Friday, December 25, 2009

Lechon Belly Roll by Big Alex

Merry Christmas everyone!

This is the star of our Noche Buena feast.

The Lechon Belly Roll by Big Alex is basically the best part of your regular lechon, without the bones. The skin is super crispy, and the meat wonderfully tender and delicately flavored with its tanglad stuffing. Although packed with flavor on its own, the lechon belly roll comes with its own liver sauce. It keeps well, the skin retaining its original crunch. Just pop it in the oven at high heat for a few minutes to heat and it tastes just as good as the day you got it. It is a fantastic deal at Php1,600 for 4 kilos, which can feed 10-12 people.

The Big Alex kitchen,
busy with the holiday lechon belly roll orders

It is advisable to order your lechon belly roll in advance, especially during this holiday season. It is packed neatly in a brown box for easy transporting.

Big Alex is located at Hemady corner Aurora Boulevard, Quezon City.

To order your Lechon Belly Roll, Contact Big Alex at (02)721-7708 or (02)489-4050.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Grilled Teriyaki Prawns

Grilled Teriyaki Prawns

Thinking of light and easy yet extravagant meal to stave off the hunger before Noche Buena? Here's an idea- Grilled Teriyaki Prawns. The recipe works well with blue marlin or tanigue steak, too.

Grilled Teriyaki Prawns


4 large tiger prawns (peeled, leaving head and tail)
1 cup Kikkoman Teriyaki sauce
(to make Teriyaki sauce from scratch, click here.)
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 bamboo skewers


Stir olive oil in teriyaki sauce. Marinate prawns in the sauce for thirty minutes.

Skewer tiger prawns with the bamboo skewers. Grill prawns until pink in color.

In a small sauce pan, simmer left over teriyaki marinade until reduced to half its volume.

Serve as sauce for the grilled prawns.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Baye-Baye Miss American Pie...

Forget the title. There is nothing farther removed from the iconic American pastry than Iloilo's Baye-Baye. Baye-Baye "is a mixture of scraped young coconut meat,sugar and pinipig (pounded rice grains). Some prepare it in simpler ingredients of coconut meat, sugar, grounded sticky rice (pilit or malagkit)or corn grains" (Source: The News Today).

It's been more than a decade since I've visited my father's homeland. The last time I was there, I accompanied my balik-bayan aunt, who hasn't been home in ages, visit some relatives. From her, I got my first taste of Baye-Baye. It was at a jeepney terminal in SM Jaro, while we were waiting for our jeepney to commence our trip back to Lambunao. I clearly recall being bewildered at when and where she got it because we were together all the time during that trip to the mall and I never saw her buying any at any point. But I digress...

My aunt looked positively delighted when she handed me one of the Baye-Baye from her plastic bag. She said she used to eat a lot of Baye-Baye growing up especially during the corn harvest season. Considering how long she's been gone, I can just imagine how indulging in Baye-Baye that day brought her back to her childhood. I certainly understand how I myself can make my own memories of Iloilo with this deliciously sweet and velvety delicacy.

In the photos:

Dieg's Malones Special Baye-Baye
Contact No. (0906)484-2119
Address: Brgy. Cabugao Sur, Sta. Barbara, Iloilo

Saturday, December 12, 2009

New York Steaks on the Grill

Paprika Dry Rubbed New York Steak

A couple of weeks ago, my uncle came from the US and brought some gifts for us for the Holidays. Among the wonderful gifts are 5 of these beautiful New York cut steaks, wrapped individually in foil.

I could never go wrong with these steaks. No matter the doneness, they always come out wonderfully tender and juicy. Forget the barbecue marinade, try this instead:

Paprika Dry Rub

Spanish Paprika

Sprinkle salt, pepper, and paprika on to steak. Rub in the seasonings on all sides of the steak. Let the steak with the dry rub stand at room temperature for about an hour. Grill steak until desired done-ness is achieved.

For perfect steaks, you might want to check out Steak: Grilling Perfection - The article includes useful information on grilling times.

Grilled New York Steak

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Surf and Turf Grill

This goes great with beer when you just feel like hanging out in the house with some friends. Very easy and quite fun to prepare. Festive enough to pass for a Christmas party.

Surf and Turf Grill


3 tbsp. olive oil
6 tbsp. vinegar or lime juice
3 tbsp. soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and ground pepper
3 tsp paprika

1k tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 k medium shrimps, peeled and deveined (leave head and tail)
1/4 k tanigue fillet, cut into 1 inch cubes

tomato wedges
onion wedges
red bell pepper, cut into squares

Bamboo skewers


In a large bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika to make a marinade. Put in tenderloin. Marinate for 1 hour. Add in shrimps and tanigue, and marinate for another half hour.

Thread 4 tenderloin cubes alternately with tomato, onion, and bell pepper with bamboo skewer.

Do the same with the shrimps and tanigue- three in a skewer.

Grill tenderloin over medium high heat for about 14 minutes.

Grill tanigue for about 10 minutes.

Grill the shrimps until pink in color.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Day Three: Panizza, Pasta at C' Italian Dining

After a tiring but absolutely fruitful shopping spree at Robinsons Pampanga, we hunkered down to C' Italian Dining for dinner. Though our hosts raved about the place and the awesome Panizza, I didn't quite know what to expect. When we got there, we had to weave through a crowd of people waiting to be seated. Fortunately, Mark reserved seats for us earlier in the day, and it was Chef Chris Locher himself, the man behind the legend, who ushered us to our seats.

My gorgeous friends, Rollyn and Leen with Chef Chris at C' Italian Dining

When you're famished and this is what you're having to placate that hunger, it's bliss--

The world famous Panizza

This is how we do it.

Perfect Pasta


Mark and Rollyn, our gracious hosts for the otherwise uneventful weekend,

many thanks for the outrageous Power Food Trip!


1210 Don Juico Avenue,
Clarkview, Malabanias
Angeles City


+63 (45) 892-4059
+63 (45) 892-6993


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day Two in Pampanga: Glorious Food at Bale Herencia

On our second day of our vacation in Pampanga, which was quickly turning into a major food trip, we were invited by our hosts to a birthday party for lunch.

The party was held in Bale Herencia. It is one of the oldest houses in Angeles, Pampanga having been built in 1860. It is now being used as a banquet hall for parties and other events.

We were delighted to go. That is, until we realized that it was a Filipiniana themed party. None of us brought our baro't saya and barong for the trip!

But of course we will never turn down a chance to savor Kapampangan food, and a birthday party in Pampanga is simply the best anyone can get. True to the Filipiniana-theme, the buffet had all the staples in a traditional Filipino banquet- there was embotido, pako (fern tips) salad with red egg, fried tilapia wrapped in banana leaves, rellenong bangus, and shrimps, among others. They were all equally delicious. Kapampangan food is known to be very flavorful or in the vernacular, "malasa". I think I had more rice than I had intended to eat that day.

The star of the show is, of course, the Lechon. But for me, it was the dessert buffet of locally made kakanin.

Believe me when I tell you that the Maja, and Sapin-sapin in Pampanga taste different and a whole lot better than anything else you can get in Manila. And the Moche, which comes in its own sweet and rich sauce-- it's the first time I've ever heard of and tasted that kakanin. It was sticky, gooey and absolutely yummy.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Deli Treats from Bretto's Restaurant

We were Pampanga-bound for the long weekend- It was a weekend vacation we almost thought would not happen. But when it actually pushed through, man, it was smashing. It's a magical thing when the world conspires to make the impossible possible.

Pampanga is known for their amazing food and whenever we go there, the diet plan is flung out the car window and left at the side of SCTEX.

So what do we do the first thing we get there? We went straight to Bretto's for dinner. That stop-over serves two purposes- one is to have a wonderful dinner. And second, to stock up on cheese and coldcuts for our wine and cheese night at the Holiday Inn.

I have it on good authority that the Salami Milano at Bretto's is the one to beat, but my favorite though is the beef pastrami. Aside from cold cuts and cheese, Bretto's also makes fantastic breads and I love the way that their place smells of freshly baked bread every time I go there. Who does not love the smell of fresh baked bread?

Bretto's is located at:

596 Don Juico Avenue, Malabanias Road in Angeles City, Pampanga

For inquiries and reservation, contact:

Tel.: (045) 892 2285
Fax: (045) 892 2286

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Kaldereta at Della Baia Grill

About a week ago, we found ourselves at Della Baia Grill for a late dinner.

We were supposed to have dinner at North Park when we parked at the back of the Jetti gas station along Macapagal Avenue, Pasay City, but we got blindsided by the inviting ambiance of Della Baia. The dining area is mostly al fresco, swathed in delicate lighting and, at that time, bossa nova tunes. Immediately, we were approached by the establishment's waiters who were eager to offer up the menu.

They had us at "free parking when you dine here, ma'am."

We ordered Kaldereta (Php240) and, of course, rice (Php25). An order of Kaldereta was more than enough for two people. The Lomi (Php160), however, is a different story altogether. The waiter said an order of Lomi serves 4 or 5, but when it arrived, I'm pretty sure it could feed a small army. We loved the Lomi there. It was hearty and especially perfect for those days when you feel like you're coming down with a cold, perks you right up. I also liked their House-Blend Iced-Tea (Php55), which I wished came in bottomless quantities.

It's a good place for having a few drinks with friends, with beer at only about Php35, especially when you prefer to carry a conversation with them rather than listen to wild blaring music.

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