August 29, 2008

Korean Broiled Pork Spareribs

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A FoodFriday entry

Taegi Kalbi Gui
6 piece pork spareribs with bones (1½ pounds), cut into 4 inches long, 2 inches wide
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon gochu jang paste (hot fermented chili paste)
1 teaspoon ginger juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon Korean sesame oil
  • Rinse the pork in cold water and pat dry. Rub the pork with sugar. Mix the soy sauce, gochu jang, ginger juice, garlic, sesame seeds, and oil and mix well. Mix the pork and marinade. Cover with plastic film and leave in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Put the ribs in a roasting pan. Broil in the oven for 30 minutes, 15 minutes on each side, or until brown and crisp. Or barbecue over charcoal for 20 minutes.

August 27, 2008

Homemade Greek-style Yogurt

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homemade Greek-style yogurt is a s good as store-bought

yogurt cheese balls in olive oil

I'm a late bloomer in appreciating yogurt. Just a little over a year ago I wrote about my aversion to frozen yogurt although I have always loved tzatziki. I can't remember what brought it on but early this year I started liking yogurt including drinks, smoothies, kefir, and lately cheese which is so much yummier than cream cheese. I can't seem to get enough of it, I always keep a tub or two in the refrigerator. The cookbook FROM THE LANDS OF FIGS AND OLIVES has several recipes for making yogurt (laban) and yogurt cheese. I got curious if it is really that easy to make yogurt at home and yes I can say after making several batches it's a piece of cake but the process takes at least 2 days which is not so bad if I want an endless supply of yogurt. To make a flavorful yogurt at home I only need milk and 2 T of Greek-style yogurt available from the grocery, I make sure they have no additives like xanthan gum, rennet, or gelatin. I use a flat-bottomed super-fine plastic strainer set on a bowl instead of the usual cheesecloth hanging on something to let the whey drip into a container underneath. That method takes lots of space in the refrigerator and I don't know where to hang the cheesecloth bag from. The end result is the same anyway. I also make cheese balls by adding salt to the yogurt and letting them drain some more on several changes of round coffee filters until they are drier and firmer.

Homemade Greek-style Yogurt
2 quarts milk
2 T Greek-style yogurt, at room temperature
  • Place yogurt in a well-cleaned 2-quart jar with wide mouth (you may use a glass bowl). Stir several times with a rubber whisk until smooth. Set aside. 
  • Clip a thermometer on the side of a medium saucepan, add the milk and heat over medium heat to 180°F, stirring occasionally to ensure correct reading. Turn the heat off and let the milk cool to 115°F.
  • Pour about ¼ cup of the warm milk into the jar, whisk gently until smooth. 
  • Add the rest of the milk ¼ cup at a time, whisking after each addition to make sure the yogurt is mixed in thoroughly.
  • Cover top of jar with a coffee filter and secure with an elastic band. 
  • Place in an oven with light on and leave for 6 hours or overnight.
  • The yogurt should have set after 6 hours.
  • Pour into a fine plastic strainer set over a bowl. Leave in the refrigerator overnight to drain.
  • The yogurt is now ready to eat or make into cheese. Transfer into a suitable container with a tight lid. This will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Yield: 1¾ C
I'm sending this to Joelen's Culinary Adventures: Tasty Tools (Whisk).

August 26, 2008

Mystery Green Leaf Vegetable

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stir-fry of malabar spinach and wild mushrooms

I bought an unlabeled package of leafy green vegetables and nobody at the Korean grocery knew what it was. I bought it anyway thinking it might be water spinach (kangkong) or sweet potato tops. When I opened the package to wash and prepare the vegetables they didn't look at all like kangkong but resembled crinkly spinach. The leaves are dark green with tender but easy to snap stems. I didn't want to eat something I'm not familiar with so I searched online for a similar leaf vegetable comparing the close-up photo of the leaf and found malabar spinach in no time. There is a red-stemmed variety which looked familiar but I couldn't remember where I've seen them. I proceeded to cook the vegetables sauteing them with some fresh shiitake and dried wild mushrooms seasoned with garlic, ginger, scallion, soy sauce, and salt. When I tried it I knew right away I've eaten it before because of its slightly mucilaginous tongue feel which my daughter said is similar to seaweed. I again went online and looked for the red-stemmed Filipino alugbati and I was right, malabar spinach IS alugbati, although the green-stemmed has crinklier leaves than the red-stemmed. Alugbati is one of my favorite vegetables back in the Philippines. I used to add them to boiled and sauteed mung bean soup as alternative to malunggay (horseradish tree) leaves or simply stir-fried like the dish I prepared today. I still love this vegetable and will buy it regularly.

mystery no more, these are green-stemmed alugbati or malabar spinach

August 24, 2008

Garlic Fried Rice, Corned Beef Hash, And Fried Egg: A Filipino Breakfast

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The theme for this week's Lasang Pinoy Sundays is BREAKFAST and one of our all-time weekend favorites is Corned Beef Hash with garlic fried rice and sunny-side-up or over-easy fried eggs.

Corned Beef Hash
corned beef

1½ pounds beef brisket
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon pickling spice
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, quartered
¾ teaspoon pink salt, optional (if you prefer the cooked meat with red hue)

corned beef hash

cooked corned beef
2 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil
1 medium red-skinned potatoes, peeled and cut into very small cubes
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 medium tomato, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
  • Cook the corned beef: Put brisket in a pot large enough to accommodate the brisket. Add the rest of the ingredients and enough water to cover meat. Bring to a boil, cover, turn heat down to medium, and boil for 2 hours. Remove cooked meat and transfer into a plate. Leave until cool enough to handle.
  • Prepare the corned beef hash: Slice the brisket across the grain into 1½-inch strips. Shred the meat using 2 forks or with (gloved) hands. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil and fry potatoes until slightly brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon oil and sauté garlic and onion and cook until onion is soft. Add tomatoes and sauté for 1 minute. Add the shredded brisket and potatoes, stir fry for 1 minute. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir fry for another minute. Serve hot with garlic fried rice and fried or scrambled eggs.

homemade Corned Beef Hash is better than the canned pap

I also love corned beef with chunks of cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and turnips or white kohlrabi.
To make Corned
Beef And Cabbage: Double the ingredients. Remove meat after boiling and transfer to a platter. Strain the liquid and discard solids. Adjust seasoning and return liquid into the pot with the brisket and vegetables. Boil for 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Serve with grainy Dijon mustard or bottled horseradish sauce.

August 21, 2008

Poached Pears

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don't you just love the bright red color of these poached pears

The other day my daughter was surprised to see pears on my kitchen counter and asked me what I intend to make with them. She knows I am not a fan of pears because of their grainy texture, although I enjoy snacking on well-chilled Asian pears. Sometimes I buy pears for making jellied candies or pâte de fruits. This time I bought them because of their very bright red color. I love the color red and I have a few bright red kitchen items, they make food preparation a little bit, what else, bright.:=)

These pears called Starkrimson have very smooth skin, are large-ish and when fully ripe they turn bright red all over. They are also less grainy and their slight floral scent and flavor make them acceptable to me. And they will definitely look pretty in gift baskets or fruit bowls. I poached 3 of them in sweet red wine and sliced beet to maintain the red color of the fruit. The beet does not alter the flavor of the pears and gives the poached fruits its sweetness and of course its vivid color. The color is only skin deep but you have to agree they look beautiful and they're yummy too, specially with homemade Irish Cream frozen yogurt.

Poached Pears
3 large Starkrimson or red Bartlett pears
3 cups sweet red wine
1 large beet, sliced thin
1 two-inch cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoon sugar
parchment paper
  • Peel the pears, cut into halves or quarters leaving stem on, and then core. Put the rest of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and heat until boiling. Reduce heat to low and add peeled pears. Cut the parchment into a round the same size as the saucepan. Cover the pears with the paper and poach for 45 minutes or until tender.
  • Remove parchment and discard. Remove the pears and transfer into a serving dish or bowl. Boil the poaching liquid until syrupy, about 15 minutes. Strain and discard solids. Pour syrup over the pears.

Starkrimson pears

the beet that my heart skipped

This is my entry to this week's LaPiS which you may have guessed is RED. Check out the other entries by clicking the button at the top of the page.

August 20, 2008

Chicken Tandoori Sandwich

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It seems all I cook these days is chicken. I actually cook other stuff but get lazy writing and posting about them. A week ago I smoked a 4-pound ham (which btw is waaay better than store bought) that I will feature in a future breakfast post. Anyways, last Sunday I read a tandoori chicken slider sandwich featured in a magazine restaurant review and I drool each time I see the photos of the sandwiches. I love tandoori-style chicken and the sandwich version looks really good. And it is so good, at least the one I made.:=)

For the tandoori I diced the chicken meat instead of ground and used aluminum rings for making crumpets to keep the meat patties from crumbling. I wanted to charcoal grill the patties but the weather was threatening (to rain) yesterday. Frying in very hot skillet worked just fine. I served the sandwiches with tzatziki broccoli slaw, shaved mini cucumber, and lots of tomatoes. Yummy! My daughter slathered homemade Greek yogurt cheese on the bottom bun and added tzatziki on top of the chicken for a triple dose of yogurt. Yummier!

My tandoori-style chicken recipe is here.

August 17, 2008

The Breakphast Of Champions

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Most probably you have heard of Michael Phelps' whopping 12,000 daily calorie intake and his much talked and blogged about breakfast that NBC's Bob Costas reported as:

"...Three sandwiches of fried eggs, cheese, lettuce, tomato, fried onions and mayonnaise, add one (five-egg) omelet, a bowl of grits, and three slices of French toast with powdered sugar, then wash down with three chocolate chip pancakes."

To celebrate Phelps's GR-EIGHT performance, for breakfast I made chocolate chip pancakes and a 5-egg omelet filled with the freshest shiitake mushrooms and onions sauteed in butter and seasoned with very little Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and sea salt. Yummy breakfast for *couch potato* champions like myself.

shiitake mushrooms that look like pancakes growing on logs

I'm no champion eater, I can barely finish 2 pancakes and less than half of the omelet

August 15, 2008

Algerian Chicken Tagine With Apricots And Spiced Pine Nuts

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This North African chicken tagine or tajin recipe by Farid Zadi is adapted from the February 2008 issue of Gourmet magazine. According to the cookbook FROM THE LANDS OF FIGS AND OLIVES, the North African tajin differs slightly from the tajin of the Middle East. In North Africa they use more herbs and spices. I love this recipe for its sweetish sauce, the subtle spices that blend so well together, and the crunch of the spiced pine nuts.

Chicken Tagine With Apricots And Pine Nuts
1 whole chicken, about 3½ pounds
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 large shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
Pinch of saffron (optional)
1 cup water
2 tablespoons bitter-orange marmalade
1 two-inch cinnamon stick
1 thyme sprig
2 cilantro sprigs
6 dried apricots. chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

spiced pine nuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
pinch of cayenne (optional)

lemon wedges
  • Tagine: Cut out chicken into serving pieces. Pat chicken pieces dry and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat and brown chicken pieces. In a 6-quart pot, saute shallots in the butter and remaining oil, stirring frequently until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, and paprika, and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add the browned chicken, saffron, and ½ tsp salt coating chicken well. Add water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn chicken and add orange preserves, cinnamon stick, thyme cilantro, and apricots. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer until chicken is very tender, about 15 minutes more.
  • Prepare pine nuts while chicken cooks: Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat then stir in pine nuts. turmeric, paprika, and cayenne if using, stirring frequently, until nuts are lightly browned, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • To serve: Transfer chicken to a platter, keep warm. Boil the sauce and reduce to 1 cup. Discard herb sprigs and cinnamon stick. Stir in chopped cilantro and spoon sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with nuts.

August 12, 2008

Algerian Flatbread

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I have bookmarked in January this flatbread recipe from the February 2008 issue of Gourmet magazine but have forgotten about it. The issue was buried somewhere and found it while I was cleaning out the magazine table of junk. And since I'm into Middle Eastern cuisine I made Algerian Chicken Tajin and flatbread. The yummy flatbread is similar to pita, chapati, and naan but flakier and crispier. I used the Indian whole-wheat atta which surprisingly is so easy to handle, the dough is very soft and there was no problem rolling the pieces into very thin rounds. King Arthur fine ground whole wheat-flour is an excellent substitute if you can't find Indian atta.

Farid Zadi's Algerian Flatbread
3 cups finely ground whole-wheat flour, preferably Indian atta
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup olive oil, divided
1½ cups water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
  • MAKE DOUGH: Stir together flour, salt, and 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Slowly stir in water until a soft dough forms. If necessary, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting with just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes. Form dough into a ball and coat with 2 T oil in a bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough stand at warm room temperature for 1 hour. Mix together cumin, paprika, turmeric, and remaining ¼ C olive oil in a small bowl.
  • FORM FLATBREADS: Divide dough into 12 equal pieces and, keeping remaining pieces covered with plastic film, flatten 1 piece of dough into a disk. Roll out disk as thinly as possible (into a 9-inch round) on a lightly floured surface with a 6-inch dowel or rolling pin (my note: use a plastic chopping mat to prevent staining your counter). Spread 1 tsp spiced oil with your fingertips or small pastry brush, then roll up tightly into a long cylinder and coil into a tight spiral. Transfer into a large sheet or parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap. Make 11 more spirals in the same manner.

roll into very thin round, brush with spiced oil, roll into a cylinder, coil into spiral
  • FINISH AND COOK FLATBREADS: Roll out one spiral into a round approximately 6 inches in diameter. Heat a dry large cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium heat until hot, cook flatbread, turning once, until puffed and browned in spots, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and cover with a kitchen towel. Roll out and cook 11 more flatbreads, stacking them on a plate.

chicken tajin with apricots, orange preserves, and spiced pine nuts

August 7, 2008

Coffee Roasted Butterfish

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There is only a handful of recipes that caught my interest that look really good on paper but when actually cooked are disappointing. This original recipe created by Romy Dorotan which is in the Filipino cookbook MEMORIES OF PHILIPPINE KITCHENS (Chapter 6: Cendrillon Recipes) is one of them. I have always wanted to make it since I got this cookbook almost 2 years ago, the combination of coffee and different spices sounds new, interesting, and yummy. Aside from cracking the spices which he did not mention in the procedure, I did not alter his recipe at all. The spices are dominated by the coffee and the fact that the sauce has a muddy color makes it very unappealing. I think adding too many ingredients and flavors is an overkill and will not make this again or recommend it. I'm posting the ingredients but not the procedure to save you the trouble and money in making this dish. I still prefer to cook this kind of fish either steamed Chinese-style with salted soy beans or simply fried eaten with vinegar and garlic dipping sauce. Sometimes simple is better.

The ingredients:
butterfish or pompano
bay leaves
fresh red chiles
cinnamon sticks
cardamom pods
black peppercorns
coriander seeds
coffee beans
coconut milk
fish sauce
lime juice
cacao beans (optional)

August 5, 2008

Cherry and Chocolate Semifreddo

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I have read a lot about semifreddo which is supposed to be much lighter than ice cream but most of the recipes are custard based. I didn't want adding egg yolks which will make the semifreddo richer than the ice cream I usually make. I found a recipe for strawberry semifreddo that uses egg whites and heavy cream. I substituted chopped bing cherries and added shaved bittersweet chocolates similar to Cherry Garcia ice cream but much lighter, sort of in between ice cream and ice pop. I also poured the mixture in a loaf pan and sliced them for a simpler and easier method of serving. Enjoy the slices with chocolate or cherry sauce or almond cookies, if desired.

Cherry And Chocolate Semifreddo
1 cup fresh bing cherries, pitted and snipped or coarsely chopped
½ cup shaved chocolate candy bar (milk, semi-sweet or bittersweet)
4 egg whites (powder)
2½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup sugar (add more to taste)
1½ cup heavy cream, whipped
chocolate sauce, cherry coulis, or amaretti cookies (optional)
  • Place chopped cherries in one layer on a plate and leave in the freezer. Chill chocolate in the refrigerator.
  • In a stand mixer, whip egg whites and vanilla extract until frothy. Gradually beat in sugar. Beat until stiff but not dry. Fold in whipped cream. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Line an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with plastic film allowing 6 inch overhang on each side. Put some of the cherries and chocolate evenly on the bottom of the pan then ladle about a third of the chilled cream and egg whites. Freeze for 15 minutes. Repeat layering procedure with the remaining cherries/chocolate and cream/egg whites. Cover top with the plastic film overhang. Freeze for 3 hours or overnight.
  • Slice and serve with chocolate or cherry sauce. Or allow to soften for 5 minutes and use ice cream scoop and spoon into dessert glasses.

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