Noms

A Noob With A Food Processor

Since being gifted a mini food processor, I’ve been itching to try it out. As someone with meh kitchen skills, I was looking for a relatively easy recipe to try out. For one, I’ve never worked with a food processor my entire life. There would be noob mistakes for sure, so I needed a recipe to learn techniques from.

test
Copycat KFC coleslaw

As the first experiment, I decided to make coleslaw, a food hack of the KFC kind. The gifter of the said food processor is a big fan of KFC coleslaw, I thought it a fitting tribute.

Copycat KFC Coleslaw (a modified version of this recipe)
3 cups chopped cabbage 1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup shredded carrots 3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp minced onion 1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
dash of pepper

In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, sugar, milk, vinegar, salt, and pepper and set aside. Next, wash the cabbage, carrots, and onion, and cut it up into smaller blocks to fit the food processor container. If they don’t all fit, set aside half the cabbage and pulse until nearly evenly chopped up. Add the rest of the cabbage and pulse until it’s all blended nicely, about 1 minute. Stop there.

It was around this time that my noob self decided to keep going for good measure. Don’t. Half a minute later, I realized I was overdoing it and the veggies were chopped up to nearly the texture of baby food. So just don’t.

Awesome with chicken, of course.
Awesome with chicken, of course.

Transfer the chopped up veggies into the bowl with the ingredients you mixed earlier. Cover bowl and put it in the fridge to chill before serving. Then you can go out to buy KFC and bring it home to eat with your homemade coleslaw (It makes sense to me!).

Top 3 Things I Learned
1. Fluffy stuff have to go in in batches if you have a small food processor.
2. Do not pulse too long no matter how much fun it is.
3. Small things does not equate to small mess.

test
Pop it all in and pulse.

After the semi-success of my copycat KFC coleslaw (it was a little on the salty side), the time was ripe for another experiment. The Internet would have you believe that pesto sauce is one of the easiest things to make if you have a food processor. Being a sheep of the Internet, I set out to get the ingredients I needed to make some armed with this recipe-

Easy Pesto Sauce (a modified version of this recipe)
3 cups basil leaves 1/4 cup EVOO
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 roasted peanuts
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 tsp salt

There really isn’t much to say here, because contrary to recipe instructions, I just dunked all ingredients minus the EVOO in the food processor bowl and pulsed to my heart’s delight. This took a little longer than the veggies from the coleslaw recipe (don’t get too excited, it’s just a minute or so more). As soon as everything is all evenly mixed, pour the contents into a bowl and mix gently with the oil. Add more if you feel like the mixture is too pasty. Now boil some pasta of your choice, toss it all together, and set on a plate. Done without much fuss!

test
Chilling and enjoying the fruits of labor.

Top 1 Thing I Learned From Making Your Own Nomz
1. Clean up is a b*tch.

Now all that’s left to do is to clean up the mess you made. BUT, and this is a big but, unlike store bought stuff, you know all the ingredients used to make up what’s on your plate. Worth all the its.

Noms

McVitie’s Digestives Are Cookies in Disguise

For some reason, I’ve always associated the term ‘digestives’ with the words ‘healthy’ and ‘gross’. This has led to me shelving any noms with the word digestives on them to that short untouched list called “Food Mel Does Not Eat”. That was before I hastily picked up a package of McVitie’s Digestive Dark Chocolate while grocery shopping for work snacks a couple of weeks ago.

So much yum.

Apprehensions were had before the first bite. Said apprehensions disappeared into oblivion shortly after the first bite. Mildly sweet, buttery, crumbly- digestive biscuits are excellent picker-uppers in the middle of the workday. I went through the first package quite quickly and my greedy taste buds couldn’t wait to get more. It doesn’t hurt that they’re made with wheat flour and wholemeal, and is believed to help aid digestion, hence the name. Despite the supposed health benefits, they are actually ‘fun cookies’ more than ‘boring old biscuits’, just a bit more conscious.

McVitie's Chocolate Caramel
McVitie’s Chocolate Caramel

I got a second box a week later, in Chocolate Caramel flavor this time and my pannies dropped tastebuds were tickled. They’re even better than the dark chocolate ones. The McVitie’s Digestives Chocolate Caramel has a thin layer of mildly sweet caramel sandwiched between the buttery biscuit and the chocolate coating. Yum!

It’s sweeter by just a smidgen than the other flavors but the caramel adds a little oomph to the flavor combo and is super worth the extra sugar and calories. I have never been as infatuated with biscuits before. I want to get my hands on all the flavors, darnit.

Noms

H Cuisine And Their The Famed Angus Beef Belly

Once upon a time (months and months ago), my extended family met up for lunch in a land far, far away (good old Quezon City). At the recommendation my tito, we made our way to this homey little restaurant near Tomas Morato called H Cuisine. Their food selection is a mix of Spanish and Filipino dishes, and their blue and yellow interior makes you think of an old-fashioned kitchen. The vibe is a cross between Contis and Mom & Tina’s, two restaurants that are high up in my list of forever favorites. My taste buds were tingling even before we sat down.

Cozy, homey is H Cuisine’s thing. Image from ManilaRules.com, click image to go there.

They also boast of being the “Home of The Most AwesomeAngus Beef Belly.” Now that’s a pretty bold statement. Being the judgers that we all are, it was the very first thing we ordered. Of course we’d try and challenge their claim, who wouldn’t? Also, it’s Angus. Beef. Belly. Only a madman would say no to that (you wouldn’t say no, would you?).

The Most Awesome Angus Beef Belly

Ta-da! The Most Awesome Angus Beef Belly (p558, good for sharing)
Slow-roasted, fork tender, with demi-glace gravy.

An order comes in an elevated dish with a tiny candle at the bottom to keep it warm. The server also pours the gravy on the meat at your table (at your go signal, of course). The set up was nice, but it would mean zilch if the meat didn’t match up to it. Thankfully, it did. Oh boy, it did. The Angus beef belly strips were tender, and just the right amount of fatty. “Slow roasted, fork tender, demi-glace gravy.” In my head, those three phrases are read in a low, seductive, and sensual manner. Mmm, mmm, mmm.

cap
Ta da! The Most Awesome Angus Beef Belly (p558)

It’s The Most Awesome Angus Beef Belly that should make H Cuisine a household name. But I think the hold could be firmly secured by these two magnificent dishes:  Osso Bucco with Mashed Potato and Eggplant Moussaka.

Osso Bucco with Mashed Potato

cap
Osso Bucco With Mashed Potato (p548)

The Osso Bucco with Mashed Potato is an obvious choice. Baked beef shank in rich, tomato sauce reminiscent of a classier version of the classic mechado- it’s delicious with steamed rice or the mashed potato it comes with. It’s very tender and super flavorful that it’s just easy to love.

Eggplant Moussaka

cap
H Cuisine’s Eggplant Moussaka (p208)

H Cuisine’s Eggplant Moussaka might not be a popular choice. It wasn’t made for vegetarians, this dish, it has a good amount of ground beef in it as well as tomato sauce and cheese. I would say it’s a meatier version of an eggplant lasagna, served hot, fresh, and heartwarming. Maybe it’s because I’m a big fan of eggplant but to me, the Eggplant Moussaka was so comforting that it felt like a hug in the form of food.

H Cuisine also delivers food trays that are good for parties of 8-15 people. You can order these for takeout for bringing to a potluck party or just maybe Sunday lunch at home. Alone. Then you can pig out on the beef belly without anybody judging you. Good idea, Y/Y?

H Cuisine

64 Scout Rallos Street, Near Tomas Morato Avenue, Sacred Heart, Quezon City

413-0347; 0917-5908000

Social Media

website, facebook, twitter, email, other

Noms

Find Peace and Happiness (in Food)

If you thought this would be the vanilla Christmas post where I’d be preaching about the importance of those two words this season, you’d be wrong on one account. No, this is not a Christmas post but I WILL be preaching about the value of the words ‘peace’ and ‘happiness’ when they’re posted on a sign above a dinky little restaurant in Cityland Tower, along Buendia in Makati.

test
Not the posterboy of hygiene? Maybe, but YOLO!

Why, you ask? From the outside, Peace and Happiness Dumpling House looks not unlike your typical turo-turo with salty food, underpaid staff, and questionable sanitation guidelines. However questionable their sanitation may be (I’m kidding, of course), this place is a magical source of the most delicious xiaolongbao known to man.

test
Peace and Happiness XiaoLongBao (p128)

For the uninitiated, the xiaolongbao is a kind of dumpling that’s filled primarily with pork mixed with a gelatinous broth and wrapped like a little bun. This broth is what makes this “soup dumpling” different from all the other dumplings out there. It melts when steamed so that when you take a bite of the xiaolongbao, all the juices explode in your mouth giving you a hot, tasty, and soupy party in there. It’s like having soup and dumpling all at once, and somehow better.

test
All sorts of delicious.

Peace and Happiness XiaoLongBao can be had for a real steal- one hundred and twenty eight pesos for a basket of eight freshly steamed, large soupy dumplings. Although technically an appetizer, this can just as easily be a main meal for me. If I tried, I can probably finish an entire order by itself and call it a day. What I usually do though, is eat half an order with rice and share the rest (I’m Filipino, what can you do?). Did I also mention that the restaurant is open 24/7? Mega win!

Peace and Happiness Dumpling House

Unit G-8 Cityland Makati Executive Tower, Senator Gil Puyat Street, Makati City, 1230

(02) 218 3665

Press

Food Panda Delivers Just About Any Noms You Want

If you’re like me- someone who’s no great shakes at cooking but is an expert nommer, eating in can be a dilemma. There are days when you don’t want to eat your sub par cooking and you just want to avoid the traffic and various strangers that you feel like eating in the comfort of your own dinner table (or couch, whichever is comfier).  So you decide to order in, but you’ve exhausted all the fast food that delivers in your apartment- pizza, burger, fried chicken, Chinese.

Aps
This is not an ad, I just wanted to show you guys that they’re available as as apps on WINDOWS phones too. Woot, woot!

This is where Food Panda Philippines comes in to save the day. Food Panda is a food delivery service of a bunch of affiliated restaurants in the city. While they have old reliables, they also deliver food from restaurants/stores that don’t normally deliver. With Food Panda, you can have steaks and Cloud 9 delivered. Yes, they deliver those too.

Food Panda PH
They even deliver phone credits. Amaze!

You simply have to make an account at FoodPanda.ph and pick your location. You will then see a list of all places that deliver in your area. From there, you can choose from the filters to narrow down your research. You can easily find a ‘Vegetarian Friendly’ restaurant that serves just ‘Healthy Food’ (but don’t do that, that’s no fun). When you’ve selected your restaurant, you can choose from their menu and pick delivery options, yadda, yadda. You’re smart, you know the process. Or you know, use this guide.

How to use Food Panda

What I like best about Food Panda is that there is the option to preorder your food. Let’s say you’re hosting a small lunch party and you need to order food to be delivered by then. Your dilemma is that the restaurant opens at noon but you need to get  few errands done in the morning and can’t stay in front of your PC or by your phone waiting until the clock strikes 12. With Food Panda, you can order ahead, even as early as a couple of days earlier, and they’ll deliver on the date and time that you specify when you review your order. Mind you, it doesn’t apply to all restaurants but it’s still nice to have that option from selected places.

Preorder on Food Panda

There were some kinks here and there the few times I personally tried the service, but that’s to be expected from a relatively new player in the business. The excellent customer service more than makes up for all of it. I think Food Panda is shaping up to be a solid food delivery service in the city.

Food Panda Philippines

web, iOS, Android, Windows Phone