October 30, 2006

Aplets & Cotlets

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I have been going frequently to Costco to see if they have Aplets & Cotlets which they usually have at this time of the year. After 2 weeks it seems there won't be any so I ordered 1 box of Aplets & Cotlets and 1 box of Fruit Delights from their website. I don't understand why these candies are not available in stores. While waiting, I tried making my own using one of the recipes available online. 2 batches were palpak (disasters), the first was snotty in texture, yuck, and the second had a strong cornstarch feel on the tongue, blech. I might rethink the title of my post I can do that! because I can't do this. But searching online I found another recipe that sounds promising and will try making again tomorrow. Now that the costume is finished I have time to do other things. As for the Aplets I got a call from the seller that delivery will be delayed by at least 2 more days because of some shipping snafu, whatever. I want my Aplets & Cotlets now!

October 25, 2006

Lechon Kawali (Fried Pork Belly) and Snow Pea Shoots

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I was going to make Pinakbet (vegetable medley) with Bagnet (fried pork belly) that I got from my cookbook Flavors of the Philippines by Glenda Barreto of Via Mare restaurants in Manila. I got this cookbook as a 2001 Christmas gift. It is a very beautiful, clear, direct and precise cookbook showcasing the best recipes of different regions in the Philippines. The photographs done by Japanese American Neal Oshima are fantastic.

The vegetable medley is not the one I grew up eating, we have a different version in my hometown. After deep frying, the pork looked delicious I ended up chopping and serving half of it as Lechon Kawali (pork belly roast/fried in a wok) and reserved half for the pinakbet that I will make this week. This lechon kawali is eaten with either Mang Tomas sauce or vinegar, soy sauce and garlic dip, I had both. I also cooked these fine looking veggies snow pea shoots I spotted at the Korean grocery. They are very tender young leaves that I just washed thoroughly then steamed in a little water and 1/4 tsp salt until just wilted and still a little crisp.

I like the simplicity of just adding a little calamansi juice or lemon juice to this side dish. It does not need garlic, onion or some meat flavorings, I'm really loving it more than spinach or Swiss chard, this is the perfect veggies to serve with the fat laden pork.

Buco Pandan Ice Cream

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Move over coffee mangosteen ice cream! I have a new favorite ice cream flavor, Buco Pandan (young coconut and pandan leaves extract). It is sooo yummy, why didn't I make this sooner. I used frozen young coconut strips and its water, then added buco pandan flavor that comes in a small bottle. I really like the pistachio green hue. This flavor is a huge favorite in Manila using it in everything from fruit salads (a combination of young coconut strips, pandan flavored gelatin cubes, sugar and cream, ooh I'll make this next) to candies, polvoron, barquillos (filled wafer sticks), hopia (Chinese Filipino snacks made with flaky pastry filled with sweet mung bean paste) and buche (mochi).

October 20, 2006

Pancit Bihon and Atis

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We had an authentic Filipino Pinoy dinner tonight: rice noodles and the fruit atis for dessert. These are thin rice sticks sauteed with garlic and onions, soy sauce, boiled pork, carrots, snow peas, and shredded cabbage. It is eaten with calamansi juice (tiny Filipino limes). I found frozen atis, a relative of cherimoya, at the Korean grocery. The consistency of the fruit is altered as expected but tastes the same nonetheless. Fresh is of course the best but I haven't had these in over 15 years, I couldn't resist buying them. I'll make ice cream using 2 of these fruits, yum.

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