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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.

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

Paris Délice, Francofication-Makati

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Paris Délice
1 Juno Street, corner Makati Ave.
1209 Makati City, Manila
PHILIPPINES

Phone:+(632) 798 0740
FAX:+(632) 421 0162
E-mail: contact@parisdelice.com.ph

http://www.paris-delice.com/

Situated on Makati Avenue, Paris Délice sits amongst a thousand fast food restaurants like a tiny oasis of French-ness. Though it is a self-described “alternative fast food” it is without a doubt a higher quality option than its neighbors. It’s not just fast food. It’s le fast food.

There are a couple of things that make this place a stand out against Coeur de France, which is more of a perverted mutation rather than an oasis of French-ness. Paris Délice imports their bread and croissant dough from France. Though I would love to see a good local option, as far as I can tell this does not exist. So perhaps their importing solution is still best.

When I first moved to France I didn’t understand why anyone would ever get excited about a plain butter croissant. But when you try a good one, you understand. In the hands of a skilled baker they have a flaky, crispy exterior with a soft, buttery interior.

My favorite breakfast

Paris Délice is French-owned and the authenticity is evident. Though a very simple café concept it is very simple and focused. They offer sandwiches, salads, soups, pastries and a few pastries. The sandwiches are exactly like what I used to eat about 5-7 times a week when I lived in Paris. The one I keep going back for is the Napoléon, which is Rosette de Lyon (a dried saucisson or French salami) with cornichons and butter on baguette.

Butter is indeed a wonderful condiment

They also offer free WiFi and have a delivery service. The minimum order for delivery is p300 and there is an additional p30 delivery fee. I think it’s really smart of them to offer this service because good bread can be difficult to get in Manila.

If you find yourself experiencing any French withdrawal symptoms this is an easy and inexpensive fix. Bravo for making high quality convenience food. Combined with free WiFi and strong coffee these poor people will never get rid of me.

(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.

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