Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Guest Post Wednesdays: It's All in the Family by Marge B.

 The BIG CHANGE is coming very soon and you'll soon know, I promise. For now, I'm trying to bring back some sense of normalcy around here. So sit back relax, because ta-dah my Guest Post Wednesday feature is back.

Today's guest blogger is Marge.  I've always known her to be a foodie even before the word foodie came about.  She would lug with her loads of homemade goodies during her annual trips to Florida which made me suspect that she carried more bags of goodies than bags of clothes! She together with her husband Patrick, would have us indulge with good food and good wine whenever we get together. 

I'm glad that the wrath of Irene didn't stop her from submitting a post. Yep Marge hails from New Jersey and  today she's sharing with us a coconut dish from her father's cookbook called The Coconut Cookery of Bicol. 

Grab a chair, join us, as we welcome Marge General-Bautista!

It's All in the Family
by: Marge General- Bautista

My familial relation to Malou is quite distant. In Western standards, we aren’t considered family. Malou is the younger sister of the wife of my husband’s first cousin on the father side. Were you able to follow that? It does not matter to the Filipino how distant our relation is we are all considered family once there is a connection. Everyone is considered an aunt or an uncle or a cousin. And Malou and her family have become family to us through the years spent vacationing in Florida.

A few years back, while vacationing in Florida with cousins, Malou and I were seated beside each other in the back of the vehicle during one of our many trips to somewhere. We started talking about needing and wanting to pursue a career involving our love for food. You see, Malou and I are both foodies. We love to cook and bake and eat with gusto. I was so thrilled for Malou when she started this blog and most especially when she found a following. I love Malou’s gift for gab. It made many a visits to Florida fun and memorable. I, on the other hand, can get tongue tied quite easily. So, one can only imagine my reaction to Malou when she asked me to be her guest for her blog. “ME? I won’t be able to write anything interesting?” I told her. She told me to just do it and it’ll come, so here I am.

My husband is a foodie as well. We both love to cook, bake and most importantly, eat good food. My husband is a certified sommelier and that has brought up our level of awareness for good food a few notches. Good food especially paired with good wine is always a source of excitement for my husband and me. My husband and I come from families of foodies as well. My husband’s youngest brother is a chef back home in Manila. In 1994, my father published a cookbook called the “The Coconut Cookery of Bicol”. My father wrote about what he grew up cooking with – coconut milk. He comes from the region of the Philippines where coconut trees grow in abundance and is used in all sorts of cooking. Have you ever heard of ripe guavas cooked in coconut milk? Yummy!! How about dinuguan or adobo cooked with coconut milk? Equally as yummy! Chicken adobo cooked in coconut milk is one of my favorites and I had asked my dad to cook it for me during one of his visits to my home in New Jersey. I can never cook it as well as my dad can. And I would like to share the recipe with you. As with anyone who cooks from memory and by taste, measurements will vary. That is how my father cooks, so feel free to adjust the amount of the ingredients to your liking.

ADOBONG MANOK SA GATA (Chicken Adobo with Coconut Milk)


2 lbs. chicken pieces (you may use 1 lb. chicken pieces and 1 lb. pork belly)
1 head garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon peppercorns, whole or cracked
Vinegar and salt to taste
Milk from 2 medium-size coconuts in 1 cup water (I use 1 can of coconut milk)
2 bay leaves

Cut the meat into portion-size pieces. In a wok, heat some cooking oil. Fry the garlic until lightly browned.  Add the meat and increase the heat to high. If you are using both chicken and pork, add the pork first, allow to cook for about fifteen minutes before adding the chicken. Stir frequently to ensure even cooking. Add the peppercorns, vinegar and salt. Continue cooking until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add the coconut milk. When the milk comes to a rolling boil, reduce the heat to medium until the meat is tender. In the last few minutes, add the bay leaves.

I like this recipe both on the dry side (with almost no sauce and the coconut oil already extracted from the milk) or with some sauce remaining so that I may add it to my rice as I am enjoying this. Pairs well with Chardonnay or Riesling.

There you have it.  A dish with suggested wine pairings to boot.  Thank you Marge for gracing my blog.  I truly appreciate the time and effort you put in to share your recipe and to write this post.  I hope to have Patrick do a post for me soon??? Did I hear a "yes?" Oh there you have it folks, we have a sommelier as a guest blogger in the near future!

To my dear readers, let's show Marge that we enjoyed this post.  Can you please give me a show of hands people?  ok one, two, three... anymore?  Haha yeah your comments are greatly appreciated.  Til the next Guest Post  Wednesdays folks! Enjoy the rest of the week.

 A few months ago, Marge sent me  her dad's cookbook: The Coconut Cookery of Bicol I treasure it so much as it is one of the last copies available, and it was a signed copy! Here are some snapshots  Thanks again Marge!

Here's how Adobong Manok sa Gata looks like when reduced to dry.

The Cover of the Cookbook

Honesto C. General -- the Author


  1. We don't have much gata cooking in our region but have learned to love it a lot.
    Thank you Marge for sharing with us your father's Adobo sa gata. Im looking forward to hear it from Patrick soon. Is he from Tugue?

  2. Yippee! Congrats, Marge! I have not tasted this yet. In my next visit, please! :)

    - Mima

  3. This is another adobo version? Wow Filipinos have a lot of variations on how to cook adobo huh?
    Thank you Marge for sharing. I would imagine, your family get togethers must be fun. What with foodies (sommelier and a chef) in the house.

  4. Hi Malou,
    I can't wait for the BIG CHANGE! I'm waiting for more clues.
    Glad to know you're back and your Guest Post Wednesdays are back too. How lovely to have guest bloggers that don't blog. You feature interesting people like Marge. I would like to attend one of her parties. It must be awesome to have a cookbook author, a chef, a sommelier (did I spell that right? how come spellchecker doesn't agree.LOL!) and Marge around. Fab parties I would think.

  5. Wonderful guest post from Marge...and mouthwatering recipe too! How nice of her to share her dad's chicken adobo sa gata!

  6. Thank to Marge for sharing her Dad's recipe, gata is a great variation to the usual adobo.
    Malou, glad to see Guest Post Wednesdays again, take it easy before the "big change". Take care!

  7. Nice post, Marge. Btw, Malou, I will gladly share my knowledge of Filipino food/wine pairing in a guest blog. Thanks for the invite!

    @TagaTugue - Taga Tugue ngà gapa.


  8. TagaTugue: You are right, most of the coconut dishes that we know of are only like ginataan and suman. Not of the savory kind. Thanks for the input. Yes Patrick is from Tugue too.

    Mima: Hellowwwh! great to see you drop by. Thanks for the comment.

    MommyMommy: Yes each region in the Philippines have their own version. More to come.

    FabFoodista: Big Change is around the corner and im having some anxiety attacks already hahah. no worries, you spelled it correctly haha! Thanks for the sweet words...
    Tina: I hope you could try Marge's Dad variation. It's popular in Bicol. Where in the Philippines are you from?

    Carol: thanks and I hope to see you before that happens... wink wink!

    Patrick: I am excited to have you guest blog. I can't wait for you to share your knowledge. You could also share with us your photos of your trips to wineries here and abroad. Wow, you could even start blogging Patrick, you have a bulk of materials in store already! Thanks in advance.

  9. I came here through Marge's link on FB. My first time here, and I am delighted to read a dish that is well loved in Bicol. You should also try other Bicol dishes. They are hearty and comforting.


  10. My crazy back to school schedule didn't allow me to read this earlier on; however, I had read your mind kasi I cooked ginataang squash this 6AM! I haven't cooked that early in years.

    Thanks for having Marge over, Malou! One of my best friends hails from Bicol and my love coconut milk grew through her.

  11. Thank you everyone for your kind comments! I am happy that I agreed to write this post. Growing up, our home was fondly called by our friends as the fattening house. We always had food to share no matter what time of day visitors came. My mom's day revolved around the meals and mid-afternoon snacks. Probably where I got my love for food. I hope you enjoy this recipe and even try more bicolano dishes. They are, like what Pons said, hearty and comforting. Have a great day everyone!

  12. Hi Marge, what a beautiful recipe! Your dads cookbook looks like such a treasure, so wonderful that Malou can enjoy this family delight :)
    Malou, I hope you have a delightful weekend...and just how long are we going to have to wait for "The Big Change" ;)

  13. Hello Marge! Thank you for sharing your delicious adobo with coconut milk - looks so delicious!

    Ohhh I can't wait to hear about the "Big Change"! ;-)

  14. I'm from Batangas, Malou. Actually this is how I cook my ginataang manok except that I cook it with ginger. I didn't know that it's actually adobo sa gata. :)

  15. Hi Malou thanks for sharing your friend MArge's post and recipe. after reasing this post I immediately rushed to my kitchen and prepare this food. and it did great, the food went out delicious. Thank you so much for sharing this to us more powers.

  16. .I have a question: Why is it called Adobong Manok if it was only cooked in coconut milk??

  17. .I have a question: Why is it called Adobong Manok when it was just cooked in coconut milk?

  18. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It's the first time I heard making adobo with coconut milk. Can't wait to try it. In fact I'll be cooking it tomorrow. Thanks again.

  19. Hi, Malou! I hope you had a real good visit in Florida...Anyway, since I'm a foodie, but not even a cook except with the most simple of dishes, I have no comment except that this must taste real good since I love coconut milk on anything.
    One question for Marge,where did your father go, in high school, 'cause his name sounds familiar...

    1. Hi Tita,
      Thank you and yes I did had so much fun over there. Marge is in Manila and will be back next week. I will ask her when she comes back. Thanks again!

  20. Hello, I first tasted adobo sa gata in 1996 during our visit to Manila. It was not home-made, though. It was ordered from one of the restaurants. Nevertheless, it tasted great considering. I have not been able to find an authentic recipe for this dish. I've come across several versions in the internet. I guess my chance of finding the "true" recipe for this dish is like looking for a pin in a haystack. But, low and behold, your food site, Skip to Malou brought me to this recipe by Marge. Many thanks for sharing this recipe. Thanks a bunch, Malou. God Bless.


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