Carrot and Potato Frites on Spot

   

My cousin and I were lying in our bed when we craved for French fries. Unfortunately, we’re staying with our gramps, and the nearest place to get fries is approximately 1 and a half hours away. Delivery is not even an option here. Imagine the chances of profit flag down if let’s say Mickey D offers delivery with just 40php delivery fee, ain’t that sad? After 10 minutes of thinking about fries and other food we can’t eat at the moment, we decided to raid the fridge to prepare something to eat. I found 1 big potato and a couple of carrots, and since we’re really craving for fries, I decided to make some carrot and potato frites. Easy and definitely satisfying. 

Ingredients 

Frites

  • Potatoes
  • Carrots 
  • Salt 
  • Pepper

Garlic dip

  • 3 tablespoons of mayo
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Paprika (optional)
  • A pinch of dried parsley

Method

  1. Wash the carrots and potatoes then peel after. You can leave the potatoes unpeeled if you want. Cut them to your desire of fries thickness.
  2. Boil the carrots and potatoes for 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat your deep pan and put some oil. Make sure that the oil is enough for deep frying.
  4. Fry the frites until golden brown and crispy. Prepare some tissue to make sure we reduce the oil after taking them out of the pan.
  5. Add salt and pepper.

For the garlic dip

Mix all the ingredients in one bowl. Serve with the frites. Voila! Enjoy with a cold drink and share with everyone! 

Ensaymada on Spot: My Goodbye Zayn Snack

 

I was doing some research for my next blog post when my cousin from Sacramento IMed me. She was in deep sadness when she learned that Zayn Malik decided to quit the famous British Boy band, One Direction. I, as a good cousin, decided to cheer her up by telling her that it’s for Zayn’s own growth. To be honest, I, myself, felt bad about him quitting. After my IM-ing with my cousin, I went to the kitchen and started looking for a midnight snack. Luckily, my uncle bought some ensaymada for us. 

To those who haven’t tried this delicious pastry, here’s an easy recipe for you. 

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup refined sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup butter

Sponge

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon refined sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast

Toppings

  • Grated cheese
  • Melted butter
  • Sugar 

Method

  1. Mix sponge ingredients in a mixing bowl. Combine until blended and knead until dough is smooth. Shape into ball, cover with damp cloth and let rise for two hours.
  2. Put the dough ingredients except butter in a mixing bowl. Blend until well blended. Add sponge and the butter. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Shape into ball. Put in a bowl, cover with damp cloth and let rise again until double in bulk.
  3. Punch dough and divide equally into 8 pieces. Shape into balls, cover with damp cloth and let rise 30 minutrs. Roll out each piece thinly into 8 x 5 inch rectangles. Brush surfaces with butter. Roll into long rods and twirl into shape, locking the ends to seal. Place on greased ensaymada molds. Let it rise for 2 hours until it doubles in size.
  4. Bake at 325 F for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly and brush with melted butter. Top with grated cheese and sprinkle with sugar.
You can also add some Hershey’s chocolate syrup on top. Best partnered with hot caramel macchiato with one shot of espresso to balance the taste of the ensaymada.

Risotto on Spot 

  

Making the perfect risotto is like learning how to ride a bike: it just takes a lot of practice and a certain ampunt of concentration. They’re very sensitive to timing, and this is the reason why what is served in a restaurant (no matter how good it is) will rarely display that rich texture and just-right doneness that a good homemade risotto will. This may b a classic Italian dish, but making it perfectly hinges on what the French call mise en place—which means everything in place (or ready to go).

To achieve that perfectly creamy and tender risotto every time, here are three expert risotto tips that you can always follow:

1. Use gently simmering stock. Adding cold stock lowers the temperature of the rice as it cooks, which can make your risotto gluey.

2. Before adding stock, cook the rice in the butter mixture until the grains appear glassy. This softens the outer starch layer of the rice.

3. Add the stock, one ladleful at a time, stirring until it’s absorbed. This releases starch from the rice, which makes the risotto creamy.

Molten Chocolate Cake on Spot

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As a chocolate lover, I’ve always been a fan of chocolate molten cakes. That creamy, chocolate-y goodness oozing out of the center is like a trip to chocolate heaven! I would always buy one from Starbucks every Christmas, if available, and it would cost around P130.

Sometimes, I’m still left craving for more that I would think of making one myself. But I’d always be intimidated to try because I feel it’s difficult to bake one. Thankfully, I found this easy recipe from Tasty Kitchen and I was wrong! It isn’t that hard to create your own molten chocolate cake at home. So, get ready to go to the nearest grocery store and buy the following ingredients:

 4 pieces (squares) semi-sweet baking chocolate
 ½ cups butter
 1 cup powdered sugar
 2 whole eggs
 2 whole egg yolks
 6 tablespoons flour
 2 cups real whipping cream (for better taste!)
 2 tablespoons sugar

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Spray 4 custard cups with Pam and place on cookie sheet.
3. Microwave chocolate and butter in large bowl on high for about 1 minute, until butter is melted. Whisk until chocolate is also melted.
4. Stir in sugar until well blended. Whisk in eggs and egg yolks. Stir in flour.
5. Divide between cups.
6. Bake 13-14 minutes until sides are firm and center is soft. Let stand 1 minute.
6. Combine sugar and heavy cream and whip until stiff.
7. Invert cakes on dishes and top with whipped cream.

Aglio Olio on Spot

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Aglio Olio is one of my favorite Italian pasta dishes. It’s light and definitely one of the simplest pasta dishes to make. Aglio Olio means “Garlic and Oil” in Italian, and this is one dish that I don’t mind drenched in (good-quality) olive oil. This dish only comprises of 3 key ingredients: garlic, olive oil and pasta, and all are easy to find in the supermarket.

Planning to make this dish tonight? Here are some tips for making perfect aglio olio:

 Pasta should be cooked in salted water, which is almost as salty as seawater. The cooked pasta will taste salted and this will reduce or eliminate the need to salt the dish later.

 Do not add oil when cooking the pasta, as doing so will prevent the pasta from absorbing the salt or the overall flavor of the dish.

 Reserve some water from cooking the pasta and add a few tablespoons of it to the final dish. The pasta water not only helps to bind the ingredients, the starch in the pasta water will give the dish a smoother finish.

 Because you are working with minimum ingredients, the quality of the ingredients will make a huge difference. Go for good quality olive oil and fresh parsley, where possible. Always use fresh garlic instead of pre-chopped bottled garlic.

 Tip for making perfect golden brown, not burnt garlic: the oil temperature must be just right when you add the garlic, meaning the garlic should sizzle gently in the heated oil when added to the pan (if the oil splatters violently or no reaction when garlic is added, it means the oil is either over-heated or not heated enough).

 Another tip for making perfect golden brown garlic: monitor the color of the garlic as they cook in the oil. Turn off the stove once the garlic turns light golden brown. The garlic will continue cooking in the hot oil until it turns a lovely golden brown. If you only turn off the stove when they reached the golden brown hue, they will continue cooking in the hot oil and become burnt. Should the garlic not reach the desired golden brown, simply heat up the oil for another 5-10 seconds, turn off the stove and let the garlic continue browning on its own.

 This finishing touch may not follow the authentic Italian recipe and is entirely optional, but adding a few small cubes of butter at the end will help give the pasta dish additional flavor and a smooth, velvety finish.

Jellyfish Salad on Spot

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If you are a fan of Asian-style salad with its classic sweet and sour taste, this one’s for you. To make things even more interesting, we will be using a special ingredient, jellyfish, to provide that extra crunch and texture to the dish. You can find fresh jellyfish in Asian countries. If you’re in the west, you can find them in well-stocked Asian stores. You may substitute them with cooked prawns or chicken if you wish.

This recipe will serve about 4 people. You will need:
• 300g fresh jellyfish
• 4 tablespoon white vinegar
• 3 tablespoon sugar
• 3 cloves garlic
• 150g bean sprout
• 1 small carrot
• 100g Vietnamese pork loaf
• Juice of 1 lime
• 1 Fresh red chili
• Fish sauce
• 250ml water
• 100g beef jerky
• Herbs: Fresh coriander, fresh oregano, fresh basil
• Toasted sesame seeds and peanuts, crushed

1. Combine 3 tablespoons of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of sugar and a few of smashed garlic cloves. Rinse the jellyfish, soak with bean sprouts into white vinegar mixture. Leave it for 10 minutes. Afterwards, drain and discard the soaking water. Thinly slice carrot and Vietnamese pork loaf into thin strands.

2. Smash 2-3 more garlic cloves, finely chop the red chili then transfer to a large bowl. Mix with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and water. Stir well until incorporated. Adjust seasoning to achieve balance of taste.

3. Mix jellyfish, carrot, Vietnamese pork loaf and beef jerky with fish sauce. Wait for 5-10 minutes for the flavors to mingle.

4. Transfer to serving dish, garnish with herbs and sprinkle with sesame seeds and peanuts on top.

Sunny Side Up Eggs on Spot

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I’ve always loved cooking eggs for breakfast. I learned to fry eggs at a young age—both scrambled and sunny side up style. Yes, I know it’s not difficult to fry an egg. I mean for God’s sake, it’s just an egg, right? But hey, at some point in my life, I had to learn how to make the perfect sunny side up egg. By perfect, I mean soft and silky eggs and not crispy, bubbly ones. I even had trouble keeping the yolk from bursting and running in the pan. You might’ve also experienced ending up with jiggly, uncooked egg whites!

“What am I doing wrong,” I would ask myself before. Over time I realized that it wasn’t difficult to fry an egg, it’s also not difficult to ruin that fried egg by leaving it on too long, using the wrong pan, not adding enough butter or oil to keep the egg from sticking, and so on. Here are a few tips I can share with you guys:

1. Be patient. Seriously, if you really want that perfect sunny side up egg, it needs slow cooking over low heat.

2. I recommend using a cast iron skillet if you have one, and heat it first before adding a mix of olive oil and butter (these are what I use for frying eggs).

3. Turn the heat low and crack the egg in. If it splutters noisily, cool the
pan off the heat briefly. Cover the skillet and cook the egg slowly, about 2 minutes. No browning. Check it.

4. Some pros recommend basting the whites with fat from the pan to
help cook them through. That’s what I do. Although tilting the pan to scoop up some hot fat makes the egg slide, too, so be careful!

5. To make landing the egg foolproof, hold the skillet over the plate
(hopefully with a piece of toast waiting for it).

Adobo on Spot

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Adobo is definitely one of my favorite Pinoy dishes. If the Philippines had a national dish, this would be it! Made with chicken or pork, adobo is a tasty dish that leaves everyone craving for more. There are a lot of ways to cook adobo, but here’s one true and tested way to do it, guaranteed to have your family, friends and guests raving on their way out!

For this dish, you will need:
• 2 lbs/900g boneless, skinless chicken or pork loin
• 2/3 cup soy sauce
• 2/3 cup vinegar
• 10 cloves of garlic, crushed
• Salt and crushed black peppercorns to taste
• 1 Onion bulb
• 1 bay leaf
• White rice (accompaniment)

1. Cut 2 lbs/900g of boneless, skinless chicken thighs into quarters. Or if pork is preferred, cut 2 lbs/900g of pork loin into 2-inch/5cm cubes.

2. Place the chopped meat in a dutch oven, or a pan with a heavy base.

3. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, cloves of garlic, black pepper, and bay leaf. Cover the pan.

4. Bring to a medium boil for 15 minutes.

5. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until there is no liquid left in the pan.

6. Stir once in a while to avoid burning the bottom.

7. Serve over a steaming bowl of boiled or steamed white rice.