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 email@example.com for inquiries. Have a wonderful Holiday Season and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do (that pretty much leaves it wide open).
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
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.
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.
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…
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!
I finally made it to the Collective on Malugay last week. If you haven’t been already it’s worth checking out if for no other reason than the cool urban art on the walls inside.
Essentially the Collective is a large warehouse space subdivided into smaller units which serve as an incubator for small, independent businesses. Up front there are a number of restaurants. Toward the back on the right side of the is Ritual. This is where I found my take away souvenir, Katipunan Craft Indio Pale Ale.
I have been wanting this for some time, an alternative to the perfectly mediocre San Miguel dominance of the Filipino beer scene. I don’t particularly dislike San Miguel, and do consume my weight in it on a fair regular basis. But there hasn’t been an active micro-brewer to represent the Philippines.
It’s a well-crafted beer. Balanced, a little hoppy and full-flavored. It made me want for a steaming pot of mussels and fries… might need to make this happen.
I don’t think they produce a huge amount of this beer, but now I’ve discovered it. I can only hope there’s enough left for the rest of you.
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!
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- firstname.lastname@example.org
- Also please bear with me as I increase production. Supplies are limited.
Jaime Velasquez Park between Leviste & Tordesillas Streets
Salcedo Village, Makati
Every Saturday 7am-2pm
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.
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
Lapu lapu, a member of the grouper family, this white-flesh, mild fish is abundant in the waters around the Philippines
European-style breads, this is what I used for my 40 Pound French Toast
Ministry of Mushrooms grows and sells awesome local oyster mushrooms
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.
Something Different has numerous varieties of stuffed pan de sal and the best kesong puti (white cheese) to be found
Enchanted Farm Cafe
463 Commonwealth Ave.
0932 872 2427
Last night I had a the opportunity to attend the CSI night at Enchanted Farm Cafe in Quezon City. I couldn’t begin to talk about Enchanted Farm Cafe or its CSI night without first discussing Gawad Kalinga. However GK is a topic too vast to be shoehorned into a single post, so I will offer just a brief synopsis (I’m sure I’ll write about it much more in the future).
In Tagalog, Gawad Kalinga means to provide care. It is an organization founded by Tony Moleto, or Tito Tony, to end poverty in the Philippines and to restore dignity to the country’s poor. This is quite a tall order for a country that despite its GDP increase averaging over 4% per year from 2003-2009, actually saw an increase in poverty rates 24.9 26.5 during those same years¹. Many would put this number much higher.
Land for the Landless. Homes for the Homeless. Food for the Hungry.
This is just the beginning of what GK offers to affected communities. The GK Center for Social Innovations is a program within GK to create a business ecosystem that will benefit GK communities by creating a market for village products and employing its people. The GK CSI creates an environment that cultivates social entrepreneurs to build enterprises that will benefit those all the way down the supply chain.
I was prompted to go last night by one such social entrepreneur Julia Sevilla whose fair trade coffee brand Kape Maria supports local coffee growers and cooperatives. Julia spoke to us last night about how her brand came about.
Also speaking was Paul Rivera, who is a call center entrepreneur and CEO of a start up company called Kalibrr that teaches young Filipinos marketable skills in the tech field and assists them with job placement.
At the end we had the opportunity to listen to Tito Tony speak about the accomplishments of GK in recent years and his dreams for the future. He spoke with an infectious optimism about restoring livelihood and dignity to rural Filipinos.
Every Tuesday CSI night is a gathering of the minds at the Enchanted Farm Cafe. The cafe is a small, casual spot on the second floor of the Human Heart Nature, a social enterprise also in the GK family building on Commonwealth Ave. The cafe serves simple foods, many of which are sourced directly from GK’s farm in Bulacan from which the cafe is named.
In the spirit of Enchanted Farm Cafe’s mission of healthy, organic eating I broke from character and ordered the All Heart Burger, which is made from banana tree heart. They serve this with a small salad and kamote (sweet potato) fries for p100. The food is simple but good and thoughtfully prepared.
I also made a point to pick up some of Enchanted Farm’s hand-crafted cheeses on my way out.
I had the chance to meet with numerous people with GK and I feel I’m just scratching the surface. At the farm alone they have numerous local organic products including all sorts of fruits, vegetables, pork, poultry and cheeses.
It is awesome to me to see a group of people, not only engaged in bringing prosperity to rural communities, but also showing them how to bring on their own prosperity and do it in a way that is sustainable for the future.
As I said before the scope of this organization is far greater than what I can discuss in a single post. I leave a lot untold but will catch up with the topic again soon enough. I look forward to learning more about GK and visiting the farm which seems to represent all of Tito Tony’s hope and optimism for the future of this country.
Finally I am excited that they are taking so much interest in the quality and sustainability of their food chain. They are truly creating something that will benefit future generations in a way that was not conceived just a few decades ago. Through better growing, purchasing and eating we can create an industry.