"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hibachi Steak House in NH

I just wanted to share about this restaurant.

Here in Maine there is a dearth of Japanese restaurants.

One time my husband and I spent 5 days in NH to celebrate our anniversary, and although he was not particularly fond of Asian cuisine, he agreed (in order to please me) to eat dinner at the Hibachi Steak House (it was just opposite Walmart in that part of NH).

We did not expect the show that chefs here perform to amuse their clients. We were seated around a stainless steel grill stovetop, along with other diners, and were entertained by the skills of the chef. My favorite part was the volcano part as shown at around 2:30 mins into the video. I videotaped it then using my cellphone and showed it to my sons. Since then, my sons have been wanting to go there as well to see it live. This particular video was taken using my iPod touch's videocam.

Apparently, Hibachi is now taken to mean a Japanese style of cooking.

My husband was delightfully surprised at how good the teppanyaki (using filet mignon cut) was, and especially liked the ginger sauce that was served on the side. I have tried the chicken, as well as the shrimp.
If memory serves me right, the first chef we had was a Filipino, and I asked him what he was using
in cooking. They might be prohibited from sharing the ingredients. But I got the info as to the wine, and a ponzu sauce. I am guessing the other ingredient was Tamari soy sauce, and I guessed that the wine was probably mirin (a Japanese rice wine). In hopes of at least recreating the dishes at home (not the volcano show), I immediately ordered mirin and ponzu sauce from amazon.com, and got a bottle of Tamari. Then for ginger sauce, I first tried making my own, but it was nowhere near what we had in the restaurant. Then, I discovered recently the Mikee Ginger Teriyaki Sauce in Hannaford store, and it was as good, if not better, than the one we had in the restaurant.

I tried several times already to cook using the above ingredients. One thing I learned: the rice wine gives the meat a glaze, which can also make it appear burnt if cooked too long, just like how the soy sauce or ponzu sauce affects the cooking. So, cook the meat first, and add these toward the end of cooking.

My husband was satisfied with my attempts at copying these dishes at home.

But we will still go to this restaurant at least yearly after getting our fireworks, especially that they will be officially legal in our state by January of next year.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Spinach Feta Porta Pizza

Hannaford grocery store carries such portabella mushroom caps with veggies (apparently an Italian dish). I once bought that and tried to bake it like pizza. The outcome did not agree with my taste buds. I can't remember what the veggies were, but that gave me an idea of making a portabella pizza using my fave veggie pizza toppings -- spinach, tomatoes, onions, and feta cheese. I baked it in an oven toaster since I only had two of them. I share one with my Nanay.

My Nanay and I loved the outcome!

2 portabella mushroom caps
amount of other ingredients will depend on how much you want to stuff your mushroom caps --
about 2 to 4 oz of crumbled feta cheese
diced tomatoes
sliced baby spinach
diced onions
shredded mozarella cheese (to make the veggies stick together)
salt and pepper to taste

Assemble as shown. Bake in an oven toaster at 400 deg F for about 20-30 minutes or until veggies and mushroom caps are done (and cheese on top gets toasted). Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Wait to cool down a bit before biting!

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