Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sinigang na Liempo (Pork Belly in Sour Broth)

My good friend RC who is now thousands of miles away dancing the hoola, sent me a text message saying that he enjoys reading my blog. I AM SO TATSD! (I am so touched!)

I asked him about his favorite food so that I can dedicate a cyber dish to him. He answered (after 48 years.. JOKE lang!) that he and his wife, Lisa love the following: Pork Binagoongan, Crispy Pata and Pork Sinigang. Ah eh, hindi naman puro baboy noh??? :P

I am glad I have one dish ready for you now. So here it is! The beloved Pork Sinigang:

For this set, I used:

1/2 kilo of pork liempo
about 4 to 5 cups of rice wash (for the broth) (or water)
1 medium sized white onion chopped
2 small native tomatoes chopped
1 small pack of Knorr Sinigang sa Sampaloc with Gabi Mix (you can use two if you want it really sour)
1 small Gabi, grated
Fish Sauce to taste
Pepper to taste
1 Talong (Eggplant) sliced
1 Small Labanos (Raddish) sliced

1 bundle of Sitaw (String beans) cut into 2 inches long
1 bundle of Kangkong
cut into 2 inches long

1 green chilli (optional)

Boil the pork in the rice wash/water until very tender. Then add the onions, tomatoes, sinigang mix, grated gabi, fish sauce and pepper and allow to boil again. Turn fire to low then add the eggplant, raddish and string beans, then simmer for a few minutes. Hold on till the last minute before adding the Kangkong as this cooks and wilts really fast. Turn off fire and let stand for about 2 minutes then serve.

Hubby loves the sinigang boiling hot (as well as our other soupy dishes!)

I grate my gabi in my sinigang because I don't eat the chunked one. The grated ones also make the broth thicker, faster!

RC, if only this Sinigang can come to life on your PC screen as you read this... I hope it's still boiling hot and ready to be served for you and Lisa! By the way, wish we can make on your church wedding! But we'll be there in spirit! (Plingkanting kanting!)

Enjoy! :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ginisang Munggo on a Friday

Is your family like my family? When Friday comes it's like "Hey, it's Friday, it's munggo day!"

This was something I grew up with in my Father's side. They, my dad, titos and titas have ginisang munggo in almost every Friday of their lives. They never get tired of it. What is it with family food traditions? :)

Anyway, here at home, we do not have ginisang munggo every Friday, but we have, for a couple of Fridays and one Friday is today.

It was perfect timing because it has been raining since Thursday night until early this morning, so I thought we should have it. It's a great dish on a rainy day! Our household's ginisang munggo recipe is not so different from yours. But there is just one "deadly" thing that we put as a topping.

We used to have chicharon with it until Mang Romy (the pork vendor in the market) highly recommended to use "batok ng baboy" (pig's nape) instead of the usual chicharon. So we did and we never went back to chicharon eversince.

If you enlarge the photo, you can see the crispy pig's nape on top of the munggo bean stew, beside the ampalaya leaves -- that's what I'm talking about!

The cut of the pig's nape looks a little like liempo but with more fat. It's cut is thicker as well. I wish I took a photo of it to show you!

In the meantime, let me share with you our household's ginisang munggo recipe:

For the Crispy batok ng baboy (pig's nape), I ordered 2 pieces of the pig's nape from Mang Romy.

The how to:

Cut the pig's nape in small cubes, marinate it for about 30 minutes in about 1 tsp of fish sauce and about 1 to 2 tbsp calamansi juice and pepper.

After 30 minutes or so, fry it until golden brown and crispy, drain the oil (please!) then set aside.

For the ginisang munggo:

1 cup of green munggo (mung beans)
3 cups of water (for boiling)
1 small onion, minced
about 1 tsp of minced garlic
2 small native tomatoes, chopped
2 medium sized smoked fish/tinapang galunggong, flaked
about 1/4 cup of dried shrimp (hibe)
1 Pork bouillion cube
Ampalaya leaves (sometimes we use Malunggay leaves, especially when I was still breastfeeding!)
Fish sauce to taste (optional)
Pepper to taste

The Way

Boil the Munggo beans until they are soft, drain. then set aside. Set aside the water as well to be used as the broth.

Sauté the onions, garlic and tomatoes. Stir in the munggo beans, tinapa flakes, hibe (dried shrimps) and water. Allow to simmer. Then add the Pork bouillion cube, fish sauce (optional) and pepper to taste and bring to a boil. Then add the ampalaya leaves and simmer agian for about 5 minutes.

You may want to add some more water if you want it to be soupy. You can squish some of the beans using your ladle to make the soup thicker.

Serve it while it's hot: in a soup bowl, or as rice topping plus the crispy fried pig's nape on top!


Happy Saturday and Sunday! :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pork Bacon Cuts in Garlic Soy Sauce: A Diary of a Pepper Lunch Fan

Let me start by saying that hubby, I and little J have been in and out of Pepper Lunch in most of our weekends for the last 2 months (ok, besides TGIFriday's)... Di naman kami sobrang adik noh? (Are you on drugs? - some Pinoy Joke)

And through it all, I had some nights thinking and dreaming about their Pepper Rice Beef and their irresistible garlic soy sauce (karakuchi), bugging hubby about my idea of trying to make a close copy of it here at home. So when the time comes when there's no budget for Pepper Lunch at least we have something close to it, right? Remember.. Recession!

So, my first attempt: Kikkoman + Water + Garlic Powder. BOINK!

Second Attempt: Kikkoman + Water + Garlic Powder + a little sesame oil. SUPER BOINK!!!

Jam: "Waaaaaaahh! Ayoko naaaaaaaa!!!"

Jam talking to Jam: "Hindi, kaya mo yan! One more time!"

Third Attempt: "Ok, super strong the Kikkoman. hmmm, I have light soy sauce here"

Light Soy Sauce + Water + Garlic Powder.... PWEDE!!!

Me, thinking out loud:
"May kulang parin eh!" (something's missing!)

Then all of a sudden, I have thought of adding butter and Ajinomoto and remembered UMAMI.

Ok, Fourth Attempt: Light Soy Sauce + Water + Garlic Powder + Ajinomoto + butter
Pwedeng pwede!!! Yey!!!

So after four attempts, let me share with you the recipe of the garlic soy sauce:

(Without heat first) In a saucepan, mix:

1/2 cup of light soy sauce
1 and 1/2 cups of water
about 4 tbsp of garlic powder
about 1/4 tsp Ajinomoto
about 1/4 tsp of pepper
a tiny pinch of salt and white sugar

***you can make some more. store in airtight container and in the fridge so you can use it anytime you want :)

Put the saucepan on the stove and turn the heat to Medium High and allow the mixture to boil. Turn of the heat after boiling then add 1 tbsp of butter and allow the butter to melt in the hot mixture. Set aside.

For our Lunch today, we had Pork Bacon Cuts (50% of from Rustan's Shang!), stir fried them with some of the sauce, and assembled them around a cup of rice topped with corn, chopped chives and a little butter. I wanted to cook it using our sizzling plate but i was too lazy to reach for it as it was kept at the top most part of the kitchen cabinet. tsk. sigh.

If only i have that electromagnetic plate and induction cooker right here, right now! Oh, not to forget the japanese rice and the special butter! hahaaa!! ;)

So anyways, back to reality. I am at home: I placed the plate in a microwave to reheat and melt the butter, seasoned it with a little more of the sauce and mixed everything together!


To Ms. Cecile and Chef Jeroen, nothing beats the original, of course! If you ever come across this blog entry, I promise I was not one of those folks who stole your sauces and I promise I will always be a Pepper Lunch Fan! ;)

Cheers! :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Puto Bumbong: A Maskipaps Moment

I know that the countdown begins when the calendar hits the BER month. But please allow me to start now - We are 120 days away 'til Simbang Gabi and we are 129 days away from Christmas. Forgive me for I had a sudden craving for Puto Bumbong last weekend and I really wanna have some so bad that I could not wait for simbang gabi to arrive.

I do not have the luxury of making an authentic puto bumbong, however. That is why the title of this post has "A Maskipaps moment" - Maski paps, meaning Maski Papano. Hehehe. Desperate times call for desperate measures? ;)

As we all know, the authentic way to do it is putting purple colored ground glutinous rice (galapong), or pirurutong rice into bamboo tubes, then placing them on top of a special/custom-made steamer called "lansungan". I would love to try this out soon. First, I would need to get a hold of that special apparatus. Hmm.. maybe I can check out our market?

So anyways, for more information about our authentic puto bumbong, you can check out this video and this site :) Cool eh?! :)

Now, for this UNauthentic one (hehe).. but still very satisfying!

Here's how to make the maskipaps version of our country's Puto Bumbong, in case you will have a desperate moment like moi:

- 2 packs of Malagkit Powder, more or less about 1/4 kilo
(It's available in the baking section of your supermarket, if it's not there, don't be afraid to ask your friendly attendant!)

- Water (prepare about 1 1/2 cups)

- about 6 tbps Violet food coloring (depends on you if you want it darker or lighter!)
- about 1/4 tsp Pandan Essence

The Way:

Put the malagkit powder in a bowl then add water little by little until it achieves a doughy or clayish consistency. Then add the coloring and the pandan essence. Mix and knead very well.

With your clean hands, grab about a spoon full or 2 from the purple dough and shape it like the shape of the real puto bumbong (so it's about 2 to 3 inches long and about 1/2 inch for its diameter...ulk, Geometry!)

When you're done, drop them in boiling water and wait until they float. Then scoop them out with a slotted spoon and drain very well. (This is the same as cooking palitaw)

After draining, roll them in grated fresh coconut, then serve with butter and muscovado sugar.

Making this improvised puto bumbong is very fun and relaxing! Thanks to my Ate Jeng who taught me how to do this! :) Thanks as well to our neighboor who is always willing to give me banana leaves!

This is dedicated to a great friend who loooves puto bumbong...

Happy Birthday, Ross! Mwah! :)

August 21 2009 Addendum: I was almost half asleep while doing this post, but just quick a note. With regard to the texture, it's the same as the palitaw or bilo bilo in your ginataan. Of course, the authentic one is still the best ;)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Easy Pork Stir-Fry

It was a Thursday and I found a nice Thursday recipe from Yummy Magazine's Weekday Cooking from their September 2008 issue. What a coincidence! And yes, you're reading it right. It's a 2008 ish. An old magazine can still serve its purpose! Especially food/cooking magazines!

Funny how I landed on this - I was looking into another dish however I did not have all the ingredients that day and there is no way I can make it. Good thing this recipe came to my rescue and I was lucky, like really lucky to have everything I needed! One more thing it's easy to prepare as it will only take 15 to 20 minutes to complete this dish. And it took just few minutes of dinner time for it to reach our tummies. Yeehaaa!

Here's the recipe for Pork Stir-Fry, page 47, Yummy Magazine September 2008

1/2 kilo of pork rounds/kasim, cut in strips (I used pork tenderloin strips)
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 garlic cloves minced
1 small bunch green beans, chopped into 1/2 inch lengths
1 pack pf mixed frozen vegetables (green peas, carrots and corn kernels)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch strips
half of a 200 gram of button mushrooms, chopped
(I used everything in the can! we lurve mushrooms!)
Water for boiling
Pepper to season

1. Make the marinade: Mix soy sauce, honey and garlic. Marinate the pork and set aside.

2. Place green beans in boiling salted water for 2 minutes or until crisp tender. Add the frozen vegges to the pot and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from water. Set aside.

3. Heat oil in wok/pan and stir fry pork for about 30 seconds on high heat. Add the bell peppers and mushrooms. When pork is cooked, lower the flame and pour the excess marinade. Add all veggies and stir well. You may want to add a little pepper as well. Serve warm.

Just a thought: You may want to make another set of marinade and add it to the stir-fry if you want it to be a little more saucey.

And another thought: this works as well for beef strips and chicken strips!

I ate this using chopsticks! Feeling oriental! :)

Chicken Afritada: A Karinderia Moment

When I was younger, I have thought of a lot of careers - I wanted to be a doctor, a pilot, a stewardess, an architect, a painter/ an artist and a showbiz superstar. Later on, I wanted to become a chef. During my time in college, taking up Culinary Arts was the latest craze... only to find out that the course of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management (in my school) required 2 College Algebra subjects, 2 or 3 Accounting subjects and another term for practicum, aside from the humongous amount of tuition fee.

Huwag nalang!
(never mind!)

With that, I decided to take Human Resources Management. I said to myself anyway, I can still continue cooking even without a degree in culinary. The dream to be called Chef Jam flew in the air and now in the milkyway. OK lang. Promise!

Well, if I did pursue culinary, I might have not met my darling hubby and not have our little J, right? Aww, destiny! :) HAHAHA!

Cheesy aside... Since I find extreme joy in cooking, and despite that I do not have the toque... Still, I really want to have a food business. Not a fancy resto but Karinderia or a Canteen that serves the masses. I would partner with my Mommy Tess, Ate Jeng or my friend Sheila who are all great cooks! We just need to save up for a capital, and a good good place for it.

What do Pinoy canteens/karinderias serve? Easy. Pinoy Comfort Food! What else, right?

So let me then share with you another favorite in our household: Chicken Afritada

I play with the name by sometimes calling it Chicken Africhado (chado, from Mechado), Chicken Caldechado (Caldereta and Mechado) Chicken Caldetada (Caldereta and Afritada) because they taste so close to each other! I realized this after reading

For this dish, I used:

canola oil
1 small onion, minced
about 1 tsp of garlic, minced
1/2 kilo of chicken, cut in serving pieces
3 medium sized potatoes, cut in quarters
1 big carrot sliced in bite size pieces
Fish Sauce to taste (careful with the Salt!)
Pepper to taste
1 250 grams pack of tomato sauce
about 1/4 tsp of brown sugar to taste (optional)
about 1/2 cup of grated cheese (Eden MeltSarap)
1 tbsp of McCormick Caldereta Mix (optional)
1 cup of water/chicken stock/rice wash (hugas bigas)
about 1/4 cup of green peas
1 Red Bell Pepper sliced in strips

The Way:

On Medium to Low heat, sauté onions and garlic in canola oil. Throw in the chicken and wait until it becomes a little brown in color, the chicken will release its own juice while you are frying it. Then add the potatoes and carrots. Simmer for about 15 minutes, then season with fish sauce and pepper, pour the tomato sauce, add sugar (optional), add the cheese, a tablespoon of caldereta mix and 1 cup of water/chicken stock/rice wash. you may want to add water little by little if you want a thick consistency. Taste your afritada once in a while so that you can decide whether or not it already suits your palette. I like my afritada with a thick sauce (aka ma-sarsa). Lastly, add the green peas and bell pepper and simmer for more or less 3 minutes to avoid the bell pepper to overcook.

You might want to garnish it with cheese just before serving. :)

'Till my next
Karinderia entry :-)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing

Hubby is addicted to T.G.I. Friday's Caesar Salad and we have searched far too long for a copycat recipe of its dressing in the internet but always fail. Ang sad noh?

But hold on, as we are told, when there's life, there is still hope. So I have attempted to make something out of the many Caesar salad dressings I have "reviewed", compared notes of each recipe and was finally able to come up with I guess, 99% close to what I wanted to achieve.

Special shout out to my friend Sheila for the info on Doña Elena canned anchovy fillets. I really do not have any idea where to get them, not knowing it was just right under my nose in the "sardines" section. NGEK!!!

Anyways, I just really wanted to share my happiness with you because of this homemade Caesar Salad Dressing, inspired by the best two recipes I have referred to (out of the.. uh.. lost count!)

Happy Tummy's Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing

1 cup Lady's Choice mayonnaise
1/4 cup egg whites (keep the yolk in the freezer for future use!)
1/4 cup KRAFT grated parmesan romano cheese
2 tbsps water
2 tbsps olive oil
Juice of half a lemon (you may opt not to squeeze and include all the juice)
2 anchovy fillets, chopped finely
about 2 tsps garlic, chopped finely (you may want to add some more, if you want a stronger garlic kick)
about 1 and a half tsp of white sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Just mix all ingredients in a bowl. Beat it for about 2 minutes and chill for at least 2 hours. You may want to add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of all purpose cream to add a creamier texture to the dressing and just add a little more salt, pepper and garlic if needed.

Store it in a clean container and label it with the date so you can remember when you made it and you will kind of get an estimate until when you can use it (about 2 weeks max). The above photo shows that I am a scrappy kind of person. Hubby calls me Mommy Scrappy Doo. I like to keep used containers from commercial products that I believe can be of great use in future kitchen 911s. Just make sure it's really clean and dry before you use it. Better yet, sterilized. So up there, as you can see, I poured my home made dressing into a clean bottle of a then commercial caesar salad dressing :P

I swear, it's really clean. I know, next time I will use a glass container when I get to grab one!

Better to place in the chiller than in the fridge. If you have made a lot of this, store some in the freezer for longer shelf life and just thaw it when it's time to use it.

On the photo, I tossed it with Romaine Lettuce, Croutons, Left-Over Chicken Pesto Fingers (from Magnolia Chicken) cut in cubes and Parmesan Romano Cheese:

Try it and you will say T.G.I. Finally made it! Enjoy!

A happy and well-deserved weekend to all! :-)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Farewell, Tita Cory!

Right at this moment, while doing this, I am watching the live telecast of Tita Cory's Funeral.

I have had my shares of tears since last weekend, feeling the grief of her family, having to lose their mom, as if I lost my own once again, as I have lost my mama baby (my biological mom) when I was eleven days old. I was as well feeling a great loss of someone so valuable to our country. We have lost a great woman, a very fine lady, our country's light - "ilaw ng sambayanan" - who has sacrificed a lot to give the Philippines this big amount of freedom and democracy that we are experiencing right now. We owe her BIG TIME.

Kris Aquino said, according to her mom, there is a reason for everything that is happening. I know I am one of the millions who have realized through her passing that there is still hope for our country, especially for our politics. Tita Cory, as mentioned by almost everybody is our country's symbol of unity and peace.

Tita Cory, I am sorry that this had to happen before I take my "being Filipino" seriously. I really never cared before. And now, as a Filipino, as my expression of gratitude to you, I promise to be a voter and to vote wisely. I will, together with my family will do our very best to live inspired by your legacy and integrity.

Thank you, Tita Cory. I am only a small voice out of the millions who are saying thanks to you but I know you can hear me. I know you are in heaven now with our Savior and Ninoy and I am happy that you are now pain-free and stress-free.

I hope when my time comes, I will also go to heaven so I can meet you... as well as my mama baby.

You may be gone physically but your spirit, love and Cory Magic will live on in the heart of hearts of your Filipino people as well as the world.

Until then...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Herbed Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

I'm back my friends! As you can see, this previous post has been long over due and has been in my draft for a while. Yeah, I once got a "pending" here! ;-)

Kidding aside, I have been sick for quite some time and been catching up on my sleep, chasing (Piolo and Hugh Dancy in) my dreams (just kidding, honey!) and trying to recover and get that energy back. I was not able to hang out in the kingdom for around two weeks.

So here I am, after two weeks of recovery. I think I am back! Thanks to Nafarin A (for my colds) as recommended by Karren, Mucosolvan for my cough, Katinko and Vicks Inhaler and a few capsules of the ever famous Fern C, the wonder drug! (I really think I should get a box of this moving forward!)

Screeeeeeeeech! Let me not fail to mention hubby's and Little J's TLC, plus prayers!!! + Amen!+

I told Ross, I'm a bit scared because being addicted to sleep is not me so I thought maybe I need to get myself checked. I hope I am still normal. :P

Ok. after all this mellow dramatic intro, let me start and share with you my comeback dish, which was happily made last Saturday for lunch (as if I was gone for years hehehe! feeling artista ang lola niyo?)

Herbed Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

1 whole Chicken

Marinate it for at least an hour (preferably 4 hours, best overnight) with:

about 3 to 4 pinches of salt
crushed pepper to taste
2 dashes of dried basil, oregano, marjoram and spanish paprika
2 tbsps of minced garlic (you can add more if you like)
1 glug of olive oil (make this the last installment)

Rub the chicken with all these with love and affection :-)

After marinating, set your turbo broiler on high (240C or 475F) and cook the chicken for about 45 minutes to an hour on until well done, with breast facing up (as it is the thickest part of the chicken and longer to cook).

For the vegetables, I used sliced carrots (2 pieces), baguio beans (about 1/4 kilo) and baby potatoes (about 1/4 kilo) (potato marbles)

Place the carrots and baguio beans for only two minutes in boiling water to soften them a bit, take them off the water by a slotted spoon and cold shock them. Then set aside for a little stir fry later on. Do not dispose the water yet please!

For the baby potatoes, just boil them in the water you used to boil the carrots and baguio beans (save water!) for about 10 to 15 minutes until tender but not too soft to mash. Check it by inserting a toothpick, on the 10th minute. After this process, drain and let cool. You may opt not to peel it. (Just add some more water if the saved water is not enough to boil the potatoes)

As soon as the veggies are ready, melt a tbsp or two of butter and throw in the veggies, then add a dash of each herb: dried basil, oregano, marjoram, about half a tsp of garlic and an itsy bitsy pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Just do this in about a minute and a half at the most.

Serve the chicken with veggies surrounding it or may be on the side of you like. Best with warm rice or eat it with the veggies on the side. You may want to start your meal with this as your appetizer soup!

You will love the smell of your kitchen, believe me. Herby yum yum!

Happy luchtime to all! :-)