Saturday, August 31, 2013

Philippine Street Food Fishballs

I read a short while ago in the "Lonely Planet" travel guide about Philippines that Street Food in Philippines is not as big as in other countries in Asia and that even so one can get Street Food, it is maybe good enough for a Merienda........I could not dis agree more. I like the "Lonely Planet" guides a lot, they are really down to earth and give a lot of information, but when it comes to Street Food, they are simply wrong.

Here in Philippines food is so important and is eaten every where, especially on the streets. There are stands everywhere, especially around bus stations and even so one shop is maybe not preparing a whole meal, one goes from shop to shop and has enough to feed a whole family or as we like to say in our home, enough to feed the whole Banrangay!
Where we live there are street vendors going around from early morning all the way to late at night selling everything from home made soy, that is usually served hot with a slightly bitter caramel, to Spaghetti, Pancit, Ice Cream and Fish Balls. Believe me, this is absolutely normal. We live in a bit of a rural not that rural that we are somewhere in the mountains, but we are not in a city and one it is not possible to eat all that is offered during the day, just passing by the house.

Last time I elaborated the quail eggs I love so much, this time we talk about fish balls, these are really yummy and are often sold with squid as well.
500 g Flaked Fish
125 g Flour
50 ml Milk
50 g Spring Onions
10 g Chilies, chopped

Soy Sauce

For the fish balls mix all the ingredients well in a bowl till you have a sticky mix
Then let it rest in the fridge for at least one hour
Form balls, flatten a little and then boil in water
Before serving either deep fry them quickly or shallow fry in oil

The balls are always served on bamboo skewers

For the sauce, just mix the ingredients together

 In Philippines it is possible to buy already the fish and squid balls, they are widely available in supermarkets in the frozen section.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Filipino Restaurant and Shop in Zurich

How exciting, I found out that there is a Filipino Restaurant and Shop in Zurich. Missing the food I just had to go and check it out. So off I went with my dad who never had tasted Filipino Cuisine.

The day is slightly overcast, actually just perfect to go to Zurich by train and walk around a bit. It has been a while since I was here last time, so of course I was quite excited. We took the train to the main station, then did a couple of things before taking a tram to the restaurant and shop. It is not in the main center, but a little away and one has to take the tram. The good thing is that it is directly at the tram station, one cannot miss it.

The name is Golden Asian Restaurant and shop and is straight at the tram station Limmatstrasse 199, exit Quellen Strasse. One cannot miss it.
The restaurant is small but clean and the menu was a bit reduced when we came, I think there is not too much business at the moment, but I can imagine that there is more happening on the weekends in the evening when everybody goes there for Karaoke

We had Chicken Adobo which was very nice and of course we had a San Miguel with it, can't drink local beer with the food, it has to be authentic. My dad liked it very much, the first time he had it and it was a new experience as the flavors of the Filipino Cuisine is unique. With the Adobo we had of course rice and spinach that was cooked in coconut milk and there was a little pork belly in it, this was just absolutely stunning and I will try that one out soon.

Of course I had to buy something as well, the store was not as full as on the website, but most importantly I got some Tocino Powder, so I am cooking Tocino before leaving Switzerland which is soon.......

As normal for any Filipino restaurant all over the world, and I have seen a couple on my travels on ships, one can as well do money transfers back to Philippines, this is something that is very important and of course one gets the cheapest phone cards to call the loved ones all over the world.

I have the link for the restaurant, so any Filipino in Zurich or coming to Zurich, pop in and say hello, have a little piece of home

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Rain in Manila from the tropical storm Trami

For a change I am writing  not much about food and cooking but what is currently happening in Manila in the Philippines. It is what is so special with the rain?
It is not really special, but there is a tropical storm close by, only 500 km north and we have tarantual rains here in Philippines, so much that many places are now flooded and under water. In parts the water is shoulder high and 10 thousands of people are getting evacuated from their homes as I write this Blog.

The farmers got hit badly as well. The rice harvest for this year will be bad as many of the rice fields are too much under water, so the rice is rotting away, pity as Philippines needs every bit of rice, it is after all the main starch used allover the country.
We wanted to meet up with some friends from the Orion, an explorer cruise ship I worked on before. Shame the new crew is stranded in Manila and can't join the ship and we can't go and visit them as there is no transport and the roads are closed. It would be physically impossible to get through Manila right now.

The photos on the blog are taken from the internet as I have no possibility of getting even close to Manila. Yes we have a lot of rain too, but as we are living a bit higher up towards Tagaytay we have no flooding. Two nights ago it rained so hard that we had some water coming into the house, but nothing serious. The highway called SLEX is closed on the way to Manila due to the flooding and even Santa Rosa is flooded badly, so there is no bus going to Manila.........Thank you whoever took the photos as I could not find a name to it
It is expected to rain another 2 days at least, so it does not look good for the islands and I just hope that the water will go down again a bit. Most of the schools are closed since yesterday and will most probably be closed for a little longer.

Unfortunately some people did not survive the floods, our thoughts are with them and we hope that no more people will die.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Pork Fillet, Bacon and Calvados

I am cooking again, this time pork fillet. I haven't cooked pork fillet in such a long time and when we went shopping this morning I just saw them and heard the inner voice telling me to buy them. Then we got some bacon too, I bought smoked streaky bacon. The idea is to wrap the individual portions of the fillet with the bacon to keep them nice and moist. It is important that the bacon is cut very thin and is only slightly smoked.
The pork must be cooked all the way, but make sure it doesn't get dry. Especially the fillet gets dry very quickly as there is no fat on it. If you buy the pork from a good butcher then one can even keep it a little pink, this makes the meat so much nicer to eat. If you are not sure where the pork is from, rather cook it well done.
Then when the meat was cooked I just poured some Calvados in the pan, flambeed and added some cream, seasoned and finish. Then when meat was rested I took the juice of the meat and added it to the sauce, like this it helped as well to keep the meat nice and moist.
With that I made some Knoepfli (or Spaetzle in German) and some Zucchini with garlic, OK, lots of garlic because  but today I have just the recipe for the pork fillets

1.8 Kg Pork Fillet
400 G Streaky bacon, smoked
10 G Salt
5 G Pepper
25 Ml Oil

 50 Ml Calvados
100 Ml Demi Glace
100 Ml Cream
5 G Salt
3 G Pepper

Cut the pork fillet in 60 g pieces, then wrap each piece with thinly sliced bacon
Fix the bacon with a toothpick to keep it tight
Heat a bit oil in the pan and then fry the pork on both sides till golden brown, season to taste
Take the meat out and keep warm
Deglace the pan with the calvados, flambee
Then add the demi glace (Beef stock) and cream
Bring to a boil and simmer for a couple of minutes
Reduce a bit and thicken if required
Season to taste
Before serving add the meat juice to the sauce
Take the tooth picks out the meat and plate

 For 10 Friends

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Swiss National day

I am currently in Switzerland.....and having a great time as the weather is absolutely beautiful. The sun is shining and the temperatures are high, always around 32 C which is hot for Switzerland. Summer is always great here, the public pool is great, especially in the morning and then of course the is the Swiss National Day.

I have to admit that I did not go to the festivities for at least 20 years, not because I didn't want, but because I was never in Switzerland at that time, so being here now it is simply a must to go and it was exactly as I expected it.

Usually there is a place at a forest with loads of benches where one meets, there is usually one of the clubs running the restaurant so one just sits down where ever there is space and then gets what one needs. The most important part the sausage. You take either grilled Brat Wurst" or a "Servelat"with a piece of bread, best with a local beer. I will write another blog about some really interesting and nice beers I tasted.
In Switzerland to eat a Cervelat with bread is like a national dish, it gets eaten every where, especially if one goes to sports events. We have it down to a fine art to have in one hand the hot sausage and the bread and in the other hand the drink, the challenge is not to burn the hand on the freshly grilled sausage.....yes we Swiss are strange sometimes!

Let me tell you a bit more about the cervelat. According to Wikipedia it is described as following: 
For the first time in 1552 this spelling appears in Rabelais . She goes back to the Milanese dialect word zervelada and the resulting Italian cervelato. In Switzerland 160 million annually cervelats be produced, so the average Swiss eats 21 cervelats per year.

The sausage mixture consists of approximately equal parts beef , pork , back fat / ground rind and ice and spices and pickling salt. There are no more offal are processed for cervelat. The ingredients are in boats crushed into natural casings filled (imported, mostly Brazilian), smoked for about one hour at 65 to 70 ° C first and then scalded at 75 ° C in a water bath or in the cooking cabinet.
Anyway, back to the festivities. During the evening the local music club is playing, then of course there are speeches, usually by politicians but this time it was a bit different, actually very nice as it was not always the same political bladibla one hears all the times, then of course we all got up to sing the national anthem....hehehe, it was printed everywhere because the majority of Swiss can't remember the words, yes me included. Then we all got a slice of cake for the 750 year birthday of Seuzach, our home town and then finally, the fire works, the thing we were all waiting for and waited for long as it only started around 1030 PM as it needs to be dark, makes sense I guess....just after the first big bout of fireworks everything stopped for a long time....guess there were some problems in the back

But overall it was a great evening, nice to be back here for this special event, it was worth coming here and having a good time
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