Monday, March 10, 2008

Pantry Cheffing: Chicken Mango Curry Adventures

The best thing to eat in Siargao aside from super fresh fish and the pan de surf is, hands down, Chicken Mango Curry. Ocean 101 has it. Marife serves it too. It's like your trip to the island isn't complete if you don't eat this at least once during your stay. Millie and I became obsessed with this dish when we were on the island almost four years ago. It has a lot to do with our mango fanaticism I think. But that's a story for some other blog.

And this morning, because I've been in a cooky mood ever since I got that herb garden, I decided to attempt my own version of it. Red chilli paste, ginger, spices, coconut milk, chicken, potatos and sweet luscious mango all thrown in together and made to party. It didn't come out exactly like the Siargao versions but it's still pretty damn tasty.

Okay, so it doesn't look like much in that tiny ramiken, shot with a point and shoot and no lighting. In fact, I will be the first to admit that it kinda looks like afritada. But believe me, it was super yummy! Close your eyes and imagine the smell of spicy coconut milk with just the slightest undernote of sweet mango. See? Yummy.

It put me in such a good mood that I decided to head to the aforementioned herb garden to see what I could harvest. Today's herb? BASIL. Lovely sweet and American basil... bright shiny green leaves just aching to be rough chopped and added to garlic, olive oil and lemon juice to make a quickie pesto marinade for the rest of the chicken pieces I had left over.

But since I can't leave well enough alone, I had to look for something else to add to the chicken pesto. Japanese firm tofu sliced into small rectangles joined the mess on the stovetop. The skin crisped just the way I like and the chicken absorbed the fresh pesto like a sponge. Then, again because I don't know how to just be still in a kitchen, I dusted the tofu with oregano and a little cayenne.

The result lacked a little kick. Maybe because there were too many chicken pieces and not enough basil leaves? Hmmm... I'm not sure. Which only means that the next time my basil becomes harvest-able (yes, I know it isn't a word), I will have to try this again. And maybe I wont be tamad to bust out the D200 to shoot proper food shots. Heehee.

That is all.
Thank you.

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Too tired to paddle, too stoked to stop

One of the best all around sessions ever, ever, ever.

The Point was 6 foot on the face and kinda scary so we (Manang Mi, Roxy, JP Ong, Moro and I) opted for the milder waves at Bacnotan. 3-4 foot sets breaking both left and right. The left was sometimes giving 4-5 foot sets but those were closing out. The right (the one near the pier) was smaller but peeling. Waves barely had any juice but the walls were clean, the line-up was composed of friends and there was music blasting from the shore due to an ongoing competition.

Mia had a new (old) 8'1 balsa that is what I like to call a fun gun (okay, so I'm inventing my own terms). I was on Alexa Jazz, my 6'0 kite/hovercraft/fish. She and I swapped boards for a bit... and fell in love with each others' boards. So yes, we are board swingers! Haha.

I was out from 11am to 3pm... then back again from 4pm to sunset. And, like Vic said, I'm usually never that masipag. Unless I really, really like the conditions. (I'm kind of picky in that sense). I also have ZERO photos from that day. Hahaha.

It was one of those sessions where you catch a fun ride and, as you paddle back out filled with stoke, you watch your friend make the drop on yet another really fun wave... and you just know how stoked your friend is... so that adds to your own personal stockpile of stoke... and it just keeps going on like that until sunset. Too tired to paddle, too stoked to stop. Then you all pile in, drive back to San Juan and almost fall asleep while eating popcorn cos you're just that exhausted. And you know your body is going to be mean to you in the morning but you dont mind. It'll hurt... but it's the good kind of hurt. Those twinges in your back and shoulders that silently remind you of the session from the day before.

Good times.

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