i get a lot of viral e-mail, but weirdly, i've never gotten the $250 cookie recipe one, in which one hapless department store shopper thinks she is getting a great cookie recipe for $2.50, but ends up getting charged significantly more. out of revenge for such outrageous behaviour, the woman then supposedly e-mailed the recipe to the whole of the internets, so no one shall ever suffer her fate again. all is right with the world. except, the whole escapade never happened, and apparently, up until relatively recently, neiman-marcus did not serve chocolate chip cookies.
as a response to this urban legend, the corporation actually came up with a chocolate chip cookie recipe, which you can get on their website, completely free. honestly, i don't think i've ever had a choc-chip cookie at any of their cafés or restaurants, but i would think they'd actually use this published one. it's a pretty interesting recipe--there's a nice balance of butter, vanilla, chocolate, and hint of saltiness to balance out the sweetness from the tremendous amount of chocolate swirled through. in the end, however, a chocolate chip cookie is just a chocolate chip cookie and is only as good as its chocolate--i used chocolate chunks i chopped off a giant block of semi-sweet chocolate instead of chips. the most interesting thing to me though (besides the story) is the texture--it's a sturdy thing, almost hard, but not; it's firm, with an appealing chewiness throughout the entire cookie. i reckon this it the perfect cookie for mailing cross country or wherever you plan on sending cookies on their merry little way.
the tsogb holiday gift list starts here: christ butter v satan butter. who will save your soul? or your arteries, anyway. i heart independent booksellers, and especially ones that also sell cool art, cool toys, and cool art toys. atomic books got the goods, yo! and a whole section dedicated to food and cooking to boot.
nothing says the holidays like alcohol consumption. do it in style with mod pint glasses and an rx flask, in case your local pub doesn't do snakebites.
if i ran mozza, these would be my charcuterie plates. which is probably why i don't run mozza. this delightful cannibal kingdom melamine plate set is one of the many great products from pop ink, a division of csa design. i will probably buy all of their products as gifts...and end up keeping them.
photo from man that cooks
send a gift subscription for the best food magazine in western australia, spice, and pack it in this very groovy shopping tote from the very groovy café press shop of raging yoghurt.
if you are feeling a little more altruistic and less materialistic, why not send someone a certificate of donation for a pig, a plough, or a cow to a family in a developing nation? one of my favourite gifts is buying trees from organizations to help foresting and reforesting efforts (rebel's wood is a personal fave); you can find an organization to help through the tree council or the spirit of trees page. the los angeles-based tree people have a campaign to bring fruit trees into underprivileged, urban areas--maybe your local environmental organization has a similar campaign.
and of course, there is always the ongoing menu for hope. dozens of amazing gifts, all of them up for grabs for a mere US$10 donation. no one said it had to be for you to keep--although who would blame you if you did?
garibaldi biscuits are something i feel like i really should like, but rarely do. i think it's mostly because of the cookie/pastry crust, which is often too dry or just too dull; i don't think it has anything to do with the fact that they are often called "squashed fly biscuits" because of the sandwiched fruit between.
my friend, veronica, occasionally makes a version that is quite chunky and fruit-filled for christmas; as the holiday is just around the corner, i think my sense memory went into overdrive and i began craving them. however, i don't know her recipe, so i poked the internets in the stummy and this alice waters' raisin shortbread recipe fell out. this looked very much like the recipe that miss v uses, which is a somewhat more luxurious version of a typical garibaldi biscuit recipe in that the layers of shortbread-like cookie are thicker, and there's a fancy egg-washed top. so, off to the shops, only to not find currants anywhere. however, there were some very interesting (and expensive) dried wild maine blueberries on sale. oh, what the heck. so...a few little tweaks to the original, and a wholly more adult-oriented garibaldi was born. also, the squashed fly appearance was banished...only to be replaced by fat tick-studded biccy. but fat ticks of sweet blueberry goodness, tinged lightly with a bit of orange liqueur, amongst the sweet, buttery shortcrust. ah, if only they all fell off of dogs like that.
fat tick biscuits (adapted from alice waters' raisin shortbread)
3-4 cups dried blueberries or fruit of choice
1 cup orange liqueur
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon orange oil or 1 teaspoon orange extract or the zest of one small orange
3 cups powdered sugar
5 cups (scant) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
preheat the oven to 325°F.
combine the dried blueberries with the orange liqueur in a bowl. set aside for at least 10 minutes, then drain the bluebs thoroughly. drink the orange liqueur on the rocks. or add it to a cuppa coffee or hot cocoa.
beat together the butter, salt, vanilla, and orange oil/extract/zest until creamy. add the powdered sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy. stir in the flour gently until incorporated--it will be a little stiff or crumbly. gather the dough into 2 balls, one a little larger than the other. crumble the smaller ball of dough into an even layer on the bottom of a 11x17-inch baking sheet with a shallow lip. press down gently to make a thin, even layer over the entire sheet. scatter the blueberries evenly over the dough and gently press to embed them. crumble the other ball of dough into pieces and distribute them over the fruit layer, then gently press and flatten the dough to cover all the fruit as best you can. this could take awhile, but it's quite a therapeutic thing....try to keep the top layer as even as possible.
brush the top of the dough with the beaten egg. slowly drag a fork back and forth across the dough to make a decorative pattern, using the back of the tines. bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until light golden brown (i like mine to be a little darker, so i go with 40 minutes). cool and cut into 1x3-inch rectangular bars.
i liked these enough to try them later in the season, maybe this time with dried cranberries...ah, bloody ticks!
you know, don't you? if you don't, pim and helen will do their best to inform you about and inspire you to contribute to the worldwide food bloggers' campaign to raise money for the united nations world food programme. i will do my best to survive monday.
although many of you will covet the lovely prizes on offer at acclaimed restaurants in exotic locations, or opportunities with lauded food personalities, you could take your much appreciated US$10 donation and turn that into a raffle ticket towards one of two humble "yes you have to do all the work yourself, deal with it" kits from the fine folk at green bananas (namely, me). whether you wish to express yourself artistically or autistically, you'll have all the tools available to you, all whilst helping those less fortunate than us. also, there is a distinct advantage in going for one of these items--just think: whilst dozens of people will be vying for that meal at tetsuya's or that tour with david lebovitz, you'll most likely be the only person after one of these prizes. at the time of this posting, that means you have a 100% chance of winning! wheeeee.
okay, here's the what:
express(oh!) yourself in cupcakes kit (prize code: AP25)
$10 gets you 2.5 cupcakes at your local hoo-hawed cake boutique, and frankly, you could do better. here is a cupcake/cake decorating kit just for you, including a variety of seasonal cupcake liners, mini espresso cups, mini cutters, a set of three decorating icing tips with disposable plastic cones, food colour gels, various sugar decorations (including edible glitter, coarse sugars and shapes), chocolate sprinkles, nonpareils, and other edible novelties--at least US$60 worth o' goods. that's what i told helen, anyway. in reality, it will probably work out to more than that. also, if you are the winner, and should see cupcakes on my blog that you'd like to recreate, i will do my best to supply all the appropriate decorations for that particular design.
the straight up bentou box starter set (prize code: AP30)
yes, yes, you've spent too much money on bad takeaway meals, and you should be on a diet anyway. bring your lovingly prepared homemade lunch to work in the most stylish way possible with your very own bentou lunch box. do it kawaii-style with a lusciously lacquer-like bentou container, a set of chopsticks in a handy travel case, various essential bentou supplies like decorative cups and papers, plastic soy sauce containers, mini cutters and rice molds. i will also include a copy of eric gower's "the breakaway japanese kitchen" to get you started on your new, smart and swanky regime. that's another US$60 worth of stuff you never knew you needed until now.
and now the how:
Here's what you should do...
1. Go to the donation page.
2. Make a donation, each $10 will give you one raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice. Please specify which prize or prizes you'd like in the 'Personal Message' section in the donation form when confirming your donation. Do tell us how many tickets per prize, and please use the prize code -for example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for AP01 and 3 for AP02.
3. For US donors, if your company has agreed to match your charity donation, please remember to check the box and fill in the information so we may claim the corporate match.
4. Please also check the box to allow us to see your email address so that we could contact you in case you win. Your email address will not be shared with anyone.
5. Check back on Chez Pim on January 15 when we announce the results of the raffle. (The drawing will be done electronically. Our friend the code wizard Derrick at Obsession with Food is responsible for the wicked application that will do the job.)
¿listos? okay, then, what are you waiting for?
hallo nenes, remember this photo? the very kind folks at fotofolio in their
dubious infinite wisdom have published it as a christmas/holiday card this year. yay. i'm simply thrilled, honey. i'd be even more thrilled if one of you out there actually sees it at a shop; so much so that the first person to snap a photo of my card in a store and send it to me shall receive a little holiday gift in return!
i had all my ingredients set to make more macarons, but i lacked the enthusiasm to sift, sift, sift. so, a little change of plans, a little time made, and these little coffee meringue kisses were whipped up. coffee for flavour, and also because meringues tend to brown on me, no matter my diligence (or usually, lack thereof). no less sweet--literally and figuratively--than a macaron, yet quite a bit less fussy.
5 large egg whites, room temperature
1 teaspoonful vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoonful cream of tartar
1 cup granulated or superfine (recommended) sugar
2 teaspoonfuls powdered instant espresso or instant coffee (if you use instant coffee, adjust to taste, 1/2-1 teaspoonful more)
preheat oven to 175˚F. in a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and vanilla extract until frothy. add cream of tartar, and continue beating at medium speed until soft peaks form. Increase beater speed to high, and gradually beat in sugar. add coffee powder. Continue beating until stiff peaks form and mixture is glossy.
pipe out meringues into desired shape, or plop even teaspoonfuls onto a parchment/silicone mat lined baking sheet, leaving about an inch between meringues. bake until dry to the touch; i tend to bake them overnight, but you can bake them for 3 hours, then just leave them in the oven with the door closed (or is it held slightly ajar with a wooden spoon? i think that works in drier climates) for several more hours. transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. store in an airtight container.
oh, lardy me. tried making cornish pasties, which was a complete failure, and also left me with una caja de manteca, a big box of lard, which took ages and miles to find. no wrinkling of noses! you'll look like the pig from whence it came. also, it is better for you than margarine, and creates the kind of texture you want in your flaky, tender pastry--namely, flakiness and tenderness. much like those annoying mcdoctors in that...that show. i digress. lard love you, it is what you need to make a very good shortcrust pastry. so says the man. follow his recipe, because it's only a splash away from the one i used.
because i lack that pie thingy of which he writes, this is a very freeform apple pie so grandly renamed "crostata," because it sounds better than "freeform" (which i believe is the name of a training bra). and, to somewhat dispel the idea that all baking is all measure twice, calibrate often, here is the rather haphazard recipe.
you don't need to use apples, just whatever fruit you have on hand--i did indeed use two granny smiths and one roma peeled and sliced, but anything from berries to stone fruit will work. once you've got your dough done, let it rest in the refrigerator for about half an hour; prepare your fruit whilst waiting. take the rested pastry from the fridge, let it warm up a bit, then roll out evenly to the size of a large dinner plate. as an added sweet touch, a judicious grating of almond paste was laid over that--just enough to add that cyanide-y taste of marzipan, and just enough sweetness to balance out the tart apples spread out on top. to glaze or not glaze is your choice (i did, with some blood orange marmalade found in the fridge. more bitterness for my bitter heart. sweetness for me sweet tooth.) do i need to tell you to make sure you don't spread out the filling to edges, but instead leave about a one-inch border of crust? no. but i did. fold that border over in the most attractive way you can. brush the edges with a little beaten egg, sprinkle on a bit more sugar, pop in the oven at 200˚C or 400˚F, until the edges are golden brown, about 40 minutes. very good no matter what, but best if served warm.
this recipe is a cross between a traditional tinaktak recipe and peter dueñas's rather excellent version at sam choy's on island. this chamoru recipe usually uses ground beef, but mine uses ground turkey for lower fat content; if you seek to make it leaner, use light coconut milk if you can find it. the vegetables are normally cooked with the meat in stew fashion, but i prefer my veggies to be a little more al dente and vibrant, so i've cooked the long beans separately with a very quick steam in the microwave--just lay the veggies in a shallow dish, add a couple tablespoonfuls of water, cover the lot in plastic wrap, and zap for 2 minutes. stop the cooking with a quick ice bath, and you have a nice lightly snappy, bright bean.
1 cup of water
1-2 tablespoonfuls of achiote/annatto seeds
2-3 tbsp. of vegetable oil
1/2 head of garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
2-3 lbs ground turkey (chicken or beef can be used as well)
1 can of coconut milk
2 cups of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2-3 cups of long beans, cut into 1-1 1/2 inch pieces
salt, pepper, squeeze of lemon juice
soak achiote seeds in one cup of water for at least 30 minutes. strain the seeds, retain the water for later. heat the vegetable oil in a deep pan over medium high heat. sautée garlic and onion until the onions are translucent, but not browned. add the ground meat, continue to sautée until the meat is browned. add achiote/annatto water. lower heat, add the coconut milk, cherry tomatoes, and pre-cooked long beans (see above), simmer until heated through. season to taste with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
serve with steamed rice and finadene.
sam choy's on guam has added a lunch menu of local cuisine. the menu is called sam choy's backyard kitchen chamoru--a rather romantic allusion to the outdoor cooking spaces that many people on the island have that are colloquially (and affectionately) known as "dirty kitchens"--and features chef peter dueñas's take on some of the local favourites. although there is a version of kelaguen, which many non-locals know, there are other items on the menu that aren't as familiar, but just as tasty.
the photo above is of kelaguen uhang yan titiyas (shrimp kelaguen with corn tortillas), a sort of ceviche made with minced tiger prawns marinated in lemon juice, hot peppers, and onion, served with grilled flatbread made with masa harina and water. the prawns were tender and fresh, and the other flavours a lively counterpoint sweet meat, and tempered nicely by the subtle tortillas.
also on the menu: tinala katne, thick slices of beef brisket, salt-cured, air-dried then deep-fried. the result is something like a more tender version of beef jerky, only considerably more palatable than that. there is home-made spicy chorizo sausage, sauteed with diced eggplant, onion, and garlic, served on a bed of steamed rice. although this is somewhat oily, it has a bold spiciness that doesn't mask the strong pork flavour.
tinaktak is a dish normally made with ground beef, coconut milk, tomatoes and long beans, but in dueñas's version, he uses ground chicken and bok choy, then colours the coconut broth with achote (achiote, annatto). it doesn't add any flavour to the dish, but it is quite attractive. tinaktak is one of my favourite dishes, as i love the flavour of the vegetables cooked in the meaty, coconutty broth. the tomatoes add a little tang to the sweetish, rich dish, and the chicken adds flavour to the broth, without the greasiness and weighed-down feeling that can accompany the dish when made beef.
i had to throw in a dessert because usually that is the best part of a meal at sam choy's: deep-fried churros (doughnuts), served with sauteed bananas, vanilla ice cream, and a warm caramel sauce. the churro were perfectly crispy and light, and the caramel sauce quite light in both consistency and flavour. a fine accompaniment to the warm bananas and cool ice cream. although it's not a traditional recipe, it is island-y enough to be a great way to end an island-y meal.
i am glad that sam choy's has added more local cuisine to the menu; frankly, i was more than a little bored with the every day menu. also, hopefully non-locals will be daring enough to try something on the backyard kitchen menu and discover how good chamoru food can be.
more on the choy
1245 pale san vitores road, suite 450
so, this year's h'ween attendance was middling, but it's not like these were ever in the candy cauldron anyway: a plethora of kitkats for your perusal.
from indonesia: white kitkat, and cappuccino flavour. both quite rightly avoid the word "chocolate" on the packaging. about one-third smaller than the american sized bars, and both with an almost grainy, malted aftertaste, much like milo. what is milo, anyway? a malted grain drink? there you go. sort of plasticky, but not unpleasant. candyblog has a better review of the cappuccino one.
from the united states: kitkat minis, in milk, white, and dark chocolates. i rather like these individual two-bite bars. the chocolate coating used in american kitkats has always bothered me--it's too sweet to the point of harshness--but the dark chocolate's earthiness seems to compensate for that. the dark ones are always the first to go. the white ones taste, um, white. milky, sweet, like condensed milk. the milk chocolate ones are basically mini versions of the traditional american bar, the one i've come to dislike, but somehow in mini-form, they seem benign. maybe it's because they are in pink wrappers.
the kitkat extra crispy is one of those large single bars, and isn't so much extra crispy as super crunchy. when i think of crispy, i think of light and somewhat wispy, but biting through one of these is like inviting a marching band into your head-- CRONKBOOMSHAKALAKACRONK. errrr. the ratio of chocolate to wafer is different, with far more wafer, which actually works in favour of the bar. however, you could make yourself deaf. teresa so kindly sent me a milkshake bar, which i actually liked quite a lot--it was like eating the cookie/biscuit equivalent of a malt ball, only less sweet and more malty. so far the only american bar that i really like.
mon kitkat aussie: the chocolate used in the australian bars is better than the american bars, imo, much smoother, creamier, and less cloyingly sweet. the kitkat bites, which were like biscuitty pellets with chocolate coating were very good, just enough per bite for it to actually taste like chocolate, just enough crunch. there is a line of kitkats called temptations, and in this particular version of that, there are humps, my humps, lovely non-lady humps of filling like hazelnut praline, coconut, and caramel fudge. i think in theory it's a genius move, but in practice, it's just sort of okay. like eating a two candy bars at once, only one of the bars is way better than the other and dragging the good one down.
she who eats is she who sent these lovely japanese bars to me: strawberry, white chocolate/maple syrup, and wine, from patîssier takagi. there's a particular fake strawberry flavour i associate with japanese candies, and this strawberry bar has it. it's not unpleasant, but it tastes less like berry than it does like pink. this bar tastes pink. the wine bar is almost indistinguishable from the strawberry bar, the only difference is that it has a very subtly grapey aftertaste. however, as one of the limited edition patîssier takagi 'kats, the couverture coating is a higher grade than the typical japanese kitkat, which can easily be described as either plasticky, greasy, or if you like it (like i generally do), extra creamy. the white bar has a very pleasant lingering maple note that doesn't add too much extra sweetness to the white chocolate.
i just want to let you know, i didn't try all of these at once, they were sampled throughout the year....also, how long does it normally take you to write a post? because this one is taking ages.
where was i? ah, chestnut. was chestnutty. very sweet. green tea maccha. i defer to candyblog. bitter (dark chocolate), and white (milk). havena tried them yet, will get back to you. uji-kintoki, not green tea, but with green tea as a component, along with red bean, condensed milk, and presumably not shaved ice. well, at least i didn't taste it. verrrry subtle, more beany that tea-ey. very sweet.
and oh, yes, the pumpkin kitkat (photo at top of post). hm. how do i put this? at once completely repellent, and compelling at the same time. NOT to be mistaken for pumpkin pie flavour, the smell of pumpkin assails you the minute you rip open the wrapper. the flavour tastes like real pumpkin, not artificial, but is so strong and so unspiced, it's like eating raw pumpkin covered in chocolate. only not as pleasant. it reminds me of kabocha squash tenpura. wrapped in greasy chocolate. mmmmmmMMMM. and the lingering squashy taste only makes me crave it more. gaaaaaah.
and finally, another patîssier takagi creation, noir: tiny half-sized fingers wrapped in a quality dark chocolate and dusted with unsweetened cocoa. dirty and decadent.
in its honour, a man that cooks creation, kitkat noir:
I knew the wrapper would come off and I was mad for trying but something about that chocolate just said yes. When I came around Benny the Fink's goons were making with my jaw like it was their step-kid.
...and there she was, that beautiful dame with the gams that went up to her elbows, laughing like a drain. at me, and my kisser filled with blood, and 71% dark cacao. it was revenge for tooting the wrong ringer, as bittersweet as the dusty layer of cocoa, smeared on my rearranged map, courtesy of benny's trouble boys.
feel free to continue the flickr fiction in the comments. or not.
last year's kitkats!
ah, halloween. this year was a little slow for us, only about 1500 kids showed up compared to last year's estimated 2500; perhaps because it was a school night. despite the "low" attendance, we still had to hire several neighbourhood kids to come and direct the flow of traffic and hand out the sweeties. and what did we feed these constantly hungry teenagers? charcoal-grilled bacon-wrapped hot dogs with grilled onions, sweet peppers, chili peppers, and korean spicy pickled radish (daigo). doin' streetfood guamish-style, and making all the kids happy this year.
remember that photo above? i've gotten quite a few requests for the recipe for those cinnamon rolls. although i have a preference for a more restrained product, sometimes you just gotta go with the gooiest, carbiest roll on the block, so i chose this recipe, which purports to be the clone of a popular chain brand's product. i wouldn't know about that, as i haven't had that particular roll in quite awhile. however, the recipe is quite good in a solid, no nonsense sort of way: lightly sweetened not-too-fluffy dough, with a nicely spiced innard and lots of sweet, creamy frosting on top. the only modification i did was to omit the vital wheat gluten, used a supermarket-brand yeast, and vietnamese cinnamon. also, i kneaded it by hand, and instead of putting five rolls per pan, just four for extra spready goodness.
i also made a sticky buns version of it with lots and lots of chopped pecans, and a brown sugar honey sticky topping. i still used the dough from the cinnamon roll recipe, but added elise's cinnamon sticky buns topping (follow steps 4 and 5), only with roughly a third more pecans than specified. obvs the cream cheese frosting was omitted, but otherwise the recipe worked out quite well, and didn't seem overly sweet. well, you know. not for a sweet sugar sticky bun.
i did intend to try and make a -cough- healthier version of this roll just for the heck of it. i bought what i thought was a ten-grain flour, along with some neufchâtel cheese, which is supposed less fatty than cream cheese (farmer's cheese is supposedly lighter as well). however, i inadvertently picked up this product, which is actually a bread mix and has yeast and other stuff thrown in. so, i followerd the directions on the label, added 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and 1 egg to the mix, and came up with a lovely, springy, multigrained sweet dough. for the filling i used the cinnamon roll recipe's filling, i used 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoonfuls each of chinese, vietnamese, and ceylon cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of unsalted sweet butter. the mix of three cinnamons wasn't necessary, but it definitely added a more complex spicy taste--it was a little citrusy, a little peppery--that held up well against the grainier dough. that, along with the lighter creamy cheese frosting, made for a rather fine alternative for its more indulgent cousin.
a lighter creamy cheese frosting
4 oz. neufchâtel or farmer's cheese, softened
2 oz. unsalted sweet butter, softened
1 teaspoonful vanilla extract
1 squeeze of lemon juice, and/or 1 1/2 teaspoonfuls of lemon zest
1 cup powdered/confectioner's sugar, measured then sifted
beat the cheese and butter together until well incorporated. add the extract, juice, and zest. beat in the sugar until fluffy. slather on top of warm cinnamon rolls.
i haven't made a cupcake in awhile, and had a bit of an itch. unfortunately, i didn't have enough butter on hand, so i just went googling for a devil's food cake recipe, and went with the first one, which happens to use shortening. the cupcakes were beautifully domed, and the texture fine, but they were quite dry. although the flavour was good, it was nothing...to write a blog entry about. soooo...a little whipped cream, a double dipping of ganache, and a squiggle of vanilla buttercream made the cupcake maybe not totally blogworthy, but tasty to eat. the whipped cream added much needed moisture, and the mild cocoa taste only complemented the gooey ganache. and of course, the blatant homage to the hostess cupcake (down to the signature seven loops across the top, natch), may not be the prettiest thing on the blogs, but oh, the charm of it :)
the portable provision: scotch eggs--hard-boiled eggs wrapped in sausage meat, rolled in bread crumbs, then deep-fried. a traditional scottish breakfast item, ideal picnic item, and plastic-packed staple of petrol stations around the UK. for those of us who won't be cruising down the M1 motorway anytime soon, these are easy enough to make, they store in your fridge quite well and are very suitable for your bento or lunch box. unless you've got one like this one which pieman so thoughtfully rolled out for me....probably with a forklift.
i'm assuming that back in the day these were made with small or medium-sized eggs, which are near impossible to find in your average supermarket; if you use large-sized eggs, be careful with the amount of sausage meat you use, as you can end up with a brobdingnagian baseball of meat. also, try and find organic eggs for this, as they are tastier than your average cold-storage egg. you can use store-bought sausage meat, seasoned to your preference, or you can do what i did and make your own--i just bought ground turkey meat, seasoned it with dried sage, white pepper, salt, and the tiniest bit of maple syrup, and let it sit in the fridge overnight. although these eggs are quite delicious once fried up, oddly, they are almost irresistible at room temperature or even cold. hm. sounds like a scotsman i once dated. but that, nenes, is not for public consumption :P
6 large or 8 small/medium hard-boiled eggs, well chilled (i try to cook them to just past soft boiled stage, then stick them in the coldest part of the fridge to firm up)
1 pound good quality sausage meat, homemade or store bought
1/2 cup AP flour
1 to 2 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko-style bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying
peel eggs. divide sausage into 6 portions for large eggs, 8 for small/medium eggs. roll each egg in flour then shape a portion of the sausage by pressing it gently but firmly around each egg. dip sausage-wrapped eggs into beaten egg and roll in panko. at this point you can refrigerate them to make them easier to handle or to fry at another time (up to 24 hours ahead of time). heat oil to 350˚F . cook each egg for 4-5 minutes (4-5 min on each side if shallow frying) or until sausage is cooked and browned.
one of the 'second breakfasts' i had was from an omnipresent coffee house chain, seattle's best (i have more or less abandoned the 'bucks because they no longer carry coffee jelly--although, fabulously, wendy's offers it as an add-in to their frosties). this SB has coffee toddy--cold-brewed coffee--which imo, is the best kind of iced coffee. if made correctly, it is smooth, rich, without the usually bitterness and not as acidic (as i mostly drink stupendous amounts of coffee black, this has saved my stomach from eating itself alive). this was accompanied by a somewhat filipino-ized coconut macaroon, which was more like a cupcake made from dessicated coconut, condensed milk, and the barest minimum of flour. the cake was quite moist and achingly sweet, but very coconutty and also surprisingly light in texture. its sweet milkiness complemented the strong black coffee nicely.
as i was out and about for most of the weekend, i ended up having afternoon merienda instead of full luncheons; one of my favourite things is fresh lumpia ubod (pictured above), made with grated and sautéed fresh hearts of palm, wrapped in an eggy rice flour crêpe, and served with chopped peanuts, a generous amount of minced raw garlic, and a sweet soy-based sauce. the flavour of the lumpia itself is delicate, and is more or less a spectacular vehicle for the raw garlic and sauce, but the crêpe and palm heart filling more than substantial for a light meal. try eating one of these, then shopping at a beauty counter. the saleswoman you breathe on will never forget you.
far more filling is a chinese-inspired staple, lugaw, or rice porridge. i went to a rather old-school café, via mare, which served up this behemoth bowl of rice porridge topped with fried tofu, fried wontons, pig's ears, tripe, salted egg, adobo flakes, green onion, and served with patis (fermented fish sauce) and fresh calamansi lemon. mix everything together, and be prepared to spend the rest of your afternoon wondering what might be in the next bite.
along the way, i'd pick up a couple of smaller items, like polvoron, which are a little crumbly biscuit made from toasted flour, dried milk, sugar, and a variety of different flavourings--anything from butter, toasted rice, to coffee and cookies and cream. these are odd little things that are not unlike that cosmetic powder that turns into cream; they crumble like dust on your tongue, but are smooth and moist all the same. freakishly addictive.
little turnovers seemed to be a theme as we picked up more empanaditas at the blue kitchen later in the day. although i have passed by this food shop many times, i had never stopped until i read marketman's profile. true to their idea of using native products in western culinary traditions, there were quite a few old-fashioned baked goods with tropical fruit incorporated. we tried a mango shortbread bar and mango-filled empanaditas, both of which used a buttery short crust and lots of dried mango (for a more intense flavour). a little too sweet and rich for me, but that's why they are little :)
i am not a big fan of the whole kettle corn thing (or popcorn overall, actually), but let me tell you, chef tony's popcorns are seriously. THE. SH*T. so good it's profane--always crispy and light, not too sweet, not too salty, not covered in gloopiness nor oiliness. all the flavours seem to be based on the kettle corn sweet and salty concept, even the pesto popcorn. yes. sweet pesto. sweet jeebus, you are saying, is this one of those girl things? yeah maybe. so what. is it really a merienda item? when you eat a whole bucket of it, it is.
dang, this is a long post.
it was only when i started to listen to a lot of older ska and rocksteady records when i realized how many chinese immigrants had settled in jamaica. chinese workers began pouring in during the 19th century, and many of the esconced families have been in jamaica for generations (hey, naomi campbell's dad is chinese-jamaican. i had no idea.) a decade or so ago, a prominent chinese-jamaican family, the chan/chin fees, brought to manila their version of the empanada, the patty/pattie, a savoury turnover of flaky crust surrounding a spicy beef filling. there are several shops that sell these, but i think the best are from the original, quite aptly named de original jamaican pattie shop. they are easily portable, and actually perfect for the 'foodwalk'--although the spicy filling is quite juicy, it is thick enough not to drip out, and as you walk, the tender flaky crumbs fall to the ground.
speaking of portability, mcdonald's is encroaching onto mos burger territory and offering rice burgers--beef patties or fried chicken fillets sandwiched in between two grilled rounds of pressed and formed rice, and brushed with a soy sauce and sprinkled with black sesame seeds. do you know i'd never been in a mcdonald's in the philippines until that week? there are so many food options, that scottish restaurant (as man that cooks sneers) was never really a priority (speaking of local options, does that hamburger place, tropical hut, still exist?). however, i am a fan of the mos rice burger, so i wanted to check it out. this one doesn't quite compete, but it's decent enough. the chicken version is much better than the beef burger, and is the only product on the menu that uses whole pieces of chicken instead of processed extruded chicken, or whatever it is that they normally use. the rice is a bit mushy but holds together well--perhaps it could benefit from some extra whole grainy-ness or even brown rice. however, there is a nice little bundle of lettuce and red cabbage thrown in there for texture and colour.
wow. i am getting sort of hungry now. and, hm, it's right about merienda time here, i wonder what i can scrounge up this time....
update 24 october: hey, hobbits and bavarians know of the second breakfast!