Saturday, September 22, 2012

Manila Vanilla

Also known as Mantecado (ice cream). 

Since I couldn't find a recipe for it, I made my own.  And it tastes exactly like the elusive mantecado ice cream of Arce Dairy.

Mantecado Ice Cream recipe:

500 ml (2 cups) carabao's milk
1/2 cup sugar
zest of one (1) dayap (Phil. lime)
1 1/2 tsp. rum or brandy
4 egg yolks

Warm the milk, sugar, and dayap zest in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves.  Cover, remove from heat, and let the zest steep at room temperature for 45 minutes.  Remove the zest.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.  Pour this mixture through a strainer, into a clean bowl.  Add the 1 1/2 tsp. rum (or brandy).  Chill this mixture in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Churn the mixture in the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bizarre Food

I think I have come across one of the most bizarre-tasting foods I have ever eaten:  olive jam.

I don't even know where to begin or how to describe it.  I'll start with the taste of green olives.  Okay.  Sour, bitter, briny, fermented-y.  I am already familiar with that.  But then there's sugar.  Not copious amounts, but not enough either.  It's jam, it's supposed to be sweet but it seems to be struggling with the fermented taste of green olives.  Somehow it doesn't go well in my mouth.

Sort of.

But it isn't that bad - not bad to the point of being inedible like, um, durian.  It's just so strange.  I can't get used to the taste.  I can't help myself from staring into space, figuring out the taste.  I am stumped.

And then there's the packaging.  The jar looks like mom's night cream.  It even sounds like mom's night cream.



Saturday, September 15, 2012

Color of the day: Purple

For the Philippine leg of her journey throughout Asia, I took world traveler Val Bromann to downtown Manila.  We were supposed to do this within the first few days after she got here (before heading to the islands) but due to the incessant downpour of rain back in August, it wasn't until her last week in the country did we finally manage to go downtown.


We had lunch in New Toho Food Center and as expected, the food was great (and cheap), overall.  The house specialty, pancit canton, was one of the best I've had.  The noodles were freshly made; a mildly heavy, chewy texture that can't be ignored.  Equally good was the crispy pork.  It could definitely rival the crispy porks I had in Macau and Hong Kong.  The pork asado was dry and nothing special (skip it).  The Chop Suey was practically a platter of sauce with vegetables (order something else).  It was oozing with sauce obviously thickened with cornstarch.

New Toho Food Center
422 T. Pinpin St.
Binondo, Manila
Tel.:  241-4208 / 242-0294

After our meal we walked around aimlessly darting in and out of churches, snapping photos here and there.

They seem to like purple in Chinatown.  Couldn't get enough of it, even.  Purple walls.  Purple buns.

Purple fire trucks.

Read all about Val's world travel adventures (with awesome photos) on her site here.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Edible Minions

I've been putting it off for the longest time but this weekend I managed to get myself cracking to make corn dogs.

Mini corn dogs.  I love the sweet-corn taste and grainy texture of the batter.  It makes the perfect afternoon snack.

Don't they just look like the cute minions in Despicable Me?

Corn Dogs (recipe adapted from the Hillbilly Housewife):

1 cup milk
2 eggs
2-3 Tbsps. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsps. baking powder
1 1/3 cups cornmeal
2/3 cup flour
flour for dusting
oil for deep frying
1 pack mini hotdogs
barbeque sticks, or toothpicks

In a large bowl combine the milk, eggs, oil, sugar and salt.  Mix well.  Sprinkle in the baking powder, corn meal and flour.  Stir it all up to make a slightly thick batter.

Pat the hotdogs dry using paper towels.  Dust them with flour, coating them completely.  The cornmeal batter won’t stick to the hotdogs unless they are coated in flour.  Skewer the flour-coated hotdogs onto the sticks.  Set aside.

While all of this is going on, preheat the oil.  When the oil is hot and ready,  swirl the hotdogs in the bowl of batter until they are coated, and then drop them into the hot oil.

Deep fry the hotdogs only a few at a time, around 4 - 5 per batch.

Use tongs to remove the cooked corn dogs from the oil. Allow them to drain on paper towels.