Sunday, January 20, 2008

Taste Bud Alert!

A friend of mine texted me earlier today, asking if we could meet at the Food Court section of Lee Super Plaza. He's here in Dumaguete for a month-long visit and is making the most of his stay (just like any other "bakasyonista"). It's been four years since we last met so I instantly replied with an ALL-CAPS "SURE!"

Sure enough, we met at the said venue and talked for about 30 minutes before any of us could remember to order for lunch. It was like travelling down the memory lane (talked about old school days and yesteryears). At exactly 1:45PM, my tummy started to murmur so I had to stand up and order at the counter. He laughed and 15 minutes later, we were deeply focused on the yummy foods on the table! Oh, I can salivate at the mere thought of it.

Since we were already along the memory lane, we ordered foods in the good old days. Pritong isda (fried fish), ginataang kalabasa (squash simmered in coco milk), tocino, ampalaya with egg, and ofcourse, extra rice. My friend, a chubby fellow, ordered maja blanca and fruit salad for dessert, and two giant tumblers of iced tea. We started our first bite at 2:00PM and ended at 3:45PM! Wow, it was such a hearty meal! I was so full that I had to unzip my pants coz it was really hard to breathe! Good thing I was wearing a hipline blouse so it covered my waistline. *grins*

Both of us couldn't walk straight once outside the mall. I slowed down talking, too, and I noticed that my friend was panting. I sent him off to their bus terminal first before I went home. And once I landed on my bed, my consciousness gave up on me. That was at 4:30PM today.

Now it's 1:05AM, Philippine time, and I'm wide awake. It was actually my dream that woke me up. I dreamed it was fiesta. There were varieties of foods and beverages on the table. I was seated right in front of the buffet table and I was about to dip the serving spoon into a bowl of steaming beef soup when someone tapped me on the shoulder! Grrr...

Now my taste bud is very active and I feel like sneaking for a bite. Maybe I will make something delightful for the tummy in a bit. Meanwhile, here's the recipe of the day:

Ginataang Kalabasa


1 kilo squash, cut into cubes (1"x1")
1/4 kilo shrimp, shelled and deveined
3 pieces tomatoes, diced
2 onions, chopped
1 head garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of ginger root, crushed and minced
4 tablespoons of cooking or olive oil
2 pieces long chilli peppers
2 tablespoons of shrimp paste (bagoong)
2 cups coconut milk
1 cups coconut cream (katang gata)
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons of fish sauce (patis)

Cooking Instructions

On a big pan, heat oil. Sauté garlic, onions until light brown then add ginger, cook until onions become translucent.

Add the tomatoes, squash, chicken stock, shrimp paste and the coconut milk. Let boil then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and the squash becomes tender.

Add the coconut cream, long chilli peppers and the shrimps. Bring again to a boil and simmer for a few more minutes.

Serve hot with plain rice.

Tip: This ginataan recipe can be used on any vegetable, combination of vegetables, fish or meat.