The perfectly fried egg

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A few weeks ago I prepared breakfast after a looong time since I last beat an egg to turn it into an omelet.

On my menu were rice, tocino, pears, and fried eggs. The first three items were easy enough to prepare — steam the rice, slice the pears, and fry the tocino using water instead of cooking oil.

But frying the eggs with a particular outcome for the yolk was quite a challenge. My mom wanted it cooked lightly: just a little poke, and the yellow yolk should ooze lazily out into your plate.

The trick, it turned out, was to turn off the stove once the frying oil  is hot enough. That way, you have complete control of the egg, making sure that it’s not undercooked nor more than the desired degree of cooked-ness. Once the egg white has solidified somewhat, you’re done. Egg fried to perfection!

Goodbye?

It’s been a long time since my last post here — and the last meal I cooked on my own.

In early April I moved to a new place. The dorm has no “public” stove and the ref is too crowded. The situation looked dismal on the culinary perspective. But hey, the rent is more than halved. So. I survived the past three months through take-outs, dinner-outs, and canned and packed goods. Not bad, actually.

That ends this blog then.

Or maybe not. I still love to eat (and not getting fat, thanks to a hyperactive metabolism) and cook (in my imagination). AND I’ll buy my own house soon. Whoohoo!

So that starts a long hiatus, perhaps?

Au revoir!

Creamy fruit salad

Fruit

I found a can of fruit cocktail in my cabinet, as well as packs of all-purpose cream and condensed milk in the fridge. They’d been there since forever. And I remembered the fruit salad my sisters made last Christmas. So I made something similar.

Tasty! But I lacked one important ingredient: cheese. But the end result still burst with heavenly sweetness. My version of comfort food.

I guess now I have one dessert I can whip out in three easy steps.

Omelet with hotdogs

A

Picture A

 

Picture B

Picture B

Compare Picture A and Picture B.

B is, of course, more beautiful. But it also has its faults.

Last week I tried to put hotdogs in my omelet (Picture A)…to considerable success (there was too much cheese).

So I tried doing something similar today (Picture B) — this time, with onions, tomatoes, and less cheese. It was supposed to be uber-amazing, except that I decided to put butter (too much of it) to cook the omelet. I could have just used olive oil to not make the egg stick to the pan. Well, I did use olive oil, but I ran out of it. Thus the butter. Because I didn’t want to use fatty cooking oil.

But the omelet looked and tasted well enough, especially the second serving. The first had all the butter, while the second one only had the remainder of what the first absorbed.

Along with plain rice and whole fried hotdogs, the meal was gooood.

French toast and pears

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It’s been a while since my last French toast. The last time I made one, I think, I didn’t have cinnamon. This time I made sure I put some.

Putting extra stuff was spontaneous. I had pears, raisins, Dewberry cookies, and maple syrup in the ref — so I stashed a bit of each into the toast.

Morning sugar cravings satisfied!

Best pasta so far — the basil leaves did it

Pasta

I was thinking of following Jamie Oliver’s “Classic Spaghetti” recipe, but I ended up combining the ingredients and instructions from his book Jamie’s Food Revolution and those in my instant spaghetti sauce’s tetra pack. And, unlike before, this time I used the casserole to cook the sauce, right after cooking the pasta in it (mine is a single-pit electric stove).

And pasta (which I cooked) never tasted that good. It was amazing!

I think the basil leaves did the trick. Their aroma is irresistible and exciting. The real tomatoes also helped. These two ingredients, by the way, were not required by the instant sauce’s recipe, but they were in Jamie’s and I already had them, so why not.

They made the difference.

Ode to carenderia food

Work takes me to different places in the Philippines. One of these places is Baras, Rizal. My office there has a carenderia beside it; it’s very convenient. Recently I often ended up eating there despite initial hesitations pertaining to sanitation and humidity.

Now I’m liking the food there. (Well, first of all, the store keepers are very hospitable. Just point out to them what you want, and they’ll magically zap into existence a rustic-but-clean-enough dining set on one of the better-looking tables. I’m really impressed.) So, yeah, I’m liking the food there now. Maybe because the cook (cooks?) really prepare them to be savory. That’s how we Filipinos want our food. If you want salty, there’s the range from menudo to afritada to caldereta to adobo. If you want sour, there’s sinigang. Bitter, there’s papaitan. Sweet, there’s halo-halo. Exotic, there’s labong and langka (bamboo shoots and jackfruit). That carenderia in Baras offers all, except the halo-halo.

Why am I saying all this? Maybe I’m just marveling at the food and the people who cooked them. And that thing about “food traditions” — they’re most evident in carenderias, which showcase various dishes, recipes of which were handed down from one generation to the next. No cookbooks!

Plate of pork

What I thought was going to be a quick cooking session turned out to be a drag — and used a lot of kitchen paper.

But it ended well. I marinated the pork in soy sauce and worcestershire sauce, and sprinkled in some rosemary. Very good! But I wish I had soaked it in the marinade longer for an even flavoring…

Pork

Quick mami

Sometimes, on cold nights, after a long and tiring day, all you want is a quick meal. For me, it means a warm noodle soup is in order.

To get this fix, I use instant mami with two eggs and, if available, onions and carrots and spring onions. I didn’t have carrots tonight. So I just added parsley and rosemary to give it some unusual twist. Plus some black pepper.

Finally I learned that instant mami is best cooked with low heat: eggs just right and, most important, noodles aren’t soggy.

Mami