I must admit that when my sister, Noemi Dado, Pinoy Food Blog’s visionary, asked me if I could attend the Press Launch for “Chasing Flavors,” Lifestyle TV Philippines’ newest show that premieres on Saturday, June 3, 2017, 9:00 pm, on SKYcable channel 52, I did not hesitate, enthusiastic co-blogger that I am. Chef Claude Tayag, the “rock star” chef of CHASING FLAVORS, was a bleep in my foodie universe. I had seen one of Uber-Chef Anthony Bourdain’s TV shows that showcased some of the Philippines’ most popular cuisines. Chef Claude (pronounced as “Cloud”) was one of the resource persons featured in one episode.
Generally, I prepare for a writing assignment with some research on my subject. This time, I decided to come in cold. Although I am a corn-fed and raised Cebuana/Filipina, I sought to experience this adventure from an Overseas Filipina’s point of view. I texted my former managing editor from Filipinas Magazine, Gemma Nemenzo, who is one of PositivelyFilipino.com’s prime movers, to find out if she knew Chef Claude. Gemma replied, “Yes, we had him as a special guest at the 2013 Filipino American International Book Festival. Please give my regards!”
I have also tasted the cuisine of Pampanga yet I never made an effort to study its finer nuances. Noemi gave me Chef Claude’s book, “Food Tour,” a culinary journal, so I could ask the chef to autograph it. “It’s a gift from my husband,” Noemi told me.
Page 2 of the book, “He Said, She Said,” captured my attention. Claude’s tongue-in-cheek humor was so familiar, something I could relate to. During a group interview at the press launch, when I found out that both of us shared the same alma mater, the University of the Philippines, Claude became the typical alumnus. He asked me, “What’s your student number?” We broke out in laughter when we found out that we had the same first two digits of our student numbers, i.e. we belonged to the same generation. But I am digressing… Moving along!
The blog post is categorized accordingly:
1. A video slide show of Pinoy Food Blog’s experience during the Press Launch of CHASING FLAVORS (almost seven minutes of “show and tell”)
2. A documentation of the Press Launch’s activities, including Chef Claude Tayag’s food demonstrations of Lechon Tacos and Lechon Sisig, anecdotes, and morsels (no pun intended) of culinary history and information
3. A supplementary content curation of post-press launch research on videos and articles about Chef Claude Tayag
I also made an effort to place asterisks (*) on Filipino terms to help the uninitiated cook in the Filipino kitchen.
Thank you to Earl Moreno, Digital Marketing Executive of Creative Programs, Inc. (part of the ABS-CBN family), for inviting PinoyFoodBlog.com to the Press Launch.
I’ve had a Pinterest Board for many years. There are many boards that I created ranging from Home styling, inspirational quotes, infographics, makeup , personal style and my food recipes. If you haven’t heard of Pinterest, it’s a visual bookmarking tool that helps you discover and save. Below are pins from various readers around the world who pinned photos of food images culled from recipes found in this Pinoyfoodblog. Amazing! People actually want to save my recipes in their Pinterest board.
Pins of Pinoy food recipes from various readers around the world.
When you share something on Pinterest, each bookmark is called a pin. When you share someone else’s pin on Pinterest, it’s called a repin.
You can share images you find online, or you can directly upload images onto Pinterest. Using the Pin It button, you can share directly in your browser from any web page. You can also share your pins on Twitter and Facebook.
You can Pin things from around various blogs and websites to boards you create on any topic that interests you. My interests are varied. Aside from the photos of my Pinoy Food Blog, I look for home interior ideas which I save for a later time when I have a budget for it. I have also created a board for potential Air BnB lease with the map enabled, because I wanted to see the location of each potential lease.
Pins are not merely images. Each Pin links directly to the site or blog of origin so you can continue to read more information .
Pinterest is building a strong community in the Philippines, and I am proud to be one of the bloggers showcasing one of my popular boards which is Pinoy Food recipes.
How do you usually cook Tinola? As described in Wikipedia, Tinola is “a dish is cooked with chicken, wedges of green papaya, and leaves of the siling labuyo chili pepper in broth flavored with ginger, onions and fish sauce. A common variant substitutes pork for chicken, chayote instead of papaya, or moringa leaves known as marungay or malunggay or kamunggay (in Cebuano), instead of pepper leaves” . It is a comfort food for my kids.
But did you know you can also add Gata (coconut milk) for some zest? I love how Tinola sa Gata tastes. It reminds me of Chicken adobo with gata but this is more soup-y. I got this idea from a recent Knorr Sarap #LutongNanay, celebrity-moms did a cooking demonstration of well-loved Filipino dishes. Dimples Romana cooked Tinola sa Gata for us. She was just not a celebrity mom because she knew how to cook with confidence. Knorr is determined to make mom-cooked flavor matter again by inspiring people to cook more at home. I have always believed in home-cooked meals. It creates conversations at the table and brings family members together by preparing meals together. The aroma in the kitchen will create life-long memories that will be forever etched in our child’s brain.
The readers in this blog know the importance of home-cooked meals. Recipes don’t need to be complicated. Try cooking Tinola sa Gata for your family. It is so simple.
1 tbsp oil
1 pc. onion, quartered
1 (2-inch) pc. ginger, sliced
½ kg. chicken, cut into serving pcs.
1 tbsp patis
1 cup gata
1 cup water
1 pc. sayote or ¼ pc. papaya, cut into wedges
1 pc. Knorr Chicken Cubes
½ bunch dahon ng sili
1. Saute onion and half of the ginger in pre-heated oil for 2 minutes. Over high heat, add chicken and saute for a minute. Add fish sauce and mix well.
2. Add sayote. Pour gata and water, add remaining half of the ginger. Let this simmer for a minute.
3. Add Knorr Chicken Cubes. Let this simmer until chicken and vegetables are cooked. Add dahon ng sili, let the sauce simmer for another minute and serve.
Ever since I started using a KitchenAid® mixer for my research and development work at my family bakeshop in Cebu, Sally’s Home Bake Ship, in the late 1970s, I was “addicted” to it. Meaning, I couldn’t live without it. Fast-forward to the early 1990s in San Francisco, California. I had asked my younger sister, Myrna, to give me a KitchenAid® mixer as a wedding present. And so she did.
There are many lovely memories associated with my KitchenAid® mixer. I made my mother-in-law’s secret recipe for cheesecake and paté, for example. I also experimented on my prize-winning Sylvannas.
When my husband passed away last year, I didn’t give away my mixer. I said “good-bye” to the rest of my kitchen equipment and utensils BUT not my KitchenAid® mixer. Instead, I placed it in my small storage space in Illinois. It is still there, waiting for me.
A month ago, I was given an opportunity to review another KitchenAid® product here in California. Correction, products. Two packages came in one huge box. Wow!
It seems ironic that I am reviewing cast iron cookware. My history with cast iron cookery goes way back to the early 1990s when I was very anemic — and my doctor prescribed iron pills and cast iron skillets. Although cast iron skillets meant doing a lot of seasoning (cleaning it with oil) and I had to be careful about not adding any “acid” type of products such as vinegar and tomatoes since these ingredients promoted rust, I really loved cooking steaks, burgers, and omelets in it. If you have a way to explain “vibrance” in the taste of the food I cooked, please let me know. PLUS, I enjoyed having the added iron for my healthy body, too!
I thoughtfully eyed the well-wrapped cast iron cookware, happy that I could cook to my heart’s delight — and decide if I would recommend it to my family and friends.
LET’S START WITH THE ACTUAL PRODUCTS.
First of all, the over-all look reminded me of French casserole dishes. That is a good thing! What it means to me is that the cookware epitomizes AFFORDABLE ELEGANCE.
The design, texture, and glossy exterior were a pleasurable experience for my fingertips. When I lifted the casserole cookware, I made a mental note that I would never allow a child or a frail senior to lift them off the stove-top or from the oven. The cookware’s interior seemed quite fine-textured — compared to the slightly rough surface of new, traditional cast iron skillets.
I read the contents of the thin brochure that came with my new KitchenAid®. I am writing down what you need to remember because this is no ordinary cast iron cookware!
PARTS AND FEATURES:
– Warms evenly and holds heat
– Interior porcelain enamel does not need seasoning
– Dark-colored interior provides better browning and resists staining
– Streamline and Traditional Cast Iron Cookware: Basting dots on lid interior keep food moist
– Professional Cast Iron Cookware: Professional cast iron lid doubles as a grill (for the maroon-colored cookware)
– Oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
– No seasoning is required before use. The cast iron cookware has a porcelain enamel coating that does not require seasoning.
– Before use, hand wash with hot soapy water, rinse, and dry thoroughly. No further preparation is needed.
– Ideal for use on all types of cooktop surfaces, including induction and outdoor grilling.
– Always lift the cast iron cookware when moving it from any type of cooktop surface. Sliding the cookware may damage the cooktop or base of the pan.
– For best results, use low to medium heat on cooktop or outdoor grill. Allow the pan to heat gradually for even and efficient cooking. Use a high temperature when searing or boiling.
– Cast iron cookware is not ideal for dry cooking. Before heating, select a liquid, oil, fat, or butter to cover at a minimum the base of the pan.
– Match the pan base size with the cooktop burner for cooking efficiency. Do not allow gas flame to extend up the side of the pan.
– Cast iron cookware is oven-safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. And is broiler safe.
– Use potholders or oven mitts when handling hot cookware.
– Do not submerge a hot cast iron pan into cold water or place a cold pan onto a hot burner. This may cause thermal shock, resulting in cracking or loss of enamel.
– When cooking, use wood, plastic, or heat-resistant nylon tools to avoid scratching the porcelain enamel coating. Do not cut inside the cast iron cookware. (NOTE: This means “no knives or other sharp utensils”.)
– Use a hot pad or trivet before placing the hot cast iron cookware on an unprotected surface.
PROFESSIONAL CAST IRON COOKWARE ONLY:
– The lid of the Professional Cast Iron Cookware also serves as a separate grill pan and is ideal for indoor and outdoor cooking. (Maroon-colored cookware)
– The same “Cooking” instructions apply when using the professional grill pan separately.
– Before each use, clean both sides with hot, soapy water, rinse, and dry thoroughly to ensure any residue is removed.
– The porcelain enamel coating on the grill pan can chip or crack if dropped or banged on a hard surface.
– Allow the cooking surface of the grill pan to reach a hot temperature before grilling or searing. Sear lines from the ribbed grill will not be produced if the pan surface is too cool, or if the food is too wet.
– Add oil, fat, or butter after heating the grill pan to avoid overheating and smoking.
– Cast iron cookware is dishwasher-durable and the colorfast finish resists fading and discoloring. However, to extend the life of your cast iron cookware, hand washing is recommended.
– Allow cast iron cookware to cool before washing.
– Use a sponge, nylon pad, or dishcloth when cleaning cast iron cookware; do not use oven cleaners, steel wool, harsh detergents, or chlorine bleach.
– Food residues can be removed by soaking with warm water for 15 to 20 minutes before washing. A soft brush or nylon pad can be used to remove food deposits or clean between the ribs on the professional cast iron grill pan. Wash, rinse, and dry thoroughly.
– Thoroughly dry cookware before storage. Store cast iron cookware in a dry cupboard.
THE COOKING EXPERIMENTS:
I just love making casseroles. Perfect for a busy cook! I also have these twin nephews in an American household who prefer written instructions when it comes to cooking lessons with their “Tita Lorna” or “Auntie Lorna”. Across the Pacific Ocean in the Philippines, my sister, Noemi Lardizabal Dado, likes it when I insist on low-fat, low-sodium meals — and that I actually take the time to guide her assistants, especially the all-knowing cook, on how to prepare food my way. OK, so I’m finicky when it comes to nutritional values. Go ahead, Emmanuel and Christian, you’ll be cooking these casserole dishes for your girlfriends or wives at some point. 🙂
My first experiment was not meant for me to take pictures. This is because the result was quite good that I forgot to bring out my iPhone. However, the second dish that I cooked, Spicy Adobo, looks remarkably like the first casserole — minus the coconut milk. For those of you who like Indonesian ingredients, here is what I used.
EASY CHICKEN CASSEROLE WITH COCONUT GRAVY
(Maroon Cast Iron Cookware)
1 package of KARA coconut cream powder, 1.76 oz./50 gms.
1-1/2 cups cold water
1 heaping tablespoon of minced garlic, fresh or bottled
3-1/4 lbs. or 1-1/2 kilos chicken wings & drummettes, defrosted and rinsed
1 package of ASIAN HOME GOURMET Spice Paste for Indonesian Nasi Goreng, 1.75 oz./50 gms.
4 small pieces of lemon verbana leaves, optional
2 teaspoons of ground black pepper
1. Mix 1 package of KARA coconut cream powder with 1-1/2 cups of cold water in the cast iron cookware until the lumps of powder disappear.
2. Add the following:
1 package of ASIAN HOME GOURMET Spice Paste for Indonesian Nasi Goreng.
1 heaping tablespoon of minced garlic, fresh or bottled
4 small pieces of lemon verbana leaves, optional
3. Add the rinsed chicken wings and drummettes into the cookware.
4. Put on the cookware’s lid.
5. Cook on medium high heat for 10 minutes, then increase to high heat for another 10 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low for another 20 to 25 minutes until tender and done.
6. During the cooking process, stir the mixture once every 10 minutes.
7. Add the black pepper during the last 10 minutes.
8. Serve hot.
– The chicken pieces covered just slightly half of the pot. I can safely say that you can comfortably cook 4 lbs. or 4-1/2 lbs. of meat as a casserole dish.
– The liquid in the cookware started boiling within 15 minutes. That was fast!
– I am used to cooking this chicken recipe for about 55 minutes to an hour. I would say that I shaved off 5 to 10 minutes’ cooking time.
– The cookware retained its heat for more than an hour after cooking. This is especially beneficial during cold weather or when you are bringing your casserole dish for a potluck event.
– The cooked chicken pieces were moist — and stayed moist. My nephews loved the coconut milk gravy with the Indonesian spice paste. The gravy did not taste “oily” at all.
– The best part about this cookware is that it is a classic “from kitchen to table” cooking.