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My wife and I had a rocky day today–communication-wise, with me snapping at her for this and that, but perhaps as a generous and self-interested attempt on her part, she bought me a new cookbook: The Adobo Road Cookbook by Marvin Gapultos, a well-known chef in the LA area who has moved from food blog to food truck, to cookbook author.

Yes, the aforementioned book is all about Filipino cuisine, and if that is a hint by my wife to move in a decidedly different cuisine direction–then I have no problem with this. To help make things better, I told her I would cook whatever she liked out of the book. She chose two dishes, but one of which featured a fish not currently available in the local fish market so I opted for the alternative Salmon Escabeche.

Unlike a lot of Filipino cuisine, this dish, this dish eschewed deep-frying traditional methods and so it called for pan-searing the fillets in a little oil in the pan to get the skin nice and crispy. Certainly better than dripping in inches of oil, crispy-fried to a fare thee well.

Following this, a mix of red onion, red and green bell peppers along with garlic and ginger is sautéed together with additional fish sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar. All in all, a nice combination.

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First, of course, the salmon fillets are lightly seared. Nice cuts, delicious looking.

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With a side of jasmine rice, in minutes a quite delightful, tropical meal was ready. Sweet, sour, and fruity all at the same time.

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We also took a little side trip to a liquor store where I bought Chambord (raspberry liqueur), Pear-flavored vodka, a little champagne, and pineapple juice to make a very flavorful cocktail, April In Paris.

Of course, I also needed to invest in a cocktail mixer. All of this is a bit scary, as I’m not a big mixed-drink guy for no other reason that buying all that liquor and mixables is not cheap. Cocktail glasses, cocktail mixer, pear vodka, Chambord, and sparkling wine wasn’t cheap–over $80. Just to make one drink.

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It wasn’t bad. I have been a bit sensitive to criticism about my cooking and related efforts and have been snappy with my patient (sometimes) wife. Still, her suggestion was to cut back on the pear vodka a tad. As I’m a complete newbie at cocktail drink making, I can use all the feedback I can get and my wife is always reliable as an honest and helpful critic.

As it stood, I rather liked it, but have no basis for comparison, not being a big cocktail drinker (prices are always the big stinker for me at restaurants), but its fun to add new dimensions to my cooking.

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