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June 30, 2008

Mangoes In Syrup And Calamansi Cream

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Mangoes In Syrup And Calamansi Cream
mangoes and calamansi, sweet and tart and yummy

Calamansi
1-inch calamansi, uniquely Filipino

I am taking advantage of this year's unusual long mango season. In the past years (at least in the Washington, D.C. area) the Philippine-like variety of mangoes grown in Mexico were only available for a month just before the start of summer. This year they have been in stores for 2 months now and they're getting cheaper too. Although we prefer eating mangoes fresh without any added stuff, sauces, or flavoring, I once made them into a pie. The pie was just okay, nothing to rave about.

Last week I bought so much mangoes and they all ripened at the same time. I also have calamansi fruits *woohoo!* from my tree and combined the two to try if they will make a good fruit dessert without the extra carbs from a pie crust. Well, I love it! This is a very refreshing mango dessert and the subtle citrus flavor from the calamansi juice and rind is wonderful. Calamansi fruits are not available everywhere in the US, lime or key lime is an excellent substitute. The following recipe for each whole mango is just a guide, feel free to adjust the sugar to suit your taste. I also recommend using mango juice from the Philippines because it tastes better than the ones from the Latin countries which I find flowery. Use whatever mango juice is available in your area or your preference.

Mango Fruit and Juice

Mangoes In Syrup And Lime Cream
mango cheeks, peeled and cut into 3 or 4 pieces
¼ cup mango juice (not puree)
1 tablespoon raw or brown sugar
1 teaspoon calamansi or lime juice
2 tablespoons slightly sweetened whipped cream
1 teaspoon calamansi or lime juice
zest of half a calamansi or a few grates of lime zest
  • In a small skillet, heat the mango juice, sugar, and calamansi juice until sugar is dissolved. Add the mango slices and simmer for 2 - 3 minutes. Spoon mangoes and the syrup into a dessert dish.
  • Mix cream and calamansi juice. Spoon on top of the mangoes. Using a microplane zester, grate the calamansi rind over the cream. Serve while still warm.

June 27, 2008

Want Some Fries With That?

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Fries Fried In Duck Fat
Duck Fat Fries
duck fat fries: the most delicious fries ever

The answer is definitely yes, large size please, actually just the fries...and some mayonnaise or malt vinegar. I used to be addicted to McD fries in Manila. There was a period when I had their fries every morning before going to work. I still buy them here once in maybe 6 months when I get the craving but it seems to be getting more and more insipid since the use of tallow has been banned. I don't know what oil they were using in Manila and Hong Kong but the fries tasted better when we were there.

A few days ago my daughter asked what my bag of duck fat is doing in the vegetable bin and on the same day I read in the Gourmet magazine fries that are fried in duck fat. I interpreted the coincidence as telling me to make some fries using duck fat. Well, I just had for lunch the most amazing delicious fries that are less greasy, so flavorful, and only needed a few grains of sea salt to enhance its yumminess. These fries definitely don't need ketchup, mayonnaise, or vinegar. I ate one whole large potato all by myself and will fry some later for dinner to go with Steaks With Pan-fried Cherry Tomatoes which I will write about in a future post. Aah, I'm feeling like a contented cow, and there goes my diet.:D

June 25, 2008

My Ube Is Broken

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Ube Macapuno Roll Cake
Ube Macapuno Roll Cake
it doesn't look pretty but it's yummy

Yes, my ube roll is literally broken in several places. I have been trying to make ube (purple yam) roll cake and failed, twice. The first one was too tall and dense for a jelly roll cake and as expected broke into many pieces. Not to mention it was absolutely inedible! I was a little bit suspicious of the amount of flour in the recipe from the Filipino FOOD magazine but went ahead and baked the roll. I should have listened to my gut instinct and reduced the amount of flour by half. The second ube roll (pictured here) is so soft, has a very tight crumb, and delicious but should be spongier/springier because again the cake cracked in several places as soon as I rolled it. The cake is very good though and will probably make it again as a layer cake or cupcakes. The only problem is I can't remember the measurements, silly me.

I am posting the Ube Roll recipe for the cake from the FOOD magazine but not the frosting because I have read a similar recipe online that is proven by users and readers to be unreliable. I am also not able to provide at this time the recipe for the second cake. I used this Pumpkin Roll recipe as a guide, substituting ube which has a different consistency and behavior than pumpkin and forgot to note the adjustments I made. I eyeballed the consistency of the batter as I mixed it. It will not be helpful either because there is something lacking in the (adjusted for ube) recipe to make it spongier and therefore more resilient, maybe eggs or cake flour. Or maybe I need to take ube cake baking lessons. Or tips from experts. Help!:-)

Ube Roll
recipe from FOOD magazine
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon rum
½ cup milk
1 cup ube, peeled, mashed, and strained
½ cup light corn syrup
7 egg yolks
½ cup corn oil
1 cup egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon violet food color
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 15 x 11 x 1 inch jelly roll pan. In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt and ½ cup of the sugar. Set aside.
  • In a blender combine vanilla, rum, milk, and ube. Blend until smooth.
  • Add corn syrup, egg yolks, and oil into the ube mixture. Blend well. Stir into the flour mixture until smooth.
  • In a large bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. While beating, add remaining sugar gradually and beat until stiff. Fold in ube mixture and food color. Pour into pan.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until done. Turn the cake on a piece of cheesecloth or baking paper and roll immediately. Let cool before filling.
Ube Macapuno Roll Cake
Ube Macapuno Roll Cake
Ube Macapuno Roll Cake
half of the broken ube roll, filled with custard and macapuno

June 23, 2008

I Want Me Some Shots of Yakult

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Lychee Yogurt Smoothie
tangy and sweet yogurt and lychee smoothie

Yakult

Yakult is one of the drinks that we sorely miss. We couldn't find them in any of the Asian groceries in my area. What we have here are the Korean brand that look exactly like Yakult but taste so bland, not tangy, and overly sweet. I just learned that Yakult have been in Los Angeles since 1999 and YakultUSA will make them available in other states in the coming months. Woohoo! I can't wait to have a few 'shots' of this yogurt drink. Well, actually I can, and while waiting I mixed some yogurt with low-fat milk, sugar, and flavorings. I made two kinds: vanilla and lychee. I blended some ice cubes and the lychee yogurt in the blender and had the most refreshing yogurt drink that's sweet and tangy with just a hint of lychee. Yummy!
Other fruit suggestions: strawberry, mango, and peaches.

I am also liking the sparkling yogurt-based drink that is salty and minty which is the perfect beverage while munching on adobo beef brisket shawarma.

Salty Yogurt Mint Soda

Adobo Shawarma
homemade adobo beef brisket shawarma

June 22, 2008

Zucchini With Truffle Olive Oil

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Zucchini With Black Truffle Oil And Parmesan
zimply zucchini

I don't consider zucchini a favorite vegetable of mine. To me zucchini is rather bland, watery, and tasteless just like any other summer or winter squash. It's usefulness to me is very limited, usually in minestrone and that's about it. I have seen recipes for zucchini muffins or cakes which don't appeal to me at all. But one recipe that made me take a second look at zucchini is Eric Ripert's Parmesan Zucchini With Balsamic. The simplicity of the dish piqued my interest and bought 2 pieces at the farmer's market. I altered the recipe though because I realized my main dish, caldereta, is already piquant and a bit acidic and thought the balsamic vinegar will not pair well with the slightly sour meat dish. I fried the slices instead of baking them for a little bit of color then drizzled them with black truffle olive oil and shaved some Parmesan on top. The vegetables are soft but with a little bit of crunch, they are sweetish and the truffle oil flavoring is just fantastic, I love it! There I said it.^__^

I will make Chef Ripert's dish another time and maybe will also try the muffins or cake. Better late than never in appreciating this vegetable.:D

Zucchini With Truffle Oil
2 medium zucchini
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
chopped parsley
black truffle olive oil
  • With a vegetable peeler, peel the skin lengthwise in an alternate pattern. Cut them into ¼-inch slices.
  • Heat 1 tsp olive oil and fry the slices in batches until just soft but still a bit crunchy. Add more oil as you fry when needed.
  • Arrange in a circle on a round platter. Sprinkle sea salt to taste and chopped parsley. Drizzle with about half a tsp of truffle oil. A little goes a long way so use sparingly. Shave Parmesan cheese all over. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Zucchini With Black Truffle Oil And Parmesan
this dish made me love zucchini

June 19, 2008

Not Coquilles St.-Jacques

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Scallops And Wild Mushrooms In Cream Sauce
Scallops And Wild Mushrooms In Cream Sauce

Scallops is one seafood I rarely cook. Besides being pricey, I am apprehensive that I might overcook them. They are notorious for becoming rubbery when not cooked properly. And they have to be eaten right after cooking because, again, they become tough when reheated. I guess they are good eaten raw right out of the shell just like oysters or in seafood sausages mixed with other shellfish and fish.

I cooked scallops similar to a dish called Coquilles St.-Jacques which is either a variety of French scallops or the way they're prepared: in cream sauce served in their shells. The scallops I bought are neither French nor do they come in their shells so I can't call my dish Coquilles St.-Jacques. I adapted a Coquilles St.-Jacques recipe from one of my Spanish cookbooks, adding 2 ingredients, shallots and champagne vinegar. The scallops are sweet and very tender and the sauce is slightly tangy from the champagne vinegar which complements the heavy cream so well. This dish is truly delicious and a special treat, easy to make too.

Not Coquilles St.-Jacques
1½ pounds medium size scallops, patted dry
½ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons water (or water from dried mushrooms)
1 cup dried wild mushrooms, rehydrated, and drained
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Season the scallops, place on a medium skillet. Add the heavy cream, champagne vinegar, and shallots. Poach the scallops for 2 - 3 minutes, turn on the other side and poach for another 2 minutes.
  • In another skillet, heat the butter , white wine, and water. Simmer for 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms. Cook for another minute.
  • Arrange the mushrooms with the liquid evenly on a serving dish. Put the scallops on top of the mushrooms and pour the cream sauce all over. Drizzle olive oil on top and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.

June 17, 2008

Losing It

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Mini Burger
3-inch hamburger with mini Pringles, heirloom tomato, and dill pickle wedges

I am finally paying for all the breads and sweets I have been making and eating the last 6 months. I have gained a few pounds and started using the treadmill and yesterday I bought Wii Fit. I have to lose the extra pounds as soon as possible because I don't like to develop cankles, heheh, and I'll do it by limiting my food intake in addition to exercising. I don't really believe in depriving myself of the food I love and will still cook and eat them but in smaller portions or miniature versions similar to the sliders that are now being served in several chain restaurants. I made mini hamburgers today and had it with just a little of everything. I weighed each uncooked patty to 2 ounces each and when cooked are about 3 inches. I topped the meat with caramelized vidalia onions in place of cheese and did not even miss it and the sweetness of the onions is so good with the burger. For dessert I had a small bowl of cherries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries with half a cup of fat-free yogurt.

The only other time I gained weight was when I gave birth to my second child. I worked out for an hour everyday for 2 months and lost all the excess weight and more, but I was much younger then. Wish me luck!:-)

June 16, 2008

Saba Bananas

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Saba
Saba
saba-like bananas

I don't know many people who don't like bananas. Here in the US bananas are more popular than any other fruits that when a big storm is coming people of all races and ages make sure they have an ample stock of Cavendish bananas, I wonder why. I am not one of them, BTW, not because I am not a banana lover but because the Cavendish is not the best variety for snacking or cooking in my opinion.

I miss the numerous Philippine bananas specially saba which is a firm cooking banana that can be prepared either sweet or savory. I always keep a packet or 2 of frozen saba purchased from the Filipino grocery. Two weeks ago I found intensely green bananas very close in appearance to the Filipino saba. I bought a dozen pieces, kept them in brown lunch bags and the next day they turned pale yellow and completely ripened and edible in 3 days. I cooked a few in syrup that I diced for halo-halo, made banana-cue which is fried in oil and brown sugar *yum*, and the rest I added to pochero (potage), a soupy meat and chicken dish similar to the Spanish Cocido. These saba-like bananas are a little bit starchier and softer when cooked than ours but acceptable in flavor and a good substitute for the frozen saba in case they become unavailable at the Filipino grocery..

Banana-cue
banana-cue, my favorite snack in the Philippines

Pochero
pochero, a soupy boiled meat and vegetable dish served with tomato sauce

June 12, 2008

Gazpacho, Asparagus Chicken Sandwich, Hummus, And More

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Chicken Asparagus Pita And Gazpacho
gazpacho and chicken asparagus pita sandwich

The past 4 days I haven't turned on the stove and we have been eating cold food and loving it immensely. Yesterday I made gazpacho, a Spanish cold soup with fresh tomatoes and cucumber. I have plenty of steamed asparagus and bought strips of roasted chicken which I made into pita sandwiches. I also made hummus and served it with wholewheat mini pitas...wonderful. My daughter and I have been making all sorts of combinations with the chicken, asparagus, fresh spinach, shaved cucumbers, tzatziki, hummus, and pita. She smeared spinach leaves with both tzatziki and hummus, added shaved cucumbers and chicken then rolled the spinach, delicious! We can get used to this.;-)

This is the first time I made and have eaten gazpacho. It always reminds me of the guy that one of my best friends dated many years ago. The guy, a French Canadian, prepared an elaborate dinner for my friend in his well-appointed house (he did all the interior decoration) in Makati. The first course was gazpacho that he made earlier in the day and was chilling in the refrigerator for over 4 hours. When the time came to transfer the gazpacho in a soup tureen, the bowl slipped from his hands and left a pool of tomato/cucumber soup on the flour and soaked his Italian loafers. According to my friend he was upset the whole night over the spilt gazpacho. She later fell asleep on the couch while watching a boring artsy French film. Good thing my friend did not end up with him because he turned out to have plenty of issues and perhaps a questionable sexual orientation.;-)

Anyways, back to dinner. I fell in love with this refreshing cold soup that pairs very well with the asparagus and chicken sandwich. We used to have this sandwich in the house of the friend mentioned above. They were prepared by their cook who used canned asparagus instead of fresh which is also very good although a bit mushy and she sliced them into thin fingers. They were really tasty, light, and different and have become one of our favorite sandwiches.

Gazpacho Andaluz
1½ pounds tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 slices day-old baguette, crusts removed, soaked in water and squeezed out
1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups water

for garnish
garlic croutons, chopped tomatoes, and chopped cucumbers
  • In a food processor combine all the ingredients except garnish and process until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing down hard to extract all the liquid. Taste and adjust seasoning. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  • To serve, pour soup into bowls and pass the garnishes separately.
Chicken Asparagus Sandwich

Chicken Asparagus Pita Sandwich

store-bought or leftover roasted chicken breasts, cut into strips
steamed asparagus, cut into 3 -4 inch pieces
mayonnaise
salt, optional
watercress, torn spinach
whole wheat pitas or sliced bread

Hummus

Hummus and Pita

1 16-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzos)
3 T fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
1½ T tahini
1 tsp salt
extra virgin olive oil
for garnish: chopped flat leaf parsley, paprika, or cayenne, optional
  • Drain chickpeas, reserve ¼ C of liquid. Place all ingredients except olive oil and garnish in a blender, add the reserved liquid and blend on low speed until smooth. Transfer into a bowl. Make a well in the center and pour olive oil in the well. Serve with pita triangles.
Hummus And Gazpacho
a delicious meatless dinner

June 9, 2008

Soba So Good

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Cold Soba
Cold Silken Tofu
Soba And Tofu

I have never eaten cold noodles before. It sounds so appealing now that we in the northeast are suffering from this most oppressive heat wave...and it's not even officially summer yet. I love that the cold buckwheat noodles topped with shredded nori is simply eaten with wasabi and preserved gingers then dipped in soba dipping sauce which comes in a bottle available at Asian groceries. I never thought the noodles would be so delicious and really satisfying. I cubed a box of silken tofu, topped them with snipped green onions and shaved dried bonitos with simple soy sauce for dipping. I love this light, healthy, yummy, and most specially easy to prepare dinner that's perfect for hot summer nights. The only cooking involved is boiling the noodles for 5 minutes.

Japanese buckwheat noodles

Halo-Halo

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Halo-Halo
pastel halo-halo topped with ube macapuno ice cream

Our weather has been rather wacky since Saturday. When I woke up Saturday at 7 AM it was foggy and the temperature was 85 degrees F which is unusually warm at this time of the year. By 10 AM the temperature rose to a scorching 95 with a heat index of 100 degrees. And it was more of the same 90+ yesterday and it's going to be hot hot hot today until tomorrow. Although the AC is on I still feel warm and have to use my paypay (hand-held fan). The only cool thing about this hot weather is I am motivated to make halo-halo, literally mix-mix, which is a Filipino dessert/snack composed of a mixture of sweet things such as leche flan (custard), saba banana in syrup, ube jam, white beans in syrup, glutinous rice crispies, jackfruit, sweet red beans, macapuno preserves, kaong (palm fruits) topped with shaved ice, milk, and a scoop of ice cream served in a tall glass. You can add any sweet stuff in halo-halo, check out Dale's halo-halo, and it will surely keep your cool in the summer heat. Aah, I don't mind eating halo-halo all day long.:-)

Saba
saba banana

Halo-Halo
sweet saba bananas, macapuno preserves, buco-pandan nata de coco,
kaong, leche flan, jackfruit, and pinipig brittle

June 6, 2008

The Best Salted Duck Eggs

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Itlog na Maalat
I love the oily bright orange yolk and the soft silky white

More than I month ago I wrote about making salted (pickled) duck eggs and now I can confidently declare that homemade is definitely the best. The amount of salt in the recipe is perfect, IMHO, which can be adjusted if you want the eggs saltier to suit your taste. If you can find fresh duck eggs in your farmer's market and you have the patience to wait 30 days, it's worth all the effort. I'm not recommending using ordinary chicken eggs because their yolks don't have enough fat to make that yummy oily salty yolks. I am buying more this Saturday to have a steady supply of salted duck eggs for salads or to top baked rice cakes called bibingka.

Bibingka
baked rice cake topped with fresh white cheese and salted duck egg

Itlog na Maalat and Tomato Salad
tomato and salted duck egg salad, our all-time favorite side dish

June 4, 2008

Music To Drown My Misery By

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Aimee Mann's new CD accurately describes myself today: feeling bleah

I was greeted early this morning by the newspaper's large photo of a grinning Barry Hussein Obama and his icky purple gums and I got depressed because I just realized there is no one to vote for come November*sigh*. I don't like him and I can't stand the other guy with a nuts-in-cheeks-squirrel face who was an Iraq war cheerleader for you-know-who. My friend has a term for this dilemma: who should I shove or who should I kick (in Tagalog: wala kang itulak o sipain instead of wala kang itulak o kabigin). I guess I'll just write Hillary's name on the ballot or someone should start a petition to urge Senator Jim Webb to run as an Independent candidate.

Anyway, I'm already in an angsty mood and decided to drown my misery listening to my newly acquired music CDs which both have depressing and bleak aura, but beautiful music nonetheless.

@#%&*! SMILERS Aimee Mann A++
Another superb album by my most favorite musician. She can just hum in her CDs and I'll still rate it A++. And the title and artwork are so accurate as to how I feel about the @#%&*! (purple gum) smiler.:-)

THIRD Portishead A++
After 11 years they finally came out with this new CD which has a different sound from their usual trip-hop style. Beth Gibson's voice is still beautiful and haunting, perfect with the melancholy lyrics and wonderful instruments. Instant favorites: The Rip and We Carry On.

June 2, 2008

A Trio Of Goodies

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Wheat Thins (Digestive Biscuits)
digestive biscuits, perfect with preserved fruits or creamy cheeses

Jaffa Cakes
jaffa cakes: yummy spongy cakes with orange jam and chocolate

Sugar-crusted Shortbread Cookies
buttery crunchy shortbread cookies

In our three-year stay in Hong Kong we developed a taste for snacks from the UK such as McVitie's digestive biscuits, St. Michael's jaffa cakes, crumpets, and salt & vinegar potato crisps, Carr's table water crackers, and other goodies with odd names. We love the digestive biscuits with a thin layer of caramel under a layer of milk chocolate or the ones with just a layer of milk chocolate. The jaffa cakes are our absolute favorite but I can't find in our area the McVitie's and the St. Michael's brands, I buy the LU Pim's which is also good.

The other day I made a small Strawberry Marshmallow Pie and used up the last packet of plain digestive biscuits. I want to make more of the pie (it was delicious!) so I made one batch of digestive biscuits and since I'm heating up the oven anyway, I also made jaffa cakes, and a few shortbread cookies too. The jaffa cakes are not bad but can't compare with the melt-in-your-mouth store bought cakes. The digestive biscuits however are very good and the shortbread cookies are superb, both make very good crusts for strawberry pie and for snacking. I can't stop eating the shortbread cookies, they are so yummy!:-)

Wheat Thins (Digestive Biscuits)
1½ cups fine stoneground whole wheat flour
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons sugar
½ cup butter
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put all the ingredients in the food processor and process until the mixture starts to clump. Transfer into a flat surface, gather the dough together with your hands and roll out.
  • Stamp out 18 round pieces with a 3-inch cutter. Place on silpat or parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes until the edges begin to color. Leave to cool slightly then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Jaffa Cakes
½ cup superfine sugar
2 eggs
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup orange jam or marmalade
2 teaspoon water
½ teaspoon unflavored gelatin
4½ ounces semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a stand mixer bowl with the whisk attachment, beat the sugar and eggs until light and frothy, when the whisk leaves a ribbon when lifted. Sift the flour over the mixture and stir in gently using a large metal spoon.
  • Divide the mixture among 18 regular muffin molds. Bake for 10 minutes until just firm and color is pale golden around the edges. Using a metal spatula transfer the cakes into a rack to cool.
  • Heat the jam and pass through a fine sieve. Return the strained jam to the pan and add the water and gelatin and cook until gelatin has dissolved. Transfer into a small bowl and let cool in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or until it has thickened a bit. Spoon a little of the jam in the center of each cookie. Melt the chocolate and spoon a little on top of the cookies, spreading gently to the edges. Leave to set for at least an hour.
Sugar-crusted Shortbread Rounds
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon rice flour
½ cup butter
¼ cup superfine sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
raw sugar
golden superfine sugar
  • Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together until light and fluffy. Sift together the flour, rice flour, and salt and stir into the butter mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Working quickly, gather the dough together and put on a work surface. Knead lightly until it forms a ball. Roll into a sausage shape, about 3 inches thick. Put in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Pour about 3 tablespoons raw sugar onto a sheet of parchment paper. Unwrap the dough and roll it on the sugar until evenly coated. Using a sharp knife, slice into ½ inch-thick disks. Place disks onto the baking sheets, leaving space in between and bake for 20 -25 minutes until pale golden in color.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with golden superfine sugar. Leave to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

June 1, 2008

Pork And Chicken Adobo

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Chicken and Pork Adobo

I have been blogging for almost two years now and just realized I have written about adobo only two times, both with Cornish game hens. Considering adobo is our (unofficial) national dish, I should probably feature it more often. I make this dish once a month, a different version (and meat) each time. In the Philippines, the different regions have their own versions, some have onions and chicken livers, others add coconut milk with pieces of green papaya, and some in the Northern provinces don't use soy sauce and the result is a white sauce-less adobo which is really yummy. Another way to prepare adobo is marinating the meat and then browned in oil before stewing in the marinade. I also remember my mother used to cook frog legs adobo with annatto seed oil.

I don't have a recipe that I follow and I don't measure the ingredients. And just like my mother, I taste it after stewing for 15 minutes and adjust the seasonings right then, taste and adjust some more if necessary after the dish is done.

Chicken And Pork Adobo
2 pounds chicken, cut into pieces
1 pound pork shoulder, cut into 2 inch cubes
½ cup cider vinegar (I use the Filipino cane vinegar called sukang Iloko)
½ cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorn
1 head garlic, peeled and pounded
2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bay leaf
½ cup water
pitted Spanish olives, optional
  • Place the meats in a saucepan and add vinegar, sherry, black pepper, salt, garlic, soy sauce, bay leaf, and 2 T olive oil. Let stand for 1 hour.
  • Turn the heat on high and let come to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes or until the sauce is almost dry. Add the water and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes until the meats are tender and sauce has thickened. There should be plenty of sauce but not too soupy.
  • Add the olives, if using, and simmer for 5 minutes more. Remove the bay leaf and discard, drizzle the remaining olive oil and transfer into a serving dish. Serve with steamed rice.
I also love this Portuguese Turkey Adobado which is from my cookbook THE FOOD OF SPAIN AND PORTUGAL by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz.

Pavo Adobado (marinated Turkey)
one 5 - 9 pound turkey, cut into serving pieces
For the marinade
4 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
3 - 6 cups dry white wine, or enough to cover
  • In a bowl large enough to hold the turkey pieces, combine the turkey with all the marinade ingredients. Refrigerate overnight, turning the pieces once or twice. Lift out and pat dry the turkey pieces with paper towels, set aside. Strain and reserve marinade, discarding the solids.
For the turkey
4 - 6 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1-inch piece cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet and saute turkey until lightly browned. Do this in batches, if necessary, adding oil as needed. Lift out the turkey into a casserole. In the oil remaining in the pan saute the the onion and garlic until the onion is soft. Add the tomatoes and cook until the mixture is thick and well blended. Add to the casserole together with the cinnamon stick and cloves, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour in the reserved marinade, cover and cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for 2 - 3 hours. Serve with rice and a light dry red wine.
I have come across numerous adobo recipes using various meats and seafood and I'm thinking of putting together an 'adobo cookbook' and will print it in my home. If you want to contribute your family's recipe please post it in the comments section or email it to me at ennui_52(AT)hotmail(DOT).com. I will try to cook the different recipes as much as I can and hope to hear from you soon. ^_^

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