Family Recipes: Maxine’s Morcon

Alright, let’s do this

meat carrots cloves big pot
eggs celery soy sauce string
hotdogs garlic calamansi foil
pickles onion lime
tomato sauce

Most if not all will know what you need in the wet market so just tell them you need a good piece of meat for morcon. You can specify that it should be whole so that it would be easy for you to roll and wrap the thing. Let’s go to the kitchen and start by making hard-boiled eggs. It’s the easiest part of the recipe so you better do more than fine.

Next, wash vegetables you need. Separate celery leaves from the stalk and put it in a bowl together with soy sauce, cloves and meat. set aside. You can now proceed to chopping garlic and onion and slicing carrots and pickles into long strips. When the eggs are ready, remove the shell and cut into four pieces.

Then it’s gonna be one hell of an exercise routine because after lining the meat with celery, hotdog, eggs, pickles and carrots, you would have to roll them and secure them with a piece of string as carefully and as tightly as you can. If you are careless, your morcon is gonna look bad (but I don’t care cause the taste is the same!).

Now let’s start cooking. Saute garlic until golden brown and then add onions before stirring tomato sauce in. Arrange pieces of morcon and pour all of the marinade into the pot. Add water and cook for about 2 and a half hours, turn the pieces halfway and always check if it is running out of water to prevent burnt meat. Wrap it with foil and keep it in the freezer. On the other hand, keep the sauce and refrigerate as well.

To serve, thaw the meat a bit, remove the strings, cut into pieces, arrange on a plate. The sauce can be served over the pieces but I prefer a gravy boat so guests can enjoy it the way they want.

This is the first time I perfectly cut it. I love Mama Maxi for teaching me this recipe (only one of many) and for making this treat for our noche buena. I am ready to cook it by myself and I will before 2012 ends. Just look at that!

date places: Where to go to get to know her?

Once in a while I get the what’s the best thing to give a girl I like question from some guy. And I hate that question because it’s as if all girls are the same. Lil boys who want to give gifts that the girl will actually like should spend enough time with the person first to have an idea of what they may be inclined to. and when does this happen, how do you get to know the girl? Well, you go out with her. This post is all about where to go.

1. art/interior decor/home floor of a mall – this is safe in the sense that if she’s into art, she’ll probably check out some galleries and if she’s into furniture and collectibles it’s also just there. Mega Mall has one in a floor. Glorietta and Trinoma also have that strip. You don’t have to fake interest but don’t be a bore!

2. bookstores – There’s Fully Booked, A Different Bookstore, Bestsellers, Powerbooks and of course National Bookstore. You can choose a shop that is quite friendly with people who live in bookstores. As long as there are chairs/couches and you see a generous number of people browsing through books, it’s alright. Take note of what she’s checking out so you can at least have an idea of a genre or a general interest.

3. Cubao X/The Collective – because there are shops with different themes, because you can hang out and (do you want me to use the word “chill”? ugh), because it’s quiet enough to have a conversation (unless it’s late and there’s a gig) and there are also nearby restaurants and cafes where you can have your meal or your coffee.

4. fancy markets: Salcedo, Banchetto, Mercato, Centris and Legazpi – sure most of what they have to offer is food but in there you’d have an idea of what she likes and what she loves in terms of food. It can get pricey too so either you stick with Centris or you go out with a big group so that you can split and share. I would recommend Centris because it seems to be the cheapest and it seems to offer more than just food but each of these would have advantages over the others. Fancy markets also have midnight versions so that can also be the option for the night owls.

5. DVD finds – go to some place where you can get DVDs. Do I need to elaborate? Hmmm… Browse through endless stalls and you will know if she’s into movies and what kind she generally loves watching.

6. Toy stores – okay this may not be exactly for her but you don’t really have to tell her that that is what you’re going to do. The key here is just walk around the mall naturally and then make up some excuse to check out some stall. You’d have a hint of what’s on her mind so if it spells a big no then move on to the next stop. If she is tolerant of toys then maybe she will be lenient of “other hobbies” in the future, if you know what I mean.

7. Gadget section – again you don’t actually have to go there, just pass by and pretend to look something up and if she does look into something then you’ll know what she does for leisure. It can be as big as an appliance center or as small as a cellphone shop, a console shop or even cdr king store would do.

8. arcade – if she reacts violently take it back and say you were joking. That simple man. But if she says yes, then it’s gonna be fun.

9. grocery -just say you need to run an errand. Get a cart and push it together slowly. 1. talk and talk 2. get a few things and 3. observe what she looks at, which sections she enjoys and finally what she ends up buying.

10. something physical – running, biking, wall climbing etc. Suggest and watch out for warning signs but if there are none start looking for a route and make sure there is a nearby food joint after the vigorous activity.

okay that’s done.

Bazaar and Food Festival (Korean)

So far we’ve tried Ye Dang, Woorijib, Kogi, De Yang and that nook near Pearl Drive. We are planning to check out other Korean restaurants along Libis as well as the very old (and I assume reliable) Korea Garden. Anyway, I saw the poster for this event in one of the restaurants we often eat at. I was curious because the poster was in Korean. If it says food and if it is in Korean then it only means one thing. It probably means I am going. So we went to Dela Strada and we were welcomed by 12 stalls of Korean food. I did not see anything out of the ordinary but I thought it was enough for an introductory treat to Filipinos. The food was cheap and the atmosphere friendly so I have no complaints.

I actually wanted to order something else but they did not have a smaller serving. At 400 pesos, I didn’t want to risk it because Phil and I were still going to meet his family for lunch. Anyway I stuck with the basics and played it safe because we did not have much cash. haha! Had an appetizer of their dumpling which is very close to Gyozas. For our main course I got Kalbi which is pretty much braised beef except that it is not as salty and greasy as the Chinese version. Phil had most of my share but it’s okay because he also ordered fried chicken dipped in spicy sauce. Lastly we got a kilogram of kimchi for a hundred bucks which was pretty cheap and I think just right for both of us. We downed more than half of it I believe! We ordered 2 cups of cold Korean coffee and felt sorry that we were too full to try out other desserts.

Other than what we ordered pajeon, japchae, tokboggi, jokbal, bulgogi, Korean hotdog, Korean halo-halo, ice cream, wet and dry goods and trinkets were also available. We were there very early and I felt sad that there weren’t much people. I asked my mom to do her magic in spreading the word but oh well. Anyway, Phil and I did enjoy the early treat and we were glad we decided to check it out. Too bad it is only for a day. Here’s to more!