Sometimes, when my parents decide to fancy it up and go to a Chinese buffet (that was a joke), there’s always one thing that I make sure I get: a Chinese crab casserole. Now if you read the ingredients, you’d think it would be absolutely disgusting. But it’s really decadent and creamy, I can’t help but love it. All you need is lump crab meat, cream cheese, sour cream, onions, celery and a dollop of mayo. Mix it all up, and cover with cheddar on the top. Broil it in the oven, and presto! A creamy casserole that will make your arteries hate you, but would make your soul say “thank you!”
One night for dinner, I really just wanted to keep it simple but luxurious at the same time. If you’ve ever seen my pantry, it’s quite the collection of canned goods and bottled products. One such product that I love is sardines—the kind I had was Spanish Style in corn oil. I figured, since I wasn’t in the mood to cook anything, I’d just assemble a quick sardine platter for myself.
All it takes are some pieces of toast (I pan-fried them in butter first). And then a little spread of butter (unsalted and cold!). Finally, top that thing with a small slice of sardines. And the flavors just melt in your mouth—it’s so good.
The trick to a perfect sardine platter is, of course, the sardine itself. So make sure you get a good kind. There are so many kinds that have different liquids they have them in (wine, lemon, oil, etc.) so try which ones you think sound good, and platter away!
I wasn’t kidding about that giant Manila market: Seafood City takes you back as if you were in a fish harbor by the coast in the Philippines. And if you don’t believe, just look at these amazing pictures! Fresh fish (yes, that’s Golden Pampano!) and seafood (squid, shrimp and blue crabs to name a few) just at your arsenal!
My mom was especially excited about the crabs (alimasag) because it’s a staple from her native Bacolod. I remember having them when I visited almost two years ago :)
A Starving Actor: 4th o’ July Vegas Eats ‘11.
A Family of Both Worlds.
My house is literally in between two worlds: the Filipino world and the American world. See, Filipinos are very easygoing and laidback. We eat the simplest of things and we cook them even simpler. We cook up some uga which to most Filipinos it’s called tuyo—basically dried fish that you fry up and eat with some rice.
My mother also made her very famous tinola recipe—a ginger-chayote-stew—that takes minutes to cook up but tastes like she slaved on it all day.
And for my parents, that’s a meal for ya. But I try to introduce more of the American lifestyle on them—like maybe some steak for dinner instead.
I made Laura Calder’s Beef Au Bleu recipe but with an added touch—I used that Brie& thyme sauce instead of the Bleu. And my family ate it up—with their hands and with rice, of course. I personally love being smack dab in the middle. I can enjoy learning foods from the new world, while at the same time maintaining my roots through tastes and techniques. So if you ever stop by dinner at our little family and you see us eating rice and steak with our hands—don’t judge.
Happy Independence Day, Philippines!