AN ALL-FISH  DINNER  FOR  GISELLE  SANCHEZ

MANILA,  August
13, 2004 (STAR) KITCHEN SPY By Heidi Ng - There is never a dull moment with Giselle Sanchez. Not only is she a popular standup comedian, she also a singer, radio and TV host and actress. She was seen in Last Fool Show on IBC 13, which follows the same format as the Jay Leno Show. She starred in Okatokat and the youth-oriented show Gimik, which both aired over ABS-CBN. She has appeared in 12 movies and did a couple of endorsements for a dishwashing liquid and jeans apparel.

As a corporate host and entertainer, she has performed for various companies, including Aiwa, Abbot, ABS-CBN, Air Philippines, Boracay Hotel Association, Caltex, Coca-Cola, Citibank, Century Park Sheraton Hotel, Globe, Sharp, Pepsi, Piltel, PLDT, Smart, San Miguel, Century Tuna, Johnson & Johnson, Edsa Plaza Hotel, Makati Shangri-La, Heritage Hotel, PAL, Cebu Pacific, Epson, Toyota, 3M, Shell, Total, Mobil Lubricants, Castrol, and Adidas. For the past eight weeks, she’s been hosting corporate shows and performing for product launches at least twice a week. Her talent at entertaining has also taken her to several countries, like Austria, Belgium, Spain, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and Germany, performing for Filipino communities and locals alike.

To be a comedienne is hard work. You need a good head on your shoulders and razor-sharp wit. As they say, "Hindi biro ang magpatawa." She has to be able to tickle the funny bones of her audience, and it takes brains to do that. It may not be common knowledge, but she graduated from Poveda Learning Center, an exclusive girls’ school, where she finished with second honors and won the special award for performing arts. She went to college at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, majoring in broadcasting, and graduating class valedictorian and magna cum laude. So, the next time you think that comedy actors are just dumb and sexy, think again.

Now married for four years, Giselle has not changed her style at all. She still wears body-hugging clothes. She has every right to do so. Even after giving birth to Emilia Gisella, now 10 months old, she still has an enviable body, which has not been touched by cosmetic surgeons, unlike other actresses. But, you cannot judge a book by its cover. Even if she parties and still goes out in sexy clothes, she is a devoted mother and wife to Emil Buencamino, Blow band member and business professional.

It was fitting that we had our shoot in her new house in New Manila because her kitchen is every housewife’s dream. It is a beautiful kitchen showcase from Antares at the Shangri-La Mall. Everything is imported from Italy.

Cooking is not new to her. "Every Poveda student should know tuna casserole," she tells us with a laugh. Her cooking skills got enhanced with shows Comida con Amor on RPN9, which was the Philippine version of Wok with Yan, and Funtahan on ABC5.

Sadly, Giselle learned recently that she has gallbladder stones. To avoid aggravating her situation, she was advised to stick to a fish diet. She proudly claims that she has no stretch marks even after giving birth, so she is sticking to her diet to avoid an operation.

Today, she shares with Philippine STAR readers three fish dishes that are not only delicious but healthy as well. When it comes to her health, she does not want to take chances. After all, surgery is no laughing matter!

Tuna Con Pesto

1 shrimp broth cube; .025 g. basil leaves; 2 g. tuna; olive oil oregano capers; liver spread; pesto sauce.

Sauté one clove of crushed garlic in olive oil for three minutes to express the flavor. Take out the garlic. Mix basil leaves with the olive oil for one minute to give the olive oil flavor. Mix broth cube, oregano, capers and pesto sauce in olive oil with the basil leaves. Steam tuna for eight minutes. Pour the sauce over the tuna.

This can be served as is, or as a topping to fettuccine pasta.

Poached Salmon With Penne

9-1/2 ozs. fresh salmon steaks; 4 Tbsps. butter; 3/4 cup dry white wine sea salt; 8 peppercorns fresh dill, sprig fresh tarragon, sprig 1 lemon, sliced 1 lb. dried penne; 2 Tbsps. olive oil lemon slices and fresh watercress, to garnish.

For the lemon and watercress sauce: 2 Tbsps. butter; 1/4 cup all-purpose flour; 2/3 cup warm milk juice and finely grated rind of 2 lemons; 2 ozs. watercress; chopped salt and pepper to taste.

Put the salmon in a large, nonstick pan. Add the butter, wine, a pinch of sea salt, peppercorns, dill, tarragon and lemon. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Using a fish slicer, carefully remove the salmon. Strain and reserve the cooking liquid. Remove and discard the salmon skin and center bones. Place on warm dish, cover, and keep warm.

Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and one tablespoon of the oil and cook for eight to 10 minutes, until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain and sprinkle over the remaining olive oil. Place on a warm serving dish, top with the salmon steaks, and keep warm.

To make the sauce, melt the butter and stir in the flour for two minutes. Stir in the milk and about seven tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid. Add the lemon juice and rind, and cook, stirring, for 10 more minutes. Add the watercress to the sauce, stir gently, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour the sauce over the salmon and penne. Garnish with slices of lemon and fresh watercress, and serve.

Sardine And Potato

Bake 2 lbs. 4 ozs. potatoes; 2 lbs 4 ozs. sardines; 1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for oiling 1 onion, chopped 2-3 garlic cloves; crushed 2 Tbsps. fresh parsley; chopped 12 ozs. ripe tomatoes, peeled and sliced, or 14-oz. can peeled tomatoes, partly drained and chopped;
1-2 Tbsps. chopped fresh Italian herbs, such as oregano, thyme, rosemary and marjoram; 2/3 cup dry white wine salt and pepper.

Put the potatoes in a pan of salted water, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, then drain. When cooled, cut into slices about 1/4 inch thick.

Gut and clean the sardines. Cut off their heads and tails, and then slit open the length of the belly. Turn the fish over, so the skin is facing upwards, and press firmly along the backbone to loosen the bones. Turn over again and carefully remove the backbone. Wash the fish in cold water, drain well, and dry them on paper towels.

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic until soft, but not colored.

Arrange the potatoes in a well-oiled ovenproof dish, and sprinkle with the onions, parsley and plenty of salt and pepper to taste.

Lay the open sardines over the potatoes, skin-side down, then cover with the tomatoes and the rest of the herbs. Pour the wine over and season with salt and pepper.

Cook uncovered in a pre-heated oven at 180 °F for about 40 minutes until the fish is tender. If the casserole seems to be drying out, add another couple of tablespoons of wine. Serve hot.

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Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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