Monday, February 19, 2007

Chicken Candy

I'm running out of ways to cook chicken. Since we only prepare a pork dish once a week, the rest of the week sees us eating fish and chicken alternately. It can get pretty boring, especially if the chicken you eat is always adobo or afritada or chicken curry or bbq or fried. Even the chicken and potatoes recipe has gotten a tad old. Last week, we tried to cook the chicken the same slow-cook way as the chicken and potatoes recipe. But instead of herb oil, we used the following marinade:

250 ml Clara Ole bbq sauce
1/2 cup mustard
1 tomato, diced
1 small onion, diced
basil, garlic powder, pepper to taste
water to thin (if too thick)

This marinade made the chicken sweet, candy sweet, underlaid by tart (due to the mustard). The dish, because of the sweetness, got mixed reviews. My sisters enjoyed the sweet chicken but Daya did not. I swear that girl can't be pleased. She makes up her own mind, thank you.

Hindi ko gusto, 'te.

You don't say.

Well, that's what we love about her. She's adelantada like the rest of the family. It occurs to me that she, like the whole family, is just like this Chicken Candy recipe. Sweet and tart.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Tawilis at Terry's

Last Sunday, Ate My treated me, Ditchie, and Kuya Levi (bro-in-law to be) to dinner at Terry’s Selection Gourmet Store at The Podium. Dinner was nice. This sentence, by the way, is my first understatement for 2007. I plan to make more understatements as the year progresses. It’s all part of my new year’s bid to be droll, fastidious, and ironic because that’s the closest I’ll ever get to being British. Bugger.

Anyway, last Sunday’s dinner was breaded, butterflied, fried tawilis and gambas in garlicky olive oil that we ate with crispy slices of flattened bread. And, because one can never have too much carbo, we also had some silky potatoes with peppers and bits of Spanish sausage. Like I said, dinner was nice. My stomach loved everything. The fried tawilis, with balsamic vinegar for dipping, was a precious discovery, much like Magellan’s discovery of our islands for Spain’s King Philip. Shrimps are always a good thing, even better when they’re shelled and de-veined for no-fuss eating, and best when they’re drowning in a sea of olive oil with about 5,000 garlic cloves and 1,000 siling labuyo. My liver made its protest known a bit later in the evening but I’d gladly live the rest of my life burping like a wee babe just so my tummy can have these gorgeous gastronomic moments.

And the potatoes? Well, I love potatoes. Any way I can eat them is fine by me. I like them fried, boiled and mashed, baked, slathered with mayonnaise, or like last Sunday, sautéed with tomatoes, peppers, and red sausage. It was home food from a home I’ve never been in, of a friend I haven’t met. That last statement didn’t make any sense, did it? That’s another one of my new year’s resolutions, to be glib, and smooth, and suave, because that’s the closest I’ll ever get to being Spanish. Merde.

The menu is in Spanish and I don’t quite remember the actual names of the food I ate. I just remember textures and emotions. We didn’t stay long enough for me to browse through the stacks of gourmet items so I can’t say anything about the store itself, except that it looked like what I imagined Lawson’s store to be. What is Lawson’s store, you ask? Well, it’s the general goods store described in one of Ate My’s historical romance novels, this one set in early 1900s America, around the time of the San Francisco earthquake. I enjoyed reading that book. It was cheesy and sweet, like Pom-Poms and Chiz Curls. Anyway, Terry’s Selection looks like that, only newer and more modern. So I guess it’s retro Lawson’s. Whatever.

The verdict, as if it weren’t obvious, is 4 fishballs and a kwek-kwek* for Terry’s Selection Gourmet Store.

*Rating System:

4 fishballs and a kwek-kwek – Excellent! I could eat this forever!
4 fishballs, no kwek-kwek – V.G.!
3 fishballs – Good.
2 fishballs – Fair. Pwede na.
1 Fishball – Poor. Laman tiyan ka lang.
No Fishball, no kwek-kwek – Pwe! I’d rather go hungry for the rest of my life!