A cousin of mine asked me 'What makes chicken, Iberian?'

Oo nga, what makes chicken - Iberian?  I honestly had no idea!

It was YEARS ago, that I got introduced to this Iberian Chicken dish.  I remember it as if it was yesterday, we had dinner in Casa Armas along Jupiter - I honestly forgot the occassion, but I remember having their Iberian Chicken.  And since then, whenever we dined in Casa Armas, or any Spanish resto for that matter - I always look for and order, Iberian Chicken.

For the past month, I have been craving for this.  I called various restaurants only to find out that there's a minimum order.  And a minimum order meant it was good for at least 10!  Wahahaha...  So there, I google-d it.  I found (would you believe) only a handful of recipes?

So, tada!!

I followed THIS recipe but modified it a bit:

1 pc. whole chicken (1.5 kilo) deboned
2 tbsp. whole fresh peppercorn, ground
12 heads garlic, peeled and pounded
2 tbsps. rock salt
8 to 10 pcs. Calamansi
15 pcs. lemon grass
1 pc. chicken cube dissolved in 1 cup boiled water
 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1.) Rub the chicken all over with the ROCK SALT and PEPPER.
2.) Rub with CALAMANSI JUICE, making sure to rub the inside cavity.
3.) Insert the LEMONGRASS into the cavity, together with some GARLIC.
4.) Pour the CHICKEN CUBE/HOT WATER mixture and OLIVE OIL on the chicken. Marinate overnight in an oven-proof platter.
5.) Preheat oven to 350F. Before baking, put peeled POTATOES in the platter, as well as the rest of the GARLIC. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 2 hours until tender.

Since I used a deboned chicken, our suki was able to give us one that had the skin intact.  I don't know how he did it, but imagine a whole chicken without the bones.  I didn't need to sew anything shut anymore!  I just placed the garlic (a ton of them) and insterted the lemongrass.  I think it exploded while it was baking because this is what happened.  I will use chicken with bones on my next try!  Hehehe..

The taste was a bit salty - I think the 2Tbsp Rock Salt was a bit too much.  I also think I put too much lemongrass - but hey it tasted great!  I think to tone down the lemongrass taste a bit, I think I would follow the original recipe's just 6 pcs.

Also, I omitted the potatoes.  To be honest, I forgot about them!  Hahaha...

Calderon Cocinas Tapas y Bebidas

Thursday, February 07, 2013

I was sad to learn that Fran is moving to Singapore.  I was sad for myself but happy for her big move!  I had to see her before she leaves, I had to say goodbye personally Good thing, Sab was able to squeeze a dinner with Fran despite her fully booked schedule!

We had dinner in a small quaint place called Calderon.  It is tucked in the small street in San Juan named - Calderon!  The cuisine is Spanish - and I was secretly excited to have Paella!

So there we were, remembering how we all met and became close.  I have to thank Fran, because it was through her that I met Sab.  I was telling Sab that when Fran leaves, I hope we can still get together, for coffee or something.

We were treated to a sumptuous Spanish dinner. 


Spanish Chorizo

 This was Sab's FAVORITE!  It was really really good!!  I especially LOVED the garlic!!

The yummy yummy Paella Valencia!!

 This was my favorite - Iberian Chicken


I have to admit, the food was really really good.  Everything was flavorful!   I especially loved the Iberian Chicken and the Crabs!  The generous portions of garlic were a huge plus for me!   The dishes are quite comparable to old favorite Casa Armas.  Yes, I am comparing them!  I really enjoyed the food in Calderon and I will definitely go back here when I crave for Spanish food.  My only complaint though is the parking - and that's it.  

We were able to meet Chef Rafa and commended him on the wonderful food.  He was able to create dishes that were superb!  I haven't been to Spain, so I don't know what authentic tastes like.  But his creations are AUTHENTIC enough for me to compare with Casa Armas.  

Bon Voyage Fran!
We, (my Panget, Kailee and Connor) will definitely MISS YOU!! :)

Thanks for the gift of friendship!

See you soon in Singapore!! :)

Calderon Cocinas Tapas y Bebidas
Calderon Street
San Juan

Donating Breastmilk Part 2

Friday, February 01, 2013

When I had Kailee, I was able to store a LOT of breastmilk.  Thus, I was able to donate to strangers and friends in need.  I wrote about my frustrations with some of my breastmilk recipients here.  Now, fast forward to almost two years later - I am still frustrated with some of my milk recipients.  Huhu..

There's this FB Page Human Milk 4 Human Babies, on this page contains numbers of those mommies in need and those mommies who had milk to share.  I am so thankful for this page because it was through this medium that I was able to share my milk to many babies.

My freezer stash last 2011