Monday, August 22, 2011

My version of CRAB BISQUE

Here is a easy and simple recipe for Crab Bisque. Actually I wanted to use lobster instead of crab but when I went to the wet market and checked out the prices of the fresh lobsters it was very  expensive. I had to settle in making a crab bisque which I think is just as good. You can use also shrimps if you prefer that more than crabs or lobsters.

Seafood bisque ( whether you use crabs, lobster or shrimps )  is a thick, creamy seafood soup, thought to be of French origin. The soup can be milk or cream based and that contains seafood meat, as well as sherry, cognac or wine. 

Let me share with you my version of Crab Bisque... 


1 crab  ( you can use left over crab meat )
 olive oil
1/2  carrot, chopped
1/4 cup celery chopped
2 medium size tomatoes ( chopped finely )
2 cloves garlic -  chopped
2 shallots -  chopped
1 sprig fresh tarragon leaves -  chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons Cognac
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
5 cups water  or 4 cups of crab stock
Freshly ground pepper
Cayenne pepper
Pinch dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups heavy cream
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon minced chives or parsley leaves


** Fill a large pot with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Place the crabs in the water and steam for 15 minutes.  Discard the water. ( you can also save 1-2 cups of this original stock if you want a stronger crab taste ).

** Remove crab meats from the body and claws.  Save the shells. Cut the crab meat into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

** Place 5 cups of water in a clean stockpot and turn on high heat.  Put the shells in the stockpot and cook for 30 minutes.  This should yield 4 cups of crab stock.

** Add olive oil to a large pan and turn on medium heat.  Add the garlic, bay leaf, shallots, tarragon leaves, carrots, tomatoes,  and saute for 20 minutes.

** Add 4 cups of strained crab stock to the sauteed vegetables. Turn down heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

** Press entire contents of sauteed pan through sieve into a clean sauté pan.

** To finish the bisque, add heavy cream slowly, using whisk to blend.  Add white wine. Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes; bisque will thicken slightly.

** Mix cornstarch with 1/4 cup water and slowly add to bisque with a whisk.  Simmer on low heat for another 15 minutes.  Add pepper.

** Place pieces of previous cleaned crab meat in bowl and add 1 cup of bisque.

**  Season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Garnish with minced chives or parsley.

This recipe is good for 4 servings of crab bisque. 


Monday, August 15, 2011

Celebrating a milestone at TAO YUAN

I celebrated Iggy's and my birthday at TAO YUAN at the Resorts World, Manila. Yes, Iggy and I share the same birthday..... and Tao Yuan has become a favorite dining place in our family...  we loved their Hainanese Chicken. I have been back to Tao Yuan so many times and every time I go to Tao Yuan... I always made sure I ordered their Hainanese Chicken. It is the BEST HAINANESE CHICKEN I have tasted here in Manila.

Days before going to Tao Yuan, I was already planning what we should order.... I asked Cris, my daughter in law, to call  and make the reservations. The only thing I told my children was.... " We are going to have GOOD FOOD tonight !! " I asked  Edith, another food lover to come and join us.

When we arrived at Tao Yuan... the place was starting to fill up.... there were people waiting outside --- We were ushered by the head waiter to our table and was ready to take our orders... I did not bother looking at their menu... I knew what I wanted to have....

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Una turns 2 at TOURNE

A few days before I left for Manila, Iggy texted me to say --- He and Cris  discovered a new eating place at THE FORT.... and they decided to celebrate Una's 2nd birthday party at TOURNE ( pronounced Tour-nay ) --  a french word meaning " turned ". " TOURNE?? it's a French restaurant?? You mean to tell me -- we will be having FRENCH FOOD for Una's birthday?? KIDS don't eat FRENCH FOOD!!" was  my answer to his "suggestion" ... Iggy just said... " MOM, trust me.... it just opened June 15 --- and Cris and I have tried their dessert-- it was good!! Let's go and try out their food--- it's SLOW FOOD ! and the Chef is Sandralyn Hataway -- google her mom!! " Oh my god!! What on earth is SLOW FOOD??

As soon as I got back in Manila, while I was trying to get rid of my jetlag --- I decided to find out what SLOW FOOD meant... and here is what I found out.... SLOW FOOD is " the opposite of FAST FOOD. The concept behind slow food ensures that everything served is made in the kitchen. From the bread, to the ketchup, to the sauces - nothing is store-bought. Everyone is assured that the quality of food is to the chef's liking." I also read a couple of reviews about TOURNE and all of the reviews were praising the food... That made me curious... I wanted to go and try out that SLOW FOOD! Yes, I am very adventurous when it comes to food and trying out new things ( at least once ) -- but my being so can also make me discover some hits and misses when it comes to food... but with Tourne I decided to give it a try. Come and join me as I discovered some new twists on my meal today.

I together with my kids, Tom and Maite , Iggy and Cris with my 3 grandchildren ( Miguel, Rocio and Una ) met at TOURNE. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

RONALD REAGAN'S PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM ( Part 2 ) AIR FORCE ONE, Berlin Wall and Reagan's final resting place

The Air Force One Pavilion contains Air Force One that flew from 1973 – 2001.  It is the most important artifact in this library...According to the reading material on the wall --- " This Air Force One flew Presidents Nixon, Carter, Ford, Reagan, George H. Bush, Clinton and George W. Bush ".....The Air Force One is a Boeing 707 in a glass walled hangar over looking the valley. This is Air Force One, has been long retired (  in the early 1990's ) and from what I gathered is that the new Air Force One is a Boeing 747.

Before we move on to this part of Reagan's Presidential Library and Museum... Photography is not allowed inside the AIR FORCE ONE. Although The Reagan Library is surprisingly unrestricted to photographers. The only area that is off limits for photography is onboard Air Force One. Otherwise, you are free to draw your camera whenever you please, as long as you know how to turn off the flash. Touching any of the displays inside the plane and/or sitting onboard the aircraft are strictly prohibited. There are some guides inside to make sure NO ONE can take photos aboard the aircraft.

This impressive plane rests on pedestals and there is a walkway that circles the plane which allows you to view it from all angles.