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Yolanda Action Weekend

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Edit: I want to apologize for an error I made in this poster. Just before we finalized the list for the poster, I received word that Chili’s Rockwell wanted to join Yolanda Action Weekend. I decided to add them to the poster so that we could include them in our promotion. This information turned out to be false and I clearly should have waited for their confirmation. I understand Chili’s ran their own benefit which was already finished. I apologize for any confusion I may have caused.

 

Thank you to all of the local food community who volunteered their businesses to raise money for the Philippine Red Cross. Here is the latest list of participants.

If you are dining out this weekend we ask that you do it where your money will also help the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. We promise there are plenty of options. If you want to connect with other diners who are supporting the cause, upload your food pics to your favorite social networks with the hash tags #YolandaActionWeekend and #ReliefPH so we can all connect.

Yolanda Action Weekend

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Of course we are all overwhelmed by the calamity of Typhoon Yolanda and of course we all want to help. Individually our resources might not be great but collectively we can make an impact.

This weekend, local food and beverage businesses are organizing to pool their resources to benefit the Philippine Red Cross. For this weekend 11/16-11/17 Mr. Delicious will do it’s part by donating 20% of its sales from Salcedo and Legazpi Markets directly to the Philippine Red Cross. Many, many others are following suit.

Support this further by using hash tags #YolandaActionWeekend and #ReliefPH to connect with others through social media.

If you would like to donate directly to the Red Cross you can do so here.

Witnessing this develop, I am humbled once again by the groundswell of support by this community whenever their countrymen are in need of help. Join us!

Manly Eats 2

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Manly Eats by Pinoy Eats World is going for another round this weekend! Come by Podium Mall in Ortigas and say hi. Many of Manila’s best and brightest food purveyors will be present with some clever mash-ups you will only see at Manly Eats 2. Entrance is free and we’ll be there all day, 10:00am-10:00pm.

See you there!

An Update From Mr. Delicious

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Life has been a nebulous series of distractions these last six months and I have left you, abandoned without a morsel of snobby food snark or mediocre food photography. I humbly apologize and shall return to this altar with a message of hope for the Manila food scene, for exciting things are at hand!

As many of you know, I began Mr. D’s Artisanal Sundries last year so that I could start making the kinds of foods that I like to make, and those that are often difficult to obtain here in Manila. Cured meats, sausages, pickles, I love to make the kinds of foods that require patience and those that are transformative with time.

I have been blessed with recognition for my foods, with the Philippine Wagyu Corned Beef on blogs and in print and more recently with the Applewood Smoked Bacon on interaksyon.com.

Now, aside from these happenings of Mr. D’s, there are a number of exciting announcements to come. So please stay with me as we move forward.

Merry Christmas from Mr. D’s Artisanal Sundries

Thank you to all who have made inquiries for orders of Mr. D’s Artisnal Philippine Wagyu Corned Beef. My next batch is unfortunately sold out but for the last minute shoppers I will have a batch ready the week before Christmas. Please email at jeremy@mrdelicious.ph for inquiries. Have a wonderful Holiday Season and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do (that pretty much leaves it wide open).

Thanksgiving with Mr. Delicious

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As an American living away from home, Thanksgiving dinner is a perennial matter of great concern. I spent my first Thanksgiving abroad in Nice, France. We decided to cook a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for a mixed group of American, French and other nationalities. We scoured the entire region along the southeast of France looking for ingredients like fresh cranberries and molasses.

Most non-Americans do not fully understand how important a holiday it is for us. For many of us (myself included) we would put it above Christmas. This being said I have had many a sub-standard Thanksgiving dinner living around the world. The worst though was in Las Vegas. Without any prior plans we ended up at the Rio Hotel’s buffet for a dining experience that literally made my soul ache.

This is why I made sure to blaze this trail this year. I set out to create the closest facsimile of the real thing that I could possibly create here. Also I had the good fortune of timing being on my side with my newly constructed brick smoker/oven to roast the turkey.

Mr. Delicious Thanksgiving Menu 2012

Apple Wood Smoked Turkey

Traditional Stuffing with Bacon and Dark Stock

Oyster Mushroom Stuffing

Green Bean Casserole with Creamy Mushroom Sauce and Fried Onions

Sweet Potato Casserole with Oat Crumble

1950′s Style Cranberry Salad

Mashed Potatoes

Cajun Dirty Rice

Lots of Gravy

Pumpkin Pie with Créme Anglaise

Starting with the turkey, I had about a 6kg (12lb.) bird that I brined for 12 hours. The brine consisted of 1 cup of salt and 1 tablespoon of curing salt for 1 gallon of water. I then added sugar, apple cider vinegar, peppercorns, dried chili flakes and parsley stems. I dropped the turkey into a large bucket I use just for brining and pickling and poured the brine over it. Then I weighted it down with a stack of plates. Since there was not enough room in the fridge I kept it iced down for 12 hours. Then remove and rinse.

Once it was cured, I placed it in front of a fan for about two hours to dry and warm up before smoking. I used a combination of charcoal and apple wood, maintaining a temperature of about 235f (110c). It smoked for about 3 hours until an internal probe reads about 160f (70c). I would later finish it in a hot oven before serving.

My coloring could have been better but it tasted really damn good and the skin still became crisp

Stuffing is a very misunderstood side dish but one of my absolute favorites every Thanksgiving. I was raised on oyster stuffing, but unfortunately I could not find oysters in time (at least I had bacon). There are a couple tricks to making good stuffing. First cook your mirepoix thoroughly before folding it into the bread. Use a good brown poultry stock and season it well. Finally add lots of the stock. Keep ladling more until it can take no more. Then just bake until it’s hot in the center and slather with gravy.

It’s best when the top is crusty but the interior is moist and soft

Also unavailable were fresh cranberries. However I was able to substitute dried with some success. I decided to mold the cranberry salad like you might see in cookbooks from the 50′s and 60′s. This was actually quite simple. I gelled some cranberry juice with sugar and garnished it with slices of orange, persimmon and chopped walnuts. I molded it in a cake pan and just warmed it in water to release it from the mold.

My sweet potato casserole sucked in a big way. I need to find a way to better adapt the local sweet potatoes into this dish. The local camote is much starchier than what I’m used to in the States. The result was a really dry texture that I think could be remedied by puréeing it.

My wife (who is also responsible for my conspicuously better photos), prepared two different types of pumpkin pie, both made from the local pumpkin. One was a classic variety and the other was finished with caramel and chopped walnuts.

Though I have cut back on the number of private events in to focus on Mr. D’s, I do still enjoy an occasional event like this. I like to keep it very casual and unassuming. Thank you to all who attended. It sure as hell beat the Rio…

Sunday Rehabilitation

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It has been a busy time chez Mr. D of late. Mr. D’s Artisanal is a finalist in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Next Food Entrepreneur contest. Our group just finished our second weekend at Midnight Mercato in BGC. I would like to congratulate all of my fellow concessionaires competing in the contest for bringing their creative food concepts to bear. That being said, I hope I win…

I stopped in Salcedo Market yesterday and spoke to Marco Lobregat of Ministry of Mushrooms. He handed me a paper bag with a new variety of mushroom that he is growing called Milky Mushrooms (Calocybe Indica). With his assurances they would not make me see things he told me to take them and experiment with them. Challenge accepted.

These mushrooms are very plump and firm, sharing some characteristics of a portabella or button mushroom. They really need to be roasted pretty well, or next time I might try to grill them. They retain a pretty firm texture even after cooking and are really meaty.

One produce vendor had some really fresh camote tops (sweet potato leaves) and mustard greens and also some free range eggs. When you have really fresh greens for cooking the next day, I think it’s best to wilt or blanch them when their still freshest. These were simply wilted in a pan, covered with no oil or seasoning. Then I cooled it and put it in the fridge for the next day.

This afternoon, rolling out of bed after a long weekend of Midnight Mercato, this was the perfect ensemble to restore some of my energy.

Pan Roasted Milky Mushrooms, Wilted Greens, Poached Egg and Aged Balsamic

10-12 milky mushrooms, sliced in half

1 bunch mustard greens

1 bunch comote tops

2-3 good eggs

1 clove garlic, minced

1 shit ton of butter

oil for sautéing

1 tbsp cheap vinegar

1 drizzle aged balsamic vinegar

Set one large sauté pan on medium high heat and set up a second pan for poaching eggs. In a shallow high-walled pan put water halfway up and add the cheap vinegar. Turn heat to medium.

When the sauté pan is hot add oil and mushrooms with the flat side down. Allow them to caramelize mostly undisturbed until they develop a nice brown color and become aromatic. Move and rotate them as needed to even out the cooking. Once caramelized, add a shit ton of butter and most of the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Flip all of the mushrooms and baste them with the hot butter until they are cooked through. Remove the mushrooms and drain them on a plate lined with paper towel.

Add your greens to the same pan to pick up flavor from the mushrooms. Either wilt them or reheat them if they’re already wilted. Add the remainder of the garlic and season with salt and pepper.

Next poach your eggs, making sure the poaching liquid is at a low simmer. Carefully drop each cracked egg into the water and gently poach until the white is just opaque.
Gently lift the poached eggs out with a slotted spoon and drain off any water before plating. Season with salt and pepper.

Next just plate them all together. The greens make a nice bed for the poached egg and also, placing the poached eggs on the hot greens helps keep the egg warm. Drizzle some good aged balsamic around the plate to garnish. The runny yolk makes a delicious sauce for the plate.

Crispy Chive Flatbread with Oyster Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Beets and Feta Cheese

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In support of Ministry of Mushrooms’ Mushrooms Go Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, I am offering up a recipe that includes many of the healthy foods recommended to reduce risks of certain cancers including breast cancer. Better late than never, mrdelicious.ph is jumping in the pool here in the last week of the month.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so many different food media outlets have been debating about the health benefits and possible cancer risk reduction properties of certain foods. Certain foods such as leafy greens, whole grains and seeds are often recommended to help reduce the risk of breast cancer. Also studies have indicated a connection between eating mushrooms and lowering risks of developing certain tumors.

For this dish I grabbed several of the foods from the pantheon of ‘super foods’ that are densely packed with many different nutrients. Chia seeds, for example, have more omega 3 fatty acid than flax seed. I add this and wheat germ to the pizza dough to make the flat bread. The wheat germ adds another huge dose of folic acid, fiber and minerals. The garnish of oyster mushrooms, roasted beets and mustard greens provides your body a bevy of vitamins and minerals, essential to a healthy diet.

However, I’m not really qualified to debate this topic. I’m just the cook. So I’ll teach you how to work with these ingredients to make really good tasting food.

I have a few tricks I like to use when cooking for my son to sneak in nutrition-boosting foods. I like to keep a bag of chia seeds, quinoa and wheat germ around to add to soups and sauces. This flat bread recipe produces a nice thin flat, crispy bread. It has a cracker like consistency and the chia seeds provide a pleasant crunch and nutty flavor. The wheat germ affects the texture less than a whole wheat flour might but still adds loads of nutrition.

First, this crispy chia seed and chive flat bread could be used for a number of purposes. Use it for hummus or eggplant dips or as a pizza dough.

Start by making the dough

3 cups type ‘oo’ flour
1 cup warm water, plus extra
1 tbsp dry, active yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 tbsp chia seeds
Parmesan for garnish
3 tbsp chives

Combine the yeast with the warm water to activate. Add chia seeds to same water and allow to sit until bubbles begin to appear.

Combine all other ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend together. Add water to dry ingredients and mix together by hand. Add more water only as needed to bring the dough together. Once incorporated, knead the dough for 5 minutes on a floured surface.

Place dough in a floured bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise for about 20 minutes and gently punch down the dough to remove the large air bubbles. Allow to rise for another 30-40 minutes until it has doubled in size.

While the dough is rising, prepare the other ingredients

2 small bunches mustard greens, cleaned and chopped
2 cups oyster mushrooms, cleaned and torn
3 red beets, peeled
12 shallots, peeled
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cloves garlic, whole unpeeled
feta cheese for garnish
chives
canola oil or palm oil
butter

Preheat the oven to 175c/350f. Carefully slice the peeled beets into even 1/4″ slices. Add to a roasting or cake pan with the whole garlic cloves and whole shallots and season with salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and roast in the oven, stirring occasionally until the beets are knife tender.

Preheat a sauté over medium high heat. Once the pan is nice and hot add enough oil to just coat the pan. Add the oyster mushrooms in one layer and allow them to sit undisturbed until they begin to color on the bottom side. Then add a small amount of garlic, a small nub of butter and season with salt and pepper. Toss several times and remove to a plate to cool.

In the same pan over medium heat add mustard greens, garlic and salt and pepper. Slowly wilt down the mustard greens, stirring constantly until most of the water is cooked out but they retain their firm texture. Return the mushrooms with to the pan with the greens and heat them back up together.

Roll out the flat bread

Preheat oven to 225c/450f. With a small amount of flour for dusting, roll out the flat bread to about 1/8th” thickness. Dust a sheet pan with a little flour or wheat germ and lay the rolled dough out on it. Brush generously with olive oil, and season with a little salt and black pepper. Next grate some fresh Parmesan over it and sprinkle with chopped chives (I like to use the white part here).

Place pan in the oven and bake until bubbles form and the bread begins to toast, about 7-10 minutes, then remove from oven.

Garnish flat bread

Lay down beet slices over the flat bread and then follow with the oyster mushrooms and mustard greens. Then sprinkle crumbled feta cheese over the top and garnish with the roasted shallots from the beets.

Return to the oven until all ingredients are hot and the feta softens. Remove and drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with chopped chives. If toasted properly it will hold all of the toppings without buckling under the weight and will have a wonderful crispy texture.

Visit Ministry of Mushrooms’ website for orders or inquiries

World Eats by Pinoy Eats World in Podium Mall

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Mr. D’s Artisanal is at Podium on the second floor atrium right now along with a number of other food vendors for Pinoy Eats World, World Eats. I’ll be slingin’ sammiches here made from my Philippine Wagyu Corned Beef. I will be making a classic reuben and a killer slider with horseradish mayo, pickled red onion and a corned beef jus for dipping.

Also here today:

  • Da.u.de Tea
  • Spring by Ha Yuan-Hong Kong specialties
  • Cafe de Bonifacio
  • Pinkerton Ice Cream by Alexandra Rocha
  • The Fruit Garden Luxury Jams
  • Angus Beef Tapa Lady
  • Turkish Express Kabab

If you don’t follow me on Twitter now would be the time because today I will be announcing a secret code word worth a free slider. I’ll be here tonight, tomorrow and Sunday all day long. I will also be in Soderno Weekend Market tomorrow and Sunday (that’s right, two places at once). Come out and check it out. Get your food trip on!

We Interrupt this Food Blog

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Freedom of speech in the Philippines is under attack. The Cybercrime Act recently signed into law is a disastrous piece of legislation, the consequences of which could only be to the detriment of your rights.

Those whose careers are most vulnerable to criticism through free exchange of information and ideas, have criminalized libel online in bold defiance of the Philippine Bill of Rights. As well the Cybercrime Law grants sweeping powers to law enforcement to monitor the online activity of Filipinos and shut down websites, all without due process.

What does this have to do with a food blog?

Well, for starters, I could no longer speak critically about anything, publicly or even privately by email without fear of ruinous legal consequences. Should I write a post criticizing a restaurant or other business (which I have been known to do), I could be subject to criminal charges. The definition of a “libelous statement” is murky at best, so the advantage would clearly be to those with the best lawyers, in other words most money. Furthermore my website is a .ph and could be shut down or blocked without any due process.

Am I also responsible for censoring the comments left on my website? Am I liable for these comments?

From now on all restaurant reports will be sparkling. I love everything! Why? Because I have no intention of being on Locked Up Abroad, that’s why.

In the States, like many other countries, there are restaurant critics, there’s Yelp.com and countless other ways that professional and amateur critics can bash and talk irrational shit about a restaurant. Sometimes they even have good things to say. The advantage to you as a diner is that you are empowered with an abundance of information to make a choice where you want to eat. You may use this information but must take all of the reviews with a grain of salt. Nothing like this exists in the Philippines yet, and it never will with criminalized libel on the books. The liability to the reviewer is just too great.

What does this have to do with you?

Ok, so most of you maybe don’t operate websites and let’s say you only use the internet for Facebook and sharing pictures of cats. Well you’re not off the hook either. Think twice before you click ‘Like’ and consider every possible ramification and distortion of every online comment you make.

Let’s say I write a post about a terrible restaurant experience. You read my post, maybe Tweet it or Like it, or make a witty comment below, such as “LOL.” Suddenly when the lawyers come for me they will also note your endorsement of my libelous statement, or indeed, “laughing out loud” about it. Now you’re on the hook too. ROFL or LMAO may be tantamount to treason. We don’t know, because in their clumsiness, the Senate has left this to the courts to figure out and ruin people’s lives and livelihoods until they do. Every comment in every social media platform is public. Even your emails are now subject to inspection by the NBI and are considered public if viewed by more than one person.

The insidious thing about libel is that it could be a statement that’s perfectly true or an opinion that’s perfectly well grounded. In further absurdity the truth of the statement is not considered a defense. Libel was a tool in Mike Arroyo’s belt when he filed over 40 lawsuits against Filipino journalists to dissuade criticism. Now imagine each of these further criminalized with a 6-12 year prison term as is now the case for online libel. This law will only further empower those seeking to stifle critics, those victims of “cyber-bullying.”

The Philippines is uniquely poised with strong economic growth in recent years to become a formidable economic force in Southeast Asia. But as Philippines Director Neeraj Jain of Asian Development Bank said, “issues like poor infrastructure and weak governance must be tackled if the country’s economic gains are to benefit all.” What will motivate government officials to tackle these problems without public pressure and criticism?

What do we do now?

This law has been decried by the UN Human Rights Committee and Human Rights Watch because of the draconian penalties it imposes and the consequences it will likely bring for freedom of speech. The opposition is gaining ground so make lots of noise until this law is drastically modified or repealed.

Just a gentle reminder:

Section 3. (1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law.

Section 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.