I’ve come to realize a growing popular opinion: The suburbs have nothing to offer.
Excuse you. Check yourself.
So I’m going to do a mini series of suburban highlights. I’ve had to reiterate how often we do date nights within a 10-30 minute drive and not have to get on a highway. It’s so nice to NOT have to pay for parking or walk a couple blocks from our car to get to the front door of the restaurant. I’m starting with my hometown of Schaumburg. Because trust me, you’re going to enjoy this as much as I do.
The Filipino Chicken Adobo that I grew up with was a stew made with chicken, beef or pork that we placed on steamed rice. The best part for me was mixing the stew liquid with my rice (at one point, I was convinced that I could live just off of that).
If you were to ask three different Filipinos how they make adobo, you will get three different answers. Even if you were to go to the Philippines and asked three different people in the same village, you will get three different answers. It’s kind of like mole with Mexicans – you ask three different people how they make their mole, you will get three different answers.
When I was (trying) to learn how to make this dish, my Mom would adjust amounts by taste – she never knew if it was 1 cup of this and 2 teaspoons of that. At one point I did measure out everything, but can’t seem to find the recipe that I made out. Even now, I season to taste (which probably doesn’t help my fellow readers much!) Fear not, I found a recipe that was close to the ratios of the ingredients that I used (see below). However, the way I was taught to make it was slightly different.
You will need:
Chicken drumsticks, thighs and/or wings (I used a package of 4 thighs and drumsticks each)
4 cloves Garlic
1 sliced or chopped onion
3 Bay Leaves
White or Apple Cider Vinegar (there is debate on which to use among Filipinos, I hear!)
Sugar (brown or regular, again, up to debate)
Fresh ground salt/pepper to taste
Steamed Rice for Serving
This dish can be made on a stove top, slow cooker or pressure cooker. Today, I went old-school and made it on my stove top.
A lot of recipes will state to let the chicken sit in the soy sauce/vingar marinade for 1 to 3 hours. However, this recipe seems so forgiving that, if you just put everything in the pot, it would still come out delicious!
In fact, that is what I did – I just threw everything in the pot, from the liquids (soy sauce, vinegar and water) in a 1:2:1 ratio (for example, 1 cup soy sauce, 2 cups vinegar, 1 cup water) into my stock pot. Then added the garlic, onion, peppercorn and bay leaves.
Followed by the meat.
Allow to come to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until cooked through.
Serve on top of freshly steamed rice, with vegetables of choice, such as steamed green beans or asparagus.
Disclaimer: I sometimes forget the peppercorn when I make this. However, because this dish is so forgiving (at least for me), it still tastes great with just the fresh ground pepper on top.
There you have it! Have you made Filipino Adobo too? What did you think of it? Please leave your comments in the box below!
I’ll admit, I was taken surprise by this day. I was totally off the ball and haven’t been keeping up with the ever important “Foodie Days”. You may think I’m being sarcastic, but I’m actually kind of disappointed in myself! These random days are so light-hearted and fun, they make for decent potluck days, and they sometimes make me think outside the box.
And by outside the box, I mean this time I’m referencing a Filipino CHAIN to celebrate.
Enter…. JOLIBEE. For Filipinos, specifically in the Chicagoland area, this was a huge freaking deal when the ‘bee first arrived. I’m talking, Six Flags-style lines, Black Friday-esque impatience… ya’ll really wanted your Chickenjoy.
And if you didn’t catch what I said, this is a CHAIN. With that said, I will drive the 30 minutes, passing yellow archs, crowns, and ivory towers to get my fix. At first, I was such a hater – mainly because I hate crowds and for the first several months, that’s all I saw when passing by. But now that the hype has died down, I managed to finally get my order in. Let’s focus on the chicken – I love fried chicken, and they’re doing it and doing it and doing it well.
And in case you haven’t gone in yourself, make sure to pick up their *peach mango pie* too. Better yet, get yourself like, 5. And hide that stash from your kids because they WILL steal them. And you will regret the things you say & do to your kids for being innocently drawn to sweet, sugary, beautiful things.
Even though our visit to Washington D.C. was going to be short, I did not want to pass up the opportunity to enjoy one of the top restaurants in the area (the question was which one?) Well, Bad Saint was literally steps from where we were staying, so it would be foolhardy to pass up this opportunity.
Bad Saint is a Filipino Restaurant with limited seating and they take no reservations. It is usually advised to come an hour or more before opening.
Having been raised by my Filipino Mom and having grown up on Filipino cuisine, why would I wait in line for something so familiar? Even though it may be the same recipe, the dish will vary in flavor/style from island to island, and even from family to family.
I just wanted to see how their “house” recipes compare and contrast to ours.
What is Filipino food exactly? There isn’t a concrete answer to that, and opinions differ from person to person, depending on who you ask. The best answer I have from what I know of Filipino food is that it is a mix of a lot of things: Spanish, a variety of Asian influences (Chinese, Japanese and Korean, for example) and Indonesian, to name a few. There is not a lot of sweet, but sour and salty. There are dishes that are light and others that are heavy and comforting.
Yeah, the food is pretty diverse.
When they had opened, there was already a big party at the head of the line. I believe the largest table they had sits 4 or 6 people. The line moved quickly and we advanced a few feet. Already they were at capacity. They were taking names and phone numbers so they could text you when a table is ready.
I came prepared for this already. I wasn’t too hungry yet and already planned to head back to our place to wait my turn. I expected at least an hour and a half wait.
Then the Hostess announced that they had one seat available and asked if anyone was dining solo. Hey, that would be me!
I raised my hand so high and fast, that I was literally standing on my toes. The Hostess gestured to me and I followed her in.
Yeah, maybe it looked sad that I was eating alone, but I was far from being sad – I was happy that I did not have to wait over an hour to eat here after all!
I was seated along the windows on a high seat. The bar ledge was edged with Mahjong tiles, and I was immediately reminded of the late nights with my Uncles and Cousins with the sounds of tiles getting “shuffled” on the card table.
When I was handed the menu, I was advised that the chef changes the selections often.
I may not have been hungry outside, but I was now. The kitchen was literally behind me and, whatever they were cooking was making my mouth water.
I also accepted the fact that I was going to smell like food after this.
I decided to go with 3 dishes (mostly because I couldn’t make up my mind!)
I started with Kinilaw Na Pugita, which was octopus with fingerling potatoes and sliced Queen Olives in a vinagrette.
I want to say we had something similar to this but with squid once. I did like the olives in this version.
Next was Bulalo, a bone marrow stew with corn, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, green chili and a side of a vinegary fish sauce for more seasoning. I couldn’t resist getting this as I am a fan of this stew!
The stew was delicious and reminded me of how my Mom makes it. In fact, its hard to say, whose is better.
The last dish I tried was PancitNa Hipon, made with glass noodles, pork belly (mmm pork belly 😍), shrimp and chili.
Pancit is one of those dishes that takes many forms, usually dependent on the type of noodle. When my Mom makes pancit, its with a rice noodle. My aunt makes her with a thicker, almost lo mein style type noodle. With the noodles, you can add any type of protein (ie chicken, pork or shellfish) and sliced vegetables (ie celery, carrots, green onions) and don’t forget the fish sauce! Having the pancit with the glass noodle was an interesting take. It almost slid in my mouth from the sauce and the pork belly. The peanuts added crunch and the chilis some heat (even though I asked for it to be mild). I really did like it.
At the end I was given, what reminded me of Turon, Banana Lumpia with Caramel Sauce. However, the Hostess called it something else (I think, because it didnt sound like Turon). The outside was a crispy and flaky egg roll wrapper, coated in a sticky caramel with a ripe and sweet banana inside. Anyway, it was still good, no matter what it was.
Overall it was a great meal. I wished I had more room to try the rest. I definitely would go back if I had another opportunity.
Have you also been to Bad Saint? How did it go? Leave your comments below!
Yes, it’s really fun to say. And yes, sometimes I say it all exaggerated, as if I’m the announcer for Iron Chef (original series). And YES, I spell it wrong 99% of the time!
But hiding on the shadows of Schaumburg, in a place called Arlington Heights, you will find one of my favorite suburban restaurants. Part of the reason I love it so much is because it is the offspring of my favorite restaurants in the CITY – Wasabi *_*.. but more about that another time.
First of all, I would like to apologize for the gap in postings. First, it was due to the Thanksgiving holiday, and I was away for a while. Not too long after I had returned, I had received some awful news – one of my younger brothers had died due to suicide.
I was numb with shock, and could barely put a thought together, let alone words on paper. At least now, I am back. I wanted to share a recipe that we have in the family that I had also shared with my brother, Christopher. After rolling the enchiladas (as you will read about shortly), we started doing the “Little Monsters” dance from Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video with mole on our fingers. We were very silly and it was a fun time had by all.
This recipe brings a lot of good memories for me (in addition to the one I just shared about Christopher), and I hope that it brings a lot of good memories for you as well.
Dried Chile Ancho and either Chile Guajillo or Chile Pasilla (one package of each, 1:1 ratio).
Brown Sugar (1 tablespoon or to taste) – bonus points if you use the Mexican brown sugar!
Chicken Stock (1 small can)
Tomato Paste (1 tablespoon)
Garlic (1 or 2 cloves, chopped)
Corn Tortillas – 1 or 2 packages
Potato (Regular or Sweet) (1 – chopped in one-half inch pieces)
Melting Cheese such as Chihuahua (not the dog, it’s a type of cheese from the region of Chihuahua Mexico) – shredded
Chorizo (beef, pork or Soyrizo)
Yellow or sweet onions chopped
Tomatoes (chopped/sliced/or grape tomatoes)
Vegetable or canola oil
It may be advisable to roast chiles on a dry saucepan in order to get more flavor.
Boil water in a pot. Once it starts boiling, add chiles and let it boil for 30 minutes. Take off heat, drain and let cool. (NOTE: if you have a food mill, you can just drain chiles and place in food mill. The finished product should be a paste. Discard what stems, seeds and skin is left in the food mill.) Once chiles are cool enough for you to handle, remove stems, seeds and skin as best you can. Place cleaned chiles in blender. Blend Chiles with garlic and tomato paste. The mixture should end up as a thick paste. Add Chicken stock until it becomes a sauce (thickness will be like Sriracha, but not runny like water. This will make the mole easier to handle with the tortillas). Taste the mixture – if it tastes bitter, you can add brown sugar to taste to “neutralize” it. Set aside.
Place a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Empty out contents of Chorizo from sleeve onto pan along with potato pieces. Heat until potato is tender and chorizo is warmed through. When done, set aside.
Heat oil in a saucepan – you don’t need a lot, maybe an inch or two deep. With this step, we will be placing a tortilla in the oil until the edges are crispy (be careful not to leave it in too long or it becomes one big tortilla chip). Once the edges are crisp, remove with tongs, let some of the oil drip off (in a way this helps cool it off some). Then place tortilla in mole mixture. Coat tortilla with mole.
Once the tortilla is coated with the mole, place one or two teaspoons of filling (ie Chorizo +/- potato). You can also add cheese and some of the chopped onions as well (use only one teaspoon of Chorizo/potato mixture if you do this. Roll up the enchilada and place into a serving dish.
Once all of the enchiladas are rolled up and on the plate, you can garnish with extra shredded cheese. You may also place in 325 degree oven to re-warm before serving. Serve with lettuce and tomatoes as a side.
Depression can affect anyone. Please speak to someone if you feel sad, stressed and/or angry. It can be family, a friend, if not your doctor, as long as it is someone that you trust. You are not alone!
“Whenever I eat here, I feel like I was at my friends Mom or Grandma’s house…”
200 South Halsted
I originally started coming here when I was at UIC (that’s the University of Illinois at Chicago for those who aren’t local). Whenever I ate there, I felt like I was at someone’s house eating something their Grandmother just made. The food was rich and full of flavor, and everything was so fresh. From previous experience, after being in business for several years (or more), sometimes the taste changes (and sometimes not in a good way). So now, the question is: “Will Greek Islands be the same?”
We started with the Saganaki. Yes, its very cliché, but its one of the first things I tried from here, and it’s a classic.
Next, I created my own combo of moussaka and stuffed tomato.
Hubby had a combo of gyro and baked chicken.
After one bite of each, it was confirmed, a done deal, the last nail being hammered into the coffin…
After a taste of each dish, you can taste the freshness of the ingredients, I was still reminded of my friend’s Mother/Grandmother, so yes, this place still has it.
I also forgot that this place imports their olive oil straight from Greece (another explanation as to why everything is so good!)
“When pressed with time, it can be hard to pull together meals for the week. Luckily, the store had some pre-marinated salmon portions on sale and I took advantage of that…”
When pressed with time, it can be hard to pull together meals for the week. Luckily, the store had some pre-marinated salmon portions on sale and I took advantage of that.
I bought two filets marinated in maple dijon and two filets marinated in teriyaki, then placed it on the grill. It only takes about 5 to 10 minutes (or longer if it’s a bigger portion).
For the quinoa, it’s a half cup of quinoa to one cup of chicken broth and bring to a boil. Total cooking time was 20 minutes. Halfway thru I added the butternut squash, and for the last few minutes, I added the spinach and the cranberries. Remove from heat. Let it sit for about five minutes.
Divide the quinoa and salmon in containers for the week and refrigerate.