Saturday, March 19, 2011

And I'm baaaack!

It feels so damn good to be cooking again! 

My last post was in January 28, 2011. I have been  out of commission in the kitchen and in this blogpost for more than a month now. I don't know why but February was such a bitch.  Got work, lost work. Met new people,  lost touch with some friends.

I had felt so stressed the last few weeks, not just about my freelance work but also about my dad being in the hospital,  my laptop casing falling apart  and my schedule going crazier than Ate Vi in "Tagos Ng Dugo".

Friends had noticed that my Facebook posts were becoming more and more belligerent. A. had been complaining about my extreme grumpiness despite my usual cup of coffee in the morning. And the kitchen always smelled like soap. Clean. Unused. Lonely.

Maybe I should have taken the time to cook and write about food because doing this relaxes me. Maybe I should have remembered that I quit my corporate job so I can do what I want. Maybe I should have remembered that this life I have is about me. 

Last week, I tried to write about my first experience drinking civet cat coffee. I sat in front of my computer, staring, not knowing what I should write about. I had nothing to share about wildcat shit and coffee.  I had no words. Despite turning script after script after script just days earlier.

Then Thursday came. I was doing some errands, coasting the streets of Pasig in a rented cab when a truck behind us made some screeching noise and careened to the right of my cab,  only a few inches away from my side, it rolled down the street, slamming straight into another cab crossing the intersection, then turned a bit and surged forward, crushing the iron gate of a townhouse.

The experience left me in a daze for a few seconds. When I realized that I was still breathing, I called A.  to tell him that I love him and to thank the heavens that I am still alive to love him. Had my cab driver turned a few inches to his right (which he said he was planning to do to overtake the  other cab crossing the intersection) this piece would have been posted from beyond the grave.

So that was my most recent dramatic epiphany. Filled with noise only Michael Bay's sound engineer could imagine (Hey, I did say it was dramatic) but , thankfully, none of Sam Raimi's special effects guys were involved.
It has taken me a week to get my affairs straightened and my psyche back to a place with sunshine and laughter.
Five hours ago, I started thawing the Rib Eye beef strips, the chicken and the Chorizo Bilbao and the chunky bacon bits. Yep, five hours ago, I knew that fat in different forms was going to be on the menu. The butter in the ref was quivering in anticipation.

On the menu: Rib Eye Salpicao, Roasted Honey Garlic Chicken and Quick Fried Prawns in Tomato Garlic Sauce. 

I was going to make Chorizo Bilbao pasta but decided to make it in the morning to send to papa. Instead I made scrambled eggs with Japanese mayonnaise and fresh dill.
It felt so right, holding the knife, hearing the blade slice through garlic, onions and tomatoes. The sound of the egg cracking made me smile. The sound of my bamboo siyanse against the Tefal-coated  pan made my heart skip a beat. And as the marinated beef hit the pan, the sizzle that came was like thunderous applause. My kitchen was welcoming me back.


Here's the recipe for the Rib Eye Beef  Salpicao. Cook it. Enjoy it.

350 grams beef sirloin (or tenderloin), cubed
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup butter, unsalted
 2 tablespoons olive oil
 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
 2 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
 1 tablespoon oyster sauce

1. Combine the beef, salt, pepper, and garlic. Mix well and let it stand for 10 minutes.
2. Pour the  olive oil and marinade for at least 30 minutes.
3. Put the stove in high heat. When the pan is hot enough,put in the marinated beef, sauce and garlic bits included.
4. Sear the beef until the color of the outer part turns brown. Try to toss the beef while searing so that all sides are uniformly cooked.
5. Mix in the oyster sauce and Worcestershire sauce and continue tossing until the liquid dries up.
6. Add the butter and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.

Serve hot. 


  1. very different from the beef salpicao recipe that i learned and tweaked from ricky. wala syang asim agent, tita mike? so it's more sweet and salty no?

  2. Yes korek, rye. maalat and yung sweetness galing sa oyster sauce.