Saturday, October 25, 2014

Best Food Forward 2014, A Photo Diary

Every year, there are a number of fairs I always look forward to attending.  Most of it are about food, health and where my kids could have a wonderful time with me.  This year is not an exception, so when I knew about the Best Food Forward happening again, I made sure that we could come and take pleasure in what our local food purveyors has in store for us.  

I love going to this event, here is where I find new innovative products that we can always count on for parties, gift-giving ideas and, you know, just to stoke up on some toothsome epicurean delight.

Though I'm used to attending at The Fort Tent, this time they held it at the Rockwell tent.  Compared to last years event, and the first year they had it, it was a bit of tighter in space.  Also, fewer concessionaires were there.  But the activities and food-brimming sampling were enough to satiate every foodies' 

Hawaiin Tuna Sandwich

  What makes the tuna spread special? The usual dry tuna sandwich spread turned Hawaiian!
I bet you've guessed that it has pineapple bits.

To make:

Mix ingredients in a bowl:

1 can of tuna in vegetable oil, medium
1/4 cup of grated cheddar cheese
1/8 cup of diced celery, about 3  9- inch celery strips, the green part only
1/2 cup of crushed pineapple, here, since what I have in my cupboard is a can of pineapple tidbits, I diced it really small
1/2 to 3/4 cup of mayo (Miracle whip is the best to use)
pinches of salt, pepper and curry powder (optional)

Once everything is mixed up, you can use a portion to spread on your breads.
I make jars of this in advance so anytime we would have guests or just want to have a different snack, I just get some out the refrigerator.  I sometimes add chopped nuts, raisins or Parmesan cheese.  You can go wild and add chopped jalapeno or green bell pepper.

More Variations: You can replace tuna with chicken, ham or bacon.  or if you don't have these, cheese will do...Yum Yum!

Akira, The Art of Sushi and Teppanyaki

Eating Japanese got a new modern contemporary look.  It was my first time to try Akira after several branches have already revved up.   Akira, The Art of Sushi & Teppanyaki has four branches metro-wide, one in 2nd Floor Robinsons Magnolia, Burgos Circle, Alphaland Makati Place and the one I visited, East Wing Shangri La Mall. 

Each of the four branches have different themed interior designs.  Shangri La's branch has that minimal yet savoy vibe to it.

Check out the chairs, can you figure out a restaurant who has the same look of the chair?  If you say John and Yoko, then you got it.  Akira apparently belongs to a group of restaurants owned by Marvin Agustin and Ricky Laudico, which includes, Banzai, Sumo Sam, Teddy's Big Burgers and more.  It was even the choice of Senator Chiz Escudera and fiancee Heart Evangelista, for they were there to dine, the time I came to try Akira.

We had this adorb Akira Roll while waiting for the other diners to come.

Though they have a comprehensive Japanese menu to boot, what impressed me was the two teppanyaki tables affixed adjacent with each other where the renowned "Teppanyaki show" was being performed.  

After gorging some pieces of the Kani Sashimi, the Chef clinked his cooking utensils, signaling that a cooking show on an extremely large grill is bound to entertain us all.  Happily seated on the left side of the teppan table, I clapped my hands in silent gesture awaiting for what he is about to do.

Check out my video of his performance and you be the judge.

The performance was just as astonishing, utensils were  flipped in the air, and the balancing act of having the eggs brought in the air a few times and breaking it with the utensil after being caught, oh how about the juggling act of salt an pepper shakers?

I was really entertained, for a first-timer like me, you will really commend the chef for the avant-garde kitchen skill he had shown us, well, it's not everyday you see a chef in front of you and fire ablaze your table, actually it was a teppan grill he lit on fire, but we were all in front.  This is done to sterilize the grill and catches our everyone's attention that the chef is about to start the show, err, cook your teppanyaki.

Not only was he engaging and a funny person, he also knows his ways among the girls.  After stirring the rice and veggies, he made the shape of the heart from it.

We had the Teppanyaki Group Specials which serves up to 5 persons.  The set has Akira Fried Ice, Yasai Itame, shrimps, chicken slices and Japanese Wagyu beef.

As the wagyu beef sizzled, our mouths watered as we waited for everything to be served.  I really needed to come back of course with my kids, so I can have more, for I only got a few pieces, since everyone on our table anticipated the beef.  Every bite was a delight, must I say, it was so tender, juicy and tasty, my jaw was so happy, that I don't need to chew further.

Though I needed to say that the dishes cooked were well-seasoned and just right for my palate.

Here is a plate of chicken slices after being cooked.

The marketing people of Akira was so gracious enough to give us desserts.  Tempura Ice cream ended our fun and utterly entertaining dinner.   Tempura banana complimented so well with the three ice cream flavors.

Shangri-la Plaza Mall

5/F Shangri-la Plaza Mall, Shaw Blvd cor EDSA
Wack Wack, Mandaluyong
(0932) 861-6125

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lemon Chicken Kale on Hongkong Style Canton Noodles

It's been probably forever, since I last posted a recipe here.  So I was so happy to oblige when one of my readers asked for me to post one.  I actually cooked this the day after attending the launch of the second season of  Mmmmary's Kitchen brought by Carnation milk.  It was so timing that I was so spurred on coming back to my kitchen to whip up something for the family, after a three-day trip to Bohol.

To give you my short story on the event, actually it would rather be really short, since I came a little before everyone was done with the event's activities, except for the unending degustation prepared by Commune Cafe.

So to make up for my not being able to participate, when I got home, I pushed myself to make something out of the recipe cards, and milk cans I went home with from Carnation.

So here was what I came up with.  A rehashed version of one of the recipes prepared during the event - Lemon Chicken Spinach Fettuccine.  

I found their dish too sour, even my kids didn't like the too lemony taste with the creamy, milky sauce so I reduced the amount of lemon juice and zest used, giving it just a tinge of lemon tang but has that enough sour kick to it.  I also had to admit that I only have one piece of lemon left on my fridge so that's got to do.

Also, I didn't have a pack of fettuccine on my cupboard so I used Excellent's Hongkong Style Canton Noodles.  Okay, another reason why I used this is that, I'm afraid to make pancit canton from scratch with and we have a lot sitting here from their recent event.

But you'll be surprised how this kind of noodles worked pretty well with pasta sauces.  You can read about our account on that here: Oodles about Noodles, An EXCELLENT Cooking Demo

I'm sure you'll be saying, "Canton noodles as a pasta replacement is absurd!"

So, you can use any pasta you have in your homes, however, if you need to buy different kinds of pasta noodles, we are selling them, click HERE if you want to see our pasta products.

Moving on to my recipe, here is it...Have fun!

Lemon Chicken Kale on Noodles


500g noodles, cooked as directed
250g chicken thigh fillet cut into small cubes
3 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon more
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup Carnation Evap
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
juice and zest of 1 lemon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
a handful, or about 3 to 4 leaves of fresh kale,  finely chooped
grated parmesan or any cheese

To do:

1. In a skillet, heat butter and saute garlic and spinach over moderately low heat.  Cook the chicken pieces in it.  Pour in the chicken broth or water.
2. Once the chicken is cooked, pour in Carnation Evap, zest and lemon juice and salt, then the nutmeg.
3.  Simmer until thick and smooth.
4.  Add in some grated parmesan, mix and turn off the heat.
5.  Lastly, add the kale leaves and mix slowly.
6.  Toss the noodles and arrange on a plate, put more kale and parmesan on top, if desired.

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