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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Filipino Food Has Arrived in the Capital Region

Forgive the bad picture, but I just had to get this out:

We have Filipino food.

In Troy.

It's about freaking time.

It's probably been about a year since I wrote about the lack of it here in the Capital Region, despite the  sizeable Filipino population this area has. And since then I've been tinkering with the idea of doing something about that, but a busy schedule and absolutely horrible luck with real estate has put that on hold.

But I can rest easy now, as someone has stepped up and is attempting to fill the void. Collar City Cafe in Troy is now serving Filipino food. I only knew the place as a sndwich shop, but I knew the owner was Filipino and wondered if he would consider it.

Their set up is the same as any lunchonette/chiboogan/Filipino take out place. A variety of prepared dishes you can order individually or as part of a combo. This combo, which they are selling for $12.99 gets you two entrees, rice, and a soda or water. They give out samples if you need help deciding. I picked kare kare and papaitan.

Just some quick thoughts as I am eating this and writing. For starters, I appreciate the generous serving of rice. Most places only give you a cup of rice, which we all know is NEVER enough. You have to have that extra rice to sop up the sauce. 

Kare Kare is meat and vegetable stew in a peanut based sauce. Traditionally it is made with oxtail. I forgot to ask if that's what they used, and my container only had bones, no meat. I take that back... just found the smallest bit of meat in there. Still can't tell you if it's oxtail. I'm pretty sure I saw eggplant and green beans in the tray, but I just got baby bok choy which thankfully was still crisp and not mushy. They may have forgotten to also include a small container of bagoong to go with it, as is customary. 

Papaitan. I have my Dad to thank for loving this dish as much as I do, and order it every chance I get. People cringe when I explain it's an organ meat dish with a broth made with bile. It is bitter, and spicy, and rich. Do not pass up on trying this. Unless you have gout... then yes, avoid eating this. Most likely you'll see this in its beef version, but it can also be made with goat. The Collar City Cafe version has plenty of tripe, heart, and liver. Long hot peppers are used in the dish whole, and asked they put some in my container. Not bitter at all. Or perhaps slightly bitter? Either way, it is a level I don't think will offend.

There was a sign for sisig, and FYI it's made with pork belly. $12.99. And speaking of prices, it's more than I'm used to. Like twice. Just saying.

If you plan on going there, it's not hard to find. If you know where Bella Nappoli is in Troy, it's right across the street. Not much room to eat there, so those of you who object to carry out just need to suck it up. If you get the Kare Kare, ask for bagoong. Try the samples. Have an open mind. Be happy you've got something else to try.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes

It's been a while since I've brought food in for my co-workers. Mostly busy... some tired feelings. And the lazy was in full effect. But all it takes is some call time and a rest day from the gym to finally make something.

Nothing to fancy here. Same cake I made for the one year, although I added more instant coffee and brewed coffee. Same buttercream, because I tend to make too much icing.

As I write this, there are one... maybe two left. And it's only 9:30.

Next time I'm using beer.

(If a picture doesn't post with this, it's all the app's fault. That's what I get for trying to blog on my phone.)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Buttermilk Baked Chicken

I always see chicken recipes that call for the meat to be marinated in buttermilk before a dredging and then fried. As much as I love all things fried, I do not like frying in my kitchen. Too much mess. Ovens are easier. And it just happened I had boneless skinless chicken thighs and buttermilk that needed to be used.

Here's the rough recipe of my meal:

1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
Old Bay Seasoning
Tony Cachere Creole Seasoning

Probably used about half of the buttermilk to cover the chicken. Let it sit on the counter for an hour while I worked on other things.

Pre-heated the over to 375degrees. Lightly greased a baking pan with some coconut oil spray. Seasoned half the meat with Old Bay, the other half Creole on both sides. Baked for 20ish minutes.

As much as I love Old Bay, it seemed pretty weak. Think I'll just stick to the Creole seasoning. And I'm surprised at the slight sweetness the chicken had... which I guess came from the buttermilk. I may just bake my chicken this way from now on.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Lotus Foods Jade Pearl Rice Ramen

The Blogger app on my new phone is a little glitchy, and my post... gone.

One of the things I'm missing most since going "gluten lite" are those instant ramen packs. Yeah, yeah, yeah I've heard how bad they are for you. But man, oh man... they cooked up quick and hit the spot. And of course before deciding to lay off the gluten I bought a bunch of ramen. Well thankfully I have a cousin living nearby and I'm sure she will appreciate the donation.

I was shopping in Honest Weight a few days ago when I spotted a new item. Gluten free ramen from Lotus Foods. They had three varieties to choose from - Forbidden Rice, Millet & Brown Rice, and Jade Pearl. The Jade Pearl noodles that I cooked up are as the package states "infused with chlorophyll-rich wild-crafted bamboo extract," and has a "delicious light vanilla taste." Hmm. 

Anticipating the miso soup would be on the bland side, I cut back on the water hoping for more flavor. Nope. Pretty bland. A dash of soy made it better but you're better off just buying the noodles separately and using your own better broth. The noodles were okay. Didn't catch that vanilla taste, but they cooked up fine and didn't clump (which I've found happens to rice noodles from time to time). I may tinker around with them and try using it for pancit or palabok.