I have relied on Mida Food for just about every seafood need: fish of any kind (bass, skate, roughy, trout, apahap, tuna, halibut, salmon), fresh or smoked, whole, headless, fillet, steak cut, fresh, belly, tail cut, head, any part and any which way; crustaceans (shelled, in a half shell, soft-shelled, whole, claws); mussels, scallops, shrimp (shrimp balls/shabu-shabu balls); kani, lobsters (whole/tails); cephalopods (octopus and squid of all sizes, cleaned whole, etc.).
The list goes on.
I just concluded a seafood class and was once again very happy. The unbeatable Mida team of Chingling Tanco, Enrique Valles and Lynette Jugueta always delivers supplies on time, wherever, even on very short notice.
I cooked a delicious black seabass with lemon truffle sauce. The black bass tastes very much like the Chilean. The difference is that the flesh is darker, with slightly firmer bite. It’s a whole lot cheaper, too, and the sea still has an abundant supply of it, according to Valles, Mida’s chief commercial officer.
The baby squids were equally delectable, an inch in length, including the head. This was how I cooked them: I washed, cleaned and removed the bone, then drained and seasoned the squids with salt and pepper, with a good squeeze of lemon juice.
I then put the squids in a Glad Zip bag where I mixed 2/3 cup cornstarch (I like it better than flour) and 1/3 cup potato starch with a pinch of salt. I shook them until the squids were evenly coated with the flour mixture.
Then, I deep-fried them in hot oil until nice and lightly golden.
Do not overcook, and do not overload your pan either.
Cook the squid in batches and wait a few seconds for the oil to once again heat up (between the removal of the cooked batch and the frying of the next).
I served the dish with homemade aioli (garlic mayonnaise), salsa (onions, tomatoes, cilantro, olive oil, parsley, salt, pepper and lemon juice) and lemon wedges.
I have worked with Mida for so long but never have I been as excited as I am now, with Mida’s new service of delivering to customers. It’s a fishy Christmas present in Styro cooler with dry ice, put together based on your budget, with recipes, a beautiful bow and your Christmas wishes on a card!
It even accepts credit card payments. Its delivery trucks are equipped with wireless credit card machines. How cool is that?
You need not order in bulk. Mida will deliver any order for a P300 fee. (Delivery fees are waived for orders P5,000 and above.)
On Mida’s Christmas promo list: halibut, salmon, seabass, US scallops, soft-shell crab, New Zealand half-shell mussels.
According to Valles: “Special mention must go to our smoked salmon, as it really is the best in town, promise!” (Mida Food, tel. 0917-8902327 or 5240006).
Nic’s Gourmet Desserts has opened its doors at 172 A. Mabini, San Juan.
I got to know of Nic’s while dining in a coffee shop. The caramel cake we brought home had a sticker that read Nic’s with contact number. I then ordered mini caramel cakes (in its outlet it is called dulce de leche) and a couple of mini apple pies.
The apple pie is classic, the type we grew up with before everything became so complicated—packed with apples and capped with nice generous helping of moist crumbly streusel. I enjoy it warmed in toaster oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I’d forgotten about Nic’s until a month ago when I was on my way to pick up my son Diego. I saw the cake box-like structure that serves as its store in San Juan, and I just had to drop by.
I was hungry and had a few minutes to spare before dismissal time. I had a slice of meat lasagna and a slice of dulce de leche. I like eating sweet and savory at the same time—weird!
The lasagna was delicious. It was meaty, and the wavy lasagna noodle used perfectly held the chunky pieces of meat and thus gave the dish a substantial bite. A satisfying mouthful, it was the perfect comfort food at its finest.
The quantity of béchamel was also just right, enough to keep it moist and tasty yet not cloying. And it is generously slathered with cheese.
The lasagna is always available and comes in three sizes. Perfect for a holiday potluck or even if you’re just too lazy to cook for the family.
The store even carries vegetable lasagna. I’ve vowed to try it sometime, though the meat lasagna always calls louder than the vegetable one.
I also enjoy eating the wheat crisps with just about anything—dips, spreads, patés and the tasty parmesan ensaimada (bread-y, not the soft, airy kind). These are all welcome additions to our list of Christmas gift ideas. (Nic’s, tel. 5711818, 7160321, 7155831).
For information on my new cooking class schedules, call 0917-5543700/ 0908-2372346/ 4008496/ 9289296.
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