Thursday, March 31, 2011

ARROZ CALDO (Chicken-Rice Soup)

This is a flexible and useful dish to know how to make.

1lb of chicken wings (or half a chicken cut up into bite size pieces)
1/2 onion chopped 4 cloves of garlic minced
1 inch ginger thinly julienned
1/2 cup of chopped Jasmine rice (available in Asian Grocery stores) (but if not available, you can use regular rice)
6 cups of chicken stock 2 TB of fish sauce (or more for seasoning)
Fresh ground ppepper
12 sprigs of cilantro (a Mexican or Chinese parsley look-alike leaf condiment)
2 finely chopped scallions lemon wedges

Saute the onions and garlic till onions are translucent.  Add the ginger.
Add the chicken and fish sauce. Slightly sear the chicken parts on all sides.
Add the rice. Stir, then cover the pot to boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes.
When cooked, spoon in bowl.  Garnish with cilantro and minced scallions. Season with extra ground pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Nothing like a good soup!
*Also makes a good soup to serve when one feels dreary or recuperating from a cold

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Every morning I drink green tea mixed with matcha tea.

What are the health benefits of matcha?
Matcha is renowned for numerous health benefits.  It is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, fiber and chlorophyll.  The health benefits of matcha exceed those of other green teas. You can read more about matcha and its health benefits if you look it up.

I first learned the benefits of matcha tea through a tea ceremony when I went to visit Japan.  Since then, I've switched to drinking my tea with matcha to increase the anti-oxidant in my green tea.

In tea ceremony, it is served in its pure form and frothed up with a wooden wisk.  It is usually served accompanied with sweets to ease up the slightly bitter flavor.  In my case, I've discovered how to drink matcha tea without having to eat sweets; but by diluting my green tea with matcha instead.
Above, on the left is lose green tea leaves and on the right is the matcha tea.
Matcha is tea leaves that has been specially treated (covered with bamboo mats) to increase the chlorophyll content; destemmed, deveined and ground. And therefore, you are actually drinking the leaves and the stems as opposed to extracting some of its properties in green tea.

 To make a pot of green tea with matcha, simply measure about a teaspoon of lose green tea into the strainer, and about 1/3 tsp of matcha tea.  Pour hot water (not boiling) and steep for about 10 minutes before using.  The pot on the right holds about 12oz.

You can pour more water into the pot for up to 3 more times without adding more tea or matcha.  And if you don't like strong tea anyway, you can keep pouring more hot water as the day goes.
Above is a pot of my morning green tea next to an individual drip coffee


Sunday, March 27, 2011

FOODYHOLIC'S Choice: S'MAC - Specializing in Macaroni & Cheese

FOODYHOLIC'S Choice: S'MAC - Specializing in Macaroni & Cheese: "I'm glad I'm in this city. There are so many new specialty restaurants that are good at what they're doing, and do just that! My..."

S'MAC - Specializing in Macaroni & Cheese

I'm glad I'm in this city.  There are so many new specialty restaurants that are good at what they're doing, and do just that!

My latest find is S'Mac - located in East Village. (You can tell I was around the area yesterday).

Sarita's s'mac concept has created many versions and combinations of macaroni & cheese.  It's almost like ordering a pizza with toppings.

Below are photos I've taken.

They also have a take out place where I went to avoid the lines. Plus, we've just eaten our brunch nearby.

One can also order on line for delivery. 

Above are the ways to order mac & cheese at the take out store


To the left is the 4 Cheese and to the right is the Parisienne with brie, figs, roasted shiitake mushrooms + rosemary

With the new sanitary grading system the city has, I am glad to find out that this had an A.

At their take out area next to the restaurant.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

FOODYHOLIC'S Choice: FOODYHOLIC'S Choice: MAHARLIKA - the new Philippine Restaurant in NYC

FOODYHOLIC'S Choice: FOODYHOLIC'S Choice: MAHARLIKA - the new Philippine Restaurant in NYC

FOODYHOLIC'S Choice: MAHARLIKA - the new Philippine Restaurant in NYC

FOODYHOLIC'S Choice: MAHARLIKA - the new Philippine Restaurant in NYC: "So far, this restaurant looks like a success! Currently, a Pop-Up restaurant in the East Village sharing space with another restaurant..."

MAHARLIKA FILIPINO MODERNO - the new Philippine Restaurant in NYC

So far, this restaurant looks like a success!  It was a Pop-Up restaurant sharing space with another restaurant first in East Village and then in the West Village at 5-Ninth.  Now they are permanently in East Village at 111 First Avenue and 7th Street.

Maharlika was conceived by Enzo Lim with partner Nicole Ponseco.  The Filipino dishes they serve are dishes they grew up with.  Personally, as someone who also grew up in the Philippines, their dishes remind me of eating at home with a good new twist, served bistro-style.  And that's the key!

THIS IS MAHARLIKA TODAY:  Permanently located at 111 First Avenue, NYC
Left: The board infront of Maharlika which states the specials for the Day.  TABINGI (meaning not straight - a bit bent) is the description for Thursday.
Above right:   Bar area

This drink is served with a long thin slice of ginger.

They have quite a few selections to choose from in their menu for brunch including some creative drinks.       

 Above, are complimentary chicken-skin chicharrons - served with homemade palm vinegar with spices; and a bowl of Asian coated nuts.

 On the left is the stuffed chicken wings in citrus-soy sauce served with garlic fried rice and scrambled eggs.  I highly recommend it.
The sizzling sisig, (their rendition) was delicious served with egg and accompanied with garlic fried rice below.  You can eat this with their homemade palm spicy vinegar.

Maharlika also offers vegetable dishes.  There is an eggplant omelet served with salad; or a dish called Imelda which is eggs served with taro leaves cooked in coconut milk and whole shrimp.

The menu also had french toast with slices of mango with coconut sauce which I would like to try next time.

Below are their homemade jams: coconut and guava.  Something to talk about!

My vote is thumbs up!!  It is another marriage between East and West and certainly a great addition to the number of restaurants.  Their menu stirs away from the usual choice in a Filipino restaurant.  Hoping they will be open 7 days a week!

111 First Avenue and Seventh Street
You must reserve by the middle of the week to make sure you get seated at
Visit them at:

Reservations for parties of 5 or more
646 392 7880/@maharlikanyc/

Friday, March 25, 2011

FOODYHOLIC'S Choice: PORK BUN - My interpretation and it's delicious!

FOODYHOLIC'S Choice: PORK BUN - My interpretation and it's delicious!: "Lately, I've been eating pork buns in this city from the new hot spot restaurants. Last week, while with friends after our dancercize..."

PORK BUN - My interpretation and it's delicious!

Lately, I've been eating pork buns in this city from the new hot spot restaurants.  Last week, while with friends after our dancercize class, we went shopping at Chinatown and I found frozen steamed buns for Peking Duck.  I got so excited because I've always wanted to copy my favorite pork buns from these restaurants.

Tonight was the night to try my own version.  It was a hit!  We loved them, if I may say so myself.

This is the quick version that I've improvised which delivered a similar result.

1 lb of meaty pork belly cut up half an inch thick (can use pork shoulder as well)
1/2 c of mirin or Aji Mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine)
1/3 c of soy sauce
5 cloves of garlic peeled and smashed
6 frozen pork buns (comes 12 in a package)
1 Scallion chopped
4-butter lettuce leaves
6-10 pieces of bread & butter pickles
Mayonnaise in a squeezable container
Sriracha hot sauce (comes in a bottle found in various grocery stores)

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a pot.  Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir and cook another 10 minutes.  Remove cover and simmer for another 15 minutes till the sauce begin to glaze.

SIMMER THE PORK UNCOVERED IN THE LAST 10 MINUTES TO GLAZE  (sauce thickens and separates from the fat)

 On the left are the frozen buns I found in the Chinese grocery store in Chinatown which inspired me to try making my own pork buns.
 On the right are the buns I steamed for about 10 minutes.

Above are the ingredients you need to garnish your pork bun with, plus mayonnaise in a squeeze bottle (not pictured)

TO ASSEMBLE:  Open the bun. Place about 1 pieces of meat. Squeeze on top some mayonnaise, sriracha pepper sauce, chopped scallion and the leaf lettuce.

This is my take on this.  Now, you can make it yourself and remember the time when you ate them out.  (If you've been to those places). I couldn't believe that I've closely replicated it!!!  And it's my first time to try to do this!

**Note:  I must have used only half of the pork dish.  Now, you have some left overs to make more buns or eat it as another dish with rice!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

FOODYHOLIC'S Choice: FATTY CUE Review - Southeast Asian Cuisine marries...

FOODYHOLIC'S Choice: FATTY CUE Review - Southeast Asian Cuisine marries...: "I'm so excited to talk about this restaurant! Since last summer, when I first read about their restaurant's opening in Brooklyn, I had wante..."

FATTY CUE Review - Southeast Asian Cuisine marries American BBQ

I'm so excited to talk about this restaurant! Since last summer, when I first read about their restaurant's opening in Brooklyn, I had wanted to go!  First of all, I've already been to their first restaurant called Fatty Crab in the West Village of Manhattan.

I've had a busy day, so tonight I wanted a break from the stove and have some bbq.
Dashed with my bag out the door to Brooklyn!

BBQs are all over the nation.  I've tried a dozen or so as far as Texas!  Many of these BBQ restaurants have succeeded to captured my taste.  However, this one has tweaked my taste buds because there was that combination that I would never have thought to combine.
American barbecue technique is married to the flavors of Southeast Asia. The congregation cheers.”

~Sam Sifton, The New York Times

First we tried their famous Heritage Pork Ribs and added more of the smoked fish palm glaze with Indonesian long peppers:
Looks simple but tastes smoky and well seasoned especially when the fish sauce/palm syrup with Indonesian peppers is added.  Awesome and finger-linkin good!
Second, we had the 'Cue Coriander Bacon, (below) with steamed yellow curry custard, and thin triangle toast.
To eat the 'Cue Coriander Bacon, spread the custard on the toast and lay the pieces of coriander barbecued pork bacon on top. It's delicious!

I think the custard has coconut, ginger, garlic, onion and curry.  But there may be some other ingredients in it.

This is what makes this place interesting.  It's new cuisine.

Highly recommended by our waiter was this dish called Nasi Ulam.
I'm so glad we ordered it.  It's a rice salad with turmeric spice blend, ikan bilis (dried anchovies, also known as "dilis" in the Philippines and I know I buy the Japanese brand too), ginger herbs (galangal), Thai basil and chopped red onion.  Maybe there were some more spices in it but I did love the flavor!!
On the left was our celery salad with yuzu, tianjin, and sesame oil.  It must have been the tianjin that looked like pieces of meat which resembled the taste of salted Japanese plums.  They shaved the celery into long streaks.

Above is a main dish - Fazio Farm Red Curry Duck.  They smoked the duck and fried it crisp yet juicy inside and served it with pickled daikon radish, red curry dip made with coconut, and steamed rice.  This dish is also delicious dipped in the fish sauce/palm sugar with Indonesian chili sauce that was on the table.
This is why I'm excited about this restaurant.  Although it's a fusion, it was a creative authentic Southeast Asian flavor mixed with quality American BBQ.  A little pricey - but I guess his creation is what you can't buy. There's no restaurant like it in town.  And that's much to be said when you're in New York City!


FOODYHOLIC'S Choice: MUSSEL DINNER: "One thing I learned about mussels from the International Restaurant Food Show is how they farm it. 'Most mussels are farmed using a system ..."


One thing I learned about mussels from the International Restaurant Food Show is how they farm it.

"Most mussels are farmed using a system of ropes suspended from rafts or buoys. Mussels attach to the ropes and take 12 to 18 months to reach a harvest able size. Some farmers grow their mussels in cages on the bottom, but most find that off-bottom-culture increases the harvest per area, reduces the risk of predation, and allows the mussels to grow faster and larger.

Mussels and other shellfish are filter feeders. They capture and eat microscopic particles, plants and nutrients by filtering ocean water. This means that mussel farming operations can actually clean the water where they are located.

Most farmed mussels are raised on suspended ropes that never contact the seafloor, which prevents the risk of habitat destruction. Some mussel farmers raise their mussels in mesh bags or cages, either suspended in the water column or attached to the seafloor. When the mussels are large enough to harvest, the farmer simply collects the bags or cages from the farming location."

I also learned that you can tell how fresh the mussels are by reading the label of the net bag.  It will tell you when it was harvested.  At the usual grocery I go to, the batch I bought was just a day old.  And I actually cooked it 2 days after and they were still alive.

When the shells are open, to test if they are alive, just tap it. If they close, then they're alive.  Discard the dead ones.

This bag of mussels I bought were still all shut closed.  But all opened when they got cooked. If after you cook them do not eat the ones that are still shut.  Discard the shut ones after cooking.

Ingredients used:
1 bag of mussels (serves 2)
3/4 c white wine (I used chardonnay)
4-5 cloves of garlic crushed (I minced one of them)
1/2 sliced onion
4 sprigs of thyme

(OPTIONAL:  You can add 1TB of Jerk Seasoning and 3/4 c of white wine instead of chardonnay to have a spicy version of this recipe)

I placed all the ingredients except for the mussels in a large pot.  Boiled the ingredients for about 5 minutes then added the mussels:
Cover the pot back after you add the mussels.  In about 10 minutes, soon as the mussels open, they are ready.

I served the mussels with the broth in a bowl with sliced baguette.  I brushed them with olive oil, then slightly toasted it in the oven.
On the side are cloves of garlic which you can rub against your baguette to eat with the mussel.  If you want, you could also sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on your garlic-rubbed bread.
I happened to have some frisee, arugula and strawberries which I made into salad.  Just drizzle it with aged balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and season it with salt and pepper.  VOILA!

This is such an easy meal to make - why eat it out???

Great to serve for Valentine's Day too!

Monday, March 21, 2011


FOODYHOLIC'S Choice: TRUFFLED MUSHROOM LUNCH in 2 Ways!: "The advantage of knowing how to make your own gourmet lunch is being able to stay indoors when the weather is a whiteout. It's also go..." This is a two in one recipe!


The advantage of knowing how to make your own gourmet lunch is being able to stay indoors when the weather is a whiteout.  It's also good to have a refrigerator stocked up with condiments that you can handily use when needed.

Today, it's truffle and mushrooms served with arugula salad using the same ingredients but done in 2 ways

Ingredients needed:

Truffle pate
Asiago fresco cheese
Beech Mushroom (also called Bunashimeji) (1 package)
1/2 a piece of minced garlic clove
Olive oil
2 wheat English muffins
Fleur de Sel
Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning

Essential ingredients to have to make this dish

The Beech mushrooms on the right which is also known as Bunashimeji is grown organically in California.  (1) With about 2TB of olive oil, saute the minced garlic then add the mushrooms till translucent and limp.

(2) Meantime, slice 6 slices of fresh asiago cheese.  Toast 1 pair of English muffins
(3) After toasting the muffins, place the sliced cheese to bake at 350 degrees F. till cheese is melted about 5 minutes.
Prepare the baby arugula salad by combining it with slices of fennel stalks and seasoned with premium balsamic vinegar, Tuscan olive oil and Fleur de sel and freshly cracked black pepper.

SERVES TWO Version 1:  Pile the salad on one side of the plate and top with the sauteed mushrooms.
Spread a tablespoon of the truffle pate on top of the melted cheese on muffin.


Beat an egg for each person:

Add 1 TB of water for 1 egg (Extra large)
When egg starts to bubble, add the sauteed mushrooms to make the omellette

SERVES 2 Version 2: This time, the melted cheese muffin is served on the side and the omelette becomes the main course and the salad served without the sauteed mushroom.