February 10, 2008

Food and iPod

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a Filipino breakfast of chicken tocino, garlic fried rice and fried egg

My regular readers may have noticed that I have been cooking food that I have seen in movies or songs I recently played from my iPod list. I have written about The Beatles' Savoy Truffle and Cibo Matto's Le Pain Perdu and very recently Puerco Pibil and Crepes. Some bloggers include the songs they were listening to while preparing the food for their posts which gave me the idea of associating my song list with food. The songs should not necessarily be about food but have the potential to be associated with food. My daughter suggested that I set my iPod to shuffle for the surprise aspect, then choose one of the songs out of the first 5 or 10 songs and prepare a dish for that song. To my utter surprise the 5 songs have food or at least subjects that can easily be related to food.
  1. Umaga (morning), Susie Ibarra - breakfast
  2. Big Eater, The Bad Plus - a dinner of T-bone steak, mashed or baked potato, Elaine's The Big Salad, and a slice of apple pie a la mode fit for a king, i.e. David King of TBP
  3. Criss Cross, Thelonius Monk - hot cross buns or chocolate pretzels
  4. Beef Jerky, Cibo Matto - beef jerky
  5. Midnight, Jimi Hendrix - a light snack or a nightcap
Choosing which song was sooo easy, of course it's Umaga by Susie Ibarra, a Filipino-American avant/free jazz drummer and percussionist. The song is from The Susie Ibarra Trio album FOLKLORIKO which is a tribute to Filipino migrant workers. To hear samples of her songs click on the album title. On this CD she plays the kulintang in one song and in the second part of the CD titled Lakbay (journey) the drums and percussions accompanied by piano and violin.

Umaga (morning) of course starts with a substantial breakfast and for Filipino workers it means fried rice and meat or fried dried fish such as danggit from the Visayas. I myself did not eat fried rice for breakfast while growing up, we ate pandesal and sliced bread and up to the present only eat it on weekends, sort of a special treat when we are more relaxed and do not have to hurry for school or work. I decided to make chicken tocino because I wanted to try the homemade anise liqueur I recently made and because someone asked for the recipe.

Chicken Tocino
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, sliced thin
¼ teaspoons pink salt (Instacure #1)
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 - 4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoon anise liqueur or red wine
1 tanlespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon ground white pepperMix seasoning ingredients. Rub chicken pieces well with the mixture. Place in a ziploc gallon freezer bag and refrigerate for 3 days.
  • To cook: in a non-stick skillet arrange a few pieces of the cured meat with 2 tablespoons each of water and vegetable oil. Turn heat on to medium low, cover, and cook until all the liquid has evaporated. Uncover and shallow fry until browned on both sides. Serve with garlic fried rice, fried eggs, diced tomatoes, and vinegar dipping sauce. Freshly brewed Barako coffee is optional.
Fried rice: In a non-stick wok, heat 2 tablespoons light olive oil, add 2 cups warm cooked rice, sprinkle with 1 - 2 teaspoons crumbled fried sliced garlic (available from Filipino/Asian stores), and 2 teaspoons sea salt. Stir fry for 2 minutes or until rice is heated through. You may also use fresh garlic. Fry it first in the oil until golden brown before adding rice. I prefer using the fried garlic from the Philippines for the convenience and stronger garlic flavor.

I think this would be an interesting food meme exercise. Go ahead and try it for yourself, food and music association will occupy your time and mind instead of agonizing on whether your favorite candidate will lose to the opposition.:D

February 7, 2008

Across The Universe

Across The Universe A++

There are very few movies I've seen that stay with me hours after I've watched it, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is one of them. I was blown away by the awesome, psychedelic, trippy visuals and of course its music. I am a die hard Beatles fan, own almost all of their CDs and their movies Help, A Hard Day's Night, and Yellow Submarine. I have seen Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band movie a gazzilion times ignoring the fact that some of the songs are performed by a group I never ever listen to (The Bee Gees).
Across The Universe, a rock musical drama is the story of a young man from Liverpool, Jude who comes to the United States to find his American father. The movie is set in the 1960s during the growing protests to the Vietnam war featuring the songs of The Beatles sung by the actors. They are all good with the exception of Evan Rachel Wood who is just okay, not bad but not exceptional. I love the different arrangements/interpretations of the songs and how they are used according to the scene, most especially Stawberry Fields Forever which will never be the same the next time I listen to it. 9 minutes into the movie a cheerleader, Prudence played by T.V. Carpio, more on her later, sings a thoughtful I Wanna Hold Your Hand as she looks with longing at the love she would never have, the song has a completely different meaning. The characters in the movie are all named after TB's songs: Jude, Lucy, Max, Sadie, Jo Jo, Prudence. My favorite characters are Sadie, the up and coming rock star, and her love interest JoJo. There are cameos by Joe Cocker (Come Together), Bono (I Am The Walrus), multiple Salma Hayeks, and Eddie Izzard as Mr. Kite. I highly recommend this movie whether you are a Beatles fan or not.

T.V. Carpio as I have guessed is of Filipino descent. She is the daughter of the half-Filipino Hong Kong singer Teresa Carpio who became famous in Asia in the 1970s. I honestly can't remember what Teresa Carpio looks like or what she sounds like. T.V. Carpio as Prudence appears only 3 or 4 times times, she also sings in the beautiful "Because" scene with the other characters and roller skates in Mr. Kites bigtop show. She also has a very good voice, IMHO.

February 1, 2008

Robert Rodriguez's Puerco Pibil

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I make this super delicious dish at least twice a year since I first saw it featured in Robert Rodriguez's 2003 movie ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO with Antonio Banderas as El Mariachi, Salma Hayek, and Johnny Depp. Johnny Depp's character loves this dish, orders it all the time. He deems the pork dish is so good that he has to shoot the cook, and after eating he went to the kitchen and shot the cook. Yeah, it's crazy, but it's Johnny Depp, how can I not like the movie, which is really really good, IMHO. Robert shows how to prepare his recipe in one of the extra features in the DVD, watch it at the bottom of the post.

Puerco Pibil is very versatile. You can have it with plain white rice, or shredded in tortillas with some salsa and avocado, or as taco filling. Good to have while watching Eli kick Tom's butt this coming Sunday, just kidding. I'm not a sports fan and I don't care who wins the super bowl.

Robert Rodriguez's Puerco Pibil
5 pounds pork butt, cut into 2 inch cubes
banana leaves
½ cup orange juice
½ cup vinegar
2 tablespoons salt
juice of 5 lemons
8 cloves garlic
2 habanero peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon tequila
annatto paste: in a coffee grinder finely grind 5 T annatto seeds, 2 tsp cumin, 1 T black peppercorns, 8 pieces allspice, and ½ tsp cloves
  • In a blender, blend annatto paste and the rest of the ingredients except banana leaves and pork. In a large bowl mix pork and annatto mixture until pork is evenly coated. Line a deep roasting pan with banana leaves, put the pork mixture and cover with another layer of banana leaves. Cover tightly with tin foil and bake in a 325° F oven for 4 hours.

Here is the video of Robert Rodriguez making Puerco Pibil

How To Cook Adobong Muh-Knock

A friend emailed me this video of a white guy cooking chicken adobo. I wonder if he had a script or he really knows how to speak Tagalog. It's fun to hear a white guy say "sangkuchahin". Adobong muhknock - ang suhrap suhrap. Enjoy!

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