Earth Kitchen Offers
Fresh, Farm-to-Table Dining

Scallops and Aligue on Squid Ink Pasta

Scallops and Aligue on Squid Ink Pasta

SOMETIMES, living in this high-tech world can be scary—especially since fast-food and instant food have become the go-to convenience food of quite a number of people. Burgers and fried chicken with soda, and instant noodles, frozen meals and processed meats… Regular consumption of such takes its toll on your health in the long run, and you become yet another statistic added to the growing number of people suffering from lifestyle diseases.

Thankfully, there is also an emerging movement towards achieving a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy and taking up an active lifestyle—and, thanks to conscientious restaurateurs and chefs, this is slowly but surely coming into fruition.

Earth Kitchen, which recently opened its second branch at Bonifacio High Street Central, serves light, healthy and organic food

Earth Kitchen, which recently opened its second branch at Bonifacio High Street Central, serves light, healthy and organic food, says one of its owners, Joseph Hizon

One of those in the forefront of this healthy revolution is Earth Kitchen, a restaurant that espouses fresh, farm-to-table dining. It serves light and healthy dishes using locally sourced organic and sustainable ingredients. Since Earth Kitchen forms part of the Got Heart Foundation, an outreach program whose major advocacy is natural or organic farming, Earth Kitchen sources its ingredients from the Got Heart Farms in Tarlac and from its partner communities from Luzon to Mindanao, thus assuring its diners that the food is truly fresh, organic and healthy. It is owned by four young and idealistic Filipinos—Melissa Yeung-Yap, Joseph Hizon, Chef David Hizon and Chef J.R. Trani—and since two of its owners are chefs, the dishes on the menu are not light and healthy but delicious and flavorful as well.

The food at Earth Kitchen is not cuisine-specific. The menu carries a wide selection of appetizers, soups, salads, pasta dishes, risotto, soft tacos, main dishes, desserts and fresh fruit and vegetable juices. Almost everything is made from scratch, from the pasta to the tortilla, risotto, soup and ice cream. Chefs David and J.R., who collaborated on the menu, have come up with specifically crafted dishes that highlight the freshness of the ingredients used.

Fish and Mango

Fish and Mango

Tempura Salad

Tempura Salad

Milanese Risotto

Milanese Risotto

Must-tries include Fish and Mango (Php230), loro fish fillet with ripe mango, cilantro and chili plum sauce; Shrimp Spring Rolls (Php220 for a regular serving andPhp325 for a large serving), which have shrimps, organic herbs and greens, and peanuts wrapped in spring rolls and served with lime hoisin sauce; Tempura Salad (Php330), which has ebi and fish tempura on top of organic vegetables drizzled with roasted sesame dressing; Watermelon and Rocket Salad (Php300), arugula, edible flowers, pili nuts, homemade kesong puti and balsamic vinaigrette; and Milanese Risotto (Php640), which has saffron, Parmesan cheese, butter, organic braised beef short ribs and gremolata.

Spaghetti Pomodoro

Spaghetti Pomodoro

Since the restaurant makes its own pasta, Earth Kitchen is able to offer nine varieties of pasta dishes that range from classic selections, such as Ragu ala Bolognese (Php320), handmade fettuccine, organic beef, organic tomato sauce, and mixed herbs; Spaghetti Pomodoro (Php220), organic tomato sauce, spaghettini, basil and Parmesan cheese; and Spaghetti Meatballs (Php330), organic beef and bacon, organic tomato sauce on spaghettini; to contemporary concoctions like Scallops and Aligue (Php480), local scallops, crabfat, anise liquor and mild chilies on squid ink pasta; and Sweet Potato Tops Ravioli (Php400), camote tops, white cheese, pili nuts, Pomodoro sauce, basil and Parmesan cheese.

Fish and Roasted Sesame Soft Taco

Fish and Roasted Sesame Soft Taco

Soft tacos are also a must-try at Earth Kitchen, with five variants to choose from—Beef Bulgogi (Php210 for 2 pcs./Php310 for 3 pcs.), boneless beef ribs, kimchi rice, salad greens and seaweed; Braised Pork Shoulder (Php205/Php300), which comes with cucumber, peanuts, cilantro and lime hoisin sauce; Pumpkin and Kesong Puti (Php170/P240), with salad greens, aioli, radish, edible flowers and peanuts; Mushroom (Php190/Php270), shiitake, button and milky mushrooms, salad greens, radish, seaweed and lime hoisin sauce; and Fish and Roasted Sesame (Php190/Php270), battered and deep-fried loro fish fillets, salad greens, cucumber, seaweed and roasted sesame dressing.

Dessert is basically ice cream, which diners can order in scoops at Php110 per scoop, but there are three ice cream creations to choose from: Vanilla Peanut Butter Crunch (Php200), homemade carabao vanilla ice cream with peanut butter and turon; Tablea (Php200), homemade carabao tablea ice cream and chocolate chip cookie crumble; and Goat’s Cheese (Php270), goat’s cheese ice cream, wild honey, dried figs and cashew nuts.

'Got Heart Mix' drink and a Pitcher of Fresh Guyabano Juice

‘Got Heart Mix’ drink and a Pitcher of Fresh Guyabano Juice

As for beverages, Earth Kitchen serves a variety of teas by the cup or teapot, hot coffee and chocolate drinks, red and white wine, and fresh juices. Health-conscious diners order either the Got Heart Mix (Php200), which is a combination of beets, carrots, cucumber, apple and honey; Mango Yoghurt Shake (Php130), Organic Calamansi Juice (Php110), Organic Sugarcane Juice (Php120), or a Pitcher of Fresh Dalandan Juice (Php260) or of Fresh Guyabano Juice (Php280).

With restaurants such as Earth Kitchen emerging from among the fast-foods and restaurants that serve sinfully unhealthy food, we can hopefully still reverse the alarming trend or state of health among Filipinos.

 

(Earth Kitchen opened its first branch along Katipunan, White Plains, Quezon City, in July 2003; and recently opened its second branch at Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, in July 2015. For inquiries or reservations, call 577-9138 or 0917-5843278 for the Katipunan store and 0925-6888951 for the BGC store.)

Posted in Restos Tagged , , , , , ,

Arrozeria Serves Awesome Paellas

Arrozeria's Paella Abanda

Arrozeria’s Paella Abanda

HOW do you like your paella—nice, soft and wet; al dente, thin and dry; soupy like risotto; saucy like a stew?

However you like your paella, you’ll find your heart’s desire at Arrozeria, the newly launched Spanish restaurant on the Fourth Level of Century City Mall. The chefs behind Arrozeria—Vask’s famous Chef Jose Luis ‘Chele’ Gonzalez, along with Chefs Keith Fresnido and Ivan Saiz—respect the way Filipinos have become accustomed to soft and wet paella with chunky meat or seafood and vegetables, although the original Spanish paella is more dry and al dente, with a bite, as you get to feel each and every grain of rice in your mouth. So you can choose whether you want your paella al dente and thin or soft and wet, and you also get to choose the size—12 inches (good for 2 to 3 persons), 15 inches (good for 4 to 5 persons), or 18 inches (good for 6 to 8 persons).

Chefs Ian Saiz, Jose Luis 'Chele' Gonzalez and Keith Fresnido run the kitchen at Arrozeria

Chefs Ian Saiz, Jose Luis ‘Chele’ Gonzalez and Keith Fresnido run the kitchen at Arrozeria

Chefs at work during dinner service

Chefs at work during dinner service

Cooking a huge serving of paella for guests who graced Arrozeria's formal opening

Cooking a huge serving of paella for guests who graced Arrozeria’s formal opening

Choices include Abanda (boneless fish and seafood), Del Señorito (boneless chicken and peeled seafood), De Verduras (seasonal vegetables), Valenciana (chicken, rosemary, green and white beans), Pato y Setas (duck and mushrooms), and Rossejat (beef shank, pork knuckle, chorizo and chickpeas), with prices ranging from Php550 to Php790 for the 12-inch paella, from Php1,050 to Php1,530 for the 15-inch paella, and from Php1,600 to Php2,320 for the 18-inch paella, depending on what variant you order. Can you imagine duck in your paella, or beef shank and pork knuckle? Indulgence, indeed, that diners appreciate!

Cerdo Adobado y Boletus

Cerdo Adobado y Boletus

Remolacha y Trigueros Risotto

Remolacha y Trigueros Risotto

Arroz con Costra Chorizo y Gambas

Arroz con Costra Chorizo y Gambas

There are, however, certain paella and rice dishes that Arrozeria has set as a standard Caldoso (soupy), Meloso (saucy), Risotto (creamy), Arroz con Costra (with an egg crust) and Arroz Gratinado (gratinated). There’s De Cangrejo (crab and snow peas) for the Caldoso; Cerdo Adobado y Boletus (marinated pork with Porcini mushrooms) and Marinero (fish and squid) for the Meloso; Remolacha y Trigueros (beetroot and green asparagus with local cheese) and Foie Gras y Boletus (foie gras and Porcini mushrooms) for the Risottos; Chorizo y Gambas for the Arroz con Costra; and Longaniza (longganisa with broccoli and aioli gratin) for the Arroz Gratinado.

The nice thing about Arrozeria’s paellas, besides being delicious and flavorful, is that they make use of local Tinawon rice, an heirloom variety of the Ifugaos. It is strikingly similar in characteristics to the Bomba rice traditionally used in making Spanish paella, so the chefs of Arrozeria searched for a steady source of Tinawon rice and, finding one, decided to use it for their paellas. This practically supports the local heirloom rice industry and, in encouraging Ifugao farmers to continue to produce Tinawon rice, they are helping preserve the tradition and keep it alive.

Fideua Callos

Fideua Callos

Fideua Negra

Fideua Negra

Besides paella, though, one other important item on Arrozeria’s menu is Fideua, a traditional Spanish dish similar to paella that makes use of short, thin noodles instead of rice, although the method of cooking is basically the same. There are two variants—Callos (pork, tripe and garbanzos), and Negra (black squid ink and octopus)—to choose from, with prices ranging from Php500 to Php590 for the 12-inch size, from Php950 to Php1,130 for the 15-inch size, and from Php1,450 to Php1,720 for the 18-inch size.

With a full Spanish menu to boot, Arrozeria carries several selections of Bocatas (Spanish sandwiches), Verdes (light and healthy plates), Tapas (savory bites to enjoy with a drink), Carnes y Pescados (hearty meat and fish dishes), and Dulces (desserts).

Manchega

Manchega

Tabla de Pates

Tabla de Pates

Croquetas Trio

Croquetas Trio

Lengua Frita

Lengua Frita

Albondigas con Champinones

Albondigas con Champinones

Pimiento Rellenos

Pimiento Rellenos

Gambas con Gabardina Negra

Gambas con Gabardina Negra

Must-tries include Manchega (Php295), salad of lettuce, Manchego cheese, apple and dried fruits); Tabla de Pates (Php395), which consists of Campagne, cochinillo and mushrooms, chicken pistachio and seafood terrine, with black olive, parsley and Porcini mushroom mayonnaise; Croquetas Trio (Php275), fish and seafood, Porcini mushrooms and stewed Bechamel croquettes; Lengua Frita (Php380), which are generous slices of deep-fried Angus ox tongue coated in Bechamel with tartar sauce; Albondigas con Champiñones (Php375), beef and pork meatballs with a button mushroom sauce and rustic potatoes; Pimiento Rellenos (Php295), which are Piquillo peppers stuffed with braised ox tail; and Gambas con Gabardina Negra (Php395), which are squid ink battered shrimps with mojo picon.

Arrozeria served some of these must-tries along with their highly recommended paella and fideua variants during the restaurant’s formal opening last August (2015).

Tocinillo Del Cielo

Tocinillo Del Cielo

Tarta de Chocolate

Tarta de Chocolate

Calamansi Semifrio

Calamansi Semifrio

For the desserts, there are three must-tries: Tocinillo del Cielo (Php250), which is an egg yolk flan with raspberry foam, yogurt, lime and Modena vinegar reduction; Tarta de Chocolate (Php195), chocolate tart with whipped cream and chocolate crumbs; and Calamansi Semifrio (Php225), which is a calamansi semifreddo with mango sauce and mint jelly.

La Guapa

La Guapa

La De Siempre

La De Siempre

Arrozeria's De Fiesta signature refreshers La Blanca, La De Siempre, Calimocho and La Guapa were free flowing during the formal opening night

Arrozeria’s De Fiesta signature refreshers La Blanca, La De Siempre, Calimocho and La Guapa were free flowing at the bar during the formal opening night

To wash down a really good Spanish meal, Arrozeria suggests its De Fiesta signature refreshers in mugs and jars. On opening day, the restaurant had free flowing La Blanca (white Sangria), La De Siempre (wine and fruits), Calimocho (wine and Coke), and La Guapa (rose Sangria) for guests to enjoy.

For a really authentic and enjoyable Spanish meal, the newly opened Arrozeria is proving to be one of the best places to visit.

 

(Arrozeria is located on the Fourth Floor of Century City Mall, Kalayaan Ave., Makati City; with telephone number 894-1796.)

 

Posted in Restos Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Char-grilled Lemongrass Spring Chicken
Over a Bed of Mixed Greens
(Chef Martin Yan for Asian Food Channel)

char-grilled spring chicken over a bed of mixed greens-IMG_0205ONE of the dishes featured in Chef Martin Yan’s special dinner held at the Glasshouse of New World Makati Hotel was Char-grilled Lemongrass Spring Chicken Over a Bed of Mixed Greens. It caught everyone’s attention because it had the distinct flavor of lemongrass (*known as tanglad in the Philippines), an ingredient that Southeast Asian countries traditionally use in their respective cuisines. Chef Martin’s sit-down dinner menu was all Vietnamese fares, since Manila formed part of his Taste of Asia tour to promote his new show, Asian Food Channel (AFC)’s Taste of Vietnam, which is now airing in Manila every Friday at 7:00 p.m. until November 27, 2015, on Cignal Channel 26 and SkyCable Channel 22.

Here, we are sharing the recipe of his Char-grilled Lemongrass Spring Chicken Over a Bed of Mixed Greens, which you might want to try at home.

For the chicken and marinade:
1 whole spring chicken, trimmed and cut in half along the spine
3 pcs. lemongrass stalks, bottom 8 inches only, finely minced
2 Tbsps. minced garlic
2 pcs. bird’s eye chili, minced
2 Tbsps. fish sauce
2 tsps. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

For the dressing:
2 Tbsps. Ponzu sauce*
2 tsps. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 pc. bird’s eye chili, thinly sliced
1 pc. green onion, thinly sliced
2 pcs. Kaffir lime leaves, middle rib removed and leaves sliced thinly
2 tsps. packed brown sugar

To serve:
2 heads butter lettuce, leaves washed and separated

For the garnish:
1 pc. tomato, sliced
1/2 pc. cucumber, sliced
black and white sesame seeds, ratio of 1:5
3 sprigs cilantro, cut into 1-inch pieces

1. In a large bowl, combine ingredients for the marinade. Mix until well incorporated. Add to chicken halves and rub all over. Cover and leave to marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
2. Combine ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl. Mix well. Set aside.
3. Remove as much marinade chunks from the chicken as possible, then brush chicken with a small amount of oil.
4. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Place chicken halves, skin side down, flat on the grill and press with a brick wrapped in tin foil. Cook for about 12 minutes and turn over. Cook other side for another 10 minutes or until cooked through, with internal temperature of 165˚F.
5. To serve, toss lettuce leaves with dressing and place on a platter. Lay grilled chicken on top. Garnish with tomato and cucumber slices on edges of the platter. Sprinkle chicken with black and white sesame seeds. Top with cilantro.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Posted in Poultry, Recipes Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Chef Martin Yan Presents
a Taste of Vietnam

Sweet Jackfruit in Sago Coconut Milk

Sweet Jackfruit in Sago Coconut Milk

GUESS which culinary icon was recently in Manila for a visit?

Yes, the title of this article says it all—it’s Chef Martin Yan, who is one of the pioneers of cooking shows on TV. A certified Master Chef, he is best known for his pioneering daily Chinese cooking show Yan Can Cook back in 1978. Now considered as a classic, the show gained popularity not only for the recipes that it presented but also for the wit of the host and the generosity of information and practical tips that he shared with his audience. So, unlike other chef-hosts of his time who faded into oblivion after some time, Chef Martin continued to flourish, especially since he was able to keep up with the times and innovate on the show, developing its format from being a simple cooking show to a culinary travelogue where he features culinary hot spots in Asia. Among the most memorable was Martin Yan’s China, a 26-part series showcasing a multi-faceted look at China yesterday and today.

Born in Guangzhou, China, he began to show interest in cooking at a young age. His father was a restaurateur, and his mother owned a grocery store. At age 13, he was already an apprentice in a popular restaurant in Hong Kong. He formalized his culinary education by enrolling at the Overseas Institute of Cookery in Hong Kong then worked on a Master of Science in Food Science degree at the UC Davis in the United States, where he became an instructor in the university’s extension program. His flair for teaching led him to teach at the Culinary Institute of America, Johnson & Wales University, The California Culinary Academy and The Chinese Cuisine Institute in Hong Kong. Then, in 1985, he founded his own Yan Can Cooking School in California, and, in 2007, he put together the Martin Yan Culinary Arts Center, a unique international academy for professional chefs in Shenzhen, China.

Chef Martin Yan shows how to choose fresh asparagus

Chef Martin Yan shows how to choose fresh asparagus

Shaking the pan during his cooking demo, where he prepared 'Wok-seared "Shaking" Beef'

Shaking the pan during his cooking demo, where he prepared ‘Wok-seared “Shaking” Beef’

Aside from being a cooking show host and a culinary arts professor, Chef Martin is also a restaurateur. He has two restaurants, Yan Can and SensAsian, which offer inventive pan-Asian menus. Add to this the fact that he has authored some 30 cookbooks, including Martin Yan’s Feast, Martin Yan’s Asian Favorites, Chinese Cooking for Dummies, Martin Yan’s Quick & Easy and Martin Yan’s China.

Very active in all aspects of the culinary arts, Chef Martin Yan stars in Asian Food Channel (AFC)’s Taste of Vietnam, which is currently airing in Manila every Friday at 7:00 p.m. until November 27, 2015, on Cignal Channel 26 and Skycable Channel 22, Channel 248 (HD), and Channel 602 (outside Metro Manila). To promote the show, which is a 26-episode series that explores the breathtaking landscape, colorful history, generous hospitality and delicious dishes of Vietnam, AFC recently embarked on the Martin Yan Taste of Asia tour, which took Chef Martin and the AFC team to Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines.

During the Philippine leg of his tour, Chef Martin hosted a series of cooking demonstrations and exclusive dinner events at New World Makati Hotel’s Glasshouse. There, he engaged guests—a mix of platform partners Cignal and Skycable, corporate clients and partners, and media—in a cooking demo featuring Wok-seared “Shaking” Beef. He also treated guests to an exclusive six-course Vietnamese inner created by Chef Yan and executed with the help of the kitchen team of New World Makati Hotel.

Pomelo and Prawn Delight

Pomelo and Prawn Delight

Trio of Seafood Fresh Rice Rolls with Two Dipping Sauces

Trio of Seafood Fresh Rice Rolls with Two Dipping Sauces

The six-course dinner started with Pomelo and Prawn Delight as appetizer, replaced salad with Trio of Seafood Fresh Rice Rolls with Two Dipping Sauces, progressed to Hot and Sour Pineapple Fish Soup,  peaked with the two main courses Wok-seared “Shaking” Beef and Char-grilled Spring Chicken Over a Bed of Mixed Greens, and winded up with Sweet Jackfruit in Sago Coconut Milk.

Wok-seared "Shaking" Beef

Wok-seared “Shaking” Beef

Char-grilled Spring Chicken Over a Bed of Mixed Greens

Char-grilled Spring Chicken Over a Bed of Mixed Greens

“The menu consists of some of my favorite dishes, which have been inspired by my personal food journey,” explains Chef Martin.

Chef Martin felt so at home in Manila, as he had been in Manila on visits many times before and his special bond with Filipinos showed with the way he interacted with everyone during his cooking demo and during dinner.

I have seen him in one of his earlier visits to Manila, but this particular visit of his would always be extra special to me because, well, he joined our media table and—what do you know?—he sat beside me. And I have a photo to show.

Chef Martin Yan and me at the media table

Chef Martin Yan and me at the media table

Posted in FoodBiz Tagged , , , ,

Bringhe
(Chef Claude Tayag for The Maya Kitchen)

IMG_0208BRINGHE is the Filipino version of the Spanish paella. It is steeped in Philippine history, having been eaten by some of the most well-known Philippine heroes, and originates from the Northern provinces of Pampanga and Bulacan. It draws its yellow color from turmeric, or luyang dilaw, as the Spanish paella owes its orange color from the very expensive saffron. Bringhe, according to Kapampangan chef, artist, painter and sculptor Claude Tayag, is the only savory rice cake in the country, and so, hailing from Pampanga, he has his own version of it.

Chef Claude Tayag

Chef Claude Tayag

Chef Claude’s version is a small bringhe patty almost the size of a regular Pinoy hamburger, topped with a piece of crispy crablet. He thought of this because he has taken note that Filipinos love to have their bringhe with a little tutong (golden ‘burnt’ crust at the bottom) and they love to have a generous topping on it. And since he has observed, in many of his cooking demos, that when the bringhe is served in its usual form, the leftover bringhe is often all rice and without any topping left. So he thought of serving his bringhe patty style. This way, he gives diners a generous portion, with a little tutong underneath because the patties are individually cooked on a skillet, and with a nice crispy crablet for its topping.

This is also how he prepared and served his Bringhe in the cooking class he recently conducted at The Maya Kitchen, titled From a Kapampangan Palate to an Artist’s Palette, as part of the cooking school’s Culinary Elite Series.

1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup glutinous rice, pre-soaked in water for 30 minutes
1 cup regular rice
2-3 cups chicken stock or fish stock
2 cups kakang gata (thick coconut cream or first extraction)
50 grams turmeric, grated finely and soaked in 1/2 cup water, then pressed and run through a fine strainer
patis (fish sauce) and pepper to taste
Claude ‘9 Taba ng Talangka
chopped chives
crablets
Claude ‘9 Inasal Marinade
Maya All Purpose Flour
oil for deep-frying

1. In a nonstick frying pan, sauté garlic and onion in a little oil, and add in glutinous rice and regular rice. Continue sautéing.
2. Pour in chicken stock or fish stock.
3. Add turmeric extract, and season with patis and pepper.
4. Simmer over low heat until rice is cooked, stirring occasionally.
5. When rice is cooked, divide into 1/3 cup portions.
6. Place each portion on a piece of banana leaf, and flatten to an approximately 3-inch medallion. Repeat process to form more bringhe patties.
7. Heat skillet and place banana leaf-lined bringhe cakes on it. Cook until some charring appears on the leaves’ edges, producing a golden brown crust at the bottom.
8. Top each bringhe patty with a teaspoon of taba ng talangka (crabfat).
9. Sprinkle with chopped chives and top with a fried crablet.
10. To prepare the crispy crablet, season with Claude ‘9 Inasal Marinade, dredge in Maya All Purpose Flour, then deep-fry in hot oil until golden and crispy. Remove crablets from oil and drain off excess oil on paper towel.

Posted in Pasta/Noodles, Recipes Tagged , , , , , ,