These are my top three discoveries for the week, food feasts delivered to your doorstep. Is there a better, more convenient way to celebrate the holidays?
After the incessant prodding of her customers to create something new, Ana Ong of Chef Yu had to think of a way to please them.
For a minimum of 30 persons, Ana put together a boodle fight—banana leaf-lined platters with a hefty assortment of fried, steamed and grilled food.
On it: rice tossed in salmon tinapa flakes; pancit bihon capped with lechon kawali; grilled pork chops, liempo and pork barbecue; chicharon bulaklak; whole chicken barbecue marinated in sukang Iloko; steamed or fried seafood— crabs, prawns, clams, mussels and squid; pako or lato salad; assorted dipping sauces; and soda.
The menu may seem simple but it’s the quality of the meat and the seafood selection, and the careful manner of preparation that make it exciting.
For those with balikbayan guests, this should be a welcome home treat.
Must-try healthy chips
When my old friend Almay Gaw told me she had healthy chips I could try, I wasn’t really excited. Being a friend, however, how I could I say no?
Shortly after receiving the Oh So Healthy Fruit Crisps she sent, I opened the first variant: Mango, Sweet Potato and Banana.
To my surprise, it tasted like crisp dried mango, vibrantly fruity with layers of flavors. Before I knew it, I had consumed the whole bag of chips.
I tried the other two variants as well—purple yam, Banana and Coconut; and Guava, purple yam and Banana. I couldn’t have enough of them.
Each bite was like digging into a bowlful of fresh fruits. I got into a happy mood!
I have always loved freshly made baby food—homemade apple sauce, pear purée and the like. Each bite brought back memories—the freshest fruit, the kind you’d pick lovingly for your baby, in crunchy form.
Each pack is made of 100-percent fruit and contains less than 100 calories per serving. The chips are gluten-free, made without oil or frying, and contains no cholesterol or preservatives. Made in the Philippines, it’s the perfect pasalubong.
Oh So Healthy Fruit Crisps is primarily for export but available at the ECHOstore, Urban Pantry and Paleovore in Salcedo Village, Makati. The chips will also be at Rustan’s soon.
Sweet and savory shortbread
I enjoy sweet and savory flavors in one bite, which was why I couldn’t have enough of Hiraya Bakery’s Rosemary Caramel Shortbread. It is sweet, savory, firm, crumbly, chewy and aromatic.
This biscuit’s appeal is that it’s a puzzle. Its taste has many dimensions. It does not come on strong, but you develop a liking for it.
Kudos to pastry chefs Colette dela Cruz and Likha Babay of Hiraya Bakery. Based in San Pablo, Laguna, the bakery has access to nature’s bounty. Its fresh produce comes from the community and surrounding towns. Colette says, “This is what inspires us.”
Seasonal, fresh, casual, flavor-focused is how she describes their approach to baking.
There is more to it. To these two chefs, baking has become their means of self-expression.
Their intriguing product line—Rosemary Caramel Shortbread, Rambutan Tart, Black Pepper Cake with Bay Custard Filling and Coffee Cardamom Eclairs, to name a few—is the result of who they have become, inspired by their environment and by the people who have trained them.