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Smitten By La Maison Rose.

Not so long ago I met two lovely ladies named Kate & Mause. I don’t want to go into the details about HOW we met. All I know is that I gained two new girl friends because of that. Fast forward to today, a little over a year after we first met, after countless coffee and dinner dates, we gathered once again to celebrate Kate’s 25th birthday at this quaint little French inspired restaurant named La Maison Rose (The Pinkhouse Restaurant).

I don’t know of too many French restaurants in Cebu so when Kate suggested that we celebrate her birthday here I was more than excited. She had one condition though. We all had to dress up for the occasion. As in strictly dress, high heels, make-up and all that. Okay, sige. Pagbigyan nato si Kate kay it’s her birthday. LOL! And well, it IS nice to dress up every once in a while. 🙂

 When I arrived (about ONE entire hour of fixing myself up + traffic along the way) I was immediately smitten by the gorgeous interiors. It’s cozy and dimly-lit just perfect for intimate gatherings.

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Mause was already there looking fresh and elegant as if she hasn’t been on her feet all day long running after the little kids and teaching them how to read write and count in Mandarin. She immediately showed me the iPad menu and half-jokingly told me “I don’t know about you but I’m just so excited about dessert. I’m thinking of ordering all desserts lang for tonight!” LOL!

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It took Kate a while to get to us so while waiting we feasted on their complimentary appetizers: Truffles, Gruyere and Caviar. If this is just something complimentary then I was already SO looking forward to our entrees.

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Later on Kate arrived looking as glowing as ever just as any birthday girl should look. We perused the menu, decided on our orders, then took our first group photo of the night.

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Soon our appetizers started to arrive. We ordered the Foie Gras Terrine which is a classic French dish. I smothered the duck liver spread all over the accompanying soft bread and welcomed the strange yet new and quite surprisingly delectable taste in my mouth. It’s my first time to eat duck liver so it took me a while to develop a liking for it. 🙂

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Then came the cheese soufflé with arugula. I love how the gooey, salty cheese tasted against the bitter arugula.

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Here’s Kate looking so excited to dig in. But whenever I am in a restaurant with my camera, the number one rule is no one gets to eat until I am satisfied with my shots of the food. Patience my friends!

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Our entrees soon arrived one by one. Kate’s Fish En Papillone came first. When I had a taste of this I marveled at how perfectly cooked it was. The moment my fork sliced into the fish it came off. It was so soft and flaky and aromatic and when dipped into the sauce it was just absolutely divine.

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Next came my Black Peppered Steak. I am not really a steak person but this one looked too good to pass up. I like my steak medium rare and La Maison Rose definitely pulled it off. Just chewy enough to make me savor the harmonious tastes of the meat, the marinade, and the gravy all coming together. I also loved how beautifully creamy the mashed potatoes were.

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Then came Mause’s Truffle Coquilette Pasta. Anything with truffle suits Teacher Mause’s fancy and this dish more than exceeded her expectations of it. Little elbow macaroni pasta cooked in rich, savory truffle oil made even more delicious by the saltiness that the meat provided. I think I’m ordering this the next I come back here.

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FINALLY, the most awaited part of the evening arrived. Time for dessert! Kate’s was the Tiramisu which is said to be their specialty. However, Le Maison Rose’s version is Filipinized. Meaning it is more like an upgrade of your regular mango float. This one combines shreds of coconut with sweet mango layered with super light cream. The cream is the highlight of this dish. I wonder how they made it just so incredibly light and airy with just a hint of sweetness. The moist cake at the bottom is just what this dish needs to bring all the components of this dish into one heavenly experience. *sigh

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Next came the Banana Flambee. I am a big fan of bananas and I make sure to have it at least once a day. Whether I eat it alone, or I slice ‘em up and mix it into my oatmeal, or put it together on top of my peanut butter sandwich. This banana however is totally different. Flambee means to serve or cover with liquor. Knowing that alone already makes this dish a winner in my books.

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Last came the Chocolate Coulant. I think in layman’s terms this is the molten lava cake. I was so excited to cut into the cake just so that I could see the chocolate flowing from inside. They say it’s baked perfectly if the chocolate really flows. I swear I could remember holding my breath the moment I cut into the cake and lo and behold! Just like lava from a volcano, rich, gooey, fudge-y chocolate flowed from the center. Oooohhhmygooodness. I have just have no words for this. So I’ll let the picture do the talking.

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After we stuffed ourselves full we explored the place for photo ops. This is me inside their incredibly pretty pink banyo.

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I love this goofy pic of me and Mause while Kate’s looking all serious and smiling. LOL! Oh, and I’m in love with this painting of a girl and her bike.

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We needed full body shots to prove that we wore dresses and heels today (except Teacher Mause because there’s no way she could chase little kids in stilettos. LOL!)

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The bill came in this awfully cute little fake book thingy. It’s the little details in this restaurant that adds charm to the whole place.

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Even the ceiling is decorated with little upside down umbrellas. Gaaaah! I just can’t stop gushing about the interiors.

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My last shot was of this quirky lamp shade on the corner of the room. Someday I shall visit the Eiffel Tower too 😀

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The night did not end when we left La Maison Rose. Even if it was a school/work night we decided to stay up a bit later so that we’ll have time to head to Maya for drinks.

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Mause and I had mojitos while Kate had her favorite Jack Daniels with Coke. I’m such a lousy drinker so I only managed to consume half of my drink.

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Thank you ladies for such a wonderful night! Joyeux anniversaire Kate! ‘Till our next date!

Le Maison Rose is located at 371 Gorordo Avenue Lahug, Cebu City

Right beside the Mormon church in Lahug

Call them at 032-2685411 for reservations

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2012 in Restaurants

 

BTC’s Gourmet Street Food.

BTC’s Gourmet Street Food.

Inspired by the growing food market trends in Manila like Mercato Centrale, Banchetto Night Market and Legazpi Sunday Market in Makati, Cebu’s very own Banilad Town Centre recently launched the Gourmet Street Food Market.

My friends and I dropped by BTC on the opening weekend right after watching the last full show of that one big cliché of a movie called No Other Woman. Tonight I am here with 2 groups: the dormies and my dance classmates. We were hoping to fill ourselves up with lots of great food finds and well, it certainly didn’t disappoint. Considering that this is only the opening weekend, there are only 6 stalls all in all. The first one sold some incredibly good tapsilog. Although I didn’t get to try it one of my friends did and it got pretty good reviews.

Next there’s The Pantry’s stall which offered some really REALLY good sausages. You get to have your sausage just the way you like it here. Choose your meat, then the toppings, and put them all together inside a tasty but healthy wheat bun. YUMMM!

The next stall sold their own version of that famous Choriburger from Boracay. Their booth looked pretty basic with just an electric grill

But I was so totally blown away by how good the Choriburger is. OMG! The sauce is incredibly rich and bursting with flavor and ends with a nice spicy zing complimenting the meat beautifully. Looove this! 😀

Then there’s the Eats Delicious stall where we saw a good selection of meat pies and desserts. The owner convinced us to try one of the pies telling us we absolutely won’t regret it. I also found their bread soup bowls interesting but I in the end chose to go with the meat pie.

I slathered their chicken pie with their trademark salsa and upon swallowing a mouthful I savored the delicious interplay of the salty chicken with its rich sauce and the sweet, buttery, flaky crust. These meat pies will set you back a hundred bucks which is pretty steep for its size if you ask me. But I can tell the ingredients used are of the finest quality so it’s probably all worth it. 😉

This booth also showcased some yummy desserts and if only I was hungry enough I would have tried them all. I ordered the tiny custard cake thingy but I thought it reminded me a little bit of Cassava cake which was I totally didn’t expect. Maybe I should have gone with the lemon or mango tart instead.

Diets Are Evil featured some pretty interesting dishes but by then I was too full to eat anything more. This is will probably be one of the reasons for me to go back. That Lechon Sisig looks pretty intriguing to me.

The last stall is called Dos Hermanos which featured some traditional Spanish fare. I was so tempted to try the paella but then again there was just no more space in my stomach. Lesson learned? Come to the food market with a HUGE appetite. Trust me. It will be so hard to resist temptation here.

Here I am with my friendships. Don’t we all look so happy and FULL? J It doesn’t take much to please us girls. Just take us to a place with great food finds like the BTC Gourmet Street Food Market. Open every Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00pm to 1:00am at the outer lobby.

 

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2011 in Food Reviews, Where To Eat

 

The Yum2x Tree Of My Childhood

The Yum2x Tree Of My Childhood

*This is another re-post from my old blog, the now-defunct Eat, Drink & Be Loved. Once again, I am so incredibly happy that I was able to salvage this particular post. Thanks to my loyal reader Bong who saved his subscriptions. I just had to take pictures again during a recent visit here. Yay! 😀 * 

Do you ever get that feeling when you eat something and it feels like you just became reunited with an old friend? I get that feeling quite a lot especially when I get to eat dishes from my childhood. Growing up, my Mom used to do her groceries at Rustan’s when it was still located at Mango Avenue. And while she lines up to pay at the cashier my siblings and I always make a beeline for The Yum Yum Tree.

Fast forward to many years later, Rustan’s closed down for a long time. Well, to me it felt like a VERY long time. However, recently, it reopened under a new management in a new location. So imagine the happiness I felt when I knew I’d get to eat at Yum Yum Tree again! Although the new location is at the opposite end of the city, I purposely drive going there just to eat my favorites. Gone are the dark green and brown colors and comfortable, cushioned seats. They have been replaced with these plastic ones but I don’t mind at all. Some of their waiters have been here since forever and one of them even still recognizes me when I eat here with my siblings.

Their menu consists of more or less the same offerings that they had several years ago. And my oh my. Look at those prices! You can rarely see anything over p100 here. This is what I call value for my money.

I hardly ever order anything new here at Yum Yum Tree. I tend to stick to my old favorites if I eat at a restaurant that I frequent. And their Palabok (p55) is definitely on my list of ultimate favorite foods. When people ask me where they can find the best palabok I always tell them to go to Yum Yum Tree.

I think the secret is in their sauce. Compared to other palabok that have sauces that lean towards the thinner consistency, this one is incredibly rich and coats the noodles just perfectly. It bursts with bags of flavor in your mouth and the interplay of textures is just beautiful. From the smooth, silky noodles, to the rich, almost creamy sauce, to the crunch of the crumbled fried pork bits. Drizzle it with the calamansi for that extra kick that will get you reaching for the next forkful within seconds of swallowing. This is the palabok of my dreams and for that you must understand why I became deliriously happy when Yum Yum Tree opened again.

Then of course, there’s my OTHER favorite, their Spaghetti w/ Meatsauce (p45). Before placing my order I always ALWAYS have a debate in my head whether I should go with Spaghetti or palabok because I love them equally. This is the only spaghetti I ever dare to eat with rice (yeah, I know carbo-loading much) and the only spaghetti I can consume 2 orders of in 1 sitting.

Again, the sauce is Yum Yum’s secret weapon. Its rich, thick consistency punctuated by little bits of flavorful ground meat, its harmonious blend of spices, topped with glorious amounts of shredded cheddar cheese, all make for one simply amazing Spaghetti dish. I want to bottle the sauce and take it home with me because it’s really just THAT good.

I wish I had the time to take more pictures of these two but I was on a tight schedule when I took these. But then again, who cares about pictures right? I tell you to stop staring at the screen now and head on out to Yum Yum Tree whether it’s for a real meal or just for a snack. For less than a hundred bucks you’ll get so much Yum-yum for your tum-tum. LOL!

The Yum Yum Tree is located at

Rustan’s Supermarket Banawa branch

Arcenas Estates, Banawa, Cebu City

Open everyday until 9:00pm

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2011 in Food Reviews, Restaurants

 

Leaves in my Pizza at Pizzeria Michelangelo

Leaves in my Pizza at Pizzeria Michelangelo

Pizza for me is a food group all on its own. I grew up eating a lot of pizza from the time I could only afford to eat the cheapo yet super tasty Mom’s pizza ’till there was JCA, then Shakey’s, Pizza Hut and Yellow Cab. Pizza has always had a special place in my heart (and in my stomach). So when I heard about this relatively new pizza place called Pizzeria Michelangelo, I knew I just had to give it a try.

Tucked away in a row of restaurants along the Maria Luisa Road, Banilad, Pizzeria Michelangelo is a cozy little place that is perfect for long and lazy afternoon meetings w/ colleagues or friends or for warm breezy nights in the company of family and loved ones. The walls are adorned with paintings and pictures of Michelangelo’s creations and the lovely open kitchen features a brick oven where all the pizza is made.

Upon entering you will see this framed menu of their different pasta dishes that make your mouth water just by looking at it. The gnocchi is calling my name.

Today I am here at Pizzeria Michelangelo with my good friend Karen who’s very health conscious. And now that I am still on a diet that makes 2 of us. So even if I was so tempted to order pasta together with the pizza, we opted to go for a healthy salad instead. This is their Salad Caprese. Karen and I wrapped these little cheese and tomato tandems in lettuce leaves, popped them into our mouths and enjoyed its incredibly refreshing taste. This was the perfect start to our meal. Just enough to get whet our appetite for what’s coming next.

Our Robertino pizza arrived looking gorgeous with a heaping amount of arugula on top. Prior to eating here, the only other time I ate leaves with my pizza was Yellow Cab’s Dear Darla pizza which I absolutely adored. I knew just upon looking at it that I’d fall in love with this right away.

Underneath the pile of arugula you will find strips of prosciutto swimming in incredibly delicious cheese and made even more delicious with a generous sprinkling of parmesan on top.

And the thing that makes the Robertino a certified hit in my books is the fried egg at the center of the pie. Egg + Prosciutto + Cheese = perfect combination. Add some arugula plus Michelangelo’s trademark thin crust and you have yourself the pizza that dreams are made of. Pizzeria Michelangelo’s pizza is so light. It doesn’t have that overwhelmingly strong after taste that most commercial pizzas have. Which is why I found myself wolfing down one slice after another. The next thing I knew I was up to 3 and a half slices. LOL!

For dessert Karen and I ordered their Tiramsu. This is classic Italian dessert that I have enjoyed in most other restaurants that I frequent. Sadly, this left a little bit too much to be desired. Underneath all that cream we only found about a quarter of an inch of cake and that was it. What a disappointment.

Whenever I am on a lunch date with Karen I always know I won’t end up getting any work done for the day because we finish chit-chatting our lives away after about 3 whole hours. But that’s just how we roll. 🙂 Thanks Kar, for being great company as always 🙂 . Too bad we didn’t get to take a picture of us two! Pizzeria Michelangelo, I am coming back for more of that arugula and by then I hope I can afford to spend some extra calories on some pasta dishes too.

Pizzeria Michelangelo is located along Maria Luisa Road, Banilad Cebu City. Right next to Gustavian.

Tel. No. (032)2364297

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2011 in Restaurants

 

Today I Made: Basic Tuna Pasta

Today I Made: Basic Tuna Pasta

What’s the best thing to make if a.) you’re in a hurry; b.) you want something that’s not too fatty; c.) your kitchen creativity juices are running low, and d.) you still want something delicious and satisfying? Answer: Tuna Pasta! A few weeks ago I had one of those days wherein I was totally at a loss as to what I should prepare for myself. I knew my weigh in at the gym was just around the corner so  I had to make sure I have my trusty baon  with me wherever I went. I couldn’t think of anything else but Tuna Pasta. This time I relied on my own knowledge from past cooking experiences and from observing different recipes to make this incredibly simple and brainless dish.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Pasta cooked according to package directions

1 pack Nestle all purpose cream

Parmesan Cheese

1 can Century Tuna Lite in Vegetable oil

1 red bell pepper

1 garlic

1 onion

1 tomato

salt and pepper to taste

So first up, you have to cook your pasta noodles. It’s my first time to use Colavita and I think I’m sticking with it. I like how thick and chewy it was after cooking. I just hope they have a wheat variant. I’d be happier knowing that I’m going w/ the lesser evil.

Then get started with the chopping but be careful with your fingers! Start with the garlic and onions

And proceed with chopping the red bell pepper and the tomatoes. I like dishes that give me an excuse to incorporate even just a small amount of veggies.

Get your pan, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and when it’s heated enough, put in your onions and garlic. Cook until fragrant or until onions are translucent.

Then add in the chopped red bell pepper and tomatoes.

Next, get your canned tuna, drain off the oil, and add it to the pan. Let me just digress a little bit here. I am and always will be a Century Tuna loyalist even if the whole Piolo-KC psuedo love team annoyed the heck out of me. Were they really together because they were in love? Or was it just a ploy to overtake the incredibly aggressive and super effective Dingdong-Marian-San Marino Corned Tuna ad campaign?

Ok enough showbiz talk and lets get back to our cooking. Make sure to lower the heat at this point in time and start pouring in your cream

I know I’m supposed to use a wooden spoon here not this one. But I think I was still able to get the job done. Just stir stir stir in low heat.

This is when you start to season your sauce by adding salt and pepper. Once done, get a spoon and taste a little bit of the sauce. If you’re not happy with the taste then by all means, adjust accordingly.

Next add a few (or make it a LOT!) dashes of Parmesan Cheese. I first discovered this particular brand in S&R and it has been a pantry staple ever since.

Let everything simmer for a few minutes until bubbles start to show

Then add in your cooked pasta.

Make sure to coat the noodles well with the sauce. It was at this point when I thought some bits of crunchy, salty, yummy bacon would make this so much better. But alas, I am trying to stay on the healthy side of things. The bacon will have to wait ‘till another time. 😐

Here’s the finished product. I added a little more sprinkling of parmesan cheese together with a slice of lightly buttered wheat toast. This was an incredibly filling meal that powered me through about 2 hours of intense workout at the gym. It also took me only under 20 minutes to make. Next time however, to make me less guilty of consuming too much carbs I think I should stick with a tomato-based sauce instead of a cream based one.

So there, that’s my Basic Tuna Pasta. No frills, no thrills, just lightly coated noodles infused with the rich flavors of the tuna, garlic, onion, red bell pepper and tomatoes and punctuated with a lovely kick coming from the parmesan cheese. Bon appétit!

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2011 in Mickie's Cooking

 

The “Holy Cow!” Burgers From Frontgate

The “Holy Cow!” Burgers From Frontgate

At the beginning of this week I promised myself that I would head straight home at the end of the day and forego any plans to hang out with my friends just so that I won’t be able to eat or drink anything that might ruin my diet. It’s only Tuesday (September 28, 2011) and I have already broken that promise TWICE. But how could I resist when I am told that we will be eating at a place that serves one of THE BEST burgers in town? I gave in, sort of forgot about my diet, and soon found myself with a bunch of friends at Frontgate.

Frontgate is located at a place that holds a lot of memories for me because it’s just right next door to my old alma mater where I spent 13 years of my life. I don’t know why they decided to call it “Frontgate” though because as far as I know, our school gate right next to it is actually the BACK gate (or the GRAY gate). I guess Frontgate sounds better? Anyway, I was famished beyond words because I just came from the gym followed by an hour of dance class so we asked for the menu and start to place our orders.

Oh, and look what I found on their placemat! My love Michael Jackson doing his famous Smooth Criminal pose! Goodness. I LOVE this place already 😀

The appetizer, a bowl of french fries soon arrives. It resembles McDonald’s Twister fries and tastes just as good. I had just one piece of this because I know how incredibly fattening deep fried potatoes are and It took all of my restraint to stop myself from grabbing a few more pieces.

Then came Frontgate’s bestseller, their Bacon Mushroom Melt (p115). I tell you it was love at first bite with this burger. It even made Bong, one of tonight’s dinner mates, go “Holy Cow! This is GOOD!” with matching eyes that grew bigger as he continued to chew. The patty is tender, bursting with flavor, and oozing with juice. The combination of cheese, bacon, and mushrooms is absolutely to die for and I think it is the bacon that should get the most credit for this dish. The menu says it is homemade bacon and I have never tasted anything quite like it. It’s thick, crunchy, and salty just the way I like it. I swear, I can probably give up all kinds of pork except for two: Bacon & Lechon. LOL! So when they say that Frontgate has THE BEST burgers in town I am now a believer and a staunch advocate. This is an absolute MUST TRY!

The only other dish that one of my friends ordered from Frontgate is their Philly Cheese Steak (p115). I unfortunately had to forego tasting this one because that half a bacon mushroom melt is already sinful enough. But seeing how it is topped with glorious amounts of onions in cheese sauce, I think this should be on my list of orders on my next visit. By then I hope I won’t be on a diet anymore.

I love their waitresses’ t-shirts too! It’s so Facebook. I think I want one.

We then asked this friendly waitress to take a photo of myself and the rest of my dinner mates. It’s a unique mix of people here. There’s Jihannee who’s my barkada, there’s Erika who’s Jihannee’s highschool barkada, there’s Bong who’s a fellow foodie and a fan of my blog and my One Dish A Day Project, then there’s Lauren my friend from way way way back, there’s Mareu who’s Lauren’s gym friend, and then there’s Chin and Kimi my classmates from dance class.

It was a super fun night of eating and loads of story-telling. I can’t wait to relive this night and eat more food from Frontgate. Eating only half of that burger was so bitin in all sense of the word. Gaaah! I want to go back for MORE!

Frontgate is located at 21A Ma. Christina Extension. Right beside the GRAY gate of Sacred Heart School For Girls. Open from Monday to Saturday from 6:00pm to 2:00am. Call them at 09228235300.

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2011 in Food Reviews, Restaurants

 

Today I Made: Beer-Battered Fish w/ Oven Baked Fries

Today I Made: Beer-Battered Fish w/ Oven Baked Fries

The only time you will ever see Red Horse beer in our refrigerator is when I am using it for cooking. As I have mentioned before, I am NOT a beer drinker, especially not Red Horse. But when I came upon this recipe for Beer-Battered Fish I knew immediately that it’s Red Horse or nothing.

Here are the ingredients that you will need (I really need to improve my pictures! sorry for that Winnie The Pooh towel! 😐 ):

2 to 4 pieces of Cream Dory Fish Fillet

For the batter:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup cold beer
1/2 cup cold water

For the tartar sauce:
mayonnaise
chopped onions
pickle relish

First, get your fish fillet, pat them dry, then slice into smaller pieces.

Then make your batter by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl. I did away with the water and added about 1/4 cup more beer instead to make it thicker and just to give it more flavor.

Mix the batter well with a whisk. Feel free to put in more flour if you see that the batter is not thick enough.

By this time you should have already pre-heated your frying pan with cooking oil. Get your fish, dip it into the batter mixture and make sure to coat well on both sides.

One important lesson about frying fish that I learned the hard way is to make sure that the oil is very VERY hot before putting in the fish. The first time I did this, the batter stuck to the bottom of the pan and it was a gigantic disaster.

Fry the fish for a few minutes on both sides until they turn golden brown.

Then transfer them to plate lined with paper towels to absorb the oil. I bit into one of the pieces fresh from the pan and savored the lovely textures – crunchy batter on the outside and super super soft and creamy fish on the inside. Yuuuuuuummmmm!

While your fish is frying you should simultaneously start baking your potatoes. I think this is the healthier option instead of frying. You’re already injecting so much oil into your system from the deep-fried fish so baking is the lesser evil. I actually boiled this for a few minutes just to cut down on the baking time. After boiling, I cut them into large strips, then drizzled some olive oil and sprinkled some salt.

Then I popped them into the oven for about 20 to 25  minutes until they are soft and cooked through.

While waiting for the potatoes to bake, I made the Tartar sauce. All you have to do is just to mix together some mayonnaise, pickle relish, and chopped onions.

And here’s the finished product. Drizzle some lemon juice to cut the grease, dip into the tartar sauce, then close your eyes, bite into the fish, hear lovely crunch crunch crunch sounds, embrace the hard-soft textures playing in your tongue, savor the explosion of flavors in your mouth, bite into a strip of potato, swallow, then repeat the process. Now you don’t have to go to a restaurant just to have your fix of fish and chips. 😉 You can also use the same batter to make calamares, crispy shrimps, or even onion rings!

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2011 in Mickie's Cooking

 
 
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