Filipinos always find amusing ways to divert attention from any tough situation. While the rest of the world is focused on controlling the spread of the coronavirus, Pinoys have found a way to make a living out of the situation.
Delicious dishes and ingredients have come out: cakes, ube pan de sal, seafood, honey, chicharon, farm eggs, cookies, breakfast food, maki platters, delicious steaks and many more.
Last week, my kid wanted to surprise the family by cooking imported steaks. I was very excited. We had crabs and steaks. The crabs, though not big, were full of meat and delicious.
The steaks were a different story. When I took my first bite, I thought my jaw would break, or my teeth would fall off. Not wanting to embarrass my daughter who had just slaved in the kitchen, I tried to hide my disappointment.
I try not to eat meat. But when I do, I want it to be good, if not the best. This was certainly a waste of calories and space. Everyone experienced the toughness, and we all agreed it was a terrible buy. We laughed and learned from the experience.
It was a reminder that not everything sold out there is good. I have to rely on suggestions of friends, or foodies whose taste I trust.
Recently, I tried out a steak marketed as Angus. It weighed about 250 grams, a perfect size if you’re not hungry. It was vacuum-packed, so I thawed the package in water, removed it from packaging, patted it dry and pan-fried it. To me, a good steak is simply pan-fried or chargrilled and seasoned with salt and pepper.
I cut out the fat, sliced it into pieces and fry-toasted it until it turned dark and looked like chicharon, and set it aside for topping. The steak I cooked to medium rare, seasoned with salt and pepper.
The beef was tender, had a good amount of marbling and was full flavored. I later learned it was an Angus striploin steak. Delicious! (tel. 0917-8455502)Striploin steaks, or New York-cut steaks are connected to the rib eye and are also very good if the meat is good quality. It is like a porterhouse steak without the tenderloin. It is called strip steak because it is stripped of the tenderloin.
I like mine medium with just salt and pepper, or for a roast prime rib, simple au jus. This simple seasoning brings out the flavor and quality of the
meat. With mashed potatoes on the side, it’s a perfect meal!
Honey, ‘tinapa,’ bagoong
I also found a great source of pure honey (tel. 0917-8352871). This brand will pass the so-called honey test. In a glass of chilled water, pour a tablespoon of the honey and the lump will fall straight to the bottom. That’s how to tell its purity.
There was an Oreo Cake (tel. 0917-1709466) which was new, unique and very good.
There was a delicious gourmet tinapa (tel. 0918-9188308) which a friend, Jonny Filart, gave me. For one week, I played badminton every day while doing my intermittent fasting. Driving home, I looked forward to my lunch of Johnny’s gourmet tuyo with mushroom slices and olive oil, two scrambled eggs and quinoa. You may also use it over pasta, and voila! Then there was also an outstanding bagoong from Malabon. There are thousands of bagoong variants out there, but this one definitely stands out. Super sarap especially with crisp green mango slices. (Nita’s Gourmet Bagoong, tel. 0906-2378038)
With the easing of the lockdown, trends are emerging and many homes are trying to start small businesses to cope. New talents are surfacing, and slowly, I hope business will be back to normal. In the meantime, let’s look around for new discoveries and support the many home businesses.