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September 29, 2011

Giant Marshmallow S'mores

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Giant Marshmallow S'mores
giant marshmallow S'more...
crusty gooey roasted giant marshmallow and soft milk chocolate 
between crispy honey Graham crackers...what's not to love?



Food stuff here in the US are getting bigger and bigger to lure consumers like magpies who are attracted to bright shiny new things. Being a magpie myself, I just couldn't resist getting a bag when I saw it at Walmart two weeks ago. These giant roasters are really really big. I roasted one,skewered in a barbecue stick, on the stove top fire and sandwiched it in one halved piece of Graham cracker together with 6 squares of Hershey's milk chocolate bar. That's a lot of marshmallow and chocolate. I was in sugar heaven but could only eat one at a time...it's filling and satisfying. And delicious!

Giant Marshmallows
they're huge


what you'll need for a sugar high moment: 
giant marshmallow, Graham crackers, barbecue stick, Hershey's milk chocolate 
*milk chocolate is best for S'mores because it softens faster 
and tastes better than dark chocolate


roast marshmallow over stove top fire, place on top of Graham cracker 
and chocolate, top with another Graham cracker, press lightly, 
let chocolate soften, then take a big bite

September 28, 2011

Portuguese Sweet Bread

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One of my top 10 favorites from The Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge was Portuguese Sweet Bread. The bread has tight soft sweet crumb and fragrant with lemon, orange, and

September 24, 2011

Red White Yellow Blue Plate Special

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RED WHITE YELLOW BLUE PLATE SPECIAL
longaniza jamonado, tomatoes
sunny side-up egg, fried rice
blue tater tots

The Philippine flag is Kulinarya Cooking Club theme for the combined months of August and September 2011 co-hosted by yours truly, Ray, Boyet, and Day to celebrate Philippines National Heroes Day, plus Ninoy Aquino Day. 

Blue Plate Special means a low-priced meal with meat and three vegetables all in one plate offered by some restaurants here in the US; it doesn't have any blue food although sometimes served in a blue-colored plate. Well, my plate special is quad-colored and the food in it have the actual colors of red, white, yellow, and blue, all in one blue-rimmed plate; it's priceless! My plate is an ensemble of my favorite Filipino breakfast: longaniza, tomatoes, fried egg/s, fried rice, and fried potatoes.

The challenge was to prepare a dish with the four colors of the Philippine flag all in one plate or dish. They may be a garnish or the plate the dish is served in but we were not allowed to use store-bought chemical food dye to color the ingredients if dyeing is necessary. Finding naturally colored blue food was tough but the first thing that came to mind was the blue potato pancake I made a few years ago. These sweetish waxy potatoes have blue/purple color that deepens into almost navy blue when cooked and have completely cooled to room temperature. I added some salt and sauteed chopped onion into the partially cooked grated potatoes, formed the mixture into small lumps, and fried them in light olive oil and butter until dark brown and crusty.

Longaniza Jamonado
2½ pounds pork, cut into 1-inch cubes 
¼ pound pork fat, cut into ¼-inch cubes
¼ cup fine raw cane sugar
¼ cup white cane sugar
½ teaspoon pink salt
1½ tablespoons kosher or sea salt (not table salt)
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
hog casing, rinsed and soaked in warm water
  • Place the pork and pork fat separately in the freezer for 30 minutes or until icy. Coarsely grind the pork. In a small bowl, whisk together sugars, salt, pink salt, and cloves. In a large bowl, mix by hand the pork and fat until fat is evenly distributed. Mix in by hand the sugar mixture. Fill casing or form into longaniza shapes/patties. Refrigerate for 24 hours before cooking. 
 I also made a layered dessert since this is a 2-month challenge. The bottom layer is plain sweet red agar (sorry but the ready to cook red gulaman bar surely was artificially dyed) with a few drops of vanilla extract. The white and yellow layers are yogurt panna cotta, the white is flavored with vanilla extract and the yellow has calamansi juice and grated zest. For the calamansi layer, I soaked a few strands of Spanish saffron in hot cream. The yellow color is very pale because I didn't want to flavor the dessert too much with saffron. It has a definite calamansi flavor and I love the combined tartness of calamansi juice, yogurt, and blueberries cutting the sweetness of the dessert.


Before we agreed on the flag colors, we initially chose yellow, as in Ninoy Aquino yellow. On the same day we all voted yes on the yellow color, part of the dinner I was preparing was vegetables, salted duck egg, and green mango salad and I noticed the components were mostly yellow including the calamansi dipping sauce. I plated them and took pictures. When we changed the color theme a few hours later to include the flag, I didn't think the salad will do but realized all the 4 colors were also present. The blue is the piece of slate that came with the dish and dipping bowls set. Anyway, this sunshine on a plate is definitely Ninoy Aquino's.
SUNSHINE ON A PLATE
Filipino salad of semi-ripe mangoes, roasted eggplants, tomatoes,
steamed sweet potato tops, salted duck eggs
dipping sauce of sauteed fermented micro shrimps,
calamansi juice with fish sauce, sugar, and sliced hot red chile
calamansi juice and sea salt

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KCC

Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colourful cuisine.

Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for the Filipino Food as we do.

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See more Red White Yellow Blue creations here.

September 23, 2011

Baked Caramel Apple Turon

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baked caramelized apple turon served with a small scoop of Snickers® ice cream



Have you tried baked turon? I have a few tart apples, cubed one and cooked it in a tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, filled 2 spring roll wrappers brushed with butter, and baked the rolls until they have browned and looked crispy. The baked caramelized apple turon is so good; tart, sweet, and buttery, and oh so crispy. I love it with a very small scoop of Breyers® Snickers Caramel Swirls ice cream. Sweet! love smiley I'll definitely bake saba and langka turon later today now that I know it will be as crispy as deep fried.

Baked Caramel Apple Turon
2 tablespoons butter
3 - 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 medium size sweet and tart apples, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 tablespoon melted butter
4 - 5 pieces Filipino spring roll wrapper
  • Preheat oven to 425°F. 
  • In a medium skillet, heat butter and sugar until sugar has melted. Add apples and cook until caramelized and golden brown. 
  • Brush  one side of spring roll wrapper with butter. Place in a thin pile 2 tablespoons of apple across one edge of wrapper and roll, folding the edges in as you roll and keeping it tight and thin. Place on a parchment-lined baking pan.
  • Brush rolls with butter from the skillet, if any is left, plus melted butter. Bake until brown and crispy. Serve immediately.

September 15, 2011

Chicharron Strips and Ginger Beer

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vinegar and sea salt chicharron strips + ginger beer = perfect merienda




I love these chicharron strips already flavored with vinegar and sea salt; there's no need to dip in vinegar which could get messy. The Gosling's ginger beer, not fermented and non-alcoholic btw, which I think tastes  like carbonated salabat has a very strong ginger flavor and goes well with the yummy chicharron.

If ginger beer is not available in your area, you can make your own carbonated salabat. Prepare sweet salabat either from fresh ginger or salabat mix; let cool. Fill half a glass with ice, pour cooled salabat, club soda/seltzer water, a squirt of lemon, lime, or calamansi juice, stir once, and enjoy. Or if preferred, you can also add a splash of rum, vodka, lambanog, or gin bulag.:))
  

September 14, 2011

The Daring Cooks: Stock, Soup, Consommé

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Pig Tail Sinigang
Filipino pig tail sour soup

Peta, of the blog Peta Eats, was our lovely hostess for the Daring Cook's September 2011 challenge, “Stock to Soup to Consommé”.  We were taught the meaning between the three dishes, how to make a crystal clear Consommé if we so chose to do so, and encouraged to share our own delicious soup recipes!

The recipes are here.

I've never made consommé before but thanks to Peta and this month's challenge, I now have and enjoyed the process. Preparation of consommé is not complicated but there are several steps [including making the stock which is part of the challenge], not to mention lots of kitchen towels for straining the stock. I used the egg white method for both the chicken and beef consommé. I can't believe my eyes when the cloudy stock became clear. Consommé has to be adequately seasoned though because it loses some of the flavor when clarified.

from chicken stock to consommé 


chicken feet and necks for the chicken consomme,
 roasted beef bones with meat and vegetables for beef consomme,
countless numbers of kitchen towels for straining stock 

We were also asked to prepare bread or crackers to go with our soups. I baked a brioche filled with sauteed chopped baby rainbow Swiss chard, garlic, and onion, and grated Parmesan cheese to go with a simple beef consommé and cubed savory egg custard. 


Savory Egg Custard
3 eggs, well beaten
¾ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup chicken stock
½ teaspoon finely minced scallion, white part only
  • Mix all ingredients and pour into a lightly greased 6 x 4 inch pan. Place on a steamer and steam over boiling water for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly, transfer into a chopping board; cut into half-inch cubes.
For the Filipino pig tail sour soup, I added some beef stock to the strained pig tail stock. I used tamarind paste to sour the soup and added my favorite vegetables. We usually eat this soup on top of a bowl of hot steamed rice with extra fish extract on the side. 

Pig Tail Sinigang Soup
stock
2½ pounds pig tails, cut into 6 inch sections
1 onion, quartered.
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 carrot, cut into 3 pieces
2 celery ribs with leaves, cut into 3 pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon whole black peppercorn
1 tablespoon sea salt
water

soup
3 cups strained pig tail stock
1½ cups prepared beef stock
¼ cup tamarind past
1 tablespoon fish extract
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
3 large tomatoes, quartered
2 Asian eggplants, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 small daikon, sliced
2 cups of water spinach leaves
2 medium-hot green finger chiles
  • Stock: In a sheet pan, mix ingredients except water, and roast in a 400°F oven until pig tails and vegetables are golden brown. Transfer into a large pot, add water topping 2 inches; bring to a boil, turn heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer until tails are tender. Remove tails to a large plate and leave until cool enough to handle. Cut into 2-inch pieces. Strain the broth, discard vegetables, and reserve 3 cups of the stock. 
  • Soup: Return the pig tails and stock to the pot, add the beef stock, tamarind paste, tomatoes, and fish extract. Taste the soup and add salt if needed. Let come to a boil, add vegetables, and boil until tender. Serve while hot.

September 8, 2011

Food Friday: Savory Monkey Bread

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Monkey bread sounds funny and I don't know why this pull-apart bread is called such. Most recipes I've seen are sweet, usually with sticky gooey cinnamon sugar and butter coating . Although I love sweet bread, I wasn't feeling it and opted for a savory one. I added cubed sharp cheddar cheese in the dough and as topping. The rolls are very soft and fluffy and great to munch on anytime of the day. I can easily go ape over this bread. monkey smiley

Cheddar Cheese Monkey Bread
3½ cups bread flour
½ tablespoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
½ tablespoon kosher salt
¼ cup powdered milk
½ teaspoon garlic powder, optional
½ teaspoon onion powder, optional
1¼ cups water
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup cubed sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • In the bowl of a standing mixer whisk together flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt, powdered milk, and garlic and onion, if using. Stir in water and oil. With the dough hook attachment, knead on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides if necessary. Increase speed to medium-high and knead for 5 minutes until dough is smooth and pliable. Transfer on the kitchen counter and knead in the cubed cheese. Transfer dough into a lightly greased container, cover with plastic wrap, and let ferment for 1 to 1½ hours. 
  • Lightly knead dough, divide, and shape into 1-inch balls. Dip each ball in the melted butter and roll in the remaining cheese. Place balls almost touching in a 10-inch round pan. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 45 minutes. Bake in a preheated 375° F oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown. 

September 7, 2011

Mooncake

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Mooncakes
assorted lotus seed mooncakes

Lotus Seed Mooncake with Salted Duck Egg Yolk
lotus seed mooncake with a salted duck egg yolk

I've always wanted to make mooncakes for Chinese mid-Autumn festival [this year it's on September 12] but couldn't find easy to use molds. I finally found and bought from a Singaporean catalog one large round with 4 different plate designs and a small square with 3 plates. For the filling I used lotus seeds I bought from the Asian store and added one salted duck egg yolk in each of the 3 big ones. Some have chopped walnuts which I really like and a few I added pandan paste to the filling. I still have to learn how to make the impressions more pronounced though and I think I have to use a different recipe for the pastry to achieve that. Right now I'm happy with the way they look and I love the flavor of all of them. 

Mooncake Molds

The lotus seeds I got were already shelled and only some of the seeds had the green thingie inside that needs to be discarded before cooking. 

Lotus Seeds and Moncakes

Lotus Seed Mooncake

pastry shell
173 ml golden syrup
78 ml light olive oil
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ tablespoon water
10½ ounces all-purpose flour, sifted twice

lotus seed filling
1 pound shelled dried lotus seeds
water
1 cup sugar, or to taste
shelled watermelon seeds, chopped walnuts, pandan paste

egg wash
1 well beaten egg
  • Pastry: Mix syrup, olive oil, baking soda, and water. Slowly add flour and mix with hands or rubber spatula until incorporated. It will be sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and leave on the kitchen counter for 6 hours.
  • Filling: Wash the seeds, cover with water and soak for 3 hours. Remove the green germ if necessary. Wash 2 more times. Put in a medium saucepan, add water, and boil gently until tender. Cool slightly, then blend in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to the pan, add sugar, and cook until all the moisture has evaporated. Cool before adding flavoring, watermelon seeds, or walnuts. 
  • Shape and bake: Proportion should be 65% filling to 35% pastry shell. Shape portions of filling into balls. Flatten a piece of dough into a very thin round, place the ball in the center and cover completely with dough. Place the balls seams side down on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Use the mold to stamp the design or leave plain if you don't have one but flatten slightly. Brush with egg wash and bake in a preheated 400° F oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into portions.

September 1, 2011

Tocino de Cielo

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Tocino de Cielo
tiny silky smooth sweet "fat back" from heaven

Food Friday

Tocino de Cielo or bacon from heaven, is another Filipino sweet inherited from the Spanish. In the Philippines, these rich silky smooth treats, made with only 3 ingredients, egg yolks, sugar, and water, are cooked in small individual molds. I baked mine in a small rectangular pan and cut them into one inch cubes to resemble fat back, which is probably the reason it is called tocino de cielo.

Tocino de Cielo
4 tablespoons sugar for caramel
1¼ cups sugar
½ cup water
12 egg yolks

  • In a small stainless steel skillet, melt the 4 tablespoons sugar until golden or dark brown. Pour into a 6 x 4 inch pan; set aside. Over medium heat in a small sauce pan, cook the remaining sugar and water to 200° F; let cool. In a small bowl, stir the egg yolks with a rubber spatula; slowly pour the cooled syrup, stirring until well combined. 
IMAG1194
  • Pour over a fine strainer into the prepared pan. Place the pan into a larger pan; carefully fill the larger pan with hot water halfway up the sides of the smaller pan. Bake in a preheated 300°F oven for 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely on the kitchen counter; refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Turn  the pan over on a cutting board and carefully unmold. Cut into 1 inch cubes. 

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