Mother-and-son team Maureen and Mio Ferrer of MM Bites are no strangers to good food. Maureen started baking at a young age and her only child grew up watching his mom cook.
Maureen makes some of the tastiest home-cooked meals. Her baked spaghetti is one of the best, as is her lasagna. Each bite is a taste of home.
Inspired by the sprouting of home-cooked meals being offered on Instagram, Mio thought his mother’s treats should also be offered for others to enjoy.
Maureen encouraged the incoming college senior to pursue the idea. It is her way of guiding him to run a small business, from digital marketing and customer service, to production and purchasing.
“Since he’s a management major, he would be able to put what he’s been learning so far to good use,” she said. “The profit serves as his allowance.”
It was a priority, of course, for Mio to learn how to cook and bake their products, though I am under the impression that he is able to get away with having his mom do it for him, when a deluge of orders comes in.
He has perfected the Smoked Bacon with Mixed Mushrooms Sauce. Their rendition has generous chunks of slab bacon and thick slices of large fresh white button and fresh shiitake mushrooms, simmered in good cream.
There really isn’t a secret to this, except that their sauce is made with premium ingredients and, as such, is restaurant-worthy in quality. I keep a tub of this sauce on hand, for when I’m busy and unable to cook. My son Diego loves it!
Some ways I’ve served it:
1. For a quick snack, brush French bread with olive oil and pan toast it. Slather it with the bacon mushroom sauce, drizzle with truffle oil and top with grated Parmesan.
2. Spoon the sauce over pizza crust and generously top it with your cheeses of choice such as mozzarella, Parmesan, fontina, provolone and some Gorgonzola. Throw in some herbs, too. Bake.
3. It also makes a wonderful sauce for roast chicken. Rub chicken generously with salt, pepper and herbs. Drizzle with olive oil and marinate overnight. Roast chicken in the oven and once done, incorporate drippings into the sauce. 4. You may also pan-grill or pan-fry chicken fillets and serve this sauce over it.
5. Or, simply warm sauce and toss it with the linguine that comes with it. Top with lots of shaved or grated Parmesan cheese and parsley. Truffle oil is optional. You may serve the pasta with strips of pan-fried chicken or tenderloin tips. (Tel. 0917-8012231; @mmbites on Instagram)Maureen shares the recipe of Mio’s childhood favorite:
Cookies and Cream Cheesecake
Crust:2 c crushed Oreos
6 Tbsp melted butter
Combine crumbs and butter, press onto bottom of 9-in springform pan. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.
1 envelope unflavored gelatin¼ c cold water
8 oz cream cheese
½ c sugar
¾ c fresh milk
1 c whipping cream; whipped1 c Oreos, chopped
Soften gelatin in water, microwave for 30 seconds on high. Set aside.
Combine cream cheese and sugar, at medium speed, until blended. Add gelatin in a thin stream. Mix until incorporated. Chill for 20 minutes. Add the whipped cream and mix well. Pour over crust. Top with chopped cookies and chill until ready to serve.
I’ve always loved cheese sticks. Not the fancy mozzarella ones dipped in marinara, but the simple kind, made from grocery-bought cheese cut into sticks and wrapped in lumpia wrapper.
Easy as it is to make, making them as small as your pinky and in uniform sizes is cumbersome. Which is why I am thrilled that Patty Pineda now sells what 22X kitchen (of her parents, Maritess and Susing Pineda) is known for.
Theirs are so neatly done.
I love the convenience of taking it out of the freezer, frying in hot oil and in less than three minutes, I have a pleasurable snack before me.
The 22X cheese sticks come with their homemade tomato salsa. Oh, I love this too! It is, in fact, it’s one of the few salsas I’ve tried that tastes freshly made, even if it’s been sitting in the fridge. It’s an addicting combination!
Serving tip: I also enjoy the salsa mixed with a little honey, drizzled with olive oil. I serve this spooned over hot cheese sticks on a bed of cold salad greens, garnished with sliced jalapeños and cilantro sprigs. Hot, cold, crispy, crunch, salty, sweet, a tad tart, a slight hint of spice… Delicious! (Tel. 0917-5225838; @homemadeby22x on Instagram)
My Diego loves 502’s Smoked Bacon by Kristoff and Inna Vidal.
While studying the food offerings on various social media platforms during the enhanced community quarantine, Kristoff noticed that there was hardly anyone offering homemade artisan-style bacon. He thought of making one to his liking: thick, not too sweet, smoky and with no preservatives.
He and Inna, a US-trained chef who learned smoking meats in Texas, created their very own bacon, the kind that’s refined, hearty and tasty. 502 smoked bacon is made only in small batches.My cooking tip: Sprinkle the bacon with sugar just before taking it off the pan and give it a good mix. The caramelized sugar bits make it delicious. Serve it with a wet cheese omelette. Sweet, salty, smoky, yummy! Tastes like Christmas ham! (Tel. 0917-8882226; @madeby502B on Facebook and Instagram)
Follow @iamreggieaspiras on Facebook and Instagram; visit reggieaspiras.com