Friday, December 14, 2007

Good friends, good food, good times...

I'm so pooped! I was out by 9am this morning and I just got back from a very very very long day of Christmas shopping. I was having tons of fun, until the crowds got bigger and the bags got heavier. It's so good to be home. I just finished a slice of Dulce de Leche Pecan Tart and I'm sippin' on a nice hot cup of tea - the world is right again.

Dinner went really well last night. It was so nice to catch up with old friends. One of them moved far far away last year and is in New York visiting for just two weeks. The other - well he lives in NYC but we just haven't been able to sync up for various reasons.

I didn't go easy on my non-Filipino guests. I didn't serve them the proven "western-friendly" Filipino dishes like Pancit (noodle dish) or fried Lumpia. Instead, I opted for Kare-Kare, which is an Ox-tail peanut butter based stew and a vegetable dish with Calabaza, Okra and shrimp. Of course these dishes don't even come close to something like Dinuguan (a really delicious dish made out of pig's blood. I know, I know - but it really is good!!), but the flavors in the two dishes I chose were pretty bold and did a good job of representing the cuisine (at least I thought so).

Luis, is a pretty picky eater and after he went for seconds I knew I hit a homerun. Or it could've been Fabienne's infamous French-tardiness (I love you Fab!) which caused him to work up his appetite. As for Fabienne, I wasn't too worried about her. She's always up for anything. So, I think overall it went well.

I served a Dulce de Leche Pecan Tart for dessert - I thought they deserved it, after putting up with all that fish sauce!


fabienne said...

hmmm... the question of the night was: why isn't Filipino food mainstream?
As Mar says: I would eat pretty much anything so I'm probably not the best person to answer the question.... I'd say that except for a few dishes which have a lot of fish sauce in them, which does in fact give a different type of fish taste(the Kare Kare seemed to have a tiny bit of that fish taste), the vegetable dish with coconut cream and the pecan pie could really be mainstream (not NMacDonald mainstream but 'take away' material mainstream. I think. Calabaza, Okra and shrimp have a pretty smooth and western friendly taste. That dish was very flavorful, with a great texture and filling but not too heavy. I'd say in-between Thai and Indian food. Also the cream / sauce did great with rice. And I personally totally love dishes with Okra. I would put okra in everything if I could.
The kare kare was my first Oxtail dish I believe and the peanut butter sauce was excellent. I wonder if it's the same peanut butter than the one you put on wonderbread??
The pecan pie was totally delicious and I am not too much into deserts but the dulce de leche is my favorite and it goes surprisingly well with pecans.
Overall, after the diner was done, I still couldn't answer in my head why Filipino restaurants are not everywhere. The dishes are very tasty, not too heavy, and don't have a taste that's too weird for a western palate. Perhaps they just are too complicated to make or the world lacks of good Filipino cooks with entrepreneurial spirit. Mar: that's your cue...

Farmer Butch said...

Marichelle ... your passion for culinary bliss is so encouraging! Keep it soaring.

Luis said...

The entire meal was pretty damn good. I would certainly have Filipino food again...especially is Burdy (Marichelle) makes it. You find a way to make it mainstream and they will come. Well, I can't speak for everyone else but, at least your loyal fans will come. ;-)

dfth said...

Goldilocks says "go for it" Princess.