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LEGENDS AND BANANAS
ELVIS GONE BANANAS – The King of Rock and Roll’s famous Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich is Graceland’s contribution to American culinary history. Today’s popular food truck version is enriched with bacon.READ MORE...
ALSO: All aboard!
Spend a day of gastronomic pleasures on the high seas; like Seafood Basque Paella The cool February breeze blew into Club Punta Fuego, welcoming a dozen wannabe rich-and-famous VIPs. The event was close to my heart: the launch of SEA-EX 2015, an exhibit-conference on the leisure boat industry. Born and bred near the coast, I have always felt close to the sea and its creatures. ENJOY ABOARD THE SEA-EX,,,,
ALSO: Yu Sheng and other fortunes
Manila Hotel celebrates Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is replete with traditions observed to ensure prosperity, happiness, longevity, family harmony, and good health. While most of these practices date back thousands of years, there is one that has spread rapidly to all corners of the world, becoming the star dish of Chinese New Year meals in a short span of only 50 years. READ MORE...
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Legends and Bananas
MANILA, MARCH 9, 2015 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Sol Vanzi - Bored with decades of extremely healthy and minimalist food presentations, many celebrity chefs crossed over to the other extreme and sinfully declared that “everything tastes better with bacon.” They meant everything, including chocolates and other sweet stuff, such as Elvis Presley’s favorite sandwich.
Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich
ELVIS GONE BANANAS
The King of Rock and Roll’s famous Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich is Graceland’s contribution to American culinary history. Today’s popular food truck version is enriched with bacon.
It is simplicity itself: Spread one slice of white bread with peanut butter and another slice with mashed ripe Cavendish or any dessert-type banana. Slap the two slices together and fry the sandwich in butter (or grill on a hotplate) until golden on both sides and the layers are heated through. Crisp bacon, if desired, is placed between the two slices before the sandwich is fried.
My children love the Elvis Presley Turon.
Spreading peanut butter on banana slices, then wrap a few slices in lumpia wrapper in the form of logs or cigars. Bacon could be added to the filling. Deep fry until golden brown.
Long before her Imeldific shoe collection astounded the world, Imelda Trinidad Romualdez was a mother-less island lass looking after her younger brothers and sisters.
Banana Fritters Banana Fritters
One day, not wanting to waste ripe fruits, she decided to make banana fritters.
She chopped 10 bananas and mixed them into a thick flour batter lightened with baking powder and flavored with vanilla.
She then dropped them by the spoonful into hot oil until the fritters were puffed and brown.
Her siblings ate the fritters as fast as she could scoop them from the frying pan. She had no inkling how many fritters could come out of 10 bananas and four cups of flour. It was way past sunset when she finally fried the last fritter; she had been frying for three hours!
Her advice to fritter-makers: Start with two bananas and one cup of flour.
AND AS THE LEGEND WOULD GO: Meldy became First Lady of the land.
ARROZ ALA CUBANA
No doubt a regular on Fidel Castro’s table is arroz ala Cubana, a dish that’s become standard fare in Philippine cafeterias, canteens, and carinderias.
It begins with a mound of plain white rice covered with a fried egg. On the side is a cup of ground meat stew speckled with raisins and green peas. Two fried saba banana halves complete the serving.
MOFONGO FOR J. LO
Mofongo is a Puerto Rican banana dish akin to our very own nilupak in the manner it is prepared.
To make mofongo: Fry sliced unripe saba bananas, then mash in a mortar and pestle with crushed garlic and chicharon (crisp pork skin).
Thin with chicken broth to desired consistency. Season with salt if necessary. Serve topped with more chicharon.
ALL ABOARD by Sol Vanzi February 19, 2015
Seafood basque paella
(Images by KYLE VICTOR JOSE)
The cool February breeze blew into Club Punta Fuego, welcoming a dozen wannabe rich-and-famous VIPs.
The event was close to my heart: the launch of SEA-EX 2015, an exhibit-conference on the leisure boat industry. Born and bred near the coast, I have always felt close to the sea and its creatures.
The Philippines has a long and rich maritime history, beginning with our forefathers’ travels and migrations, long before the Spaniards came to Christianize us.
With 7,107 islands occupied by numerous ethnic groups, seafaring vessels were the only means of contact and communication for many centuries.
This is also reflected in our culinary heritage, which is replete with dishes that feature fish, crustaceans, seaweeds, and other harvests from our rich shores and waters.
Foreign rulers introduced new dishes which Filipinos readily adapted into regular and feast-day menus.
Punta Fuego general manager, outstanding chef Mikel Arriet Arruiz, superbly demonstrated how to feed a picky group of neophyte sailors with dishes from our former colonial masters Spain, Japan, and the United States.
The meal was a symphony. Each bite was perfect for the setting as we watched leisure boats sail into the marina of Club Punta Fuego.
Prawns tempura con tinta on a bed of crisp somen noodles
While munching on prawns tempura in squid ink batter and the crisp bed of somen noodles, we listened raptly to boat builder Angelo Olondriz, who dreams of the day the Philippines finally takes its place among top destinations for leisure boats and cruise liners, the owners and passengers of which are known to be big spenders.
Restaurants, furniture and handicraft shops, farmers, fishermen, resorts, and other tourist-related entities stand to benefit from the growing popularity of travelling by sea.
Aside from tourism, SEA-EX 2015 will also focus on the country’s boat manufacturing industry, sustainable development, and the protection of the Philippines’ marine biodiversity.
Our light, midday meal stretched well into afternoon, when Chef Mikel proudly brought in a giant paellera generously spread with squid rings, boneless fish cubes, large mussels, prawns, and other denizens of the deep.
Chilled white wine, at once fruity and floral, was perfect with the paella, which did not have a single slice of chorizo de bilbao.
A must-have for Pinoy paella, sausage is never used in seafood paella in Spain, explained Chef Mikel, who had fallen madly in love with Batangas seafood.
“The squid caught by fishermen in Nasugbu are so tender and sweet. We extract the tinta or ink from the squids while they are still alive.
Then, we make the tempura con tinta (black tempura) by mixing the ink with the batter,” explained the chef.
The Basque touch was the aioli sauce for both the tempura and the paella, using both fresh and roasted garlic for a mellow, smoky flavor.
5 Shades of Chocolate
For dessert, we had what we labeled as “Five Shades of Chocolate” made from cacao harvested and roasted in the surrounding mountains of Batangas and Cavite. Fresh cream and Baguio strawberries accented the chocolate creation.
We were having such a great time that we didn’t realize it was almost sunset, time to leave the 50-foot Lagoon 500 provided by Europa Yachts just for our brief pleasure cruise.
Reluctantly, we debarked and stepped back to our own landlocked world.
YU SHENG AND OTHER FORTUNES by Sol Vanzi February 15, 2015
Chef Sun Bing tossing lucky Yu Sheng salad
Chinese New Year is replete with traditions observed to ensure prosperity, happiness, longevity, family harmony, and good health. While most of these practices date back thousands of years, there is one that has spread rapidly to all corners of the world, becoming the star dish of Chinese New Year meals in a short span of only 50 years.
Yu Sheng or Yee Sang is the raw fish salad brought to Malaysia and Singapore by Chinese immigrants in the early 20th century and standardized by a group of chefs. By 1970, all Chinese New Year lunches and dinners in Malaysia and Singapore were centered on this healthy, merry, and noisy dish.
Healthy and fresh raw fish salad
Manila Hotel’s own version of Yu Sheng, conceptualized by chef Sun Bing, uses roasted duck, salmon, two kinds of melon for prosperity, caramelized walnuts with sesame seeds, and fresh mango for closer family ties.
The rest of the Chinese New Year menu is full of symbolism, all designed to sweep in good luck and ward off misfortune: Dried Scallops with Bamboo Pith Soup, Crisp Fried Pigeon, Pan-Fried Lam Chops, Steamed Garlic Lobster, Chrysanthemum Sweet-Sour Fish, Walnut-Broccoli Stir-fry Prawns.
Crisp Fried Pigeon symbolizes return of good days
As Manila Hotel welcomes the Year of the Wood Goat, the feel of the celebration comes to life as the hotel lobby features eye-catching and elaborate Chinese décor highlighted by a life-sized ram, a Chinese gazebo reminiscent of the captivating gardens of China, large ancient coins, and red lanterns that are sure to delight visitors of all ages.
In the morning of Chinese New Year, Feb. 19, the hotel holds a colorful Dragon’s Eye Dotting Ceremony replete with a special lion and dragon dance at the grand lobby. Guests can write down their wishes and good intentions for the coming New Year on special wish cards and hang them on a special peach tree.
The Year of the Wood Goat is ushered in by feng shui master Hanz Cua, assistant VP Nian Liwanag-Rigor, and resident manager Gerhard Doll
The Mabuhay Restaurant will present mouthwatering delicacies with its special Chinese New Year set menu, which has been available since last month. These dishes will stay on the menu until Feb. 19.
“A festive buffet lunch awaits guests on New Year’s Day. Have a delectable gastronomic trip around the world by visiting the Café Ilang-Ilang,” said Dr. Enrique Y. Yap Jr., executive vice president of Manila Hotel. Famous for its 14 buffet stations showcasing the best dishes all over the globe and eight live stations where chefs prepare guests’ meals, all food lovers will enjoy one-of-a-kind dining experience that will make any Chinese New Year celebration more memorable.
Guests can also experience more of the Grand Dame of Philippine hotels with its Imperial Chinese New Year promotion, which runs until Feb. 21. For P10,000 net per room a night, the package includes staying in one of Manila Hotel’s well-appointed superior deluxe rooms with complimentary buffet breakfast at Café Ilang-Ilang for two persons as well as R2,000 spending money to sample the hotel’s restaurant offerings. Stay dates are from Feb. 16 to Feb. 22.
Call 63 2 527 0011 local 1175 to 1178 or email email@example.com.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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