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The Soup Sloth is an 8-part soup series featuring ridiculously simple soup recipes made with Knorr broth cubes. It’s perfect for people who want a hearty bowl of soup, but with none of the fuss.

One of the dishes I find myself craving for, especially during dark and rainy days, is a bowl of French Onion Soup. Even though we’ve created a sandwich version in the past, nothing beats the real thing. A piping-hot serving of caramelized onions, fried in butter and swimming in a bowl of beef broth, just tastes better when you’re safe and sound watching the rain outside your window while wrapped in a comforter.

Good beef broth takes almost seven hours to make from scratch, but we made ours in less than a minute thanks to Knorr Beef Cubes. Also, we added a twist to this classic recipe by adding a splash of red wine to the mix. The wine’s dry fruity aftertaste cuts through the savory flavor of the broth and the rich taste of the caramelized onions.

And of course, we didn’t forget the Gruyère! No French onion soup would be complete without a touch of this savory cheese.

French Onion Soup with Gruyère Total Time: 40 minutes / Yield: 2-3 servings Ingredients
  • 2 cups yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2/3 tbsp butter
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • ½ tbsp. flour
  • 2 Knorr Beef Cubes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine (or white wine)
  • 1/3 salt and pepper
  • 4 oz grated Gruyere cheese (or Swiss Cheese)
  • 2 and 2/3 slices French bread (1-inch thick)
  • 1 and 1/3 tbsp olive oil
  1. Dissolve 2 Knorr Beef Cubes in 2 and 1/2 cups of boiling water (this will serve as the broth to flavor the soup).
  2. In a pot, add the oil and butter, and place under medium-low heat.
  3. Add the sliced onions until they are evenly coated with the butter and the oil.
  4. Cook the onions for around 10-15 minutes until they are tender and translucent. Stir constantly to avoid burning.
  5. Add the sugar and salt and continue to cook until the onions have browned and reduced.
  6. Once the onions have caramelized, reduce the heat and add the flour to the onions.
  7. After 2-3 minutes, stir in 1 cup of the Knorr Beef Cube broth, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all the cooked bits.
  8. Add the rest of the stock, wine, and water into the soup, and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  9. Transfer soup to a casserole dish.
  10. Place bread in the middle of the soup and top with Gruyère cheese.
  11. Drizzle with some olive oil or butter.
  12. Place in a 350° oven until the cheese has melted and browned.
  13. Cool for a few minutes then dig in!

Originally posted 2013-10-01 03:30:51.

The post The Soup Sloth Whips Up some French Onion Soup with Gruyère in the Pepper.ph Kitchen appeared first on Pepper.

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Don’t be fooled by the word ramen in its name—Mooring Lake offers up noodle dishes that are more Chinese in nature. Their Tondo location is characterized by an open kitchen that reveals they hand-pull their own noodles. Their bowls by the way, are so huge, that at their price, they feel like a steal.

Their Spare Ribs Ramen, gives you a gigantic serving of Chinese-spiced broth, with tons of soft, fall-of-the-bone spare ribs. Pickled Ramen is an excellent dry version, that is chock full of traditional Chinese pickles, making it an entirely unique dish. There are also plates of stir-fried noodles on the menu, which feature their homemade versions in flat, thicker cuts, changing their slippery and chewy texture entirely.

Mooring Lake Ramen

A Chinese-style ramen joint with hand-pulled noodles.

ADDRESS: Oxford Parksuites, Masangkay Corner La Torre Street, Tondo, Manila
VISIT: 8:30AM–11PM Daily
CONTACT: +6329873456/+639175845678
FOLLOW: Facebook

The post These Hand-Pulled Noodles in Tondo Are a Steal at Their Price appeared first on Pepper.

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Whenever we’d have Mac & Cheese at home—whether it’s the homemade kind or the boxed variety—I’d always want more of the cheese sauce. I mean, who wouldn’t? It is, after all, that luscious golden puddle that makes this dish an all-time favorite.

Today, we’re showing you how to turn that golden puddle into a golden pool with this recipe for Mac & Cheese Soup. A dream come true for cheese lovers indeed, this will definitely make you want to replace that bowl of sopas any given day.

Of course, you shouldn’t forget to lick the bowl clean afterwards.

Mac & Cheese Soup Total Time: 30 minutes / Yield: 2-3 servings Ingredients
  • 3 cups cooked Macaroni
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup cubed ham
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  1. In a casserole, melt the butter add the flour until it sizzles.
  2. Add the chicken broth, and whisk until fully incorporated.
  3. Add the cream and ham.
  4. Simmer for a minute, then add the cheese until fully melted.
  5. Add in the cooked macaroni, season with salt and pepper, and then stir.
  6. Serve.

Originally posted 2013-02-17 11:35:55.

The post A Different Way of Eating Pasta: Mac & Cheese Soup appeared first on Pepper.

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Should adobo really be our national dish? Last year, a bill proposed by Congressman Rene Relampagos attempted to give light to that question. Titled as the “Philippine National Symbols Act of 2014,” it aims to legitimize the objects and symbols that identify us as Filipinos. The National Food, as stated by the bill, is adobo. What image came to mind? Was it pork and chicken cooked in soy sauce and vinegar, surrounded by peppercorns and garlic chips, with that solitary bay leaf sitting on top of the meat? Because that’s what came to my mind—that and a bit of disappointment. Speaking truthfully, I was rooting for sinigang.

Before being declared persona non-grata in every household in Manila, let me state my case. Sinigang is versatile, to the say the least, with its wide range of ingredients that can be thrown into the pot. The sharp zing that travels through your lips and erupts in your mouth between bites owes itself to souring agents that include tamarind, guava, tomato, kamias, batwan, balimbing, or calamansi—even unripe mango. Its main meaty component touches all bases, from the pork, fish, and shellfish, and beef. Vegetables run a long list with okra, taro, daikon, sitaw, kangkong, eggplant, and the quintessential long green chili finger which is mashed into a little pool of patis.

With soup, meat, and veggies, it’s pretty much a complete meal sans the rice. It’s something indigenous to Asia, with Malay and Thai influences. But, more importantly, it fits the Filipino flavor profile, which actually actually leans to sour. I know what you might be thinking, here’s another reason to persecute the man; with that innate nationalistic love for all things sugary (i.e. Pinoy spaghetti), wouldn’t the collective flavor profile of the country be more sweet than sour? Hear me out: with practically every version in the country having its own vinegar variant, whether for cooking or preserving food, the meals consumed on a regular basis have a sour factor to it. And adobo, despite its use of vinegar, doesn’t fall in that category. No one really goes, “I want something sour for dinner, let’s go eat adobo!” So, how exactly did adobo come to wave the banner high as the dish that embodies the country’s flavors?

The bill will tell you that, “Although it has a name taken from the Spanish, the cooking method is indigenous to the Philippines. When the Spanish colonized the Philippines in the late 16th century and early 17the century, they encountered an indigenous cooking process which involved stewing with vinegar, which they then referred to as adobo.”

Adobo‘s roots are hard to pin down. Some say it came from Spain or Mexico, while others point to the French, citing the Provençal daube. Nevertheless, the cooking method is entirely Filipino, which is stewing with the use of vinegar. The bill continues with, “The most common table fare among Filipino families, nothing beats adobo for its versatility and variety. Whether using chicken, pork, fish, squid, kangkong, sitaw, puso ng saging, and others as the main ingredient, there are many ways to cook adobo—adobo sa gata, adobong matamis, adobong tuyo, adobong masabay, adobong sulipan, adobo sa pinya, and adobo sa kalamansi, adobong malutong, adobong puti, adobo flakes, spicy adobo, just to name a few. Adobo can also fill the pandesal, siopao, and puto, can be a pizza topping and pasta sauce, among others.” That was a mouthful. It does, however, prove a point that, for how far you can fling it, adobo triumphs over sinigang hands down, be it through the amount of ingredients used or variety. But that’s what also what makes it confusing. What makes adobo what it is?

The definition of a burger is basically a meat patty stuck in a burger bun. Regardless of what you do with it—wrap it up in bacon, bury a piece of foie gras in it, submerge it in cheese, you name it—it will still be a burger. And whether you change the meat to beef, to pork, to chicken, and even tofu, it’s still a burger as long as you form the meat into a patty and stick it in between a round bun. That is its defining characteristic. That is its identity.

If you applied that same logic to adobo, then it’s anything that is stewed or marinated in acid with a salt component. In spite of its countless versions, the classic adobo must have pork and chicken. No buts. I guess adobo has been around for so long and has been cooked so many times that different iterations are bound to pop up—change vinegar to calamansi, salt to fish sauce, use squid ink along with the squid, add coconut cream, cook it dry. And maybe that’s an unspoken requirement for a national dish: normalcy to the point that it forces creativity out of people.

It’s so common and so familiar that each family has its own recipe and definition for a classic; someone’s adobo is always going to better than someone else’s. It’s a food identity born from the actions of everyone, from kitchens big and small, from distinguished chefs to home cooks. Eating is a big part of identity. If you look closely, it’s an act tied closely to humans more than any other creature on the planet. It is both a personal act and, more importantly, a social one. From cavemen huddled around the fire, sharing the day’s freshly killed animal, to modern day Sunday dinners with the family, what we eat not only dictates what nourishes us, but also tells us who we are. So, maybe adobo truly does deserve to be this country’s National Dish.

But—for the record—I’m still rooting for sinigang.

We’d like to know what you think. If you had the option to decide what the country’s national dish could be, which would you choose? Sound off with a comment below.

The post Should Adobo Really be the National Dish? appeared first on Pepper.

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Japanese cuisine is big in the Philippines—we love our sushi, ramen, katsu, and more—but recently, the bento culture is starting to really take off. Big in Japan, bentos mean a lot of delicious bites all on one plate, from pickled vegetables, to soup, to your main, to dessert, and they are usually decorated in an anime-like style, which add to their charm. It might be about aesthetics, but it’s also about getting more than what you bargained for all in one meal.

Tokyo Tokyo, more than any fast casual brand in the Philippines, has introduced this particular aspect of Japanese culture to the everyday Filipino. They’ve become known for their affordable rice meals of great value and quality, and their bento box sets have turned into one of their most famous hits. For anyone—from office workers to college students on the go—the bentos are a filling and delicious substitute to value meals that just don’t seem to cut it, or large portions of lunchtime fast food that are devoid of flavor. You get Japanese-style mains, buttery and crisp vegetables, unlimited rice, a glass of their famous sweet red iced tea, and more.

Now, with all the staples Tokyo Tokyo has introduced to us, they’re taking a risk by sharing new and innovative dishes that you can turn into delicious bento choices. The Chicken and Ham Katsu is a cross between a cordon bleu and a tonkatsu, and uses soft cream cheese as an alternative to the gluey cheese that we find everywhere else. For just PHP 224, you get three cutlets filled to the brim with cheese and ham, and a choice of miso soup and signature dessert, or some California maki rolls as a starter to your meal.

Even more gratifying is their new Grilled Pork Teriyaki. Seriously soft and luscious, you could put it on the menu of any grill restaurant around. It isn’t too sweet, and the portion size is so generous that you can get just 1 piece for your bento at a lower price (though I’ll always have two). Trying new things might be daunting, but these new offerings are so good, they might just replace your old favorites at Tokyo Tokyo.

Have you tried any of Tokyo Tokyo’s newest bento offerings yet? Which one is your favorite? Tell us your thoughts with a comment below!

The post These New Bento Boxes from Tokyo Tokyo are Definitely Worth Checking Out appeared first on Pepper.

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Growing up in San Antonio Village all 20 or so years of my life, I’ve held witness to the food stalls that have come and gone. There used to be a small Zagu stand at the curb of my street, my safe haven during the torturous summer break, where every movement I made, no matter how small, merited a drop of sweat. That, and a newly-opened McDonald’s made me gain 20 pounds in the span of a summer. A 24-hour Wendy’s kiosk took the place of my beloved pearl shake stand, feeding my starving, hungover self during my teenage years. And a Hen Lin, too, which made me realize how much I loved siomai, making sure that I get my fill of the cheap steamed dumplings at least 5 times a week. Oh, and there was a carinderia called Rapsa, where my dad bought adobo and bulalo from, and sneak it in during dinner-time when mum would cook a feast of vegetables as an attempt to get us to eat green.

Throughout the years, food stalls, restaurants, and carinderias have come and gone. Now, The Collective holds a good number of food establishments to satisfy any palate, a Sinangag Express can be found a few feet from The Collective, and you’ve got new and hip concepts such as 12/10, and Restock giving the San Antonio food neighborhood good buzz. Mainstays such as Suzu Kin have a good and steady following, while restaurants such as Mae Jo, Tonkatsuya, and Goto Monster have managed to shake things up a bit by delivering something new (and very much affordable) to the table.

Below you’ll find a list of restaurants that are worth a visit or two in San Antonio Village and are definitely friendly on the budget. These are, no doubt, cool places to swing by when in search of great grub without having to spend so much.

1. Charaptor

Image Source: Primer

At PHP 390 per head on a weekday and PHP 490 per head on weekends, you can barbecue all you can at Charaptor. This stuff is legit with most of the items apart from the sticks available in unlimited options—rice, soup, drinks, and a few dessert items. Come here hungry and cook to your heart’s content. There is a fine line between satisfying and dangerous here, so some good advice would be to take it easy…especially on the isaw.

Charaptor Barbecue Bar

Address: 9752 Kamagong Steet, San Antonio Village, Makati

2. Maharaja’s Kababs

Image Source: Our Awesome Planet

I noticed this hole in the wall when I made a visit to Goto Monster last year. What drew me to it was its PHP 55 Turkish shawarma that came with fries and cheese upon request. The store was tiny, but it was closed when I swung by that day. I found out that they had more to offer than just shawarma such as Chicken Reshmi Kababs at PHP 120, and Lamb Seekh Kabab at PHP 180, and a Potato Pesto Kabab at PHP 130. They also have a stall at the Salcedo Saturday Market and a Breakfast Shawarma which I am very eager to try next time.

Maharaja’s Kababs

Address: Unit 2, 1405 Pablo Ocampo St. cor Dungon St., San Antonio Village, Makati

3. Pat Pat’s Kansi

Image Source: Bacon and Bangles

Pat-Pat’s Kansi is a San Antonio Village institution. This Ilonggo bulalo is soup from the heavens. While I’ve had some experiences with the beef being a bit rubbery, I also recall a very momentous solo lunch where the meat was cooked so tender, it surrendered its grip from the bone. Stay away from this place if you are on a diet because I guarantee you, one cup of rice will not be enough.

Image Source: iFoodTrip.com

Pat Pat’s Kansi

Address: 8809 Sampaloc St., San Antonio Village, Makati

4. Next Corner

There was an evening where my Dad brought home some crocodile sisg and salpicao from this restaurant called Next Corner along Dian Street. Crocodile meat can be a bit greasy to the palate, but Next Corner does it well. Try giving it a shot next time when you’re in the area.

5. Wingman

Image Source: Lynne-Enroute

Wingman is top-of-mind when thinking of a place to chill after work. Conveniently located outside of The Collective, it is often flocked to pre- or mid-gig, especially when craving for a satisfactory bunch of chicken wings during a B-Side concert. But regardless of a gig or not, Wingman’s, well, wings never fail to hit the spot. Remember to get it with an extra serving of the bleu cheese dip.

Image Source: DollHana

Wingman at The Collective

Address: 7274 Malugay St., San Antonio Village, Makati

6. Bon Banhmi

Image Source: LivingMarjorney

A tiny stall run by Vietnamese couple Thao Ngo and Anh Le, Bon Banhmi nails it when it comes to thinking of a place where I can get some great banhmi—and for cheap, too! Try their signature traditional banhmi that come in medium and large sizes. For less than a hundred bucks, you get a hefty baguette stuffed with salted shredded meat, lean ham, veggies, boiled meat, and some pig’s head paste. Their artichoke tea might sound odd, but is pretty darn refreshing. Don’t forget to buy some of their homemade pate, too.

Image Source: Dessert Comes First

Bon Banhmi

Address: 8390 Mayapis St., San Antonio Village, Makati

7. Satinka Naturals Bistro and Café

Image Source: Ice Cream Creatives

Located on Kamagong Street corner Pasong Tamo is Satinka Naturals, a haven to health-conscious folk who are looking for an organic store that serves vegan alternatives (don’t worry, they have non-vegan items as well). Some of the dishes to try are the Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta (PHP 220) that’s made with carabao’s milk, cashew nuts, and hemp seed. Vegan Meatballs (PHP 295) make smart use of beetroot, while Sagada-style yogurt (get the one with honey!) is also made available here.

Image Source: Passion Prevails

Satinka Naturals

Address: 1137 Kamagong St. cor Chino Roces Ave., San Antonio Village, Makati

Have you been to any of the restaurants mentioned above? Where’s your favorite place to eat at in the San Antonio Village area? Tell us by leaving a comment below!

The post Here are 7 Holes-in-the-Wall at San Antonio Village that are Worth Checking Out appeared first on Pepper.

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Last year, the chef and the group behind Vask Manila had a pretty good run. They had two Michelin star chefs guest in their kitchen and was named Best Restaurant of the Year by Esquire Philippines, but 2015 seems to be an even bigger year for them yet. Chef Chele Gonzalez is largely responsible for bringing in Madrid Fusion, an international conference championed by the likes of Andoni Aduriz and Ferran Adria, to Manila in April this year. But first things first for this culinary team: a new, more accessible restaurant in Century City Mall called Arrozeria.

The place is exactly as the name suggests: it is dedicated to rice, a staple in the Philippines, and a food much beloved by Spain. While Arrozeria has a full menu, the highlight belongs to the paellas. You can have them served al dente and thin, which is traditional in Spain, or soft and wet, which Filipinos tend to prefer. There are also traditional versions which I haven’t seen in Manila yet: a Caldoso, which is soupy, and Meloso, saucy. Risottos and fiduea made with noodles, are all found on the menu too.

Arrozeria has partnered with the International Rice Research Institute, using a variety that is grown and common in the Philippines, ensuring you don’t feel guilty while indulging in your paella, which are all done incredibly well here. The chef at the helm of the kitchen was brought in specifically to deal with the rice dishes, to ensure that everything served here, is exactly how they would have it in Spain. The Valenciana is perfect when done al dente and thin, with that crispy tutong everyone scrambles for.

Clockwise from top left: Caldoso de Cangrejo with crab and snow peas, PHP 275; Meloso Carrilleras Estofadas with stewed beef cheeks, PHP 450: Paella Abanda, price TBD

Abanda, with fresh seafood, has a broth which seeps into every grain of rice, essentially flavorful umami at its best. Fideua are standard crowd pleasers, with the Negra’s salty squid ink a favorite of visitors thus far. But the true standouts are the ones Arrozeria is introducing its diners to: the Caldoso and the Meloso. There is only one version of the soupy rice, and it comes dressed with snow peas and crab. The soup tastes so much like the crab and of the sea: a rich seafood bisque in essence. When I say soupy, it is even more wet than a traditional arroz caldo or congee, and is an experience in itself. The Meloso, with rice that has become tender and almost sticky from the sauce, has so many delicious iterations: we loved the Carrilleras with a gelatinous beef cheek, and the Cerdo Adobado y Boletus with the distinct funkiness of porcini mushroom.

From left: La Koreana, PHP 225 ; Tabla de Pates, PHP 395; Gambas con Gabardina, PHP 395.

Although the rice is the inevitable star, Arrozeria exercises the same careful restrain and skill when addressing the rest of their menu. There is a whole section dedicated to bocadillos or sandwiches, an affordable option for the lunch crowd. Starters come in hefty sharing portions, and are all reasonably-priced for their quality. Tabla de Pates comes with 4 patés made in house: campagne, cochinillo and mushrooms, chicken with pistachio, and a fish terrine. Each one had the incredibly smooth texture you required for paté, but with very distinct flavor profiles; our favorite was the fish and the robust and meaty campagne. Gambas con Gabardina is an aesthetic delight but is even better when popped into your mouth: a playful take on camaron and tempura, the crisp shrimps pair well with the thick mojo picon.

From left: Solomillo de Cerdo, PHP 425; Manzanilla Rebelde, PHP 260; Lomo de Atun a la Plancha, PHP 595.

But some of the best dishes at Arrozeria are found in their mains: these are well-cooked, typical of the quality you’d see at Vask, but made more approachable to the casual diner. Pollo a la cazadora was cooked to perfection; chicken is often dry or the skin never crispy, but this dish had both juicy meat and shatteringly-crispy skin. Lomo de atun a la plancha was served the way tuna should be, with a pink, almost-rare center, whose flavor was only enhanced by the chunky tapenade. Best yet was the solomillo de cerdo, something I would come back for everyday if I could.

Pork tenderloin was at its most tender, sous-vide and served with a puree of pumpkin that had just the right amount of white chocolate to address the inherent sweetness of the vegetable. It was one of those simple dishes that you know can only be this good if done this well. I’d even have it over their cochinillo any day. Desserts here have some bright spots, like a goat’s milk dish that curdles into taho before your eyes, but seem a little disjointed from the rest of the brilliant menu. But in the end, after your heavy, gasp-inducing meal, it doesn’t matter any way.

La Guapa for 4, PHP 695.

Arrozeria, with its chic, ultra-modern interior, is the sort of casual restaurant that Manila will be buzzing for today. The menu still has touches of its more glamorous sister, but it is more approachable. There’s a rusticity to its paellas, which lets you eat the way one would in Spain, but there is also something very current about the concept. It transitions easily from day to night; you can have a paella for one at lunch, and share one at night with your colleagues after work, accompanied by an oversized jug of their version of sangria (I forgot to add that the cocktails here are good too, most of which are surprisingly fruity but still potent and strong). Let it work out its kinks, but even for a place so young, Arrozeria is already packing a very delicious punch.

What’s your favorite Spanish restaurant in the city? Have you tried Arrozeria’s paellas yet? Let us know below! Arrozeria

Address: 4F Century City Mall, Kalayaan Ave., cor. Salamanca St., Poblacion, Makati
Follow On: Facebook / Instagram

The post Vask’s New Casual Restaurant Arrozeria is All About the Rice appeared first on Pepper.

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When it comes to comfort food, chili and mac & cheese are well known classics. Chili is robust, meaty and spicy, which makes it the kind of rich bowl of stew that comforts one on a rainy day. Mac & cheese on the other hand, is creamy and smooth, a dish that is craved for constantly. Confronted with a choice between one or the other is a tough call to make, but adding these two into a savory soup is a comfort food combo that’s just been waiting to happen.

With the help of Knorr Beef Cubes we’ve made a Chili and Mac & Cheese Soup that’s both meaty and cheesy with every spoonful, the kind that feels like the meaty and cheesy spaghetti used to make for every childhood birthday. We’ve also added chorizo to the soup to give it a familiar garlicky Filipino taste, and making it sufficiently filling to stand as a dinner dish on its own.

Chili and Mac & Cheese Soup Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 6 servings Ingredients: Chili and Mac & Cheese Soup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 pc white onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chorizo, chopped
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 small can of crushed tomato
  • 1 liter water
  • 1 cup uncooked macaroni
  • 4 pcs Knorr Beef Cubes
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1  1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • pinch of sugar, optional
  • chopped parsley, for garnish
Procedure: Chili and Mac & Cheese Soup
  1. Heat oil in a pot. Saute garlic and onion for 1 minute. Add in tomato paste and sauté for another minute.
  2. Add ground beef and chopped chorizo. Cook beef, make sure to separate them into ground pieces.
  3. Add in beans, crushed tomato and water. Wait for it to boil. Add the seasonings and uncooked macaroni.
  4. Boil until macaroni is cooked, adding extra water as needed. Season to taste. Turn off fire and transfer to bowls.
  5. Add grated cheese and garnish with parsley.
  6. Serve piping hot.
TIP: Make sure that the soup is piping hot when you put the grated cheese so that the cheese will melt into the soup and give it that rice and creamy texture. Add more cheese to your liking.

The post Our Chili and Mac & Cheese Soup is a Godsend During This Cool December Weather appeared first on Pepper.

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I write this as I recover from a bad bout of flu. I have spent a few days in bed, rolled in with my blankets, sniffling and sweating it out. With my senses dulled from sickness, the only thing I could bring myself to eat would be hot bowls of arroz caldo or sinigang. Arroz caldo is a meal in itself, easy to slurp up and satisfy the hunger. The sourness of a sinigang broth also helps with a clogged nose and alleviates your cotton-mouth. When I’m holed up at home to rest, those two dishes are the only things that brighten up my day.

This recipe is a dream come true, as it puts two of these dishes together to make a hearty, healing bowl. Arroz Caldo is made even more exciting with Knorr’s Sinigang na may Gabi added to the mix for an extra kick in flavor. If you’re sick, this is a God-send. Heck, even if you’re not, this will be the ultimate comfort, guaranteed to make a happy tummy when your bowl is emptied.

Sinigang Arroz Caldo Total Time : 1 hour and 40 minutes
Yield: 8 servings, estimated Ingredients: Sinigang Arroz Caldo
  • 500 grams chicken backbone, cleaned and chopped into pieces
  • 1/2 cup raw japanese rice
  • 1/4 cup garlic cloves, crushed 
  • 2L water, or more
  • 5 slices ginger
  • 1 pack Knorr Sinigang na may Gabi Recipe Mix
  • patis, to taste
  • green finger chili, sliced into strips
  • fried tofu strips, garnish
  • spring onion, chopped for garnish
Procedure: Sinigang Arroz Caldo
  1. Put water in a pot and add chicken backbone, garlic, ginger, Japanese rice and sinigang mix.
  2. Boil until rice is cooked and thick, congee consistency. It will take about 60 – 90 minutes. Season with patis.
  3. Transfer to serving bowls. Top with fried tofu, finger chili strips and chopped spring onion. Serve.
  4. TIP: You can add kasubha for color.

The post Give Your Boring Arroz Caldo a Kick by Adding Sinigang to the Mix appeared first on Pepper.

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The tantanmen, or dandan noodles, is a specialty noodle dish of China and Japan recognized for its red soup, which is known for its incredibly spicy broth. It’s become the unofficial favorite of many in ramen houses in the Philippines, with some variations playing down the heat with the use of peanut sauce.

This more well-known version shares so many similarities with kare-kare, as both are thick, rich, and incredibly nutty. We’ve made a recipe which bridges the best of both into one dish. Ox tripe and ox tail are boiled for the broth, then mixed with Del Monte’s very versatile Quick n Easy Kare-Kare Mix, and finally topped onto the dish before serving. You can recreate the complex flavors of both kare-kare and tantanmen in your own kitchen, because the Del Monte Quick n Easy Kare-Kare mix has the nuttiness we’ve come to love from both Filipino and Japanese dishes. Ramen broths are notoriously known for taking days, even weeks to create but with this packet, you can get your fusion dish packed with flavor in less than half a day.

More than just bragging rights for being able to pull this gorgeous dish off, you’ll be able to relax in the comfort of your own home while waiting for the broth to boil. It beats standing for hours in line at a latest trendy ramen joint.

Spicy Tantanmen with Kare-Kare Soup Total Time: 20 Minutes + 6 hours | 
Yield: 4 servings, estimated Ingredients: Ox Tail / Ox Tripe Topping
  • 200g ox tripe
  • 500g ox tail
Procedure: Ox Tail / Ox Tripe Topping
  1. Put ox tail and ox tripe in pot, fill with water until meats are submerged.
  2. Boil for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, drain out water and change with new water.
  3. Boil for 1-2 hours or until tender. Once tender, strain out meats and cool.
  4. Reserve cooking liquid for the soup.
  5. When meats are cool, remove bones. Slice into strips. Set aside until ready to use.
  6. TIP: You can substitute the ox tail and ox tripe with sautéed ground beef, use beef stock as substitute for the boiling liquid.
Ingredients: Spicy Tantanmen with Kare-Kare Soup
  • 1 pack Del Monte Quick n Easy Kare-Kare Mix
  • 6 cups soup stock (boiling liquid from ox tail and ox tripe)
  • 1 pc bouillon
  • 1 tbsp sesame paste
  • 1 tbsp chili bean paste
  • 4 servings ramen noodles
  • 4 stems taiwan pechay, blanched
  • boiled ox tail strips
  • boiled ox tripe strips
  • chopped spring onions, for garnish
  • sesame seeds, for garnish
  • chili achuete oil, drizzle on top
  • sesame oil, drizzle on top
Procedure: Spicy Tantanmen with Kare-kare Soup
  1. In a pot, mix together all ingredients. Whisk well.
  2. Turn on heat and continuously whisk so that the Kare Kare powder mix will not form into clumps.
  3. Once boiling, turn heat to lowest. Keep soup warm.
  4. Cook ramen noodles as directed by manufacturer.
  5. Once cooked, place in 4 individual bowls. Divide the soup into 4 bowls.
  6. Top with ox tail and ox tripe strips. Garnish with spring onions and sesame seeds.
  7. Drizzle with chili achuete oil and sesame oil around the bowl. Serve immediately.

The post Cheat Your Way into Making an Easy Spicy Tantanmen with Instant Kare-Kare Mix appeared first on Pepper.

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