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I love rice and so does my husband. We try to find different ways to prepare and enjoy this wonderful food. Through time, we found hundreds of recipes, some simple and some exotic, and have enjoyed preparing them. We've found some real winners, which I have published on this blog and some that are not so great, which are in my personal "do not" repeat folder. I have created this site to share those memorable dishes - which are all about this wonderful food called "rice".

Shrimp and Chicken Rice Soup (Khao Tom Kung Lae Kai)

This is a wonderful Thai rice soup!  So yummy and filling; it could easily be your next comfort food.  It is not spicy like other Thai foods. People from Thailand eat this for breakfast with steamed buns or as a late night snack. 

















Ingredients:

1/4 lb of raw shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1/4 lb of ground chicken
4 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 coriander root (chopped)
Pepper and salt to taste
1 spring onion (minced)
3 3/4 cups chicken stock
2 tblsp light soy sauce
2 tsp preserved radish (minced) - optional
1 3/4 cup cooked jasmine or basmati rice
1/2 inch ginger root (sliced)
1 Small Chinese cabbage (roughly chopped)

Garnish:
2 Spring onions (finely chopped)
Coriander leaves

Using a blender of food processor, blend coriander root, chopped garlic, salt and pepper.  Blend until it makes a paste.  In a bowl, mix the paste with the ground chicken and minced green onion until well incorporated.  Using wet hands, pinch a small piece of the ground chicken mixture and shaped into a ball.  Do this until all the ground chicken mixture is shaped into small balls.

In a stock pot, heat the chicken broth to boiling.  Add the soy sauce and ginger. Reduce heat to medium and bring to a low boil or simmer.  Add the chicken balls.   Cook for approximately 3 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Add the cooked rice, Chinese cabbage and shrimp.  Cook for another 2 minutes until shrimp is pink and opaque.  Season with salt to taste if necessary.

Serve hot in bowls. Garnish with the spring onions and coriander leaves. These go great with pot stickers.

Sweet and Sour Spareribs

Not many Chinese restaurants prepare this.  I think it is because of the small bones.  But, this is one of my favorite dishes.  This is a new version of a classic using ketchup and canned pineapple.  You can use fresh pineapple if you prefer. Asian grocery stores have spareribs already cut into 1-2 inch strips. All you do is cut between the bones. What I love about this is you get the sweet and sour flavors, but without the heavy breading.














Ingredients:
1 lbs of spareribs (cut into bite size pieces)
Enough oil (canola or peanut) for deep frying

Marinade:
2 tblsp of light soy sauce
salt and pepper
1 tsp sugar

Sauce:
3 tblsp rice wine vinegar
3 tblsp sugar
2 tblsp light soy sauce
2 tblsp ketchup
1 green bell pepper (rough chopped)
1 small onion (rough chopped)
1 carrot (sliced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 inch ginger (minced)
3.5 oz canned pineapple chunks or fresh equivalent

Combine marinade ingredient and pork. Stir until well coated.  Let marinate for 1 hour. In a deep pan or pot add enough oil to fry the ribs. Heat the oil. Deep fry spareribs in batches for approximately 8-10 minutes until done and brown.  Drain on a papertowel and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and ketchup.  Set aside.

In a deep pan, heat 1 tblsp of oil (can use from the deep frying). Stir fry garlic and ginger for approximately 1-2 minutes.  Add bell peppers, onions and carrots and continue to stir fry for another 2 minutes.  Add the sauce mixture and allow to come to a boil.  Add the spareribs and pineapple chunks.  Continue cooking and stirring until everything is heated through.  Serve over white or fried rice.  Enjoy!

Fresh Lumpia (Lumpiang Sariwa)

There are so many versions of egg rolls.  Different parts of Asia have different versions.  The Philippines is no different.  Depending what province you are in, they have their own version.  Most egg rolls are fried, but there are some that are considered fresh.  This is most popular during special events, holidays and fiestas in the Philippines. Depending where you are at, the ingredients could change accordingly.  This one is my grandmother's recipe with a slight variation; she likes to add garbanzo beans to hers.  Fresh lumpia wrapper can be found in the freezer section of most Asian grocery stores. 














Ingredients:
1/2 lbs raw shrimp (shelled, deveined and chopped)
1/2 lbs ground pork
1 jicama (sliced into match sticks)
1 cup bean sprouts
2 cups napa cabbage (cut into strips)
2 cups green beans (roughly chopped)
12 red or green leaf lettuce leaves
4 cloves garlic (minced)
1 medium onion (minced)
Slat and pepper
Fresh lumpia wrappers
2 tblsp canola or olive oil

In a large fry pan or saute pan, heat the oil.  Add onions and garlic.  Saute for approximately 3 minutes.  Add the ground pork.  Continue cooking for another 10 minutes until pork is done.  Add the shrimp and continue to saute for another 4 minutes or until shrimp is pink and opaque.  Add green beans, jicama,  and napa cabbage.  Saute for another 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat and drain well using a colander. 

Set a small bowl of water next to a plate, lay a wrapper and place a lettuce leave on with the stem to the center of the wrapper and the leafy part extending slightly over the edge of the wrapper.  Put 2 tablespoon of the mixture onto the leave within the wrapper. Lay one side of the wrapper over the filling and gently roll tightly without tearing.  Before reaching the end, pull the bottom to the center and continue rolling until you create a tight cone with the leafy end open. Serve with lumpia sauce. Recipe below:

Lumpia sauce:

4 tblsp cornstarch
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
10 garlic cloves (minced)
1 tblsp canola or olive oil

In a sauce pan, heat oil and saute garlic for approximately 1 minute.  Add sugar and broth.  In a small bowl combine soy sauce and cornstarch until cornstarch is disolved.  Add this to the sauce pan.  Cook for approximately 5 minutes until sauce comes to a low boil and starts to thicken.  Spoon over fresh lumpia.

Pineapple Spam Fried Rice

We were in Hawaii when we had the great fortune to try this at Sam Choy's restaurant.  Spam is super popular in Hawaii.  McDonalds has a breakfast meal that includes Spam, eggs and rice.  It was absolutely great. So, through trial and error and lots of experimenting, I came up with this recipe that my husband believes is just as good if not better than the one we had in Hawaii.















Ingredients:
3 cups cooked jasmine or basmati rice (preferably from previous day)
1 tin of Spam (cut into small bite size cubes)
2 green onions (chopped)
1 cup of peas and carrots (thaw first if frozen)
3.5 oz can of pineapple chunks or fresh pineapple
2 tblsp light soy sauce
2 tblsp canola or olive oil
1 tblsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cloves garlic (minced)
2 eggs (beaten)

Heat oil and butter in a deep fry pan.  Add the Spam and stir fry until slightly brown.  Add garlic and onion and saute for approximately 2 minutes.  Add peas and carrots until heated through.  Push all ingredients to the side and pour eggs.  Scramble eggs until no longer runny.  Add rice and pineapple chunks.  Continue stirring until all ingredients are well incorporated.  Add soy sauce and mix well to ensure rice mixture is well coated. Season with salt and pepper.

Soy Chicken

So easy and flavorful.  I find this under a different section of the Chinese restaurant's menu.  It is always served with steamed rice and is priced differently than the other entrees.  When I discovered the recipe, I tried it and now I can have Chinese soy chicken at home. This is great when serving a crowd.  Picky eaters love it as well.














Ingredients:

1 lb chicken (cut up pieces)
1 cup water
2 stalks green onion (sliced)
2 inches ginger root (sliced)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 star anise
2 tblsp sugar

In a sauce pan, brint to a boil, the water, soy sauce, star anise and sugar.  Reduce to a low boil, add green onion, ginger root and chicken. Return to a full boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook for 45 minutes.  Stirring occasionally to ensure all the chicken pieces are cooked in the sauce.

Remove chicken from sauce and discard cooking broth.  Grill chicken for approximately 6-8 minutes either on the grill or in the oven's broiler on low.  Rotate chicken and grill the other side for another 4-5 minutes. This is to develop a nice slightly crisp outer layer.  Serve immediately with steam rice.

Chiles Relleno de Picadillo (Stuffed Chiles Relleno)

I was watching the movie Tortilla Soup the other day.  One of my favorite movies. It has a really good story, but I watch it for the food.  All the foods are prepared  by two fabulous Chefs, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger.  After watching the movie, I went through their cookbook "cooking with two hot tamales" to see if I could even find the recipes they prepared.  Must be in their other cookbooks.  Anyway, I saw this recipe and made some minor adjustments.  Roasted stuffed chiles are very Mexican-American.  I have made picadillo before, but this one is different.  It does not use your typical Tex-Mex seasoning.  I had a lot of fun making it for lunch one day. It went home with a couple of friends and now their husbands want to be my official food tasters.  Cut the recipe in half if the 12 is too many. I found people wanted at least two (2).














Ingredients:
1 1/2lb ground turkey
1 medium onion (minced)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup raisins
5 Italian plum tomatoes (canned, drained and chopped)
1 1/2 tbls cider vinegar
1/2 cup toasted almond slivers
Salt and Pepper to taste

12 large poblano chiles
6 large eggs (separated)
1 1/2 tbls all purpose flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour (in a shallow dish)
3/4 tsp coarse salt (kosher)
Peanut or vegetable oil for frying

You can roast the chiles in an open flame if you have a gas burner. Rotating directly on the flame allowing the other layer to char.  Or you set your oven to broil.  Coat the chiles with a little oil and place on a tray.  Place under the heated broiler and allow to broil for 20 minutes, turning it occasionally to ensure charring on all side.  Once the outerskin is charred, remove from heat and place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to steam.

To make the picadillo, heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat.  Add onions, season with salt and pepper.  Stir the onions for approximately 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes continually stirring so as not to let the garlic burn. Add ground turkey breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you stir it with the onions and garlic.  Remove any clumps and cook until turkey is completely browned.  Add the cinnamon and cloves and cook for another minute.  Add the tomatoes, raisins and vinegar.  Lower the heat and allow simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pan juices are gone and all the ingredients as well incorporated; approximately 20-25 minutes.

Once the chile peppers have cooled. Uncover the plastic wrap and gently remove the outer layer or skin. The skin should come off in large pieces.  Be very careful so as not to tear the peppers.  Cut a slit across the top (stem end) of the pepper and then down the center creating a "T" opening.  With a small spoon, remove all the seeds and membrane.  Be very careful not to scrape too hard so as not to tear the pepper.  If you want heat, leave the membrane.  Loosely stuff each pepper with the picadillo and close with a toothpick.  

In a large bowl, beat your egg whites with salt until soft peaks.  Beat in each egg yolk one at a time. Then beat in the 1 1/2 tsp of flour until flour disappears.  Heat your oil in a large heavy skillet deep on medium with enough to fry the chiles.  As the oil is heating, roll the stuffed chiles in the 1/2 cup of flour in the shallow dish. Patting gently to remove excess.  When the oil is hot, dip the stuffed chiles into the egg mixture, shake off excess and carefully place in the hot oil.  Repeat with the other chiles. Do not crowd.  The chiles will brown pretty quickly, gently roll them over to ensure browning occurs on all sides evenly.  Remove from skillet and allow to drain on a paper towel.  Cover to keep warm while you cook the rest. 

To serve, place a stuffed chile relleno on a plate, ladle with your favorite salsa (red or green) and serve with your favorite rice (spanish or cilantro lime). Enjoy!

 

Hocks Braised with Sugar (Pata Estofado)

This is a great Filipino recipe.  Cooking time is pretty extensive.  Preparation is easy, pig hocks need a lot of time to braise to make them tender, so the cooking time takes 3-4 hours and does require you to check to ensure that all the liquid does not completely evaporate.  You will need to replenish to allow for the cooking time.
Dried lily blosssoms can be found at any Asian grocery stores.














Ingredients:

2-3lbs pig's hocks
2 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
10 peppercorns
2 cup brown sugar
1 cup soy sauce
1 cinnamon stick
2 onions (quartered)
10 cloves garlic (minced)
8 tblsp oil (for frying)
1 cup dried lily blossoms (add more if desired)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, heat 3tablespoon of the oil.  Add onions and saute for approximately 3-4 minutes.  Add minced garlic and cinnamon stick.  Continue to saute for another 2 minutes.  Remove pot from heat and add the rest of the ingredients except for the oil and dried lily blossoms.  Allow hocks to marinade for an hour.  Heat oil a large deep skillet.  When oil is hot, remove hocks, reserve the marinade in the pot.  Fry hocks on each side to brown.  Approximately 5 minutes on each side.  Do not crowd hocks when frying.  Continue until all the hocks have been browned. Move hocks back into the stock pot and place on the oven set at medium-high heat.  Allow to boil, reduce heat to a low boil and continue cooking for another 2 1/2 hours.  Check pot occasionally to ensure braising liquid has not evaporated.  If braising liquid is low, add another cup each of water, apple cider vinegar and sugar and a 1/2 cup of soy sauce.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and continue with the cooking process. You can increase sugar if you want it a little sweeter.  This dish is more to individual taste.  During the last 30 minutes of the cooking process, add the lily blossoms.  Test the hocks for tenderness by spearing with a fork, meat is tender if fork slides in without any effort.

Pile a scoop of rice into a large bowl.  Ladle sauce, hocks and lily blossoms over the rice and enjoy!

Pork Pot Stickers

I don't think I have met anyone who does not like pot stickers.  What's great is these can be either fried or steamed.  And the dipping sauces to choose from can vary (dumpling sauce, soy sauce, Ponzu, sweet & sour).  The sauces can work on either steamed or fried versions of the pot stickers.  You can either buy the skins at your Asian grocery store, or make it yourself (I've included the recipe).  For a light dinner we do the pot stickers with egg rolls and fried rice.  Yummmmmmm!














Ingredients for filling:
1lb ground pork
3 tblsp ginger (minced or grated)
6 cloves garlic (minced)
4-5 stalks of green onions (minced)
1/2 napa cabbage (finely chopped)
1tblsp salt
1 tsp sugar
6 tblsp sesame oil
Ground pepper to taste

Ingredients for skin:
2 cups water
4 cups all purpose flour
Pinch of salt

Cooking options:
6 tblsp Canola or olive oil for frying and 1/2 cup water
Steamer with pot of water

In a bowl, combine the finely chopped cabbage and 1 tblsp of salt. Set aside for approximately 20 minutes.  Transfer the cabbage to a clean kitchen cloth or paper towel and gently squeeze out the excess water.  Mix the cabbage with the rest of the ingredients for the filling.  Mix well to ensure all the ingredients are well incorporated.

To make the skin:

Bring water to a boil.  In a bowl mix the flour with the pinch of salt.  Slowly add the boiling water in 1/4 cup increments, mixing with chopsticks until a vall is formed and the dough is no longer too hot to touch or handle. All the water may not be needed to create the ball of dough.  Sprinkle some flour onto a work surface and knead the dough for approximately 15 minutes. Return the ball of dough to the bowl and cover with a cloth. Let it rest for 1 hour.

Roll the dough into a long baton approximately 1 inch in diameter.  Cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Flatten each piece with the palm of your hand until you form a circular disk approximately 3 inches in diameter and 1/16 inch thick.  Repeat with remaining dough pieces.

Creating pot stickers:

To fill each pot sticker, get 1/2 teaspoon of filling and place into the center of one of the skins.  Fold the skin over the filling creating a half moon.  Gently press the ends together to seal the filling in the skin.  Press the the non sealed side gently on the surface to create a flat bottom. 

When all the pot stickers are done, choose one of the cooking methods. 

Frying:  Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add pot stickers with the flat side down.  Rotate pot stickers. Cook in batches.  Allow the pot stickers to brown, then add 1/2 cup of water.  Cover and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Drain liquid and refry to crisp up the bottom for another  2-3 minutes.  Remove from pan and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Steamer:  Heat a deep pot or stock pot until water come to a boil. Reduce heat to a slow roiling boil. Line steamer basket with lettuce leaves or parchment paper.  Place pot stickers in steamer basket leaving room so they do not touch.  Place steamer basket over the pot of boiling water.  Steam for 6-8 minutes.  Server in steam basket with your favorite dipping sauce.

Potato Crusted Tilapia with Rosmary Oil

I made this some time back for my son's birthday before he left for Canada to play hockey.  I had invited family, his friends and my friends.  This is so easy.  I got this recipe watching Giada DeLaurentis one day on the FoodNetwork.  It is great to fix for a large crowd or an easy weekday dinner.  Even friends who normally do not like fish, loved this!  You can use red potatoes or Yukon Gold.  I like seasoned salt, but sea salt or kosher salt will work as well.  I find that russet or baking potatoes do not work. 















Ingredients:
4 tilapia fillets

1-2 potatoes (very thinly sliced)
2 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves (minced)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup minced fresh chives
Seasoned salt or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Using a mandoline or slicer (can be done by hand), slice the potatoes into paper thin rounds.  Place in a bowl of cold water to remove the starch.  Then remove and pat dry with a paper towel or kitchen towel.


Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Top each of the fillets with potato slices completely covering the surface of the fish, overlaying the potatoes like shingles. When all the fillets are covered with the potato slices, sprinkle the potato side with a little more salt and pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the minced rosemary leaves.

Heat a large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and the butter. When the butter is melted and the oil is hot add the fish, potato side down.  Cook the for approximately 4-5 minutes or until it looks like the potatoes are brown.  Move the skillet to the oven and bake until the fish is cooked through, about 15 to 17 minutes.

In a small bowl whisk the extra-virgin olive oil, chives, the remaining 1 tablespoon rosemary, salt and pepper.

To serve, flip the fish with the potato side up on to a plate. Drizzle the fish and the plate with the rosemary-chive oil. Serve immediately with your favorite rice pilaf.

Nilagang Manok (Filipino Chicken Vegetable Soup)

This is not your ordinary chicken vegetable soup. As with many island cultures, soup is very big in the Philippines served over rice.  You can use beef instead of chicken if you prefer.  There are no strict rules on the vegetables either.  Use whatever yo want, when I cannot find bok choy, I use cabbage. Cheyote is good with this and I have seen potatoes as well.   This is very popular in many Filipino homes since it is an easy meal to prepare with lots of vegetables.  The chicken broth just feeds your soul.  Now, I did make some changes to the original recipe.  I find I like more seasoning in mine.  I played around until I came up with this version.

















Ingredients:

1-1/2lbs chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, drumsticks, etc.)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 inch ginger (minced)
2 small stalks celery (whole w/leaves)
6-8 peppercorns
3-4 carrots (peeled and cut)
1 small onion (peeled and quartered)
8 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 lb of green beans
8 baby bok choys (cleaned and removed from core)
2 tblsp canola or olive oil
Salt to taste

In a large stock pot, heat the oil, then add onion, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorn and ginger.  Cook while stirring for approximately 2-3 minutes.  You want the onions to be a little soft and translucent, but do not want the garlic or ginger to brown.  Add 8 cups of chicken broth, celery, carrots and chicken. Allow to get to a roiling boil, then reduce the heat to continue a low boil for approximately 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Remove and discard celery stalks and bayleaf.  Season with salt and add green beans; continue to cook for another 5 minutes.  Add the baby bok choy and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.  Taste and season with salt if needed.  In a bowl, add rice and spoon nilaga over the rice. Don't forget to be generous with the broth.  You can season to taste with patis (fish sauce).  Enjoy!

Piri Piri Shrimp

This is a South African recipe that I have seen on FoodNetwork and several cookbooks.  It looked really good and so I thought I would try it.  There were several variations, so I took bits and pieces of each recipe to come up with this one.  It has a majority of my favorite ingredients (shrimp, garlic, lime and cilantro). Adjust the "heat" with the number of serrano chillies.  One makes it pretty mild.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  It is simple to fix, just a little planning required to allow the shrimp to marinade.













Ingredients:

1 1/2lbs Raw shrimp (remove shells)
6 cloves garlic (minced)
2 tblsp Paprika
Juice of 2 medium size limes
1 tblsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tblsp flour
1-3 serrano chillies
1/3 cup olive oil plus 1 tblsp
1 handful of cilantro (roughly chopped)
Salt to taste

Remove shells from shrimp, pat dry and place shrimp in a glass or ceramic bowl.  Cut serrano chillies in half and with a small spoon remove the seeds and membrane (white stuff that keeps seeds intact.) Do not use your fingers to remove the seeds and membrane.  In a food processor, add the serrano chillies, garlic, paprika, lime juice, sugar and red wine vinegar.  Process until it creates a paste, add the olive oil minus the 1 tablespoon.  Continue to process for another minute.  Pour the marinade over the shrimp and let marinade for 1-2 hours or longer. 

In a skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Remove the shrimp from the marinade and toss with 1 tablespoon of flour.  Mix well.  When oil is heated, cook shrimp in batches until opaque and pink.  Transfer to a clean plate.  Continue cooking all the shrimp.  Sprinkle cooked shrimp with salt and toss with cilantro until mixed. Serve with white rice and enjoy!

Eggplant Adobo Style

We love eggplant at my house. I try to find recipes out there that utilizes this great night shade.  There are so many different types of eggplants, so you know there will be numerous ways to prepare.  Filipinos love "adobo".  They prepare just about anything adobo style.  So, when I found this recipe, I was so excited to make it.  What a find.  If you love Filipino style adobo and eggplant, this is a perfect marriage.














Ingredients:

3-4 Japanese eggplants
5 cloves of garlic (crushed whole)
1/2 cups chicken or pork broth
3 tblsp soy sauce
1/3 cup white wine vinegar or coconut vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp oyster sauce
3 tblsp canola or olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp canola or olive oil (for sauce)

Slice eggplants diagonally.  Heat the oil in a frying pan.  When hot, fry the eggplant slices until brown and semi-soft but still a little firm.  Remove the cooked eggplant to a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.  Continue cooking until all the eggplant slices have been fried.  Do not crowd.  Eggplant tends to absorb the oil, so add additional oil to the pan when needed.

In another saucepan, heat 1 tsp of oil.  Add the garlic, stirring frequent, cook for 1 minute. Do not allow it to burn.  Add vinegar, soy sauce, broth and lots of pepper.  Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the eggplant, season with salt if necessary.  Continue to cook for 5 minutes, turning the eggplants occassionally.  Serve hot with jasmine or basmati rice.

Ceasar Chicken

I made this for a family friend's birthday party to celebrate his 90th birthday.  It was a hit and so easy to make (especially for 52 people).  The recipe below is for four servings.  The number of ingredients is pretty low, which makes it super easy to fix.  Using your  favorite brand of ceasar dressing.  Make sure it is not the creamy version.















4 skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup Ceasar dressing
1 cup canned tomatoes (chopped or diced)
4 strips of crisp bacon (chopped)
2 tblsp fresh parley (chopped)
2 tblsp fresh basil (chopped)
2 tblsp canola or olive oil
Pepper to taste

Pat chicken breast with a paper towel to remove any moisture.  In a deep fry pan, heat the oil.  Fry chicken breasts until brown on each side, approximately 5-7 minutes per side.  Do not crowd the chicken.  Add  chicken stock and ceasar dressing. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for 4 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes and season with pepper.  Turn chicken breasts over and continue to cook for 2 minutes.  Add the the fresh parsley and basil and cook for another 2 minutes.  There should be enough sodium in the dressing and chicken broth not to need salt.  Remove from heat and season to taste.  Serve with  a salad and your favorite rice pilauf.

Embutido

Okay, this is seasoned ground pork that has been rolled into a log and then baked.  The ingredients sounds kinda strange when you think about combining them, but actually, this is absolutely DELICIOUS!  This is my mother's recipe which I have taken some liberties ( I know she will yell at me later).  I've made two different versions, one using Spanish chorizo and another using andouille sausage.  The Spanish chorizo is part of the traditional recipe.  The andouille sausage adds a whole 'nother level.  If you like your foods with some spice, I highly recommend the andouille sausage, if not, go for the traditional Spanish chorizo.  Remember, do not use Mexican chorizo, totally different taste and seasoning.  It will not work on this dish.  This actually is not hard to make, just mix all the ingredients, roll into a log, wrap and then bake.


Ingredients:

1 1/2- 2 lbs of ground pork
1 cup bread crumbs soaked in 3/4 cup milk
2 Spanish chorizo or andouille sausage (cut into chunks)
2 eggs (beaten)
4 tblsp sweet pickle relish
4 tblsp raisins
1 small can (6oz) tomato paste
1 cup pork or chicken broth
2 tblsp of light brown or raw sugar
2 tblsp canola or olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 sheets of aluminum foil

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a food processor, add the chorizo/sausage and raisins. Process until minced but not pureed.  In a large mixing bowl, add the ingredients from the food processor, ground pork, soaked bread crumbs, eggs and sweet relish.  Mix well and season with salt and pepper.  On one of the aluminum sheets, place half of the mixture and proceed to stretch out and create a log.  It does not have to be perfectly round.  Wrap the log with the foil and crimp the ends closed. Place foil wrapped log in a baking dish.  Do the same withe other half.  Place the second foil wrapped log in the same baking dish.  Place in the heated oven and bake for 1 hour.  Remove the embutido from the oven and reserve the liquid at the bottom of the dish. 

Unwrap the embutido and remove the foil.  Place the rolled meat back into the baking dish.  Set the oven to broil - Low .  Brush each log with the oil and return to the oven for another 10 minutes to brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. 

To make the sauce, in a sauce pan, add the tomato paste, sugar and broth.  Mix well to make a smooth sauce, and heat through using medium heat.  Pour the reserved liquid from the baking dish into the sauce.  Stir the sauce until the liquid is well incorporated.  Continue to heat until sauce is hot, season with pepper to taste.  Serve sauce with the sliced meat.  Enjoy with your favorite steamed jasmine or basmati rice.

Bacon and Egg Fried Rice

I am always looking for something different for breakfast.  I enjoy the standard American fare, but I like to do something different just to make it interesting.  With the daily grind to the office, I usually do something quick or fast food.  But on the weekends, it's nice to do something different.  Fried rice is such a versatile dish.  You can make it with just about anything.  This is a breakfast fried rice.  I normally use garlic and ginger, but since this is breakfast, I thought I would forgo it this time.  Use any bacon you prefer.  I find applewood bacon is really good with this dish. 



















Ingredients:

2 tbls canola or olive oil
4 Eggs (beaten)
6-8 slices of bacon  (cut into bitesize pieces)
1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots (or peas only if preferred)
2 stalks of green onions (chopped)
3 cups cooked rice
3-4 tblsp light soy sauce
2 tblsp sesame oil
Salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a wok or deep skillet.  On medium heat, add the beaten eggs and season with salt and pepper.  Scramble the eggs until soft but not runny.  Remove the eggs from the skillet.  Increase the heat and add the bacon to the skillet and cook until brown and crisp.  Add the green onion and cook until heated through, approximately 1minute.  Add the green peas and carrots and continue stirring until heated through.  Add in the rice. Reduce the heat to medium and continue stirring, breaking up the rice as you go.  When all the ingredients are incorporated, add soy sauce; continue stirring until soy sauce is well mixed and rice is well coated.  Drizzle the sesame oil and return the eggs into the skillet.  Continue cooking, breaking up the scrambled eggs so that it can be completed incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  If rice appears too light, add a little more of the soy sauce being careful not to add too much as this will make the dish very dark and salty.  Serve immediately with your favorite morning beverage.

Tandoori Fish

This is absolutely incredible.  I got this recipe from Nita's husband when he returned from a trip to India.  I decided to try it with fresh fish. What's great about this dish it has fabulous flavors but it is not spicy hot. I served it to the dance troupe before we did a performance. If you can, use fresh fish instead of frozen if at all possible.   Asian and ethnic grocery stores have large fish tanks with a good assortment of live fish to choose from.  Have your local fishmonger scale and clean the fish for you.














Ingredients:
2 whole fishes (cleaned) trout, sea bass or tilapia
2 inches of fresh ginger root (peeled and minced)
10 cloves of garlic (minced)
3 tblsp olive or canola oil
1/2 lime (juiced)
3 tblsp tomato puree
1 tblsp paprika
1 tblsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
salt and pepper

Cut diagonal slits on each side of the fish.  Make sure you cut deep enough to expose the meat, but not all the way through the bones.  Place fishes in a glass or ceramic plate.  Place the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix until it creates a paste.  Rub the paste all over the outside of fish on both sides.  Make sure some of the paste get between the diagonal cuts.  Rub some of the paste inside the cavity of the fish.  Use all the paste.  Cover the fish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to marinade.

Set oven to broil and preheat in low.  Cover a baking dish or deep tray with foil.  Place fish in the foil covered dish and broil in the oven uncovered.  Broil one side for approximately 8 minutes.  Turn fish over and broil the other side for another 8 minutes.  Increase the setting to medium or high to allow the skin to crisp.  Watch carefully so as not to burn for appoximately 4 minutes; flip fish and do the same on the other side. Remove from the oven and serve with basmati rice and Tomato, Onion and Chilli salad (recipe available on this blogsite).

Tomato, Onion and Chilli Salad

This refreshing salad is absolutely great with fried or grilled foods.  Serve this over rice with the Tandoori fish. Yummmmm..... Adjust the spiciness by increasing or decreasing the number of chillies.











Ingredients:
2 large tomatoes (chopped)
1 red onion (finely chopped)
1-2 green chillies (remove seeds and finely chopped)
1/2 lime
1tsp sugar
salt and pepper

In a non-metallic bowl, place all the igredients and mix well.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Taste and adjust with salt and pepper before serving.

Tandoori Chicken

This is probably one of the most famous dishes from India.  This is absolutely wonderful. The spices add so much flavor, but not with heat. 



















Ingredients:
3lbs chicken (assorted pieces)
1/2 lemon
2 tblsp melted butter or ghee
salt and pepper

Masala Paste:
1 tblsp ginger paste
2 tblsp garlic paste
1 1/2 tblsp paprika
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3/4 cup yogurt
Few drops of edible red food coloring

In a small bowl, mix lemon juice and butter.  Rub the lemon juice and butter mixture all over the chicken pieces.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  In a separate bowl make the masala paste by combining all the masala ingredients and mix until all have been incorporated.  Using your hand, rub all the chicken pieces with the masala paste.  Make sure all the chicken pieces are well coated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours, preferably overnight. 

Preheat oven at 400 degrees.  Lay chicken pieces on a roasting rack and tent (lightly cover) with foil, place in oven and cook for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil. Change the oven setting to either broil or roast in a low setting.  Continue cooking the chicken for another 15 minutes or until chicken's juice runs clear.  Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes, serve garnished with cilantro and lemon slices.  This is great with the vegetable pulao on this same blogsite. Enjoy!

Whole Fish with Black Bean Sauce

Something I have always wanted to try was to cook a whole fish.  It is not as difficult as I thought it would be.  It was actually a lot of fun.  Note: there is a difference between fresh fish and frozen.  Asian and ethnic grocery stores have huge fish tanks for live seafood.  It is amazing how wonderful it is to cook with very fresh seafood.  I recommend it highly.  Have your fishmonger scale and clean the fish for you.  The original recipe normally steams the fish.  I prefer baking or broiling; this creates a different texture to the fish.  If you wish to steam, wrap the fish in foil and steam for 30 minutes.












Ingredients:
2 whole fish (cleaned) trout, sea bass, tilapia
2 tblsp salted black beans
1 tsp sugar
2 inches of fresh ginger (shredded)
6 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
3 tblsp Chinese rice wine
3 tblsp Light soy sauce
4-6 spring onions (shredded or sliced)
3 tblsp olive or canola oil
1 tsp sesame oil

Wash the fish inside and out and dry with a paper towel.  With a sharp knife, cut deep diagonal slices across the each side of the fish. Cut deep enough to expose the flesh but not to the bones.  Mash half of the beans in a small bowl with the sugar.  Add the remaining whole beans and mix well.  Place fish on a glass or ceramic plat and place half of the shredded ginger and sliced garlic inside the fish cavity spreading as evenly as you can.  Rub the blackbean mixture on to the outside of the fish making sure you get it between the diagonal slices.  Turn fish over and do the same on the other side. Cover with plastic wrap and marinade for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Turn oven on to 350 degrees.  Place fish in a foil covered pan.  Mix rice wine with 1 tblsp of soy sauce and 1 tblsp oil.  Pour mixture over the fish. Cover fish with another piece of foil and place in the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil covering and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes or until fish is done (flesh is opaque).

In a small pan, heat the remaining oil until almost smoking; remove from heat. Add the sesame oil and the remaining soy sauce and stir.  Remove fish from the oven and transfer to a plate, sprinkle with the spring onions.  Drizzle with the oil and soy sauce mixture.  Serve hot with steamed rice.

NOTE: If you are not comfortable with cooking a whole fish, ask your fishmonger to remove the head.  This also works with fish fillets. Reduce cooking time if cooking fillets.

Chicken Cooked in Coconut Milk (Manok sa Gata)

The combination of chicken and coconut milk is very popular in the pacific islands.  There are several versions depending on where you look (Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, etc.)  This is one of our favorites at home.  This is even better the next day, if it lasts that long.















Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs of chicken (thighs, legs and breasts)
3/4 cup vinegar
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 inch ginger (minced or paste)
6 cloves garlic (minced)
1 13oz can coconut milk
3 tblsp sugar
Salt and Pepper
1 tblsp canola or olive oil

In a deep pot or sauce pan, heat the oil.  Add the ginger and garlic and saute for approximately 1 minute. Add the chicken pieces and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add the vinegar and chicken broth.  Season with salt and lots of pepper, then add the sugar.  Reach to a boil, then reduce to a low boil.  Cook for 30 minutes. Watch carefully to ensure the liquid does not dry out.  Add the coconut milk and continue to cook in a low boil for another 20-25 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper if necessary.  Spoon over rice with a generous amount of the soup.  Enjoy!

Bola-Bola (Sweet and Sour Meatballs)

This is a very beautiful and colorful dish.  It is a great hit with kids and people who are picky about Asian foods.  This also quick and easy to fix and gets a lot of ooohhhs and ahhhhs, plus it taste fabulous.  You can do the quick version by replacing the home made meatballs with pre-made from the grocery store.  I recommend IKEAs. If those are not available, those from the grocery store works, just make sure you do not get the Italian style.  The seasoning does not work with this dish.  If you have time, home made is the best. I used different color bell peppers, but you can use one color if you prefer.














Ingredients:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 tblsp corn starch
3 tblsp olive or canola oil
3-4 stalks of celery (sliced diagonally)
4 roma tomatoes (cut in quarters)
1 medium onion (sliced)
1 large bell pepper or 1/2 of 3 different colors (cut in strips)
1 lb meatballs (home made or pre-made)

Meatballs:
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 tblsp garlic powder
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper
1 cup olive or canola oil

For meatballs:  combine all the ingredients except for the oil.  Mix well.  Pinch off approximately 1 tblsp and form into a ball in your palm.  Repeat until you have made all the meatballs.  Heat the 1 cup of oil on high in a deep sauce pan. Fry meatballs in batches until brown and done.  Remove from oil and set aside.

In a large pot or dutch oven.  Pour the vinegar, soy sauce, water and sugar.  Allow to simmer until sugar disolves.  Add the meatballs and set temperature to low.   In a separate frying pan, heat 1 tblsp of the oil.  When oil is hot, add onions and celery.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir fry for approximately 2 minutes.  Transfer to pot with meatballs and sauce.  Heat another tblsp of oil in the frying pan.  Add the bell peppers, season with salt and pepper, and stir fry until crisp tender for approximately 2 minutes. Transfer to the pot with the meatballs and sauce.  Heat the last tblsp of oil, add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.  Stir fry until slightly scorched, approximately 1-2 minutes. Transfer to the pot.  Stir the vegetables with the meatball and sauce until all the ingredients are well incorporated.  Increase the heat to allow a low boil.  Place the cornstarch into a small bowl.  Add a little water to make a watery paste.  Make sure the cornstarch and water are mixed well with no lumps.  Pour the cornstarch mixture into the pot directly on the sauce.  Stir well to ensure the cornstarch is well incorporated.  Continue to boil for another 4 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.  Stir occassionally during this process.  Once sauce has thickened, serve over steamed rice and enjoy.  With the sweet and sour sauce, this is great with shrimp fried rice.

Teriyaki Salmon

With the summer brings lots of seafood it seems due to the abundance and heat.  I seem to always want more seafood during this time of year.  Which leads me to researching/finding more recipes that involve seafood. With a busy summer schedule, quick and easy is the key.  Like the five-spice fish fillet, this is another recipe tht is just easy to fix and oh so yummy with rice.  My son loves salmon.  Since it is high with omega3, it is a great fish.   Serve it up with some fried rice and have a great Japanese meal.


















Ingredients:
1-2 lb salmon fillet with skin.
1/2 cup light soy sauce
3 tblsp sugar
1 tblsp mirin
1 tblsp ginger paste
1 tblsp sake or white wine
1-2 tblsp of olive or canola oil

In a small sauce pan, heat all the ingredients except for the salmon.  Allow to simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove the sauce from the heat and allow content to cool. 

In a shallow glass dish, pour the marinade and lay salmon in the shallow pan with the skin side up.  Allow to marinate between 2-4 hours.   After marinading, heat oven to 350 degrrees.  Transfer salmon to baking pan, pour marinade over salmon.  Cover with foil and bake in oven for approximately 15 minutes. 
Brush with marinade occassionally.  Remove the foil cover and set oven to broil with a low setting.  Brush salmon with the oil and allow to broil for another 10 minutes to create a nice brown glaze. Check for doneness.  Salmon should feel firm to the touch.  Serve with fried rice and pickled vegetables.

Five Spice Fish Fillet

Quick and easy and oh so yummy. I made some changes to the original recipe, tried it at home and got a winner.  Try any light white fish (tilapia, cod, mahi-mahi) fillet.









Ingredients:
1lb thin fish fillet (tilapia, mahi-mahi, cod or any white fish)
1/2 cup flour
2-3 tsp five-spice powder
3 tblsp canola or olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tblsp brown sugar
1 tblsp sesame oil
Salt and pepper
2 green onion stalks (chopped diagonally)

Place flour in a flat dish, season flour with salt and pepper and set aside.  Rub the five-spice powder on each side of the fish fillet.  Roll fish fillet into the flour and dust off the excess.  Heat the oil in a deep frying pan.  When oil is hot, place the fish fillets into the hot pan without crowding.  Cook each side for approximately 2 minutes until opaque.

In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil; season with pepper.  Pour soy sauce mixture onto fish.  Reduce heat and continue to cook turning fish fillets occassionally to coat.  Continue cooking until sauce thickens and creates a nice glaze on the fish.  Do not allow the glaze to burn.  Transfer fillets to a warm plate and garnish with the chopped green onions.  Serve hot with steamed rice or fried rice.

Afritada (Filipino Pork and Chicken Stew)

Spain occupied the Philippines for over 400 years.  Not surprising then to find foods with a lot of Spanish influence.  Afritada reflects that Spanish influence.  This can be made with just chicken or just pork.  We love the combination at my house since it covers everybody.  My husband loves the pork and my mother loves the chicken. So, you can't go wrong.  I made some changes to make it easier. 














Ingredients:

1lb of chicken parts (breast, thighs, wings, etc.)
1lb pork shoulder or butt (cut into chunks)
4 potatoes (cut into chunks)
1 large onion (chopped)
1 cup chicken stock
1-2 bay leaves (1 large or 2 small)
4 carrots (peeled and cut into chunks)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 green bell pepper (cut into bite size chunks)
1 red bell pepper (cut into bite size chunks)
1 20oz can of tomatoes (roughly chopped in food processor)
1 20oz can of stewed tomatoes (roughly chopped in food processor)
1/4 cup canola or olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 small can of garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed) - optional

In a food processor, roughly chop the canned tomatoes.  Process until you get the texture you want.  Short pulses for some chunks, or longer processing if you want more of a puree.  Do the same with the stewed tomatoes.

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat an 1/8 cup of the oil in high heat.  Add the pork chunks and lightly brown for approximately 3 minutes.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Do the same with the chicken, and add that the pork.  In the same pot, add the rest of the oil and the potatoes.  Cook the potatoes for approximately 4 minutes until some of the sides have browned.  Remove the potatoes and set aside.  Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the chopped onions and the bay leaf to the hot oil in the pot. Cook the onions until they are translucent, approximately 3 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes and stewed tomatoes.  Continue cooking stirring constantly until tomatoes are heated through.  Add the pork, chicken and potatoes back into the pot.  Continue stirring until all the meat and potatoes are well coated with the tomatoe/onion mixture.  Add the carrots, peas and the chicken broth; continue stirring.  Cover and reduce to medium heat and keep at a low boil.  Keep covered and cook until chicken, pork and potatoes are tender, continue stirring to ensure that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn; this should take approximately 30 minutes.  Season with salt and lots of pepper.  Add the both the red and green bell peppers. If using garbanzo beans add that at this time.  Continue cooking for another 10 minutes to allow peppers to cook but still have a crunch.  Taste for seasoning.  Add salt and pepper if necessary.  Serve hot over steamed rice.

Celebrating Philippine Independence - June 12th

On June 12th, the Filipino community in the Dallas/Ft Worth area celebrated their independence day with a formal dinner, dancing and pageant.  The Philippines celebrated its 112th year of freedom.  To recognize this wonderful event, I decided to dedicate the month of June to share the different foods of my country.  Though only half Filipino, I am still proud to call it my own.

In 1898, the United States bought the Philippines from Spain for $20 million dollars ending the Spanish American War. On June 12, 1898, Emilio Aguinaldo led the Filipinos to declare their independence against the United States.  This declaration of independence was opposed by the United States, leading into the guerilla war in the Philippines.  Emilio Aguinaldo was arrested but, soon declared his allegiance to the United States.

In 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor declaring war on the United States.  Japan then invaded and occupied the Philippines.  Those were grueling times for the Philippines.  In October 1944, General MacArthur and President Osmena returned and liberated the Philippines from Japan.

On July 4, 1946, the United States gave the Philippines their independence. They then became Republic of the Philippines.

In 1961, Diosdado Macapagal won the presidential election.  He changed the independence day from July 4th to June 12th, the day Emilio Aguinaldo declared independence from Spain in 1898. Emilio Aguinaldo was the guest of honour on the first Independence Day celebration in 1962.

If you want to see and try the different Filipino foods, click on "Philippines" on my "Food Search" to find all the recipes I have personally prepared.

Mabuhay!

Tamarind Pork and Vegetable Soup (Sinigang na Baboy)



















Soups play a major role in the Philippines. Combined with rice, it is a substantial meal.  Sinigang is the national soup. There are so many variations depending on the region, and in the Philippines, there is a lot.  I had previously blogged a shrimp version.  This is the pork version, which is the ultimate favorite at my house.  This is where my husband stands by my shoulder going "is it done yet?" Another dish that does not last at my house.

Ingredients:
8 cups of water
2 pork boullions
2 tblsp tamarind paste
2 lbs pork butt, shoulder, pork belly or pork ribs ( a little fat makes this very flavorful)
4 tomatoes (quartered)
1 cup daikon radish (cut into chunks)
1 bunch water spinach or regular spinach
1 cup green beans (trimmed)
1 Japanese eggplant (cut into chunks)
Salt or fish sauce to taste
1 anaheim or chillie pepper (optional)

Cut pork into chunks.  In a large stock pot, add water, boullions, tamarind paste, tomatoes, pork, and daikon.  Bring to a full boil.  Reduce heat to a low boil and continue to cook for 45 to 60 minutes.  The longer you cook the pork the more tender.  Taste and season with salt or fish sauce. Add the green beans and eggplant. If you want to make a spicy version, add the pepper at this time.  Continue at a low boil for 5-7 minutes, until eggplant is tender.  Add the water spinach and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.  If using regular spinach instead.  Turn the heat off after the egg plant is done, then add the spinach. Stir the soup, taste and reseason with salt or fish sauce if needed.  Allow the spinach to wilt.  Serve hot over rice.  Yummmmm!!!!

NOTE: Fish sauce can be purchased at any Asian grocery store.  Use any vegetables that you have on hand: brocolli, cabbage, okra, carrots, etc.  You cannot go wrong.

Filipino Barbeque (Inihaw)

During picnics and summer events, this is very popular with the Filipinos. Majority of the prep-time is in skewering the meat through the bamboo spears.  The dish itself is very simple with very few ingredients, but oh so worthwhile after you barbeque them on the grill. Interstingly enough, the fattier the meat the more tender and less dry.
Ingredients:

2 lbs of pork butt or picnic (sliced in strips)
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
8 garlic cloves (minced)
2-3 tblsp canola or peanut oil
Salt and pepper
bamboo Skewers

Slice the pork into strips approximately 1/4 -1/2 inch thick.  Do not slice too thin or it will dry out during the cooking process.  In a glass or non-reactive bowl, add the pork, vinegar, sugar, and garlic.  Using your hand, mix well.  Season with salt and lots of pepper.  Mix well, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or over night.

Soak bamboo sticks in water for at least 20 minutes.  Skewer the pork into each bamboo stick.  You can either skewer the pork on 3/4 of the stick or if you want more stick to handle, then only skewer the top half of the stick.  After skewering, brush the pork lightly with oil.  Heat the barbeque grill on medium and cook each side of the pork for approximately 8-10 minutes. This will depend on the thickness of the cut of the meat.  Turn the skewered meat over and continue to grill on the other side for another 4-6 minutes.  Do not allow the meat to burn or get dry.  If it appears dry, brush with a little more oil.  Serve hot with rice and pickled salad (achara).

NOTE: This can also be prepared in the oven using the broiler.  

Green Papaya Salad (Achara)

This a very popular pickled salad in the Philippines.  It is usually served with rice and your favorite grilled or fried fish and meat.  Try it with the Filipino fried chicken or barbeque.  It is so easy to make.  You can find green papayas at most Asian grocery stores.  Adding the red chillies provide some heat.  Reduce or add the number of chillies to adjust to your taste.  They can be removed if you do not want it spicy.


















Ingredients:
1 green papaya (cut into julienne strips)
1 carrot (cut into julienne strips)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar
1-2 red chillies (cut into very thin strips)
1/2 red bell pepper (cut into julienne strips)
1/2 cup raisins and/or sultanas
3 shallots (minced)
1 inch ginger (minced)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt

In a small sauce pan, heat the vinegar, sugar and salt.  Once sugar and salt has disolved, remove sauce pan from heat and allow to cool. 

In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients.  Pour sweet vinegar over the vegetables in the bowl and mix well.  Store in an airtight container for at least 4 hours or overnight.  Serve with rice and your favorite fried or grilled foods.

Filipino Beef and Onions (Bistek)

This is so yummy.  Another recipe that when I make at home does not last very long.  This is one of my mother's favorites as well.  It so simple to make and quick.  This can be prepared while waiting for the rice to cook. If you love liver and onions, this is a great recipe. Just change the beef for thinly sliced liver.


Ingredients:
2 lbs beef skirt or sirloin (thinly sliced)
6 tblsp soy sauce
Juice of 3 lemons - separate 1 of lemon juice
2 onions (sliced into rings)
3/4 cup of water
1 tblsp oyster sauce
Salt and pepper
1 tblsp flour or corn starch
3 tblsp olive or canola oil

In a glass or non-reactive bowl mix beef, 3 tblsp soy sauce, juice of 1 lemon and flour. Let sit for 15 minutes.  Heat oil in a deep saute or frying pan.  Add the onions and season with salt and pepper.  Fry onions until translucent, approximately 5 minutes.  Remove from the pan and set aside.  Add the sliced beef in batches to allow it to brown. Remove and set aside, continue cooking until all the beef has been browned.  Return all the beef back into the pan and add the onions.  Add the  remaining soy sauce, the juice of the last 2 lemons and water.  Allow to slowly boil.  Season with lots of pepper or to taste.  Add the oyster sauce and continue slow boiling for another 5 minutes. If the soup is too tangy, add 2-3 tablespoon of water and continue to slow boil for another 2-3 minutes.  Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.  Serve hot over rice.

Filipino Menudo (Diced Pork Stew with Potatoes)

Okay, let me start by saying "this is nothing like the Mexican version." Filipino Menudo has a lot of Spanish influence.  This is especially wonderful the next day.  It does take some time for the cooking process but so worth it.  My husband absolutely loves this and cannot wait for me to make it.  The challenge is letting it sit for a little while to let the flavors marry.  Not possible at my house.


Ingredients:

1 lb pork butt or shoulder (cut in large sections)
1 lb calf or beef liver (cut into bite size pieces)
3 large tomatoes (chopped or minced)
2 1/2 cups potatoes (cut into bite size pieces)
1/2 cup canned chick peas (drained)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 large onion (minced)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
2 cups water (from boiled pork)
1 roasted red bell pepper (diced) or 3oz jar of pimiento
1/2 cup raisins
1 tblsp sugar
2 tblsp olive or canola oil
salt and pepper

In a deep pot, fill about half way with water, add the pork and season with salt.  Boil for 45 minutes until pork is tender.  Strain pork reserving 2 cups of the broth and set aside to cool.  When cool, chop pork into bite size pieces.   

In a large deep pan or pot, heat oil.  Add potatoes and cook until tender and lightly brown.  Add onion and garlic.  Cook until onion is translucent, then add the tomatoes and sugar.  Continue cooking stirring constantly until tomatoes soften approximately 3-4 minutes.  Add the pork and liver.  Continue stirring until liver browns and is cooked.  Add the reserved 2 cups of pork broth, peas, raisins and chick peas.  Allow to gently boil for another 12-13 minutes.  Liquid will reduce; season with salt  and pepper.  Add the roasted bell peppers or pimientos and continue to cook for another 8 minutes.  Serve hot over rice.

Filipino Sour Shrimp Soup (Sinigang na Hipon)















In the Philippines, like many in the Pacific Islands, soups play a main role in their food culture.  These soups are poured over rice, making a substantial meal.  This is a very versatile soup.  The broth, tomatoes and shrimp are the base.  There is no limit to the vegetables.  Use whatever you have on hand (brocolli, carrots, cabbage, okra, etc.)  You can also make it spicy by adding green chillies. Different regions and families have numerous versions.  Try it out using the basics and then play around with what suits you. 

Ingredients:

1 lb shrimp in shells
8 cups water
2 fish or shrimp bouillion cubes
2 tblsp tamarind paste
2 tomatoes (quartered)
1 small bunch fresh spinach leaves (trimmed)
1 cup green string beans (trimmed)
1 medium onion (quartered)
1 cup dikon radish (cut in chunks)
2-3 green chillies (optional)
Salt or Patis (fish sauce)
Steamed jasmine or basmati rice

In a deep pot, add water, bouillion, tamarind paste, onion, tomatoes and dikon radish.  If using the green chillies, add those at this time.  Bring to a boil for 15-20 minutes until daikon becomes translucent, stirring occasionally.  Add the green beans and continue to cook for another 10 minutes at a low boil.  Add the shrimp and cook for another 5 minutes.  When the shrimp becomes a dark pink and opaque, season with salt or patis and the fresh spinach.  Turn off the heat and allow the spinach leaves to wilt approximately 3 minutes.  Scoop rice into a deep bowl.  Add shrimp and vegetables with plenty of broth for a soupy consistency.  Season with additional salt or patis if needed. Enjoy!

Note:  For additional variety, you can add fresh fish (i.e. trout, sea bass, cod, etc.)  Change out the vegetables if you like. This is great with eggplant and okra.

Clams With Spinach and Chayote



This is one of those comfort foods that we absolutely love at home.  There are several versions of this depending on what part of the Philippines you are from.  The original recipe calls for chicken with chicken broth, but I thought I would try it with clams and yummmmmm.  If you do not like clams, then try it with chicken and chicken broth. . 

Ingredients:

1 lb of small neck or manila clams (scrubbed and cleaned or frozen)
1 medium onion (sliced)
1 inch of ginger (sliced in match sticks)
3 cups of fish or clam broth
1 chayote (peeled; remove seed and cut into bite size pieces)
1 small bunch of fresh spinach leaves (clean and trimmed)
Steamed white or brown rice to serve over.
2 tblsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or stock pot.  Add onions and chayote.  In medium heat, stir occasionally until onions become translucent - approximately 5 minutes.  Add the ginger and continue cooking for another 2 minutes to release the flavor of the ginger.  Add the broth and bring to a boil; then reduce the heat to a simmer or lightly boil to allow the chayote to tender for another 8 minutes.  If chayote pieces are large, this will take a longer cooking time.   Season with salt and pepper then add your clams.  Continue cooking until all the clams open. If you are using fresh clams, discard any that are still close.  Add the spinach and stir it into the soup mixture.  Turn off the heat and allow the spinach to wilt.  In a deep bowl, add a scoop or two of rice and top it with the clams and vegetables.  Be very generous with the soup or broth.  Enjoy!

Pork and Chicken Adobo


This is probably the most world known Philippine dish.  Even the Neiman Marcus cookbook has a recipe.  I have never met an American who did not swoon over this dish or when they find out my heritage, wanted to let me know that they have had adobo and how wonderful this is.  Though Mexico has adobo, this is very different from their version.  If you have never tried any of the dishes of the Philippines, start with this first, you will absolutely fall in love with the country when you do.

Ingredients:

1lb boneless pork shoulder (cut into large chunks)
1lb chicken thighs and/or drumsticks
10 cloves of garlic (crushed whole)
1 1/2 cups chicken or pork broth
1/3 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup white wine vinegar or coconut vinegar
2 tblsp sugar
2 tsp of black pepper
2 tblsp oyster sauce
1 Bay leaf
2-3 tblsp canola or olive oil

In a large dutch oven or pot, add all the ingredients except for the oyster sauce.  Turn the heat up and allow to boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cover; add the oyster sauce.  Allow to cook for 1 hour (check occassionally and stir) until meat is tender and liquid has reduced. Do not allow the liquid to go completely dry.  

In a separate pan, add the oil and heat.  Remove the chicken and pork pieces from the pot. Reserve the cooking liquid. Fry the meat pieces in the pan until it browns turning the meat continuously to create a nice crisp skin.  Since the meat is already done, do not over fry.  You just want to add a nice crisp outer layer.  Remove the meat from the pan and into a plate.  Spoon rice into a bowl, add the pork and chicken piece, pour some of the cooking liquid over the meat and rice.  Enjoy!

Note: In many Philippine households, the meat is not fried but enjoyed directly from the pot and over rice.  You decide.

Quick Fried Shrimp with Garlic















This is so good. Even my picky hockey player had two helpings.  If you love garlic this is the dish for you.  The spices really compliments the shrimp and you can make it spicy or mild.  Just play around with the amount of chili powder and cayenne.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coarsely chopped garlic (about 2 large heads)
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt (more to taste)
Juice of 1 lime
2 tblsp chili powder
1 tblsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne (more to taste)
2lbs medium-large shrimp (shelled and deveined)
3 tblsp cilantro (roughly chopped)
Slices of lime
Salt and pepper

In a small sauce pan add olive oil and garlic.  Using medium heat, cook until garlic is lightly brown.  Add chili powder, paprika and cayenne.  Continue stirring for another minute.  Add the lime juice and continue cooking for another 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a separate bowl, season the shrimp with salt and pepper.  In a deep frying pan, add 3 tablespoon of the oil (make sure you do not include the garlic) from the sauce pan. Make sure pan is hot, add 4-5 pieces of shrimp.  Quick fry the shrimp in batches for about 3-4 minutes.  When shrimp is pink and opaque, transfer to a bowl.  Continue to add the oil from the sauce pan without the garlic while cooking the shrimp in batches until all the shrimp is done.  Strain the garlic from the sauce pan and add to the cooked shrimp.  Add the chopped cilantro to the shrimp. Toss shrimp, garlic and cilantro until it well mixed.  Season with salt and pepper if needed.  Serve with slices of lime and your favorite rice (i.e. Spanish, Cilantro lime etc.)

Brown Rice, Lentil and Spinach Soup


This is such a wonderful robust soup.  It is definitely a meal in itself.  I love the texture of the brown rice.  The lentils add additional protein and fiber that makes this a filling soup along with the sweet Italian sausage.  Yummmmmm.


Ingredients:

1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage (removed from casing)
3 tblsp olive oil
2 carrots (chopped)
2 celery ribs (finely chopped)
1 large onion (minced)
1 tsp cumin seed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 small chile de arbol
12 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup brown lentils
1 cup long grain brown rice
1/2 lb of baby spinach leaves
Salt and pepper

Rinse brown rice in cool water, drain and set aside.  Rinse the lentils in cool water, drain and set aside.  Heat olive oil in a 5 quart pot.  Add the sweet Italian sausage , breaking it up into crumbles while browning.  Remove from the pan and transfer to a plate.  Add the carrots, celery and onion to the pot  and stir continuously until onions are a light golden color (appoximately 10-12 minutes).  Add cumin seeds, thyme and chile de arbol.  Continue sauteing for another 3 minutes until spices are incorporated with the vegetables.  Return the sausage to the pan and add the chicken broth.  Add the rinsed brown rice and lentils.  Stir and bring to a boil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally for another 45 minutes.  Uncover and add the spinach leaves. Cook until spinach is wilted (approximately 1 minute).  Serve in your favorite bowls.