Six weeks in the
Philippines; I was tucked in the
comforts of all things familiar. Now, all of a sudden, I am back in the US,
trying my best to get back to the daily grind. The 13 hour time
difference, the jet lag, plus the obvious cultural differences and the helpless
feeling of homesickness – all add up to a feeling of imbalance. Right
now, desynchronosis (the medical term for jet lag) is an understatement.
But I digress, let me start on a happy note and describe my first cooking event that I've done outside of the
I was invited to do a cooking demo in front of a big audience sponsored by Meat Livestock Australia (MLA) dubbed as Let's MEAT Up! I've been developing recipes for MLA for the past two years aimed at targeting home cooks with mouth-watering beef and lamb recipes. The thrill of cooking these recipes live, in front of an audience, gave me a different high.
To be paired with him was such a great honor.
Over 50 people attended this event. It was an interesting mix of attendees - men and women, old and young, housewives, helpers, cooks and food enthusiasts.
One a side note, I was ecstatic to see Nina Daza Puyat as one of the attendees. I've been a huge fan fan since her Cooking with the Daza's TV show in the 80's. Nina is currently the editor-in-chief of a popular food magazine in the
called Appetite, and she is the daughter of the late Nora Daza, popularly
known as the Julia Childs of the Philippines.
Shown here is Paul Perez, the Country Manager of Meat Livestock Australia for the
Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam;
his wife Sigrid; Yoyette (visiting from Taiwan) and Master Butcher Barry
Thank you Meat Livestock Australia for the opportunity. I look forward to working with you again soon. Also thank you Grupo Sorbetero staff, (including Gina, my kitchen assistant) - who were the heroes behind the scenes! Sa uulitin!
As always I won't end the post without a recipe, so here's to share with you the most raved dish I cooked during the event:
Pandan Wrapped Lamb Chops with Coco Reduction and Spicy Coco Crumbs (Latik)
6 pcs lamb chops
6 pandan leaves for wrapping
Cooking oil for deep frying
1/2 c coconut milk
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium size galangal, grated (ginger could be used as a substitute)
3-4 tbsp fish sauce
3 Thai chili , chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Put the lamb chops into a bowl. Add the marinade ingredients. Let it sit in the fridge for an hour.
Wrap the chops with pandan leaf. Secure with a toothpick.
Deep fry pandan wrapped lamb chops until the meat is cooked through.
Drain excess oil and serve while hot.
Now reduce the marinade until you get a thick and creamy sauce. Set aside half of the cream and leave the rest on the pan. Continue to reduce sauce until it renders its own oil. Continue to cook until coconut crumbs start to form.