Yesterday, two of my closest friends H and M, opened up their new home to us. The text invite said, ” Gourmet Siopao and beer for lunch.” Sounded just like my kind of Saturday, and it sure was. It was such a treat to be among wonderful people, in a beautiful yet cozy environment where all we did was eat, drink, talk and laugh.
The siopaos by Gourmet Pao were hard to miss. At approximately 6-7 inches in diameter, these steamed buns looked like they would be a challenge to finish because they were really massive. Deciding on what flavor was also tricky just because there were so much to choose from. I ended up having the Chucho, which issiopao filled with ham, cheese and chorizo. This one didn’t veer so far away from your regular bola-bola siopaobecause of the similarities inpork flavor, except this one is oozing with melted cheese. I also tried the Tuna Dekada, which is filled with tuna, capers, egg and cheese – my instant favorite. There were probably five other flavors to try but I was just too stuffed to venture that far. Simple food like Gourmet Paos are perfect for entertaining. They are hassle-free to serve and are definitely crowd pleasers.
Chucho, chorizo with cheese
M also served this eggplant dish. I’m guessing is was sauteed in onions, garlic, tomatoes and the best part – daing. This was so delicious, I was eating it until late that evening.
The beginning of what promises to be a well stocked bar. Looks pretty complete to me.
Since we had planned to go to the nearby mall for a while, I suggested that we do the groceries and that I cook dinner. We decided to go with a simple pasta dish with shitake mushrooms, basil, tomato and cream paired with a tuna Nicoise salad. And because it was supposed to be a hassle-free evening, we chose to just grab one whole rotisserie chicken.
Tuna Salad Nicoise with Lemon Vinaigrette
Shitake with tomato and basil cream pasta
We ended that day unbelievably stuffed but mostly glad to be among good friends.
Thank you, H and M for welcoming us into your beautiful home and for giving us the honor of being your first guests.
Shitake Mushrooms with Basil and Tomato Pasta
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 small red bell peppers, minced
3 tomatoes, diced
2 packs of shitake mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup all purpose cream
a handful of fresh basil
1/4 cup water or chicken stock
salt and pepper
your choice of pasta
In a nonstick pan, heat butter and olive oil. Saute’ garlic until fragrant, then add bell peppers. Saute’ for another 3 minutes or until bell peppers are tender. Add shitake mushrooms and 1/4 cup liquid. Cover and simmer for 7-10 minutes, remembering to stir once in a while. Add cream, salt and pepper. Mix with pasta and serve.