Pinoy food made easy with Yummy Mag, Kitchenaid, and Chef Gino Gonzalez

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I think every person who likes baking has at one time or another coveted a Kitchenaid mixer. When I was just beginning to discover my own love for baking I was using my mother’s antique (literally) mixer, and it was cute but there wasn’t much it could do apart from make regular batter. As I learned more and more I began to wonder if getting myself a Kitchenaid would be the right thing to do. It’s an investment for sure, but it’s been more than 3 years since I got mine and I can tell you it is well-loved and well-used.

And then Kitchenaid had to come out with their Artisan line. So now every time I pass by a shelf of those shiny pretty things in all the pretty colours I feel a little tug of desire. In fact I’ve got colours– yes PLURAL– that I’ve memorized in my head of the mixers I want: Buttercup and Aqua Sky. I don’t need two mixers in my life at this point but it’s good for future reference right? These new tilt-head stand mixers are the ones you can attach a glass bowl to if I’m not mistaken, which would’ve been perfect for my recipe video tutorials, but hey, my heavy duty Kitchenaid is still awesome and I’ve used it on video tutorials anyway.

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Now that you know how I actually feel about Kitchenaid, I don’t suppose it’s a surprise when I jumped at the invitation to attend a cooking demo they organized in conjunction with Yummy Magazine. This is their second time to team up for a cooking demo and just like with the first leg which I missed, they tapped one of the country’s most sought-after chefs. This time it’s Chef Gino Gonzalez. The cooking demo was being held at Enderun College at Taguig and I’ve been wanting to see the inside of that cooking school for a while too! Lucky me!

I went to the cooking demo with my youngest brother Wilbert and when we arrived, we saw that outside the main venue there were long tables chock full of ingredients and kitchen equipment. They call this the ‘Make Your Own Bar’. Participants of the event got to make 3 different recipes on their own using 3 different Kitchenaid appliances to make things easier.

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It was definitely a good opportunity to try out the Kitchenaid line of products, which are all so gorgeous and shiny! The three recipes you get to make hands-on here are the Ube-Keso Trifle, Mango-Lychee Smoothie, and the Tinapa Pate.

The Ube-Keso Trifle is created by using the Kitchenaid 7-Speed Hand Mixer to beat together 4 ounces cream cheese, 1/4 cup ube jam, and 1/4 cup all-purpose cream until smooth. And then it’s just a matter of layering the trifle in a nice tall glass; starting with some ube cake at the bottom, the beaten cream cheese-ube concoction next, and then some sweetened macapuno as well as peanut brittle, if desired.

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There was also a station where you can make your own Mango-Lychee Smoothie. This one makes use of 1 ripe mango, 1/2 cup drained lychee from a can, 2 cups milk, 2 tablespoons condensed milk, and finally, 1 cup of crushed ice.

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Wilbert had a hand at trying out the Kitchenaid 5-speed Hand Mixer to make this smoothie, and he accomplished the task really quickly. It was refreshing on such a hot day!

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Since I like tinapa, I went over and watched one of the staff from Kitchenaid whipping up some Tinapa Pate using the Kitchenaid Food Processor. He basically just threw in 1 block of cream cheese, 150 grams tinapa, then 1 tablespoon each olive oil, chopped garlic, and chopped parsley. Then he blended it all together. These measurements create roughly two cups of the pate, and they are indeed perfect with pandesal.

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Wilbert and I were just finishing up at the Bar when we were told it was time to go in. Finally the main event was about to begin! Entering the amphitheater I was impressed by the state of the art set-up. The coolest part are the mirrors above the cooking counter that are angled in such a way that the “students” or participants can see exactly what their chef-teacher is doing.

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Yummy Magazine Editor-In-Chief Paulynn Chang-Afable took the floor for a few moments, talking about how happy they are to have Kitchenaid and Chef Gino Gonzalez helping them share their passion for food and cooking. Soon enough, it was time to start really cooking!

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Chef Eugenio “Gino” Gonzalez was our teacher for the day, sharing his knowledge about food in general as well as some Pinoy-themed recipes using Kitchenaid appliances. Chef Gino is the Head Instructor of the Center for Asian Culinary Studies, but before that he mastered his culinary arts at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. Recently he spearheaded a program at the CACS called the Professional Asian Program that aims to promote a more Asian-cuisine-focused knowledge, especially when it comes to Filipino dishes.

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They say Filipino cuisine is emerging all over the world, and there’s definitely a lot to be proud of in that aspect. Asian dishes are pretty amazing and I think Filipino dishes aren’t any inferior against other Asian cuisines, so I’m hoping that the whole emerging thing comes true! So anyway, the first dish that Chef Gino shared with us is called the Adobong Vaca. (That is not a typo.) It’s a beef dish that is slow-cooked in a broth that has annatto oil in it to give it a lot of punch. This is an heirloom recipe of Chef Gino’s by the way!

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So basically some chicken bones get browned and de-glazed with water or stock, then flavoured with annatto oil, star anise, a bit of fish sauce, leeks, garlic, cane vinegar, onions, and ginger. This forms the adobo sauce. While all that’s happening, some well-seasoned beef short ribs are seared on all sides. Now the beef short ribs are placed inside the Kitchenaid Slow Cooker, then the asado sauce (sans the chicken bones) is poured along with it. Set the timer and let it slow cook for 7 hours. It’s a long time but slow-cooking is almost always worth it!

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What you’ll have after the 7 hours is a tender and flavourful piece of beef. Chef Gino says that it’s best to make your own annatto/achuete oil from seeds rather than the powder type as this will provide the most aroma and flavour. I can vouch for that because I also made my own achuete oil when I made some Chicken Inasal. Ahhh the smell of that infusion!

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Up next we get Henyo’s Lumpia, or Eugenio’s Lumpia if you’re not into pet names. It’s basically pork, shrimp, mushrooms, singkamas, shallots, cilantro, and soaked sotanghon put inside the Kitchenaid food processor along with several flavourings (muscovado, oyster sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce, then salt and pepper) to make it extra tasty. It’s pulsed about 6 times until it all looks like ground meat. Don’t pulse it too much so that the filling will still have some bite to it once it’s wrapped in lumpia wrapper.

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The best way to seal these lumpia would be using some egg whites, to make sure they don’t suddenly unravel while being fried. Chef Gino also gave a tip to help you tell if the oil is ready for frying. Dip a wooden spoon into the oil and watch for bubbles.

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These lumpia are best served with sweet chilli sauce, which Chef mixed some cilantro into to make it even tastier.

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Finally we get to the dessert! This one’s crowning glory is the Philippines sea salt, and we all know how salt elevates the flavour of caramel right? The packages we often see in supermarkets labeled as rock salt is in fact the Philippine counterpart of all those imported expensive sea salts like the Fleur de Sel or the Himalayan! I actually had no idea! Philippine sea salt is what Chef Gino used for his Salted Caramel Panna Cotta.

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First step for the panna cotta is to sprinkle 4 teaspoons unflavoured gelatin into 1 cup of fresh milk. Let it stand for 10 minutes to soften. This will act as a sort of binder for the panna cotta when chilled. Then the caramel is made in a heavy saucepan. 1 1/2 cups sugar is heated until melted and amber in colour. For the first few minutes the sugar should not be touched and allowed to melt on its own to prevent it from seizing and crystallizing.

Once sugar has turned to caramel, 4 cups of heavy cream is added in and brought to a boil. Remove from heat before adding in the bloomed gelatin-milk mixture, sea salt, then vanilla. Chef used the Kitchenaid Blender to make sure the panna cotta mixture is entirely smooth and without lumps.

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After getting mixed around vigorously, bubbles inevitably form on the surface of the panna cotta mixture, so Chef Gino takes out the blowtorch and heats all the surface bubbles away. Neat trick!

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Now cool the mix to room temperature before transferring to decorative glasses or ramekins. These will now be refrigerated until they set, about 4 hours should do the trick! We were served with some prepared panna cotta by some of Chef Gino’s students and they did a great job prettying it up! It looked as good as it tasted!

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For his final bonus recipe, Chef Gino created some homemade fishballs– THE favourite Filipino street food if there ever was one. Seeing the list of ingredients for this recipe, I already figured it’s going to be yummier than the one sold on the streets!

Basically, some dory fish and chopped squid get added to the Kitchenaid Food Processor and are blended until they turn into paste. Then the carrots, spring onions, cilantro, baking powder, egg white, sesame oil, sugar, salt and pepper, garlic, and fish sauce go in. Once again, these all get blended into a very thick mix. All-purpose flour is added to turn it into a very thick paste that’s now shapable with wet hands.

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So now the shaped balls get poached in hot water for about 5 minutes. If you’re planning on freezing these for future consumption, then after poaching would be the perfect time. Chef Gino recommends consuming them within two weeks. If not freezing, then it’s time to fry!

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Oh my goodness just look at those golden balls of puffy happiness! I like eating these with spicy vinegar but they’re best with sweet chilli sauce. Or some fishball sauce if you know how to make those.

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For the last part of the cooking demo, Yummy organized a little game pairing up certain bloggers with a reader. They were to recreate a Banoffee Pie recipe and whosoever makes the best-looking glass of Banoffee Pie will win!

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Wow, you can tell that everybody really wanted to win! They all made such lovely presentations of the Banoffee Pie, but only one was declared winner. Can you guess who?

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Yep, it’s the first one! (On the left!) They really styled their Banoffee Pie beautifully. This game was a great way to end the day on a high note, if I do say so myself. Challenging people to tap into their creativity really adds to the educational mood of this cooking demo, but in a really good and fun way. Those glasses of Banoffee Pie look almost too good to eat!

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This Yummy Mag and Kitchenaid Cooking Demo was quite a unique experience! Shout out to Summit’s Lan Odon for inviting me, and thanks as well to Yummy, Kitchenaid, and Chef Gino for this new knowledge. (And the great loot haha!) I look forward to joining again next time! 🙂

If you’re an avid Yummy reader looking to join in future Yummy events, follow them on Facebook or Twitter and Instagram (@yummyph). Or check out their website for more scrumptious recipes!

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