Chocolate and bacon make good eatin'

The updating of the blog is creeping along ever so slowly due to work overload and Thanksgiving. My long-awaited food lab date has come and gone, and I'm pretty happy with the results. Each student in this seminar is supposed to research and present an international cuisine to the rest of the class and then actually prepare dishes in the hotel school's kitchens. My menu consisted of:

Fresh lumpia. These are Filipino "eggrolls" with pork, hearts of palm, shrimp and lettuce wrapped in crepe-like skins. Deelish, but a pain in the ass to make in a short amount of time. Lots of prep involved.

Champorado is a chocolate rice pudding served with dried salted fish or meat. We used bacon. Such a bizarre combo. It's eaten for breakfast in the Philippines. I made a batch of this at home and we tried it as our morning meal. It's tasty, but sits like lead in your stomach.

his sinigang was supposed to be a dinuguan with chicken blood, but there were some complications requisiting the blood. Apparently I would've had to obtain signed waiver forms from my classmates were they to eat this, even if cooked. I personally think this block was simply an aversion to the idea of consuming such a taboo food in class. Who knows? Perhaps cooked blood is prone to carrying more diseases than chicken meat itself. Anyway, this stew was a quick revision to my original recipe using almost all the ingredients for the dinuguan sans blood. We added tamarind, fish sauce, and tomatoes.

For dessert, we made yema, an egg yolk confection with condensed milk and potato flakes. A bit gummy and super-rich, but edible. I think it the sticky consistency and the bright yellow yolk appearance freaked people out a bit.

Overall, I thought it a decent meal, but I'm definitely tired of testing Filipino recipes for the past month. My arteries are probably clogged solid now from the vast amounts of coconut milk I've eaten in stews and desserts.


New foods, in brief

Haven't had much time as of late to update the blog, but instead will take the lame-ass way out and post a few pics from the hotel class.

Basque baked eggs and my first attempt at matzo brei.

Everytime I think of matzo brei, I remember Ruth Reichl's description of how she tried to win a boy's heart by cooking this after nights hanging out with friends. Seemed to go over well with the group, but I'm not really sure I cooked it "authentically" or if it even had the right proportions of crackers to egg. Oh well.

These are crazy green Indonesian coconut rolls. Pretty yummy, although the day-glo color is a bit frightening.

Lastly, a pic of us tasting underdone Hawai'ian laulau. Laulau = pork butt, chicken, and butterfish mixed together, wrapped in ti and poi leaves, and steamed. Not bad, but a bitch to make under pressure. I seemed to be allergic to the ti leaves and broke out into a nice rash the day we cooked it. Photo of rash not provided.