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

😋😋😋

death-salt & death-pepper

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death, or dying, is how a friend (a university professor) described the experience of wasabi in his mouth.  the aftermath… life from the dead!  a resurrection… of sorts.

what i hear often describing the experience of wasabi in the mouth is that it is “hot” — like chili-pepper-hot.  we have a word for it in tagalog — maanghang.

i don’t describe it as maanghang.  instead, i describe the experience of wasabi in the mouth as an allergic reaction — a strong involuntary repulsion to a potent chemical.

when the wasabi paste touches my upper palate, it sends electrical signals into the nasal cavities, singes up and around my skull, causing my entire head to shiver and quiver for a few seconds.  it takes my breath away — literally!  the aftermath is a teary-eyed sigh of relief from the terrible onslaught.

but, the entire experience is altogether a pleasurable one, albeit, the initial onslaught feels terribly powerful.  this is the reason, i think, my friend (the professor) describes his experience as a death, or as dying… but to live again afterwards.  this is also the reason why i love to repeat the experience over and over again, a few times.

now, the wasabi i am talking about, is not the real deal wasabi that the japanese gourmets use — according to some expert.  it is just an imitation.  so what!  it’s the death-experience that makes even the ‘alternative’ wasabi worth dipping your favourite sushi or sashimi on.

now, this death-salt & death-pepper (photo above) is wasabi-salt & wasabi-pepper — pulverized salt with pulverized wasabi and pulverized pepper with pulverized wasabi, in salt & pepper shakers.  it was given by a friend who just arrived from japan.  i may not be able to read the label, but i know the taste of salt and pepper, even wasabi laced salt & pepper.

i know a little japanese… he owns a ramen noodle house.

walang utak!

kumain kami ni jane, sa buddy’s, sa kanlurang gilid ng shopwise cubao.  mura pala dun, sa halagang P300+ busog na kaming dalawa.  sa loob, mapalamuti ang paligid, pakiramdam mong para kang nasa kapistahan (fiesta.)

pre-valentine’s lunch ito kasi feb.12.  di na kami lumabas para kumain nung balentime’s.  binigyan ko na lang si jane ng bulaklak — ecuadorian roses na lavander… naks!

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first time ko itong kakain sa buddy’s, kaya tinanong ko si waiter-boy kung ano specialty nila.

“pancit lukban, sir,” sagot nya, “longganisang lukban.”

“o sige, yun ang oorderin ko.”

“tikman natin,” sabi ko kay jane.

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nasa hapag: pancit lukban at longganisang lukban (longsilog)

first time ko sa buddy’s pero di ko naman first time makakakain ng longganisang lukban o pancit lukban (alam kong suka ang nilalagay sa pancit at hindi toyo o patis.)  marami ngang sahog yung pancit, may toppings pa na lechong kawali.

ang hatol: yung longganisa (longsilog sya) – masarap na rin, masarap almusal na tanghalian.  yung pancit, pwede na, pero di ko babalik-balikan (eh mahilig ako sa pancit.)

kumain muli kami ni jane sa buddy’s after 2 weeks… kanina.  nasa araneta center kasi kami at naisipan naman naming subukan ang bulalo nila.

nag order din ako ng ‘buddy’s burger’ at macaroni salad — para rin masubukan.  di man nila ito specialty, dapat masarap pa rin para babalik-balikan.

ang hatol: yung buddy’s burger — anlamig nung tinapay… anubayan!  yung macaroni salad, ayoko (masarap akong mag macaroni salad eh!)  yung bulalo?

“kuya, bakit ganito itong bulalo nyo?” tanong ko sa waiter.

“ano po yun?”

“ba’t ganito ito — walang utak,” sabi ko, “eh, yun ang binabayaran dun!”

nagluluto ako ng bulalo.  ang utak, nirereserba ko para sa may gusto — espesyal kasi yun.  eh, itong bulalo ni buddy’s, nagmistulang nilagang baka kasi… walang utak!

baked buttered chicken

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this kept me up till 2 am.  sleeplessness sometimes keeps me up till 2 am.  my editing job used to keep me up till 2 am.  but tonight… this.

this is baked buttered chicken.  it was an ambush order from jane, my wife, for accounting division lunch tomorrow at the office.  this is not the first time she brought this viand for lunch at the office… probably the 6th over the years she’s been with Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) accounting division.

i have been baking this buttered chicken for decades, it is now a family tradition.  i learned it from my dad — he also loved to cook, when he’s not flying; (no, he’s not a superhero with a costume and a cape — he was an airline pilot.)  i have simply immortalized his recipe by adding the specs to it.  if any of my three daughters memorize this recipe… the tradition lives!

all three can cook.  the youngest, maegan (19,) when she saw me preparing the chicken said she’ll bake the same for the party she’d be going to tomorrow (that’s today.)  i think both her elder sisters, dorothy (28,) and joanna (24,) have baked this at least once on different occasions they attended.

they’ve been able to duplicate, with a good deal of success, some of my specialties, like, crispy pata, crispy knuckles, and roast pork belly.

now, here’s hoping they memorize this recipe!

the recipe is simple and straightforward — it’s for dummies!

here it is: baked buttered chicken

1 whole chicken (place breast side up in a baking pan — pyrex or aluminum.)

‘wash’ chicken in the baking pan w/3 Tbsp. soy sauce, and leave washings in the pan.

add 1/3 c. butter (put 1\3 of the 1/3 c. butter inside chicken. the rest, put in the pan.)

bake 45-60 min. in moderate oven (350°F.)

baste every 15 min. so skin won’t dry up.

serve with sauce on the side.

best eaten with white rice.  om-non-nom!!!!

pata tim

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pata tim or (as i call it) pork leg in dark fragrant sauce is a favourite in our household.  i cook it on birthdays and on other special occasions like when one of our family friends from far, far away pays us a visit.

on this occasion it was my eldest daughter, dea, who now lives far, far away — nah!  just in metro manila — who came and visited.  i use this (pata tim) and sometimes, crispy pata and roast pork belly, to tempt her boyfriend, marco, to drive her all to the way to our home to visit.

today, dec.20, as i edit this article, i learned that in the household of a fil-chi lady friend, pata tim is cooked differently.  my friend, karen tee, told me that in their family, pata tim is cooked without the vegetables (in the recipe below) and the wine.  theirs have hard-boiled eggs instead.

hmm… very interesting… hard-boiled eggs.

i used to cook pata tim also without the vegetables.  the cooking wine also just became a part of my own recipe in later years — discovering that the cooking (rice) wine kind-a blunts the saltiness of the soy sauce, and adds a tangy sweetness to the sauce.

i saw the presentation of pata tim at the mandarin room of the manila hotel where my wife and i once got invited for lunch, and it had carrots and bokchoy.  then, when a couple of friends and i recently ate pata tim at luk foo, along shaw blvd (across lee gardens condominium) it had shitake mushrooms.  this is why i added these vegetables to my recipe — for added flavour and art.

but hard-boiled eggs… never yet.  so i told karen, next time i cook pata tim, i would surprise my family — i would add hard-boiled eggs to the recipe.

here’s what i use:

1 front leg of pork (including knuckles)
1/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup sugar (washed/segunda)
2 Tbsp cooking wine
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
1-2 whole star anise (complete pods)
1 can (284 g) shitake mushrooms
1 medium size carrots (sliced diagonally)
2 bunches bokchoy leaves
1 liter water (for boiling)

boil everything together in water in a wok or a deep casserole, except shitake mushrooms, carrots, and bokchoy leaves — then simmer for 1 hour, in low heat.
sauce should reduce to about 1/2 original quantity.
add shitake, carrots, and bokchoy, and simmer for 5 minutes.

serve and enjoy.

bean-boozled!

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i was bean-boozled!

my youngest daughter, meg, asked me and my wife to play ‘bean-boozled.’  i had no idea what it was; but she said it was exciting.  she asked me if i had tasted ‘booger’ before… i thought, of course i have!

she opened a pack of jelly beans of various colors and told us that each color had two opposite flavours, one delicious and one horrible.  it was the luck of the draw to get one or the other.  and so she piled up the beans by coloreight piles in all.

the first pile she made us pick from was the pile with the ‘booger’ or the ‘juicy pear’ flavours.  it was either one of the two — i got ‘booger!’

‘does it taste like booger?’ meg asked.

‘nah, real booger tastes more salty than this!’ i replied.

next was either ‘baby wipes’ or ‘coconut’i got ‘baby wipes!’

then, ‘lawn clippings’ or ‘lime.’  what tasted like newly cut grass couldn’t be lime, i thought.

the only horrible flavour that i picked, that wasn’t as bad as the others was the ‘toothpaste’ (vs ‘berry blue.’)  everybody agreed, we all have enjoyed swallowing mint-flavoured toothpaste before.

out of the eight horrible flavours i could possibly have chosen, i was lucky enough to miss one, the ‘stinky socks.’  for that round i got the ‘tutti-frutti.’

for the whole challenge, i got 7 horrible flavours out of 8.  and the flavours tasted so much like the names they came with.  i also got ‘rotten egg’ instead of ‘buttered popcorn.’

but the most disgusting and execrable flavour i ever tasted was the ‘vomit!’  this almost made me literally vomit!  it almost turned my stomach upside-down.  my head almost started spinning.  this was the second to the last draw.

there was still one last one, hopefully i might get a delicious one to wash out that ‘vomit.’  it was a choice between ‘canned dog food’ and ‘chocolate pudding.’ 

wow, i thought, chocolate pudding!

i got ‘canned dog food.’