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Sunday Rehabilitation

plated

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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.

Philippine Wagyu Corned Beef

Corned beef

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Today my friends at pepper.ph ran a contest for my Philippine Wagyu Corned Beef featuring Kitayama beef. I am in the process of launching a brand, beginning with my corned beef, of locally sourced cured meats and pickled foods called Mr. D’s Artisinal.

I have always been an advocate of local agriculture, wherever local may be for you. In my case it’s the Philippines, so as long as I’m in the Philippines I will support Filipino farmers. Kitayama beef is raised in northern Mindanao and the cattle are a cross-breed of Japanese cows and native. This is the same beef that is served in Malcolm’s and is outstanding quality.

My corned beef is made from the brisket cut which is cured for one week then is available as is or slow-cooked for five hours. I spent one month perfecting the recipe before letting the public try and I am quite proud of it. I think you’ll all love it.

This combined with the expertise of Photo Kitchen has made this quite a success. My inbox lit up like a Christmas tree with orders. I will try my best to keep up with demand but I ask your patience while I kick my production into high gear. I will provide some general ordering information below for your reference while I catch up with emails.

So I will get to work. Thank you for supporting my product and Philippine agriculture!

Order Information

Mr. D’s Artisanal Philippine Wagyu Corned Beef       p475/500g -or- p925/kg

  • It is currently out of stock but will be available again on Thursday 7/19
  • It is available raw or slow cooked (some weight loss will occur during cooking)
  • Right now it is available for pick up only in Salcedo Village or Dasmariñas Village, Makati (delivery available soon!)
  • Please email me for orders- jeremy@mrdelicious.ph
  • Also please bear with me as I increase production. Supplies are limited.

My Trip to Barangay Encanto, a Visit to GK Enchanted Farm

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I get lost a lot living in the Philippines. Sometimes I don’t even have to leave Makati to get hopelessly lost.  So for me to drive solo deep into Bulacan was an ambitious endeavor.

A dozen wrong turns later after desperately looking for street signs that don’t exist I saw a beacon of hope, a wind power turbine. It looked every bit as much out of place in its surroundings as I did. Found it!

Gawad Kalinga is a non-profit organization whose goal is to eradicate poverty in the Philippines through community building and social enterprise. What’s unique about them is they build an economic platform for the poor to sustain themselves. So it’s not about handouts but making profits in a socially responsible manner. Capitalism 2.0.

The Enchanted Farm is the model of GK’s vision. They have brought in the poorest families from the surrounding province. Many of these people came from other parts of the Philippines to Manila looking for work. When they were unable to find work they would live as squatters, under bridges and in the slums of Manila. The local government would literally truck them out to Bulacan where they would remain.

GK would offer them homes, education and a livelihood. Some of these people were even involved in communist militant groups. Many will turn to militancy when they perceive no other options. When they are given other options they would follow peaceful pursuits. After all many of them have marketable skills. There are farmers, basket weavers, textile makers, etc. What they did not have was the means to produce and market their wares.

Hand-crafted baskets ready to be sold

One such product is Enchantea which is a brand of healthy brewed tea drinks made from local fruits and botanicals. One product was being developed that was a blend of lemongrass, calamansi and comote leaves. It was delicious, especially on a brutally hot day.

 

One of the best things I’ve tasted in 90+ degree heat

A means to produce and market is precisely what is provided here. There is a village university to teach the community how to earn a sustainable livelihood. The farm also serves as an incubator for businesses. It’s a place to test and develop products, especially agriculturally-based products. In addition to that it is being developed into a tourist destination with up to a hundred guest villas being constructed as well as a spa and restaurant.

One of the air conditioned guest villas

Upon entering I was greeted by a flurry of activity. Flowers and landscaping everywhere, the farm is a green oasis dotted with buildings made from local materials. There is a small community that houses over 50 families. There were dozens of people gathered there for an event that day.

I had the opportunity to tour the farm and see what is being produced. Each family is given a plot of land to work. They grow all sorts of fruits and vegetables. There were papayas everywhere, ube, chilies, corn, tomatoes, etc.

Ube field (local purple sweet potato)

Dill grows like crazy all over the farm

Samples of products under testing were being served, giving me a perfect excuse to have two desserts.

Malunggay langka ice cream, they should package and sell this. They should do it now!

It’s hard not to be inspired by a place like this. As a chef I feel it is my responsibility to support local agriculture and to build a bridge between the diner and the farmer. I grabbed up some samples from the farm and brought them back to begin experimenting. Unfortunately the salted duck eggs were sold out on my visit but I will be back for them.

Golden Egg salted duck eggs are dyed naturally with tumeric

To those who would like to help you can give through GK’s website. I would also encourage you to visit the Enchanted Farm. It’s a great escape from the city. But you can also help by supporting GK community brands, such as Human Nature, Kape Maria and Enchantea.

The Philippines is a country that has always imported a lot despite what is available locally. There is an assumption that exists here that imported goods are superior to local. However local goods have been steadily improving and it’s time to refresh that assumption. Every vote counts and you cast your ballot with every peso you spend.

Spices at Assad Mini Mart-Makati

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Edit: I do not own Assad and am not affiliated in any way with this business. This is only a blog post on Assad. If you have any questions about products they carry I suggest you call one of the numbers below. I will not approve any more of these questions in my comment section. Thank you!

-Jeremy

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I have found it to be a bit challenging at times to find all of the raw ingredients in Manila for the various cooking projects I have undertaken. Though selections in supermarkets have improved when cooking non-Filipino foods especially, you have to do a little searching.

That’s why I’m adding a new category to this website to assist others as I assume I’m not the only one. For any market report I do I will add a Where to Find tag for the primary items that can be found at a given market, beginning with spices at Assad Mini Mart. Most places in Manila still don’t have much of an online presence so I’ll help them along.

Assad Mini Mart is am Indian grocer with a good selection of grocery items and halal foods. They sell frozen and fresh flat breads, as well as dairy items and dried legumes. However the one thing I got excited about was their large selection of inexpensive spices.

I stocked up my pantry on a number of the spices that are either hard to find at the grocery store or prohibitively priced. In many cases you will pay 6-8 times the money per gram than you would here. Although if you are not too familiar with the looks of different spices you may want to ask for assistance because they aren’t exactly well labeled.

At the front counter they have a hot case with potato samosas for p15. I picked up four and made an all-starch lunch out of them. They have a nice curry kick to them and the tamarind sauce is perfect.

According to the calling card I procured they have three locations which I will list below. The one I go to is in Makati on Jupiter. As always feel free to contact me or leave comments if you’re searching for something in particular and I will do my best to point you in the right direction. Otherwise share your findings so we can have a consolidated resource here on mrdelicious.ph to assist home cooks in procuring ingredients.

Assad Mini Mart Locations:
Unit 1-A Eurocrest Building
126 Jupiter St., Bel-Air Vil,
897-2543

Midtown Executive Homes
1268 United Nations Ave.
526-1349, 526-5034

Door #5 Thaddeus Arcade, San Roque
Marikina City
645-1596

(Over)Indulging in Carmen’s Best Ice Cream

Spoons are for losers

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It’s not hard to understand why people might be sick of all of the culinary buzz words used ad nauseum by obnoxiously self-congratulatory food bloggers such as myself. Artisanal, local, organic, free range, etc. etc. So why then, do people like me persist in tormenting you?

Maybe I like to torment you a little bit, but there’s also another far more important reason. Whether you agree with me or not this is a very important social movement of our times. As such it wouldn’t be much of a social movement if we didn’t talk about it.

I get really excited when I encounter a new product that represents these principles well. When I first tasted Carmen’s Best Ice Cream at the Salcedo Market the quality was self evident.

The first flavor I tried was the butter pecan. Not being a flashy flavor, it really showcases its raw ingredients. In any Carmen’s flavor, you can actually taste cream. Also if you leave it on your counter it will actually melt. Most commercial ice cream brands, with Selecta being one of the worst, have an enormous ingredient list which includes numerous emulsifiers and stabilizers which are there to prevent it from losing its form when it warms. Never trust an ice cream that doesn’t melt!

Rocky Road flavor from Carmen’s Facebook page

Owner Paco Magsaysay sources his dairy for both Carmen’s Ice Cream and Holly’s Milk from his family’s farm in Laguna. He uses natural ingredients and natural colors.

I conducted a very scientific taste analysis of Carmen’s rocky road with my 3-year-old son, Samuel. Our results were strikingly consistent.

Spoons are for losers

Carmen’s ice creams are richer and creamier than most. It’s made in old fashioned style, much like the ice creams I grew up on. The flavors are pronounced but not over-powering. As I diligently work my way through their entire flavor lineup, every one so far has been a win, and who doesn’t like winning?

Carmen’s Best is available at several pick up points in Makati, Pasig and San Juan as well as the Salcedo Market. For information check out their How to Order page on their website.

Website

Facebook fan page

8 Years and Going Strong at the Salcedo Market

BBQ smoke rises on Leviste

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Salcedo Market

Jaime Velasquez Park between Leviste & Tordesillas Streets

Salcedo Village, Makati

Every Saturday 7am-2pm

BBQ smoke rises on Leviste

I was invited by the organizers of the Salcedo Market to come join them for their 8th anniversary celebration. They had the Manila Dance Foundation performing traditional folk dances and the vendors serving Independence Day foods.

I had a good talk with the ladies of Salcedo and also ran into Anton Diaz and family of Mercato Centrale and Our Awesome Planet.

Frankly it didn’t take a great deal of convincing because I make a point to go there every Saturday. This is where most of my cooking projects begin.

The organizers started the Salcedo Market 8 years ago to bring the community of Salcedo Village together every Saturday. This they accomplished this and much more as the market grew in popularity beyond their expectations.

Now the Salcedo Market is one of the leading places in Manila to go for high quality foods, both raw and prepared, with a focus toward natural and organic, local products.

Since my last post was in excess of 800 words I will spare you my blathering and tell you this story with lots of pretty pictures.

Tuyo and tinapa-dried and/or smoked herring

Salted duck eggs

Lapu lapu, a member of the grouper family, this white-flesh, mild fish is abundant in the waters around the Philippines

They have this neat pony ride but I couldn’t figure out where the coins go

European-style breads, this is what I used for my 40 Pound French Toast

They got crabs!

Ministry of Mushrooms grows and sells awesome local oyster mushrooms

Fresh seafood on display

DGM Organics is the busiest and largest produce vendor

I love the Chinese sausage here. He also sells dried shitakes and fried pigeon.

Ilocos empanadas are a great hangover remedy

Down to Earth is a little bit hard to spot. They’re in the middle section and have incredible greens and herbs as well as local meats. This is where I bought my hibiscus flowers.

Grilled bangus, or milkfish, wrapped in banana leaves and stuffed with tomatoes and onion. This my favorite choice for a quick lunch to bring home from the market.

This is what I looked like before I hatched

Something Different has numerous varieties of stuffed pan de sal and the best kesong puti (white cheese) to be found

 

 

 

 

 

Shroomin’ Part One: Manila Edition

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Oyster mushrooms

Umami has become a bit of a culinary buzz word over the past couple decades to the point where we might be a little sick of hearing about it. Regardless it is without a doubt the one flavor I seek out the most. Mushrooms are a great carrier of this flavor and if handled with a little care and respect can be utterly extraordinary and transformative.

When I first started becoming an obnoxious foodie I would often shun many simple and beautiful products like button mushrooms. When I was doing my culinary in France I learned how to work with these sorts of blank canvass flavors. It’s all in the handling. I was amazed how good these humble ingredients could be transformed with a little caramelization (or a ton of butter). Add in some shallots and fresh herbs and it can be quite amazing. Oyster mushrooms are kind of the same way.

When nicely roasted or sautéed oyster mushrooms can be amazingly meaty

I’ve been in Salcedo Village in Makati for almost a year now and feel lucky to live right next to the best farmers’ market in Manila. Every Saturday the Salcedo Community Market is open from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm in Jaime Velasquez Park on Leviste St. Here you can find some of the best local produce, cheeses, breads, seafood and meats. This is where I discovered Ministry of Mushrooms.

Ministry of Mushrooms is a small purveyor with unwavering focus-oyster mushrooms. I had the chance to meet with owner/partner Marco Lobregat last week to discuss his business and just generally chat about fungus at length. Marco is more passionate about the oyster mushroom than anyone you will ever meet. He worked in sales and marketing and his family has a long history with agriculture. His family owns a farm in Batangas and has cultivated this land for years growing coconuts, mangos and cassava.

Marco had been living in Spain working in sales and marketing when he decided to move back home to the Philippines. Using his family’s land he formed a partnership with Jose Javier Ortoll and Victor  Sala and created Ministry of Mushrooms. Right now they are focused solely on oyster mushrooms, both dried and fresh, but they have plans to grow into shiitakes soon.

MoM oyster mushroom and chicken red rice paella

Look around in your grocery store in Manila at the mushrooms in the produce section and you will pretty much only find imported products. These are usually packaged on a styrofoam tray and wrapped in plastic and have not been consistently refrigerated. So what you end up with is a mushroom that is limp and damp on the surface which don’t cook well at all.

The first time I purchased oyster mushrooms from Marco the difference was immediately apparent. They were plump and fresh and the surface was still dry. That makes them ideal for sautéing or roasting. Here’s a beef Bourgignon I made with them back in December.

I know that mushrooms are a little bit off the radar in the Philippine diet but I think that is unjust. It’s great having local food purveyors like this that are high quality and focused. They are always available at the Salcedo Market but you can also contact them directly for delivery which I have done on multiple occasions. I urge anyone who is interested in eating local, fresh ingredients in the Philippines to check these guys out.

MoM on Facebook 

Visit their website

+63 91750