Saturday, February 7, 2015

Kare-kare, tagine and Philippine salad for dinner at home with friends. And about a terrible tragedy at an international school.


Tonight I felt like cooking at home so I invited some friends over for dinner.

It was a nice and relaxing evening, and one that we all needed, especially after my rather difficult Friday spent dealing with an airline, and a heavy last 24 hours for them, in view of a terrible tragedy reportedly involving a local student at one of the international schools and his expatriate teacher.

I don't want to write directly about this tragedy involving the student of an international school, except to say that it's a very sad story and it has broken the heart of everyone who has learned of it, especially as it seemed so avoidable.

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COMFORT FOOD FOR COMFORT

We all definitely needed lightening up.

So I decided to make a really good dinner. I made everything from scratch, prompting someone to say: "You're like Martha Stewart tonight."

Yes, I was very domesticated.

A PERFECT TAGINE
AND A REALLY GOOD KARE-KARE



I'd made a Moroccan tagine simply because I wanted them to taste my tagine, which I'm quite happy about. The person seated next to me described tonight's tagine as "perfect." 

That certainly made my day.

REMEMBERING A COOKING CLASS
AT THE PALAIS AMANI

We were each given a recipe file
as part of our cooking kits

I learned how to cook a tagine during a holiday in Fes last June, when the Travel Companion and I stayed at the Palais Amani.

One day, the Palais Amani chef took us to the market to shop for ingredients for a tagine, and then we spent the whole morning in his kitchen cooking a tagine with him, which we then had for lunch.

At the Palais Amani

Like with all the "cooking classes" I've taken around the world, however, on that day I was more interested in the general experience and in taking photographs.

The Travel Companion actually did most of the cooking.

But I got an idea of the basics of cooking a tagine, and when I got home, I did my own version. I never follow recipes, you see, and I'm always making up my own recipes.


A REALLY OLD-FASHIONED KARE-KARE

This is the same thing with the kare-kare, which I made from scratch as well. It was a strange combination of tagine and kare-kare, but I decided to do this because I really wanted to eat this comfort food tonight.

Fortunately, the entire dinner worked out well enough.

I don't really have a recipe for my kare-kare either. I just have a basic idea in my mind on how to make it.


Tonight, I'd even pounded the peanuts myself for the sauce. And tonight's kare-kare turned out very well as I have a few secret tricks for making a really good kare-kare. 

One of my secrets is to use garlic-flavoured peanuts for the sauce.  

When some of my friends come over for dinner, they actually request me to cook this.

A PHILIPPINE SALAD TO START


But to start, I did my special Philippine salad buffet and placed it on a lazy susan so that we could all just sit and make our own salads and talk.

It was such a nice and relaxing evening, and just what I needed today in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful #Travelife. 

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