college days comfort food

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back in my college days, whenever i was home and got hungry in the middle of the night, i would look for leftovers in the fridge and mix everything i find all up in fried rice.  i would also fry a couple of eggs sunny-side-up and open a can of hunt’s pork and beans.  i would arrange it all in a plate for a sumptuous midnight snack.  my mother gets awestruck whenever she sees me doing this.

it might sound unusual but hunt’s pork and beans and fried eggs are comfort food to me.

i remember how my mother would prepare my sunny-side-up eggs with rice.  she’d cut up the eggs in the rice (like a bibimbap, but way, way before it became popular here) then mix it all up with sugar.  yes, sugar.  it becomes a sweet, salty, and creamy meal i enjoyed.  i grew up loving it until i forgot everything about it when i became a teenager.  then fairly recently, about 5 years ago, it all came rushing back.  i tried it again (after more than 40 years) with 3 eggs and a cup of rice, plus 2 tablespoons sugar.  wow!  that was good!  been doing it since.

i miss the old version of hunt’s pork and beans.  the joke going around why it’s called PORK (singular) and beans is because there is literally only one piece of pork fat you’ll find swimming somewhere above the mass of beans and sauce after you pour it on a bowl.  but taking in that melt-in-your-mouth piece of fat is the most satisfying thing about eating hunt’s pork and beans.  the new version is disgusting.  the company replaced the single piece of pork fat with multiple pieces of what-they-made-to-appear-as-meat-but-in-fact-looks-like-mouse-droppings-or-pigeon-pellets in an effort to have ‘more meat’ in the can.  epic fail!  so, hunt’s pork and beans has become less enjoyable as a result, but still nonetheless, my “go to” comfort food.

i cook for my family.  recently i went crazy over steak, always dreaming about cooking steak.  i used to be crazy over pork belly, crispy pata, and pata tim.  and pizza!  but once in a blue moon, i feel too lazy to cook.  today is one such day.

time for some college days comfort food.

 

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father’s day porterhouse

porterhouse 2

sira na naman ang diet.  pero di bale, babawi na lang.  eh pano ba naman natuto akong magluto ng steak.

dati-rati di ako marunong… eh natuto.  di rin naman kasi ako mahilig kumain ng baka.

di ako mahilig kumain ng laman ng baka.  mahilig ako sa litid at taba, kaya ang pinakamadalas na binibili kong parte ng baka, tuhod o bulalo (na walang laman), dahil bukod sa marami itong litid (may utak pa), ito rin ay mas murang tabas ng baka.

bistek (beef steak) na sirloin na ang pinaka-steak na naluto ko, pero kahit dito pumapalya pa rin sa pagpapanatiling malambot ng karne sa paraan ng pagluto.

eh, nasanay ako sa matigas at makunat na laman ng baka nung mga bata pa kami ng mga kapatid ko.  masarap ang lasa ng pritong baka.  pero dahil di naman inaral ni ‘inday’ (tawag namin sa katulong namin na galing mindanao) pano lutuin ang baka na di titigas, eh ayun… bakang lumalaban sa kagat na parang gulong!

pero itong bagong tuklas kong porterhouse, kakaiba at (sa ngayon) bukod-tangi.  pangalawang beses ko na magluto ng porterhouse steak — tagumpay pareho!  yung una, one week ago.  yung ikalawa ginawa ko nitong nakaraang father’s day, june 18.

porterhouse

unang subok ng porterhouse steak

gustong-gusto ng mga anak ko at mga kaibigan nila… at lalo na ni jane.  eh si jane pa naman ayaw ng makunat na karne.  subalit hindi sya nabigo sa porterhouse steak, dahil sa lambot at linamnam ng karne.  ako man, di bigo, alalaong baga’y tuwang-tuwa at di makatulog sa bagong-aning tagumpay.

ginawan ko pa ng gravy kaya lalong natuwa ang mga nagsikain.  mas marami kasi silang nakaing kanin!  nung unang subok ko ng porterhouse steak, di ako nakagawa ng gravy.  di sila masyadong nakakain ng kanin, mashed potato lang daw.  subalit nitong nakaraan, dahil may gravy, eh… unli rice!  buti na lang nasa bahay kami, dahil may mambabatas na walang-utak na ipinagbawal ang unli rice sa mga kainan.

eh, bukod dito sa porterhouse, may isang damakmak na lamang-dagat (seafoods) pa.  nagdala si dea ng mga sipit ng alimango, hipon, at tahong.  kaya’t puno ang plato!

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hipon, mashed potato, sliced porterhouse, coleslaw, at sipit ng alimango

sa susunod na pagkakataon, itataas ko ang antas ng pagluluto ng steak.  susubukan ko naman ang tomahawk!

my science project: stove-top porterhouse steak

this is the first time for me to cook a steak.  well, not really the first time if i count ‘bistek’ (filipino beef steak) as steak.  but a steak that is a porterhouse — it is my first time.

porterhouse

i did some research… ended up with the porterhouse.

there were only three cuts of steak available at our local meat shop, Fresh Options: eye round, t-bone, and porterhouse.  i’ve read that the eye round was the most lean and less tasty of the three.  although it was cheaper in comparison to the two, ‘most lean and less tasty’ won’t cut it (pun not intended).  porterhouse, according to what i’ve read was the better choice against t-bone, because of more tenderloin.

i’ve tried (eaten, not cooked) a tomahawk ribeye before.  my first time to eat real steak.  (never been a fan of steak… until now!)  but my science project is a far cry from it.

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i followed the recommendation of the recipe not to set my flame to high but only to medium-high, since i only had a 3/4-inch slab.  not thick enough for a high flame (according to experts) because the steak might dry up inside.  but setting my flame on medium-high for the recommended 2 minutes did not brown the steak well enough to a good crust.  noted: next time i will ask for a 2-inch thick cut.

but anyway, the meat was tender to the bite!  this was a major concern because i have never bought steak before, never yet at Fresh Options, and jane (my wife) doesn’t enjoy tough meat.  i deliberately asked the sales dude if their beef was tender.  he assured me that it was tender because (he said) they sell australian beef.  ratchet up Fresh Options!

i was focused.  i took great care to follow instructions (except for inserting a meat thermometer to check the internal temp of the meat, since i had no meat thermometer; for this, it was a matter of intuition.)  salt the meat an hour before cooking.  pat the meat dry before throwing it into the pan.  do not touch the meat for 2 minutes to develop a good crust.  (start timer.)  add the butter and garlic after the second side has cooked and you’ve turned over the steak.  baste the top of the steak with the butter-garlic oil.  turn the steak over every minute.  (check timer.)  then let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes after cooking, before slicing and serving.  all that to the letter.

“don’t talk to me.”  i was down the rabbit hole.

the verdict: tender and succulent porterhouse steak that is perfect to the bite!

THE RECIPE: (for interested parties.)
for 2 slices, 3/4-inch thick porterhouse steak cut (500 gms)
procedure per slice:
1) heat a thick-bottomed flat frying pan (until water droplets bounce on it)
2) for 3/4 inch cut, use medium-high flame
3) pour olive oil to cover pan bottom and heat for 1 minute
4) place the porterhouse (salted and patted dry) flat on the hot oil and leave for 2 minutes
5) turn porterhouse over and repeat procedure 4) for the other side
6) turn porterhouse over and reduce heat to low
7) add 2 tbsp butter and 2 cloves crushed garlic
8) cook for 1 minute, basting top side of porterhouse with the butter-garlic oil
9) turn porterhouse over and repeat procedure 8) for the other side
10) repeat procedure 8) and 9) one more time
11) remove porterhouse from pan and place on chopping board
12) leave for 5-10 minutes to simmer in its own heat
13) slice and serve
14) top with the butter-garlic oil from the pan

😋😋😋