Succulent Pan-fried Steak & My 1st Kitchen in NZ

I have been thinking of this post ever since I moved into our 1st apartment in Auckland late last month. Kaso hindi ako makakuha ng magandang shot kaya pwede na ito. And I was always in a rush. So here’s a sneak peek into my brand new kitchen! Nothing spectacular, just a cozy, efficient one with a breakfast bar that separates it from the living spaces. I’d probably take a more decent photo when my budget allows me to spend for accessories and bar chairs.

The steak…

NZ beef and lamb is just so tender, flavorful and gorgeous. It’s remarkably simple and quick to prepare and for a busy working mom, it’s always a good idea to have a fabulous steak dinner at least once a week.

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Kare-kareng Kulang-kulang

The last time I tried cooking kare-kare was decades ago but let’s not start counting please. That was back in HS with the help of my dad and sis. It wasn’t even successful as the beef tripe was tough and chewy my teeth still hurts just thinking about it. Fate never led me to cook it again ever since. This stew in peanut sauce isn’t really one of my favorites and anyhoo, I had my regular dose occasionally. But not anymore. Bagoong alamang (fermented shrimp paste) isn’t something that a pinoy in Beijing can easily get and I have no idea where to find atsuete (annatto seeds). So our cravings for kare-kare get intense each day until I asked A if he’d go as far as touch it even without the condiment. He said yes and I almost dance with joy! I googled recipes online; settled with those from Connie and the Marketman. I was particularly inspired by Connie’s as she doesn’t use bagoong at all. Not that I don’t like the stuff but because I don’t have it and I just can’t wait for the next bottle to reach me from Manila or Hongkong.

So here is my version of kare-kare sans annatto seeds, banana heart and bagoong alamang – our lunch one weekend more than a month ago. I like kare-kare with pork rind that literally melts in your mouth so I used pork hocks instead of beef tripe to go with oxtail. I used mortar and pestle to pound rice and peanuts and yeah I am not good at it. Oh well, I struggled for weeks with the idea of whether to blog it or not. Thought about making it an entry for Lasang Pinoy – Barrio Fiesta but no, I’d think of another one for that event. As you can see in the photos, the color doesn’t seem right but by the way A ate plate after plate with gusto, I take it as really good! Or just another case of “absence makes the heart grows fonder”.

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Beef Stew in Beijing Red Wine Sauce

My New Year blogging was greeted with erratic internet issues since international links were disrupted by the Taiwan earthquake a week earlier. (Guess how long did it take to post this entry and upload all the photos?) Oh well… not to mention few projects that may or may not mean big bucks that kept us real busy. Anyways, here’s one before I go back to work. We were given a bottle of Beijing wine last Christmas and had few cups left that I experimented on beef stew.

But before we get to the recipe check out A‘s Paris Baguette birthday cake next to the bottle of Beijing red wine. Oh yeah babaw lng ng kaligayahan namin but we think we are in love with this Korean-owned bakery what with its cakes and pastries filled with crazy creamy goodness, lots of real butter and sugar and heavenly goodness of what-nots. Even the sandwiches are great!

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Beef Rice

There is something special about this food photo that would forever remind me of Bursky (awww Dhey you know why). Do check out his blog. He said I owe him a review but for what?! I don’t certainly do blog reviews or even LP reviews hehehehehe. But hey this guy shamelessly called me “a wonderful lady” in his LP entry which he posted the very next day after I put a shotgun in front of his face; the least I can do is link to his blog and invite you all to read his very interesting post for LP16. It has no food photos but I am sure like me you would be amused by this young lad’s fascinating take on Pinoy food culture.

I have no idea how to call this but beef rice – reminiscent of how I prepare Hainanese chicken rice. A recipe was given to me by a dear friend (Joey yeah that’s you!) but the rebel cook I am I didn’t do it exactly the way it should be done. Reasons… I don’t have the canned ingredients and I don’t wanna bake. Anyhoo, if you are reading this, Joey, you know what I changed.

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