April 26, 2012

Hoisin Glazed Chicken

Excuse the messy plating, dirty utensils and the awkward fuzzy blanket. I am exactly the type of slob who eats in bed while watching cartoons.

This week, I'm road testing recipes for my boyfriend who's moving into a new dorm. He wants to cook his own meals but he's still deciding between getting an electric grill, a convection toaster oven or an electric stove. This meal was cooked in my family's prehistoric George Foreman grill. I won't lie; this isn't the best chicken I've ever made but I love how the meal came together in a snap. The whole thing took under 10 minutes to make! And did I mention that Foreman grills are idiot proof? Even a Neanderthal -- or a boy who's never cooked in his life, which is kind of the same thing -- can use one.

This is surprisingly flavorful for a 10 minute meal. Sure, the chicken isn't succulent (as almost anything cooked in a Foreman grill is wont to be) but what it lacks in texture, it makes up for in flavor. The meat is a little sweet and tangy from the hoisin sauce while the Worcestershire sauce lends a subtle smoky flavor that wouldn't be out of place in a charcoal grill. It only takes 7 mins tops to grill the whole thing, but can you see those lovely grill marks? Next time, I'm going to try brining the chicken before marinating it to help tenderize the meat.

Recipe after the jump!

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April 06, 2012

Lechon Manok

Stop me if you've heard this one. A man, impressed by Neiman Marcus's chocolate chip cookies, buys the recipe from a waitress who tells him it costs "two fifty". He adds it to his tab and is shocked to be billed $250 instead of the $2.50 he thought it would cost. In anger, he forwards the recipe via e-mail to everyone he knows. Of course, that's an urban legend that has since been debunked (although the people who did try the recipe claimed it was pretty good).

This recipe for lechon manok has similar dubious online origins; the site I got it from got it from another site, which got it from another site. Still, I had the strongest craving for Andok's lechon manok (roast chicken) when I saw this recipe, so I had to try it. The chicken came out surprisingly tender, hitting slightly sweet, sour and savory flavor notes. Don't be alarmed by the short marinating time; the flavor really does seep into the meat and marinating it for more than a few hours will just make the flavor overpowering. Go ahead and pair it with Mang Tomas and catsup.

And my Andok's lechon craving? That's all behind me. I'm a big girl and I make my own lechon manok now. (But could you pass me some of their liempo?)

Recipe after the jump!

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April 02, 2012

How to Make Octodogs

Dear readers (and by readers, I mean web crawlers and bots, and my dog),

I'm so sorry I neglected this site. Very sorry!

I was busy studying... scholarly things like how many stones the goddess Nuwa used to repair the Celestial Road in Dream of the Red Chamber (36, 500, but she had 36, 501) and how many times it's possible to die and get reincarnated in Native American literature (fairly often, apparently). Or even how the word nostalgia means "the ache of an old wound" and I guess that means how I wish I had done plenty of things differently over the last four years, and how sometimes the choices I didn't make come back and itch like phantom limbs. Huh. Now that I've graduated, I'm officially overeducated and unemployed so I have plenty of time to think about sillier things like how to turn hotdogs into octopodes. Yes, octopodes, not "octopi". Thank you, college, for teaching me that.

On to the how-to!

Watch out for a series of illustrated how-to's inspired by Robert Loeb's Wolf in Chef's Clothing!