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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Last Meal at Minissale's

Sunday will be the last time Minissale's will be open to serve food. They will now focus their energies on the food line and have a chance to relax. Good for them. M and I stopped in Friday for an early dinner. While not all the place was not packed, most of the tables were reserved. By the time we left, the room was more than half full.

I honestly can't remember the last time I ate here. Maybe I never did and just thought I had. M's old apartment wasn't too far away from there so he has definitely been there more than I have. We didn't stay at all from our usual order - pizza and pasta. I also had a cup of pasta e fagioli, which now looking back I should have just went with a salad. Way too warm in there. Really liked the rolls, especially with the oil. And of course when the server set the bread and oil down it reminded me of an article I had read not even an hour before that had said to skip the bread and oil to cut out however many hundred calories.

Ate too much bread and brought most of the food home. Devoured everything this morning.

Now it's late and I'm home and I miss air conditioning. Fans aren't cutting it.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Garden Scenes

I am blaming the heat the last few weeks from truly enjoying the backyard. Everything is bloom and pretty. And rats... totally missed out on these scapes.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Eat Filipino Food: Adobong Manok (Chicken Adobo)

Now that we've got a Filipino place here in the Capital Region, you should learn a thing or two about some of these dishes you may come across. First up, the staple in any Filipino household - adobo. It's one of those dishes you can make a big batch of and eat it for the entire week (and of course, it gets better with time). Don't confuse this with Spanish versions of adobo... it shares the same name and the use of vinegar, but that's about it.

You can adobo just about anything. Chicken and pork are more commonly seen, and sometimes places will offer a combination of the two. But today we'll just focus on chicken. Ingredients are simple and you probably have them in your kitchen right now:

  • Chicken (any cut will do, but since it's just me I stick to drumsticks)
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Peppercorns
  • Bay Leaf
  • Soy Sauce
  • Vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Water

Amounts are really up to you. I like lots of onion and garlic, and go heavy with the peppercorns. Bay leaves, I used two, which is probably plenty. As for the liquid, I used half a cup each of soy sauce and vinegar and added two cups of water. A ratio of that sort should be fine. Add ~1 tablespoon of sugar to the liquid and let it dissolve. Brown the chicken in the pan and remove so you can cook the onion and garlic. When it starts to brown I add the chicken back in, add the liquid, peppercorns, and bay leaves.

Normally you can cook this in a regular pot and it takes less than an hour, but I "fixed" my pressure cooker so cooking time ended up being 10 minutes. While this was going on, big pot of rice was cooking. Because. You just have to.

Pretty sure this will be a weekly addition to my cooking schedule. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Slushies and 99 cent Pizza

For some reason I cannot rotate this picture. The problem with stealthily writing at work. Anyways, the plan yesterday was to grab some sushi with my cousin after a gym session. As with most plans with her go, they fell through and I was left with the option of eating solo.

I tend to do that a lot. Don't really mind it, but sometimes conversations while eating are nice.

I was going to get sushi. Really was. But then I had to fill up the car and it just so happens there is a Cumberland Farms by the gym. So here I am, post-workout... exhausted and gym messy. The water I had been guzzling was not cutting it.

Screw it. Slushies all around! And while I was there, I spied their 99 cent cheese pizza slices. How could I possibly pass it up?

I quickly ate that slice in my car so no one knew what I just did. Meh. Tastes like gas station pizza. I suppose I should try the Stewarts pizza and see how they compare.

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.