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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Chef O’s Sangria Recipe

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Chef O’s Sangria Recipe

Pair this outstanding drink with homemade Paella — it’s quick, and it’s awesome.  You’ve got to try this.

Chef O’s Sangria

Bottle of red spanish wine
1 red or green apple
1 orange
1 kiwi
Soda Water or sparkling citrus soda can

Cut all fruit in small dice and place in a pitcher
Pour all the wine and soda water or soda can at the same time
Let sit for an hour or overnight in refrigerator before serving

One thing to remember with making sangria…You don’t need to buy an expensive red wine because the flavor gets masked by the fruits and other ingredients.


Live a little, eat a little, cook a lot!


Chef O


Paella with an Asian Twist (Paella ala Viatimes)

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Paella with an Asian Twist (Paella ala Viatimes)

Why not make my own twist to a classic Spanish dish — Paella.   But let me say this first, after the graduation ceremony in Mallorca, I headed to Cafe Iberico and tried its famous Paella.  To my disgust, to my disappointment, to my utter disbelief, the Paella was simply over-rated and too expensive;  it must be one of those bad days of the cooks at the restaurant.  Even the sangria was horrible, I make a better tasting Sangria with few inexpensive ingredients (will share the recipe in my next post).  So back to Paella.  The Chicago Philippine Reports TV Cooking Segment Host, Sarah Lee (The CelebrEATy Circle) asked me to demo Paella for my tv debut (mmm, can’t believe I’d be on TV just days after I got back from Spain).   She suggested to put an Asian spin on the dish…and made me think about possible tweaks and substitutions.  Perhaps adding some Patis (fish sauce, we Filipinos love Patis yo!).  Maybe a hint of Ginger.  Now I was getting somewhere.  And what ’bout adding Sinigang powder in the mix (yey, why not, the tamarind would just excite anyone’s palate).   Sarah Lee gave the idea a green light…and the tv shoot was arranged.

So I asked some few questions, some few clarifications, I didn’t want to disappoint, and I wanted to definitely make an impression.  I’d be showing off my fully-sharpened knife kit, my authentic paella pan.  I’d wear my Chef whites with black pants and yes, a Mallorca apron.  I’d display some cookbooks from gifts and my collection that I just started.    And I’d get to greet tv viewers my energized Spanish tongue with, “Hola, que tal?”.  Oh my, I’m so ready…

  Paella ala Viatimes (Filipino Infused Paella)

3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 1-2# bag of seafood mix (shrimp, oysters, squid)
1 large onion (small dice)
1 clove of garlic (finely minced)
4 ripened tomatoes (concassee)
8 cups long grain rice
16 cups water
1 pkg of sinigang mix
salt and black pepper to taste
Lemon wedges and chopped parley for garnish

In a saucepan bring water to a boil and add sinigang mix…more or less depending how sour you like it, keep on simmer until ready for use.
Heat a large shallow sautee pan with olive oil and sweat onions and garlic…do not brown, just get the onions translucent.
Next, add the rice and coat with the oil and toast it until it smells slightly nutty, stirring constantly, this aids in the rice to not stick.
Slowly ladle in the sinigang broth and add a ladle or 2 at a time, stirring continuously, add all the broth.
Then add the concassee of tomatoes  give it a last stir and add a pinch of salt and pepper.
After that, add the bag of seafood mix and arrange neatly.
Cover for approximately 30 mins and simmer on low until rice is tender or done.
Garnish with lemon wedges and chopped parsley.

Buen Provecho!

Of course, you can save money using a vegetarian version…and feel free to add eggplant and artichoke.


Live a little, eat a little, cook a lot

Chef O

Hello Foodies around the world!

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I’m liking the sound of it…friends and lots and lots of acquaintances address me as Chef O…nope it’s not Oprah (no way!), it’s Omar.   I’m excited to write about my culinary adventures and share them with ya ‘all.  It’s a new thing for me, and not a new thing for most foodies by now…but hey, it’s better late than never, applies here too.   So much to share with ya…specially my worthwhile trip to Mallorca, Spain, enjoying the Spanish culture, cuisine and friends/colleagues I shared kitchen with.  And I’m starting my catering business…so am so excited to find a space in the web to hopefully inspire some other newbies like me in the culinary world.   Here’s to long life in the web!

Thanks for taking the time to visit my “virgin” site!  Hope I’ll be seeing you again soon and do subscribe….lots more recipes, stories, cooking techniques and snapshots to share in next pages of my blog!


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