Recipe: Thai Peanut Sauce

I admit: I did have my doubts about the Smoke & Fire Peanut Butter that Fix & Fogg sent me to try out. I was intrigued at the concept of a smokey and spicy peanut butter ever since I heard about it; I just didn’t know what to do with this variant.

Fix & Fogg is a maker of small batch peanut butter based in Wellington, New Zealand. Its peanut butter variants have just become available in the Philippines, stocked in retail outlets like All Day Supermarkets, Cartel Deli, Earth Origins Marketplace and Power Plant Market, as well as distributed online via websites such as Beauty MNL, Gerald.PH and the Green Grocer.

While I have recently grown to appreciate some spicy food, thanks in large part to my passion for Korean dishes, I usually shy away from these as my palate gravitates more towards sweet and/or salty food.

Fortunately, my daughter, #ExhibitA, was feeling adventurous and volunteered to cook dinner while incorporating this peanut butter into the recipe. So, last Friday night, after a long day at the office, I came home to a culinary masterpiece courtesy of my darling baby girl.

She basically pan-fried a half-kilo of porkchops seasoned with salt and pepper in olive oil. Then, she set about making a Thai peanut sauce based on a recipe from Epicurious, adjusted due to availability of ingredients and to taste.

Fix and Fogg

Ingredients:

Procedure:

  • With the motor running, drop the ginger and garlic clove into your blender. Blend until the ingredients are finely chopped.
  • Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar and water, then blend until smooth. Add in more water by tablespoonfuls to thin the mixture.

This recipe yields 2 cups of the peanut sauce, equivalent to 8 servings, with approximately 47 calories per serving.

You can make this sauce ahead of time. Place in a container with a lid then chill. It will keep for 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

It went well with the pork chops, adding a citrusy zing and a spicy bite to the viand. The sauce may also be used as a salad dressing or as an accompaniment to lettuce wrapped minced chicken.

Want to try this recipe today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

Disclosure: Fix & Fogg provided product samples for me to review.  Reactions and opinions about the product are my own.

Recipe: Oatmeal Peanut Butter Breakfast Balls

It is a cliche already but breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It fires up your metabolism and gets you going for the rest of the day.

However, in the rush of morning chores and preparations to leave for work or school, family members seldom have the time to prepare and eat breakfast. Fortunately, I came across some recipes for Oatmeal Peanut Butter Breakfast Balls on Pinterest that seem easy to prepare in advance over the weekend and just take out and serve for a quick breakfast before leaving the house.

Another lucky break for me is getting a Super Crunchy Peanut Butter among the sampler jars that Fix & Fogg sent for me to try out.

Fix & Fogg is a maker of small batch peanut butter based in Wellington, New Zealand. Its peanut butter variants have just become available in the Philippines, stocked in retail outlets like All Day Supermarkets, Cartel Deli, Earth Origins Marketplace and Power Plant Market, as well as distributed online via websites such as Beauty MNL, Gerald.PH and the Green Grocer.

I tweaked the original recipe: substituting instant for rolled oats, replacing walnuts with some chopped cashew nuts that I bought from Antipolo, using semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of the regular ones and taking out raisins (because I’m not too wild about them).

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup instant oats
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Fix & Fogg Super Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped cashew nuts
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Procedure:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop up the mixture to form domes. (I had to firmly pat down the mixture into the scoop to get some properly shaped domes. If the mixture is not tightly packed, it will easily crumble once you take it off the scoop.)
  3. Freeze for an hour or until the balls are firm.
  4. Store in airtight resealable bags inside the chiller.
  5. Take out the balls you plan to have for breakfast a few minutes before serving (like while you’re still making your coffee).

Recipe yields 22 breakfast balls. Each ball has approximately 87 calories.

My little boy tried one and he immediately wanted another!

Want to try this recipe today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

Disclosure: Fix & Fogg provided product samples for me to review.  Reactions and opinions about the product are my own.

DIY Taco Bar at Encima Roofdeck Restaurant, Makati

The appeal of Tex-Mex cuisine for me is the interplay of the fresh and tangy flavors of citrus, tomatoes and onions with the earthy and hearty fullness of its meat dishes.

Tex-Mex cuisine is front and center at City Garden Hotel’s Encima Roofdeck Restaurant with its first anniversary offering. I was invited, along with fellow bloggers, to experience Encima’s Taco Bar, which will be launched to the public on July 2.

Encima Roofdeck Restaurant has come a long way from its beginnings as a mere alternative to the hotel’s bistro downstairs, carving out its identity, adopting the name Encima (meaning “above”). The roofdeck resto does live up to its name, giving its diners a spectacular view of the Makati skyline and the city lights.

According to City Garden Hotel’s PR and Marketing Manager, Jo Ruales, the roofdeck restaurant’s Tex-Mex Menu was developed by the hotel’s powerhouse chefs: Chefs Mario Basig, J-Ann Fernandez and Dennis Peralta. Rinna Reyes, the hotel’s F&B Manager proudly shared the resto’s Tex-Mex offerings were hailed by the cities of Makati and Manila as one of the best in the country.

The twist to Encima’s Taco Bar is in giving the guests free rein to create their taco however they want. For only Php499, diners can mix and match from the ingredients found in the bar: crisp and soft tacos; a richly-flavored Mexican Rice; beef, pork and chicken filling; grated cheese and cheese sauce, chopped onions and tomatoes, and a host of other ingredients you can add to your heart’s content.

This unlimited do-it-yourself taco bar comes with bottomless margarita and sangria, two of the restaurant’s most popular drinks.

For non-drinkers like me, the resto also offers non-alcoholic drinks like the fresh mango shake they served me.

The Taco Bar will be open every night from July 2 to August 5.

The restaurant also has a happy hour from 4pm to 8pm wherein shooters are served for only Php50 and cocktails at Php99. Beers are also paired with Tex-Mex sampler plates.

Encima Roofdeck Restaurant is located at City Garden Hotel, 7870 Durban Street corner Makati Avenue, Poblacion, Makati. For reservations, call +63 2 899 1111.

Disclosure: Together with other bloggers, I was invited to attend a Thanksgiving Dinner held in this restaurant.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Encima Roofdeck Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of restos offering Mexican food:

DIY Gift: Hot Chocolate on a Stick

Every holiday season brings the same struggle: what to give to all of the family’s relatives, friends and co-workers for Christmas that will be unique, can be useful to or enjoyed by the recipient, and won’t go over the family’s gift budget?

Last year, we gave out over 100 bags of Chocolate Chip Cookies which my daughter and I baked and packed as our gifts. Thankfully, I know a baking supplies store nearby so I was able to save considerably on ingredients.

This year, while surfing through Pinterest, I discovered a new gift idea: Hot Chocolate on a Stick!

The recipe below is further simplified from the one I found on Pinterest, but still quite yummy! Best of all, ingredients and tools are easy and cheap to come by, thanks the nearby baking supplies store.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint oit
  • 15 large marshmallows
  • additional milk chocolate chips and candy sprinkles as garnish

You will also need:

  • Coffee stirrers or plastic straws to serve as sticks
  • Individual plastic wrappers
  • Gift ribbons
  • Gift labels

Procedure:

  • Melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave. (Medium high power for 30 secs and High power for 15 secs; resulting melted chocolate should be thick and have a nice sheen)
  • Mix in the the peppermint oil.
  • Pour the mixture into 2 tbsp chocolate molds (I used a small ice cream scoop to measure out and pour the mixture into small puto molds)
  • Spear each marshmallow with a plastic straw then placed it in the middle of each mold
  • Place in the refrigerator for 5 hours or until set.

I wrapped these with individual food-grade plastic wrappers decorated with red satin ribbons. I included a tbsp of milk chocolate chips and 1/8tbsp of candy sprinkles per package as garnishes. The label should indicate that the hot chocolate on a stick should be stirred into a cup of hot milk until the chocolate is melted.

This recipe yields 15 sticks.