Cooking for the family

Published August 26, 2021, 12:00 PM

by Sandy Daza

This past week was fun. I made sure it was nothing but that at home. With the scary situation outside, no choice but to spend most of the time in prison. What did I do? I continued surprising my family with restaurant level cooking and dishes. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your loved ones and the ones they love happy and satisfied. Our conversation over a nice meal is priceless.

I started the week with Spanish tapas night. I made tortilla de patata. Very simple to make but delicious. Olive oil, chopped onions, cubed potatoes, seasoning then lots of eggs. Then I got some chorizos from Albas, sliced them, then just toasted them in a pan. Yummy! I also got some bread from Li’l oven (they’re on IG). This was a whole loaf of bread, sliced them, and toasted them till crusty. I had fresh garlic, halved tomatoes, salt, and good extra virgin olive oil (I use Goya brand). Rub the garlic all over the surface of the bread, then rub the surface again with tomatoes, season that with rock salt, then drizzle extra virgin olive oil over it. That’s it.

I had an outstanding chilled Italian red called Campo Marina. I get this from Italian wine importer Luch Zanirato 0917 855 5824. Ask him to recommend. His wines are very reasonably priced.

I got fresh shrimps from my suki at Farmers. I text, place my order, then drive by to pick it up. I have a styro at the back of my car, tell her how much money I have for change, drive by, open the back window, her guy drops the seafood into the styro, we exchange payment and change, and off I go. Rizza (+63 917 877 7493) has everything! Sometimes, I order huge crabs, sashimi, mussels, etc. Anyway, I peeled the shrimps but left the tail and set them aside. I got the heads and the shell, sautéed them in oil till orange. I added a little water then they straight to the food processor. Then I passed them through a strainer, mashed, and saved the juices. I sautéed a lot of chopped garlic in olive oil, added the juices from the shrimps, added white wine, then simmered it to evaporate. Add seasoning. Add the peeled shrimps and voila! You should have seen the smiles. That was such a memorable Spanish meal!

EL VINO PERFECTO Italian Campo Marina

Another evening, I made some Croque Monsieur! Grilled ham and cheese sandwich topped with sauce Mornay (butter and flour, add milk, then add grated parmesan cheese). I wipe butter on the bread. I toast them for two minutes. Then I wipe mayo on the base of the bread, put a slice of folded ham, a slice of cheese, some Dijon, and wipe Mornay sauce over it. Cover the bread. Top the bread with Mornay sauce again, add Emmental combined with grated Parmesan over it. And 15 minutes before dinner, I bake it at 450 degrees until the cheese bubbles and turns dark. Then I serve, but not before a salad. Winner!

With the scary situation outside, no choice but to spend most of the time in prison. What did I do? I continued surprising my family with restaurant level cooking and dishes.

Yet another evening, I observed how to make an Indonesian sate. I got some boneless chicken thigh, marinated it, and just cooked away. What a new discovery! With that I had a simple garlic rice with scrambled egg. Here is the recipe:

Chicken sate

CHIX STICK Chicken Sate

1 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice

1 1/2 tbsp Soy sauce

1 cup onions sliced

2 tsps. ginger, shaved

2 tbsps. garlic, chopped

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 cup peanut butter

2 tbsps sugar

1/2 cup water

1 kilo chicken, boneless

1/2 cup water

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 1/2 tbsp sugar

1 1/2 cup coconut milk

1/3 cup salted peanuts, chopped

Mix all marinade ingredients.

Add chicken and let marinade for one hour or overnight. Drain and save liquid. Skewer chicken and grill in pan with or on BBQ grill over charcoal. Drain sauce. Cook chicken until crust form on top. Put in oven and bake for 25 minutes at 300 degrees.

Simmer sauce in pan and add sugar, soy sauce, coconut milk and reduce. Add chopped peanuts . Serve as sauce.

My kids loved it so much there is a request for a repeat. I was surprised at how good it was. Next week, I am eyeing something we used to serve at our French restaurant Au Bon Vivant. It’ll be a secret until then, just in case it doesn’t work out. Sigurista! That’s’ what I’ve been doing in prison.

Happy eating!