fresh no ads
Around the world in MECQ |

Food and Leisure

Around the world in MECQ

FOOD FOR THOUGHT - Millie and Karla Reyes - The Philippine Star
Around the world in MECQ
Ooh, la la: Homemade crepes with butter, sugar, lemon and a drizzle of condensed milk

Millie:  Summer is here! Normally, this is the time when Karla and I would go on a trip. We were, in fact, supposed to visit Sapporo with my brother Gerry, but because of COVID-19, we simply had to cancel. I’m just hoping PAL will grant us a full refund.

But, just for fun and probably to keep our sanity, Karla and I have been imagining we are traveling and our meals are planned according to what ingredients we have at home. It’s quite interesting what meals we have been able to create and the destinations we have reached!

Taste of France: Freshly baked French croissants with French butter with salt crunch from La Petite Fromagerie, Boursin cheese, smoked salmon and creamy scrambled eggs

Karla:  We started off our themed meals with breakfast in Paris. Using frozen croissant dough from a cancelled event, I made a croissant sandwich with French butter, Boursin cheese, smoked salmon, and creamy scrambled eggs.

Right after breakfast, I made a batch of crepes. Lolo Joe’s favorite crepe was something so simple. It was just butter and sugar with lemon, but he always asked for an additional drizzle of condensed milk. So, naturally, this is what Mom and I had.

Food barter: Homemade chili con carne from tita Ning Reyes

I memorized this crepe recipe by heart from culinary school because I would make it for Mom all the time. I’m sure there are many recipes online, but I’m sharing the process and recipe I use for my Mom.

In a medium bowl sift in 125g of all-purpose flour; add a pinch of salt, 20g of white sugar and 2 large eggs. Whisk it together, and slowly add 1 cup of milk. Once incorporated, cover with cling wrap and rest in the refrigerator for an hour.

New York flavors: Evergood smoked bratwurst with chili con carne and chopped red onions

While the batter is resting, melt 20g of butter in a small pan until it becomes brown butter. That is the stage when water has evaporated and the milk solids have turned a toasty brown color to give a more intense, full, nutty flavor. Set it aside to cool.

After an hour, add in the butter into your crepe batter and start to heat up your pan. Now, cooking them is probably the tricky part, as compared to making the batter. First you need to wipe tissue with oil around your non-stick pan. Next you need to be able to control the heat. It takes a lot of practice until you get it right. So don’t expect the first few crepes to be pretty. Use a ladle to pour in the batter. No need to pour all over the pan. Just pour it in the center and tilt your pan to spread the batter around it. You’ll know if it’s ready for flipping when you see the sides pull away from the pan. If you have a crepe machine, you may use that as well. Since I personally don’t have one, a non-stick pan will do.

How Swiss it is: Swiss-themed dinner with cheese fondue, Hungarian and Schublig sausages with potatoes and leeks cooked in white wine, served with a bottle of Riesling

Mom and I have this as breakfast crepes with sautéed mushrooms, bechamel and cheese, or sometimes with smoked salmon and cheese. We also have them for dessert with fresh strawberries and whipped cream or even just plain Nutella.

Millie:  Two of our refs at home are filled with assorted cheeses, but I am not allowed to touch them as they are Karla’s for her cheese business, La Petite Fromagerie. Some of her cheese selections are Swiss raclette, Bleu de Bresse, Munster, chevre, Asiago from Bacolod, goat camembert from Davao and even Cougar from Washington State University. Ooh, la la! What a selection!

I suggested we have a typical Swiss dinner of cheese fondue and grilled sausages and pretend we were in Switzerland, at the foot of Mt. Zermatt. We found some frozen ciabatta from chef Jessie’s in the freezer, a frozen Eric Kayser baguette and focaccia with roasted garlic and cherry tomatoes from chef Thirdy Dolatre that we cut up into bite-sized morsels to dip into the bubbling cheese fondue. Ah, and of course, a chilled bottle of Riesling!

Culinary tango: Argentinian-themed dinner with an Angus rib-eye steak and chorizo served with rice and potato leek salad

During this quarantine period, we share what we have in abundance with our neighbors. One day, we sent my Uncle Vic some cheese and in return, Auntie Ning, a foodie, sent us some homemade pesto made from garlic, basil, pine nuts and olive oil.  Karla magically created a pasta dish by adding cream to make it a creamy pesto and served it with pan-seared halibut from We pretended we were in Genoa, Italy, the origin of the famous pesto!

On another occasion, we sent them kesong puti and, in exchange, they sent us some homemade chili con carne, which Karla and I ate with yummy Evergood smoked bratwurst from Rene de Leon’s Prime Meats, as we pretended to be on the streets of New York!

Karla: Upon receiving a delivery of fruits and vegetables, I realized I had more cilantro than I needed. Just so I wouldn’t let it go to waste, I decided to make chimichurri. I didn’t exactly follow any specific recipe since there were ingredients I didn’t have. Instead of shallots, I used red onions and instead of red wine vinegar, I used cider vinegar. Basically, I added a couple cloves of garlic, half a small red onion (chopped), cilantro, parsley, a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes.

Put it all in a food processor with a little olive oil. Once incorporated and chopped to the desired size, I mixed in a little bit of cider vinegar and more olive oil to cover. So, for that evening, it was an Argentinian-themed dinner. I cooked an Angus rib-eye steak to share with my mom and chorizo with side dishes of potato and leek salad and rice cooked in the pan with juices and oils of the steak and chorizo.

K-dinner: Korean beef stew served with kimchi from chef Thirdy Dolatre

Another themed dinner we absolutely enjoyed was our Korean night. Chef Thirdy Dolatre of Hapag sent me some kimchi in exchange for cheese. So, I decided to make Korean beef stew. It was so good that I had the leftovers for lunch the next day.

Millie: We have had imaginary trips to Malaysia with our beef rendang, Singapore with our Hainan chicken rice and Indonesia with our sambal prawns. Since ECQ has been extended for another two weeks, we are planning trips to Hong Kong, Japan and Thailand.  It sounds like fun and as I look forward to tagging along with Karla as she creates culinary wonders, I think it’s time for us to write a cookbook!

* * *

Send email to and Find us on Facebook: Food for Thought by Millie & Karla Reyes and Instagram: @quichethecookph.

vuukle comment



Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with