SQF: Charlie Tsong

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

27 JUNE 2010. I woke up with the usual pasta itch. Now that our choir's no longer serving at church in the morning and I attend mass in the late afternoon, I have more time to cozy up in the kitchen.

I'm a fan of Yellow Cab's Charlie Chan Chicken Pasta. Whenever I have extra budget, I'll always try to get one (or nag my fiancé to get one, hahaha). True, it doesn't really go well with pizza; it's more of a "stand alone" dish. But well, it's something different from your usual pasta fare, and my subconscious (even at the time I wasn't even learning to cook yet) made a mental note to discover the recipe sometime soon.

And that sometime soon was now. I remembered there was leftover chicken in the fridge. But it was like...2 Sundays old? LOL. I cooked the pasta first (I find adding a bit more salt to the water than usual gives the pasta extra flavor, which is a good thing when you're making dull/bland sauces). I shredded the chicken and tossed it in a little water just enough to boil the shreds with a bit of salt and pepper. I set the chicken, stock and all, aside.

It starts with the usual sauteing of garlic and onions. The chicken came next. As usual, I did a trial-and-error on the addition of the soy sauce and chili garlic, so the thing tasted too soy saucy, making me put in a few tablespoons of the chicken stock. I added the pasta and on a whim, put in some oyster sauce, a couple of tablespoons, I think. A bit of salt (which I should've eliminated because I already seasoned the spaghetti while cooking), pepper a bit more water...and whoops, I forgot the mushrooms, in you go. And I turned off the heat.

Apologizing for the bad photo. Haven't yet charged my newly-repaired
but very-much-loved digicam at this time so I just used my phone.

Initially, I called it "Charlie Chan-Chanan". LOL. My mom forgot what Charlie Chan was, so I had to explain to her that it was the pasta we liked at Yellow Cab. She recalled it was the one with the peanuts.

She, dad and little bro were the first to try it. Mom commented I was a fast pasta maker already (and I used to be so afraid of doing pasta!). Dad admired how I can whip up new things out of the blue, and with the "recyclables" and the few ingredients we actually have on hand. And little bro complained it was too spicy (which I expected him to say--everything's too spicy for him, LOL).

Several factors did affect the taste. One, the leftover chicken I used was turbo-broiled with a soy sauce and lemon grass marinade so it already had its own flavor (and I shredded it with utter abandon that some pieces looked like sahog for pancit, LOL). And I used a bit too much soy sauce (which permeated the dish distinctly) and a bit too little oyster sauce (which didn't make through the soy sauce taste that much). Then I forgot to add the mushrooms; I tossed them in when I was done cooking. LOL. When I was trying to resolve the saltiness, I used the chicken stock, which I forgot I seasoned with salt. Hahaha. I also used sliced pieces and stems, not shiitake, which our fridge never had. Maybe I will get some for the next attempt... Oh yeah, peanuts! I didn't put peanuts...because the ants got first to the bag of peanuts we have here. LOL

My big brother and sister-in-law came over during lunch (another unplanned SQF!) and I had them sample the pasta. What's left of it, that is. They both liked it; big brother suggested adding something, which I took note of. He also christened the dish "Charlie Tsong". LOL

Charlie Tsong, formerly known as Charlie Chan-Chanan

I would've loved to have my baby nephew try it, but then, apart from Cerelac, he's only allowed to chew on his fingers. LOL

This dish will need just a few more tweaks. At the end of the morening, I was pleased with how it turned out. I never expected to get this close to it when I was cooking recipe-less. It was indeed "Charlie Tsamba"! =)

Charlie Tsong
serves 4 (and a bit more)
half of a 400g Spaghetti pack
half a head of garlic, minced
half a small onion, sliced (I think this can be done away with)
half a can of mushrooms (try shiitake if you have!), drained and sliced as you like
Leftover chicken, shredded
Soy sauce
Oyster sauce
Chili garlic
Ground pepper to taste (easy with the salt now!)
Peanuts (sana, hahaha)

P.S. So sorry, no measurements! Very Xu, hahaha! I'll put them in next time I cook it again. Oh, I Googled for a Charlie Chan photo and found other blogs trying to do the recipe. Funny, I am actually really close to the real recipe after all. =) *BB*

WCS: Corned tuna torta (special)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

17 JUNE 2010. I got the idea from an officemate, who one day brought mini tortas of corned tuna. Everyone eating lunch with us had a bite and liked it. When asked about the sophisticated recipe, she simply said, laughing, "Wala, corned tuna lang, hinalo sa binating itlog. 'Yun na!"
I tried it at home, adding a bit of dried oregano and ground pepper to the usual pinch of salt, and it got good acceptance. My younger brother, who's currently my food critic (as he's the pickiest person here)--with my older brother and his family now moved out of the house--liked it. Quick, easy and delicious, 
I've made it for breakfast several times even if I didn't have that much time. It was that cheap shot.

Now stuck quarantined at home for days now, I've been itching to cook. This morning and plucked out the leftover corned tuna in a plastic container from the refrigerator. It would definitely not be enough for me, my dad, my mom and my younger brother. There must've been just 2-3 tablespoons left. Previously, 
a part of it was made into a sandwich combined with dried thyme, Chiz Whiz pimiento, slices of fresh white onion and tomato; another portion of it was tossed with angelhair pasta the next day.
A whim had come over me from the time I woke up. I already knew I wanted to make the tuna tortas again, but I wanted to tweak it. So I rummaged the refrigerator for more items aside from two eggs...

Good morning! Corned tuna torta (special)!

I like making small Corned Tuna Tortas (volume is about three tablespoons).

Younger bro found it a bit weird, of course, given his preference for the plainest of them all. But he had it with rice, satisfied enough. Dad liked it; he had it on bread and with some banana ketchup (something I don't exactly recommend, because I haven't tried...parang gross e). Mom, who didn't seem to be in a good mood, I didn't get feedback...
Corned Tuna Torta
serves 4-6
1 small can corned tuna
1 small carrot, julienned
1 small red bell pepper, julienned
1 small white onion, julienned
2-3 eggs (depending on size)
grated parmesan cheese (optional, honestly, I don't think this did any good)
a pinch of dried oregano (optional, but this makes the tuna taste less fishy)
salt and pepper
Note: Amount of veggies depend on the amount of tuna. Feel free to tweak as you like. I'm thinking of mushrooms next time... Servings depend on the amount your folks can eat. Hehehe! 

Corned tuna torta on bread

P.S. I'll go back to my previous posts so I can write down the recipes. Do feel free to try them and comment. You might have I good idea how I can improve them. *BB*

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