Archive for March, 2014

If there’s only one thing that I would want to eat every time I go home to the province, it would be none other than the infamous Ilocos Longganisa. Nothing makes me feel like home more than those little nuggets of garlicky-porky goodness. The mother recently gave me a bunch and I took advantage of the rare abundance of a taste from home. I played around in the kitchen and came up with this a rather enjoyable dish.

 

PASTA AGLIO OLIO WITH ILOCOS LONGGANISA

DSCF1431

 

Ingredients:

  • Pasta, around 150 grams
  • Salt and Cooking Oil (for boiling pasta)
  • Ilocos Garlic Longganisa, 3 links, precooked and sliced thinly
  • Olive Oil and a little butter for frying
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Fresh Basil leaves, 1 bunch, roughly chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Juice of half a small lemon
  • Dried  Chili Flakes, as much as you prefer
  • Grated Cheddar Cheese, 1 tbsp
  • Parmesan Cheese, for topping

 

 

DSCF1433

 

Cooking Instructions: 

  1. Cook pasta per package instructions.You may use whatever pasta you like – I had leftover wheat fusilli so used that.
  2. Boil a pot of water, put a few drops of oil and salt liberally. Boil pasta until al dente, depending on which pasta you’re using. Mine took around 8-10 minutes.
  3. When the pasta is al dente, turn off heat and drain. Run under cold water to prevent soggy pasta stop the cooking process then set aside.
  4. In a pan, heat around a tablespoon of Virgin Olive Oil and a little butter.
  5. When the butter starts to melt, put in sliced garlic and stir around until they turn slightly brown. Make sure your garlic does not burn.
  6. Put in the Ilocos Longganisa. I was using the precooked ones so it didn’t need a lot of time in the pan. If you’re using the fresh kind, just make sure they are thoroughly cooked before adding in your pasta.
  7. I like my food spicy so I added a sprinkle of dried chili peppers at this point.
  8. Put in your cooked pasta. Toss around so it is properly coated with oil and the sausage slices are properly distributed all throughout the pan.
  9. Season with salt and ground pepper to taste.
  10. I had some cheddar cheese in the fridge so I grated it and put it in as well, but this is totally optional.
  11. Squeeze half of a small lemon in. This adds a bit of freshness into the dish.
  12. Turn off heat, throw in your fresh basil and stir to let the leftover heat wilt the basil leaves.
  13. Finally, top with Parmesan cheese and a sprig of basil for garnish.

 

Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

Advertisements

Intramuros (Latin, “within the walls”) is the oldest district and historic core of the City of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Also called the Walled City, the original citadel of Manila was the seat of government when the Philippines were acomponent realm of the Spanish Empire. Districts beyond the walls were referred as the extramuros of Manila, meaning “outside the walls”.

wpid-20131027_152607_1.jpg

 

wpid-20131027_145017_1.jpg

20131027_145238_1[1]

20131027_145340_1[1]

20131027_145048_1[1]

wpid-20131027_150021_1.jpg

wpid-20131027_150430_1.jpg

wpid-20131027_150458_1.jpg

wpid-20131027_153210_1.jpg

wpid-20131027_153336_1.jpg

wpid-20131027_154430_1.jpg

wpid-20131027_154540_1.jpg

wpid-20131027_155033_1.jpg

wpid-20131027_155135_1.jpg

wpid-20131027_160118_1.jpg

wpid-20131027_160508_1.jpg

wpid-20131027_160513_1.jpg

wpid-20131027_160610_1.jpg

wpid-20131027_161726_1.jpg

My friends and I took a long time deciding where to go for lunch during our Luneta/ Intramuros escapade. We wanted to eat somewhere with a great ambiance so we searched online for restaurant recommendations. We actually chose a different restaurant (it’s name escapes me as of writing) but it was closed down for the day. We wandered around the area and found the very inviting façade of Barbara’s.

image

They have a buffet lunch offering at Php545 per head. My companions were getting hungry and the pressure of the midday sun bearing down on us made the decision-making quick, despite the slight deviance from our original budget.

image

We were led upstairs to their dining area. I was quite impressed of how cozy and warm the interior is. It reminds me of old Spanish style homes in the province with its wooden floors and sliding windows.

image

image

The whole room was bathed in the warm glow emanating from a number of chandeliers hanging above our heads. It probably was a slow day for them because aside from ours, only two other tables were filled. The absence of a big crowd made the restaurant more ambient as we could only hear occasional boisterous laughter from the other patrons and a slight clitter-clatter coming from the kitchen.

image

image

image

On to the food…

Their spread was quite limited. With that, I can still say that it is still worth the price. For me, it is quality over quantity.

For appetizers, I had a bit of Waldorf Salad and Pita chips with Hummus dip. I liked the hummus a lot! I kept prodding my friends to try it out, LOL. I also had a few spoonfuls of Sweet Potato Soup, but it was too sweet for my taste.

image

For mains – I sampled the Buttered Baguio Vegetables, Paella, and Grilled Fish with Garlic Sauce. The paella was really good – the shrimp looked (and tasted!) fresh.

image

image

I liked the fish so much, I went back to the buffet table for another slice LOL. I also got a few slices of Roast Beef (best paired with the Cheesy Mashed Potato) and the very fresh tasting Lemon Peppered Chicken with Mango Salsa. The salsa must have been a favorite among the diners because the bowl was already scraped clean when I got some. I simply requested for the servers to top it up and they immediately took out a heaping bowl from the kitchen.

image

image

Their desserts were not so impressive, I must say. I tried their Brazo de Mercedes (meh), Brownies (meh), Banana Sesame (meh), and Coffee Jelly (yums!).

image

image

I realize I did not eat much, considering it was buffet dining. Maybe I will go back when my tummy is up for some pigging out. I was just not the usual buffet mood that day so my friends were teasing me that I did not get the bang for my buck. It’s all good, I’ll be back for revenge. Hahaha!

Also check out my Luneta Photowalk post, if you’re keen. 🙂

Lately I’ve noticed that afternoons are a little bit hotter than usual. Armpits get a little more sweaty (hehe) and ice-cold drinks are more than welcome any time of the day. Summer is almost here!

Since moving to Manila, summer for me meant going home to my beloved province and relishing what little time I have left to spend with my family before classes (or work) start again. We would always make time to go to the beach, and a trip to the beach always merits a drive to the famous Patapat Viaduct.

1

 

This long and winding bridge is in the northernmost tip of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. It is the fourth longest bridge in the Philippines and it is awesome! Hahaha

3

6

 

What we usually do is drive up to the bridge after a day of lounging at a nearby beach. Sunsets are very pretty here especially when spent with family (cue collective awwwwww).

2

 

There’s nothing much to see actually – just what seems to be an endless amount of black rocks and seawater in different shades of blue. Sometimes, a shipwreck might decorate the shores (before the locals butcher the beauty up and sell the spare parts in junk shops).

7

5

 

If you’re quite lucky, you might chance upon a weirdo in the middle of the road. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite LOL.

4

Other places you might wanna check out in Ilocos:

1. Agua Grande

2. Bantay Abot

3. Blue Lagoon

4. Playa Tropical Resort

5. Others

A few months back, I tasted RUB’s ribs for the first time and I swore to be back soon. Lo and behold, I haven’t gone back ever since. LOL.

image

 

It was a Saturday night and Timmy travelled all the way from Fairview to Kapitolyo to join us for dinner. In true Filipino fashion, the waiter graciously offered to take a picture of our group before we devoured all the food on the table.

image

image

image

 

For starters, we got a serving of Nachos with two kinds of dips – salsa and cheese sauce. At Php170, I don’t recommend ordering this. The nachos seemed old, not crunchy at all. The salsa tasted like it was just spooned out of a bottle a few seconds before it reached our table and the cheese sauce was just tasteless.

We also ordered Caesar Salad (Php210) and it was also not good, haha. You’re better off not ordering it.

image

 

For some reason, I was craving for pasta that night so I insisted on getting their Sausage Pomodoro Pasta (Php220). I wish I didn’t. Hahaha. The noodles were overcooked and the sauce was too runny and not spicy at all (contrary to what’s in their menu).

image

 

The main reason we trooped over to RUB was to taste their infamous ribs. We decided to go for their Family Brunch (Php685) which serves 4 people. It comes with their Rub Beef (Dry Rubbed U.S. Hanging Tender) and your choice of three sides. We opted for fresh Potato Fries, Buttered Veggies and the glorious Garlic Spinach. Their rib was perfectly tender, easily forked off the bone. And I couldn’t stop eating the garlic spinach.

image

 

The boys requested for an order of their Spiced Fried Rice (Php65) and we split a pitcher of their Iced Tea among us four. Both were not pictured so I give you a closer look at those yummy ribs. Hehe

image

 

Dining at RUB was a hit and miss, sadly more misses than hits. If you are going there, just go straight for their ribs, will you. And always, always get the garlic spinach as your side dish.

As usual, coffee and camwhore session capped the night off. 🙂

image

In an effort to get to know my country more, I always try to visit historical places (within Metro Manila or in the provinces alike). I have never been to Luneta before. In fact, I was still quite confused which is Luneta and which is Rizal Park. As it turns out, they are actually one and the same. D’oh!

Join me as I show you some bits and pieces of this national landmark.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

There’s something about Vietnamese food that makes me feel warm and tingly in my tummy. Their dishes taste clean and straightforward, and it feels like what comfort food should feel like. Among the fairly numerous Vietnamese restaurants in the city, I almost always end up at Pho Hoa.

Unfortunately, these photos were taken a looooong time ago on two separate occasions and I already forget what exactly these dishes are. However, I always make sure to order the fresh spring rolls in my every visit. It tastes fresh (lol duh) and I love the peanut sauce that comes with it.

And of course, I just needed to include a photo of my love that is Sriracha. I love it so much that this is what I ask from my bestfriend as pasalubong whenever she comes home from Canada. I got so excited when I saw some displayed for sale at S&R. Finally! 🙂

Enjoy the photos while I go pacify my grumbling tummy.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image