What I Am Thankful for in 2011

I am thankful for everything I had in 2011.

I turned 11 on April 10, 2011.

My b-day cake

My b-day

I joined the Junior Master Chef competition and made it to the top 30 finalists.

My plaque from Junior Master Chef

I went to Treston International college and  learned knife skills, the difference between pots and pans , the  cooking hazards, about FATTOM and how to make different kinds of pasta sauces.

I went to Treston International college

My brother and I went to basketball classes last summer.

My brother and I with Coach

My family and I went to Avilon zoo.

We went to Avilon zoo

I learned how to cook restaurant recipes in Sylvia Reynoso Gala’s Culinary Arts school.

Me and Chef Ernest Gala

Me and Chef Ernest Gala

I started a web show called “The Adventures of a Junior Chef” on YouTube.

I also started this blog.

The Junior Chef - my blog

My family and I went on a few vacations….Malayan hotel, Diamond hotel, Discovery suites, Linden suites and Edsa Shangri- La hotel.

I saw my old friend , Andres  again on his b-day.

I met my old friend ion his b-day

I met some real chefs. I met Chef Laudico, Chef Ferns, Chef Jp, Chef Ernest and his mom Tita Sylvia. I also learned that Chef Ernest started cooking when he was my age :D.

Me and Chef Roland Laudico

Me and Chef Roland Laudico

I learned how to cook Mediterranean dishes, Filipino dishes, salads, steaks, pastas and snacks. I also learned how to debone and stuff a chicken.

My deboned chicken

My deboned chicken

We  went to the Lantern Parade in U.P.

I’m thankful that I was a finalist in the Philippine Blog Awards.

I am thankful that I met many great new friends-  Pinoy Food Writer, Ms. Chun Valencia, sisig lover, Mr. Fred Briones , Mr. Martin Banana from Bacolod Food Hunter, Kat from she cooks, he eats, and the nice lady from Love2Type. I also met new friends from Junior Master Chef.

I’m thankful that my new friend,  Mr. Martin Banana , drew a picture for me. It made me happy on New Year’s Day.

Martin Banana's picture for me

I am thankful that we went back to our lola’s old house at Sunnyside Heights to do a rummage sale.

I’m also thankful for our charity named the Healthy Kidchen.

The Healthy Kidchen

What I learned about myself and my family

I learned that I’ll be a great chef someday. I learned that I love cooking and I hate baking. I like to be with my friends and my family.   I also like to learn more recipes.

I learned that my sister wants to be a pianist when she grows up. My brother wants to be a drummer, an artist, a waiter, a basketball player and a chef.

We want to help people. We like to be together. We all want to learn new and wonderful things. We always want to be happy. We want to see everyone really happy. We want everyone to be healthy, too.

What I want to do this year

This year, I’ll complete all of Sylvia Reynoso Gala’s Culinary Arts courses and I’ll join another cooking contest. I’ll cook all the dishes in my cookbooks.

My cookbooks!

That’s it for today everyone! Happy New Year!

Junior Masterchef Pinoy Edition (part 8)- The Treston Experience continued (Knife skills – Brunoise)

How to Bruniose a Potato    Click here to watch the video.

Knife skills - batonnet, julienne, dice, brunoise

REGULAR BRUNOISE

Regular brunoise (3 mm cube)

A regular brunoise is a 1/8 inch (3 mm) cube.

  1. Cut off the top and bottom of the potato.
  2. Slice the sides to make a rectangle but leave one side uncut so you can hold the potato later.
  3. Cut into 1/8″ slabs.
  4. Cut into 1/8″ strips.
  5. Cut into 1/8″ cubes.

FINE BRUNOISE

Fine Brunoise (1.5 mm cube)

A  fine brunoise is a 1/16″ (1.5 mm) cube.
  1. Cut off the top and bottom of the potato.
  2. Slice the sides to make a rectangle but leave one side uncut so you can hold the potato later.
  3. Cut into 1/16″ slabs.
  4. Cut into 1/16″ strips.
  5. Cut into 1/16″ cubes.

The Mathematics of Cooking

Out of complete boredom a few months back, I asked my fellow contestant from Junior Masterchef if he liked math. He said he hated it. I tried to explain that  if he wanted to be a good chef, he had to learn math. Irritated, he told me to be quiet, though in harsher terms, and I left the subject. Then my father told me to write about  the mathematics of cooking.  I guess he wants me to love  math as I do cooking. So here goes…

One time , I cooked steak for my family. It turned out, it was really salty. Mom said I did not use the right proportion of salt to the weight of the meat. Ignoring mathematics in the kitchen could destroy your dish.

These are some of the math concepts that come in handy :

  1. Measurements
  2. Fractions
  3. Addition
  4. Subtraction
  5. Multiplication
  6. Division
  7. Time
  8. Weight
  9. Ratio and Proportion
  10. Approximates

Here’s my first attempt at using math in cooking. One Friday, our charity, The Healthy Kidchen ,  were going to cook sweet plantains for recess. We were going to feed 50 kids at Holy Spirit Elementary School in Bgy. Holy Spirit .

We found a recipe for 1 serving of sweet plantains:

4 pieces plantains (saging na saba)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Problem:  I need to cook for 50 kids. Each kid will receive 2 plantains. The recipe is made for 4 plantains a serving. So what do I need to do?

Requirement: 50 servings ; 2 plantains per serving

Solution:

  1. I multiplied 50 by 2 to get 100 plantains, that we need to buy.
  2. I divided the 100 plantains by 4 (because the recipe makes one serving with 4 plantains). So that makes 25 the multiplier for each quantity of ingredients.
  3. I multiplied the 3/4 cups brown sugar by 25. That makes approximately 19 cups of brown sugar.
  4. I multiplied 1 1/2 cups water by 25. That makes 37 1/2 cups of water.
  5. I multiplied 1 teaspoon vanilla extract by 25. That makes 25 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
  6. I multiplied 1/4 teaspoon salt by 25. That makes 6 1/4 teaspoons of salt.
  7. This makes 25 servings of 4 plantains each, or in proportion, 50 servings of 2 plantains each.

Procedure:

1. Peel the plantains. Slice plantains diagonally.

2. Boil the water in a cooking pot.

3. Add brown sugar and stir until diluted.

4. Add salt and vanilla extract and mix well.

5. Put in the plantains and adjust the heat to medium. Cover the cooking pot and simmer for 8 to 12 minutes or until the liquid thickens.

6. Turn-off heat and allow the plantains to cool.

7. Transfer to a serving plate and serve.

Mathematical concepts used

  1. Ratio and Propotion
  2. Fraction
  3. Multiplication
  4. Division
  5. Approximate

Here are the results:

Some very happy kids =)

Math + cooking = Some very happy kids

Junior Master Chef Pinoy Edition (Part 7) – The Treston Experience continued- Knife Skills (DICE)

How to Dice a Potato

Click here to watch the video.

Knife skills - batonnet, julienne, dice, brunoise

DICE

LARGE DICE

Large dice (19mm)

A large dice is a 3/4 inch (19 mm) cube.

  1. Cut off the top and bottom of the potato.
  2. Slice the sides to make a rectangle but leave one side uncut so you can hold the potato later.
  3. Cut into 3/4″ slabs.
  4. Cut into 3/4″ strips.
  5. Cut into 3/4″ cubes.

MEDIUM DICE

Medium dice (12mm)

A  medium dice is a 1/2″ (12mm) cube.

  1. Cut off the top and bottom of the potato.
  2. Slice the sides to make a rectangle but leave one side uncut so you can hold the potato later.
  3. Cut into 1/2″ slabs.
  4. Cut into 1/2″ strips.
  5. Cut into 1/2″ cubes.

SMALL DICE

Small dice (6mm)

A small dice is a 1/4″ (6 mm) cube.

  1. Cut off top and bottom of the potato.
  2. Slice the sides to make a rectangle but leave one side uncut so you can hold the potato later.
  3. Cut into 1/4″ slabs.
  4. Cut into 1/4″ strips.
  5. Cut into 1/4″ cubes.

Junior Masterchef Pinoy Edition (part 6) – Treston Experience continued – Knife Skills

How to Batonnet and Julienne a Potato

Click here to watch the video.

Knife skills - batonnet, julienne, dice, brunoise

BATONNET

  1. Cut off the top and bottom of the potato.
  2. Slice the sides to make a rectangle but leave one side uncut so you can hold the potato on this side later.
  3. Cut one side into 1/4 inch (6 mm) slabs.
  4. Cut into 1/4 inch (6 mm) strips.
  5. Cut the length into 2.5 inches long if you want a true batonnet.

1. Cut the sides

2. Form a rectangle.

3. Cut into slabs.

4. Cut into strips.

REGULAR JULIENNE
  1. Cut off the top and bottom of the potato.
  2. Slice the sides to make a rectangle but leave one side uncut so you can hold the potato on this side later.
  3. Cut the potato into 1/8 inch (3mm) slabs.
  4. Cut it into 1/8 inch (3mm) strips.
  5. Cut the length into 2 1/2 inches long.
FINE JULIENNE
  1. Cut off the top and bottom of the potato.
  2. Slice the sides to make a rectangle but leave one side uncut so you can hold the potato on this side later.
  3. Cut the potato into 1/16 inch (1.5mm) slabs.
  4. Cut into 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) strips.
  5. Cut the length into 2 inches long.

My Recipe for Pork with Applesauce, Caramelized Apples and Profiteroles

My Pork with Applesauce, Caramelized Apples and Profiteroles recipe (photo by ABS-CBN)

On the September 17, 2011 episode of Junior Master Chef Pinoy edition, I cooked Pork with Applesauce, Caramelized Apples and Profiteroles.  I decided to cook Pork with Applesauce initially when I was told that we were supposed to cook a pork with fruit dish for the episode. Then Chef Michelle suggested that I add caramelized apples while my father suggested that I add profiteroles. Anyway, I learned how to make caramelized apples from Treston College while I learned to make profiteroles from the Junior Master Chef iPad App.

I worked very hard on this dish.  I slept late and woke up very early before the day that we taped the episode just to perfect the dish. I got a basic pork with applesauce recipe and added and removed ingredients until I was happy. 


When I cooked the dish, I was vey happy with the result because it required me to do many things, but I was able to finish on time. I was cooking all four elements- searing the pork, mixing the applesauce,  caramelizing the apples, and baking the profiteroles all within the same hour. Even if the judges did not choose my dish, I am still very proud of it. After all, you can’t please everybody! 

Here is the recipe for my dish. Enjoy!

Pork with Applesauce , Caramelized Apples and Profiteroles by Eco Feria

Ingredients:
3 large Granny smith apples
2 cups apple juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp flour
5 cinammon bark
2 tbsp sugar
1 inch fresh grated  ginger
1 tsp cinammon powder
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
200 g pork tenderloin
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 rosemary sprig
For the sauce:
  1.  In a large saucepan, combine the apples with the apple juice, wine, water, sugar, ginger, cinnamon powder , 1 tablespoon of the butter and 2 tbsp flour and  bring to a boil.
  2. Cover and cook over  low heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 10 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, until the liquid is thick. Discard the cinnamon bark.
For the pork:
  1. Season the whole pork tenderloin in salt and pepper.  In a large pan, heat the olive oil.   Add the pork  to the pan  and cook over medium  heat, turning once until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove the pork from the heat and slice thinly about 1/2 centimeters thin. Transfer the pork to a plate and keep warm.
  2. Add   2 tablespoons of butter and the rosemary sprig to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the rosemary browns and the butter is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Discard the rosemary sprig. Set aside.
For the profiteroles:
Ingredients:
1/2 cup flour, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine flour , sugar, salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup butter. Let it boil. Remove from heat.
  4. Add the sifted ingredients to the saucepan.
  5. Mix them altogether. Add 2 eggs. Mix again.
  6. Place mixture in a pastry bag.
  7. Pipe the mixture into a baking pan lined with pastry sheet.  Make one 6-inch diameter filled circle, putting more mixture at the sides of the circle rather than the center, resembling a bowl.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven. Set aside.
For the caramelized apples:
Ingredients:
1 whole apples,core removes, sliced into six 1/2 cm cross-wise (do not mix up the pieces, since you will return it to its original positions after cooking)
3 tbsp butter
6  tbsp white sugar
  1. Heat 3 tbsp butter in a non stick pan.
  2. Arrange the apples in the pan, from left to right, making sure that you remember how to return it to its proper positions later.
  3. Cook one side for 30 seconds. Then flip the apples over. Add 1/2  tablespoon on top of each slice of apple. Wait for the sugar to turn golden brown. Turn the apple slices over once again and then add 1/2 tbsp sugar and wait until it turns golden brown.
  4. Remove apple slices from pan and re- assemble into its original form. Set aside.
How to assemble:
  1. Arrange the pork on top of the profiterole. Spoon the applesauce on top of the pork. Spoon the rosemary butter over the top.
  2. Place the re-assembled caramelized apple beside the profiterole.

My charity, The Healthy Kidchen

You can donate to my family’s charity, The Healthy Kidchen.

Please click here for details.

My Seafood Curry Recipe

My Seafood Curry - a winner!

I was fortunate to get into the top 30 of ABS-CBN’s Junior Masterchef Pinoy Edition. Many thanks to my dish, Seafood curry. I would like to share this recipe with you. Enjoy!

Seafood Curry by Eco Feria

Ingredients:

3 tbsp olive oil

200g Creamy Dory fish fillet

200g medium-sized shrimps, deveined

15 pc large scallops, removed from  shell (reserve shells for plating)

1 medium-sized onion, roughly chopped

3 tbsp. cornstarch

1 ginger, grated

4 cloves garlic , crushed

2 pcs dried chillies, sliced thinly

400 ml fresh coconut cream

1 small  bell pepper (red or green) , cut into 1/2 inch small cubes

juice from 1 fresh lime

freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp. fish sauce

Thai curry paste

two basil leaves , chopped

two large basil leaves (whole) for plating

Two giant capsicums , for plating (Make sure that capsicums can stand on their own)

 How to cook:

1. Heat 3 tbsp olive oil into a non stick pan.

2.   Slice fish fillet into 1-inch squares. Coat with cornstarch. Add fish fillet squares to pan. Cook each side for about 2 minutes. Set aside. Leave the oil in the pan.

3. Add deveined shrimp to heated wok. Cook for about 30 seconds or until slightly pink in color. Do not overcook. Remove  cooked shrimps and set aside.

4 . Add chopped onions, ginger and garlic and dried chilies.  Cook until garlic is slightly brown.

5. Add curry paste.  Cook until oil from curry paste separates.

6. Add coconut cream.  Add fish sauce , black pepper and chopped basil leaves . Cook until it boils.  Add scallops, fish fillet and cubed bell pepper.  Add all except two shrimps.(The two excluded shrimps will be used for plating)

7. Wait for mixture to boil again. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Make sure mixture does not dry out. (Add a tbsp of water if it does. ) Drizzle with lime juice.

8. Slice top of giant capsicums. Remove the seeds but reserve the tops. Place capsicums on top of a flat plate.

9. Halve seafood curry and transfer each half to the two giant capsicums . Place two shrimps on top of  one of the capsicums with the seafood curry.  Place the two whole basil leaves on top of the other one. Place capsicum covers where desired (on top or at the side).

Place two scallop shells on the plate. Put fish sauce on one scallop shell . Place sliced lime on top of the other scallop shell.

Place excess seafood curry into separate bowl.

Serves 2-4