08 June 2009

The Cooking Therapy

Mr. B. enjoys cooking, Although not a particularly great one, he always thought of cooking as a therapy. It keeps his mind away from the hustle and bustle of daily living. It is also a way for him to bond with very close friends.

Yesterday (Sunday), Mr. B. decided to invite 2 friends over for lunch. He was to cook Filipino food for them. Knowing him, he usually prepares about 2 days in advance for the menu and for buying stuff. Then he would spend all night chopping and cutting and making everything from scratch.

Too bad he was already feeling a bit unwell on Friday evening blaming the faulty air-conditioning in the farm that made him freeze in one minute and sweating the next.

Anyhow, after hours and hours of stewing, boiling, frying and sauteing, he was able to come up with 4 dishes and a side dish (not in the picture). To make the occasion more authentic, only Filipino music were played in our house all day. Let me try to describe what he served that day:

Classic Pork Adobo - this is one dish that every Filipino needs to master in his own way. Pretty much like every family in Korea has their own recipe of kimchi! Mr. B. tried this dish many, many times but felt he hasn't perfected it just yet. This means D. will have to endure more Pork Adobo days in the future. It sounds very simple really, pork cooked in vinegar, peppercorn. salt, a dash of soy sauce, achuete and dried bay leaves. This is usually cooked the night before and left there to enhance its flavors. But to get it right, one has to be able to get the right mixture of everything.

Beef in Tamarind Broth with Radish and Morning Glory - this one is requested by Mr. B.'s friend. Philippine's answer to Thailand's Tom Yang Gung minus the spicy red broth. The soup is made sour by tamarind which makes one sweat real good. D. cannot take more than one bowl of this hair-raising sourness.

Taro Leaves in Coconut Milk - a dish from the Eastern region, it is made with dried taro leaves (others made this with fresh leaves) and cooked in rich coconut milk seasoned with shrimp paste. This one is an acquired taste.

Chicken Cacciatore - this is Italian and not Filipino. Mr. B.'s original intention was to make honey-cured chicken (like ham) but thought that it will take so much time to grilled all the chicken he bought. He ended up improvising this with canned tomatoes, olives and Italian spices.

(Side Dish) Pork in Shrimp Paste - made with the fatty portions of the pork as well as pork rind, this delicious side dish was place farthest away from D. on the table so Mr. B. won't be seen digging into pork fat all the time.

So lunch was a happy one with and people were able to catch up on the latest. It was the washing and cleaning afterwards that made Mr. B. sicker.


Anonymous said...

Wow, Mr. B is really good at cooking.
Becker, lucky you, don't need to eat eucalypt leave or bamboo :P

by panda
ps. i don't like bamboo, neither.

Becker said...

I said Mr. B. cooked, but I didn't say I ate. I had my own salmon. If you don't like bamboo, maybe you are not a real panda.... you should let the doctor check you.

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