Food has always played a distinctive role in society. On a bigger scale, it’s something that identifies specific cultures or groups of people. In everyday occasions however, it’s simply something you prepare at home for your loved ones to enjoy.
I’ve always felt that food is one of the best ways to express affection. It’s something painstakingly prepared, well thought out, seasoned with love. I know it sounds kind of cheesy, but it’s the truth: There’s no simpler way to say ‘I love you’ than cooking for someone. I really have to agree on that one.
Thankfully, Nestle and I seem to be on the same page on that aspect. In fact they believe in that idea so much they even organized an event last July 9 to help us bloggers increase our repertoire of dishes, so that we may have more things to cook for our loved ones. So that we may have more ways to say ‘I love you’ beyond words.
To help us do just that is the No.1 Cream, Nestle All Purpose Cream. What the ‘Create With Cream’ slogan encourages us to do is to think up creative ways to add a twist to old favourites by incorporating Nestle All Purpose Cream into the recipe. And apparently we were going to be in for a nice surprise today!
The event was held on a rather rainy Saturday morning, but the mood inside the Blue Leaf Events Place in Taguig was rather bright and energetic. I took my bestie and usual partner-in-crime Gilbert (his blog here!) with me, and as expected, the first thing he approached after snapping some photos of the venue was the snack bar!
It’s always a pleasure to bring someone who appreciates food as much as Gilbert to any food-related event. He enjoys food with more gusto than anyone else I know. To tell you the truth, he returned to the snack bar twice before the event went into full swing!
Some of the snacks here were actually made using Nestle All Purpose Cream, such as the dips for the melba toasts and the filling for the sandwiches. You could ask Gilbert and he would tell you they were tasty enough to merit a round 2! I took this as a good sign of what was to come, because if the snacks were yummy already, what more the highlight dish of the day?
After everyone got settled down, the event started in earnest. After some opening remarks, out host talked about what it was we were making that day, and it was none other than the Creamy Chicken Adobo! Now I know that every home has their own version of adobo, but there’s no harm in being open to ideas on how to spice up a classic.
I do believe that some restaurants already offer a version of the Creamy Adobo dish, and though I never personally tried it myself, I still felt that the addition of Nestle All Purpose Cream could potentially lead to something wonderful. Like adding a bit of decadence to something we’re so familiar with!
It was quite unexpected when Chef Rob Pengson suddenly made his entrance. As it turns out, he was the one who would be teaching us how to level up our Chicken Adobo with the help of Nestle All Purpose Cream!
Before cooking, we played a little ice breaker game which I do feel made everyone more relaxed and comfortable. My team lost but that’s okay. I felt pretty certain that with what Chef Rob was set to teach us that day, we were all going home as winners. It’s not everyday you get to learn from a top chef right?
Chef Rob described what he liked best about Creamy Chicken Adobo, and he said the addition of Nestle All Purpose Cream gives the dish a different mouth-feel compared to what we normally expect from regular adobo. It makes the dish richer and more flavourful.
The moment I heard those words my tummy started to grumble.
As you can see, the ingredients are rather simple and are what you’d use on a normal adobo dish, except the last one of course. I know most families have a sort of “heirloom” approach to cooking adobo so the process Chef Rob shared may or may not be similar to what you’re used to, but let me tell you anyway.
He starts by boiling the vinegar in high heat to remove its acidity. Then adding soy sauce, water, MAGGI MAGIC SARAP, garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns. The chicken goes in next. The sauce will probably start boiling away at some point, but you’ll want to lower the heat just then to allow the chicken to simmer until tender, around 10 minutes.
Now the chicken is removed and the sauce is reserved. You’ll want to pan-fry the chicken until golden brown, either using the same pan that has been wiped clean, or a separate new pan. Either way, you want to heat a bit of oil before placing the chicken, being very careful as it might start to sputter some hot oil.
Remove the excess oil you get from frying the chicken. Now pour in the reserved sauce back into the pan and simmer on low with the browned chicken until sauce is almost dry. You might want to allow it to develop some of that caramelized bits at the bottom of the pan called fond. It’ll add more flavour once you pour in the Nestle All Purpose Cream!
It’s important to whisk the mixture constantly as you add the cream to help it incorporate fully with the flavours the chicken adobo already has. How much or how little you add and how long you mix the cream will determine how thick and runny the sauce will be so it’s up to you.
Nestle Philippines made a nice little video teaching you how to make this Creamy Chicken Adobo Dish, in case you want to see the whole process in action.
And voila! Is that a perfectly cozy-looking dish or what? Especially apt for that rainy cold afternoon! I was sorely tempted to call out: RICE PLEASE! Because that sauce demands to be poured over rice.
As expected from the moment I laid my eyes on the set, several blogger-volunteers were called up to cook the Creamy Chicken Adobo themselves. This is, in my opinion, the best part!
I was feeling a bit under the weather and chose not to volunteer, so I had the chance to get snap-happy as my fellow bloggers showed us their skills. (Hi, Jill!) This was supposedly a mini cooking battle among three teams on who can make the best Creamy Chicken Adobo. Everyone had their game faces on!
Of course Chef Rob was supervising all the way, but everyone seemed to know what they were doing. Soon enough, the scents and sounds of cooking that I so love began to fill the air. Everyone watched and snapped photos in anticipation! Honestly, watching them cook made me regret a tiny bit that I didn’t volunteer.
Every time I watch one of the volunteers pour the Nestle All Purpose Cream into their pan, I am filled with that satisfying feeling you get when you’re putting together things that make each other better. That’s how I see this whole thing really.
On its own, Nestle All Purpose Cream is just a cream, but once you add it to your dish, it manages to up the ante each time! It’s not surprising why this cream is ever present when people are preparing for parties. In my home, we use Nestle All Purpose Cream to make our Christmas fruit salad every single year. (And I just want to say our salad is deeelicious!)
Back to the cook-off, my fellow bloggers were doing all the cooking like pros, including plating! It’s just the best feeling to finish up a dish while pulling all the stops, then bringing it to the table for your loved ones to enjoy. I always get excited during this stage whenever it’s me in the kitchen.
It’s interesting to see that despite following the same recipe, everyone had a different way of interpreting the Creamy Chicken Adobo. It seems especially noticeable as they stand here side by side. There was one team that cooked the dish the same way Chef Rob did, with a runnier sauce. Another team made sauce a little thicker than the one Chef Rob demonstrated, while the last team came up with an adobo that was coated with the cream sauce. The dishes all smelled kind of different too.
According to Chef Rob, all the dishes had their own unique merits, and he ended up declaring everyone winners. 🙂
Of course we weren’t to leave the event with hungry tummies. It was time for lunch and a taste of the Creamy Chicken Adobo! Pretty sure that’s what everyone was waiting for! We had some salad and lechon as well, which of course made Gilbert very very happy.
If I were to make my own version of the Creamy Chicken Adobo, I personally would go for something with just a touch less vinegar, a thicker and creamier sauce, plus a kick of spice from chilis. The most important part is that the adobo has to have a sauce that goes perfectly with rice! This one definitely delivered on that front.
The face you make when the food is so good you forget your name:
You know that bit I said about regretting not volunteering for the cooking portion of the event? This kit erased all that. I love how Nestle is encouraging us to make this in our own kitchens so our families can get a taste!
Without a doubt, Creamy Chicken Adobo is just the start of this creamy adventure Nestle All Purpose Cream has set us all on. The best thing about food is that it’s got endless possibilities, and I’m sure everyone’s got great ideas on how to #CreateWithCream after today. I’m thinking of what to cook next myself. Thank you to Nestle for the inspiration!