Starweek Magazine

No cook Saturday

- Lydia Castillo -

Last Saturday we decided it was going to be a no-cook day. So we drove to the Salcedo weekend market. Thankfully, there was no traffic along the way and we reached our destination in good time. But the problem was parking as there were so many cars.

We started on the left side where Tita Cely’s palayok selection was too good to pass up. The gracious lady and her assistant attended to us like long-lost relatives. We got the crabs done in coconut oil with squash and sitao and our favorite paksiw na bangus whose tiyan was enough to fill our hunger pangs. Finger chilis gave it that tingling taste. She also had Bicol Express, the fastest way to fire up your mouth with all the sili in coconut cream! Tita Cely has a very reliable pork supplier, so we also got binagoongan and paksiw na pata.

Of course a favorite stop is La Cuisine Francaise where our friend Michelle always has something new. This time it was the pan bagnat, a salad Nicoise sandwich, made of bread with a generous filling of salad consisting of lettuce, strips of tomatoes, green bell pepper, and anchovies. Good for a full meal, this goes for P200. Her roast whole chicken (P370) comes with aoili sauce, potato wedges and a lot of roasted garlic. We look forward to the opening of Michelle’s restaurant at the Paseo center in Makati. She takes orders for catering – call 893-2072.

We had to have the cream dory from Ivan, P180 a pack of 500 gms. This is ideal to have on reserve at home as it is quick to cook, healthy, and tasty. Swiss ham seller Joy still tags her delicious cooked ham at P400 for half a kilo. She doesn’t use nitrate and it takes two weeks to seal all the flavors into the meat. As for the fresh seafood, we found the rare kandule, at P250 a kilo. The best way to cook this is either adobo with vinegar and tomatoes, or dinilawan with coconut milk, turmeric juice, fried eggplant and sili leaves. The vendor also had ayungin, but at P175 a half kilo. Squid was at P250 a kilo. When making adobong pusit, never put much salt because this already has a naturally salty taste.

We also went to Gigi la Crepe et Galette. As the name suggests, there were crepes filled with fruits, honey and even marmalade. The galettes are made with cheese, ham, sausages or tuna. A mixture of different fillings can also be done. The aroma of olive oil and saffron led us to Sabor, where we missed our friend Monchet. The had paella and other Iberian dishes.

At Salcedo market there are breads (especially the Mekeni ensaymada), cakes, kakanins, bottled dips, fruits and vegetables and tasty viands. With all their offerings, you can have a delicious no-cook Saturday.

A stop in Makati one day led us to Landmark which has undergone a good transformation, from the dark and messy food court and supermarket to a better organized place to eat and shop. From the Monterey section, we got the barbecue beef (P290) which we actually use for caldereta. The brisket is sold at P295 while the shin is at P300.

There’s a new selection of all natural ready-to-drink tea in the market in 16 oz bottles. This is the Arizona brand, from the US, distributed locally by EQuilibrium Intertrade corporation, 862-3041. It is produced by the makers of Sue Bee syrups. They come in beautiful bottles, wrapped in paper printed with different Japanese and Chinese blooms and kimono–clad ladies symbolizing the fruits flavoring each drink. These bottles are good enough to use as kitchen or bar décor. The main element, green tea, is brewed using filtered water, then combined with high fructose corn syrup, fruit juices (pear, plum, orange), honey and in some cases, ginseng and jasmine extracts. They come in different sizes with prices ranging from P90 to P110.      

Again calling the attention of the man who has the illusion of being president come 2010. One Sunday, a priest was driving West on the South Super highway on his way to a mass he was to officiate. Suddenly, a group of race cars whizzed by so fast, like they were on a race track. The good priest stopped at an MMDA station and pointed out the ‘rascals’ (our term). Guess what the man in the station said? “Eh pang-karera po talaga ang cars nila!” Can anybody believe this kind of reasoning? Will you allow these racing maniacs to risk the lives of others just because “pang-karera po ang sasakyan nila?

E-mail comments and questions to: [email protected]

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