After shooting at the Kitchen Herbs Farm last Monday for the upcoming episode of Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho this Saturday, January 15, 2011, I flew to Cebu early Tuesday and then back to Manila that same day. When I arrived in Manila Tuesday evening, I got a text from the producers of KMJS requesting a face to face interview with Jessica Soho the following morning, Wednesday. Unfortunately, I had a very minor surgery scheduled for Wednesday, so an interview was simply out of the question. Thankfully, the operation went smoothly, quickly and with minimal after effects and I felt much better by Wednesday night, albeit on painkillers and with a rather swollen left cheek, so I agreed to do the interview on Thursday afternoon. The venue would be Farmer’s market, one of the best markets in all of Metro-Manila, in my opinion.
I was cool as a cucumber until the lights were switched on and the cameras started rolling. Talk about sweating buckets. What is it about camera-titis that causes your sweat glands to go into overdrive? :) Or at least that is my strange reaction to being filmed. Thankfully it wasn’t longer than 12-15 minutes under the bright lights and it was all over. Ms. Soho was extremely nice, incredibly easy-going and obviously someone who absolutely adores her food.
At the end of the shoot, she had a wonderful gift for me, some of her homemade pinakbet, based on her lola’s recipe… and let me tell you, it was FABULOUS. As soon as I got home after the shoot, I had some pinakbet straight out of the plastic container and it was still a bit cold from an earlier stint on ice or the fridge, but still amazing. We heated half of the portion and ate it with leftover rice and EVERYONE in the house thought it was a superb version of pinakbet.
The dish had lots and lots of pork as well as garlic and tomatoes. The veggies included tiny ampalaya (bitter gourd), talong (eggplants) and normal sized okra. Lots of of patani (fava beans) and a few siling mahaba (finger chilies). The sauce was plentiful but not watery, almost a bit like a gravy, though not quite as thick as that. It was excellent. An explosion of texture and flavor in the mouth, clearly reeking, but not overwhelmed by the fish bagoong, and while salty, it was a very good melting pot of flavors from just barely bitter to some sweet and salty… The texture was softer than I normally cook our pinakbet, but the mushiness worked well with the dish. And imagine if it had been straight out of the kawali!!! It had a LOT of pork, hence leading our crew back home to say it was really an ulam or viand with meat and veggie in one dish. Superb with lots of rice. Many thanks JS for the unexpected treat. Since we both have strict policies of not accepting freebies whenever possible, I’d like to think of this as a “trade or barter” for the tiny jar of mangosteen brandy sauce which I sent over earlier in the week. It’s wonderful when folks have perfected a dish and share it generously with others… If you want to see and hear more about the farm visit and the market interview, you’ll have to watch the “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho” program this Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 8:30pm. I understand that Anton of Awesome Planet, Lori of Dessert Comes First and Marvin of Burnt Lumpia will also be featured in the same segment. :)