Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ybanag Longanisa

Has it been really almost a week since my last post?  Please don't give me that face... but you see I've been busy with the kids and my brother who spent a week with us here in St. Louis. But no worries, I'll make it up to you by sharing with you a special delicacy from my home town.... Longanisang Tuguegarao or Longanisang Ybanag.


Longanisa is very much a part of Filipino breakfast.  Just like chorizos or sausages, it has its different variations depending on where you are from.  My hometown of Tuguegarao boasts its own version of longanisa. You may find it very similar to that of Vigan longanisa; tangy, salty, garlicky, and cooked on its own rendered fat.  You could either make it crunchy by toasting or frying  or once cooked leave it soft with its silky casing and its juices and flavors will burst in your mouth when you bite it.

On my recent trip to Orlando, Benedict, my brother in law made some longanisa.  It was definitely a hit especially for all of us who miss our town's famous longanisa.  He served it one breakfast morning and you should have seen how surpirsed my aunts and his cousins were when they saw a whole batch of longanisa on a big platter.  They looked so authentic  like it was flown from Tuguegarao! I'd like to thank him for sharing with us the step by step process and also for showing us his improvised funnel (so practical and so classic of him-- haha!) 

Let's start with ingredients: 


2-3 lbs of coursely ground pork 
1 tbsp ground pepper
7 cloves garlic, chopped  (you may add or lessen the amount depending on how much garlic you want)
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp cane vinegar (if you could find sukang iloco the better; you may add more if you'd prefer a tangy mixture)
1 1/2 tbsp oil cooked with achuete
hog casing (he bought it from a local meatshop)
cooking twine 


Mix all the ingredients together.  Remember not to over mix it as you want to retain its course texture.


This is the funnel that he used; an improvised funnel with the use of the top of a water bottle.  The mouth of the water bottle is just perfect to make the process of filling the casing so much easier.


Fill-up the casing like so...


Tie the ends of each longanisa ...


One of the "secrets" to Longanisang Tuguegarao or Longanisang Ybanag is to air dry it.  Now for the other "secrets" the pork should contain fat and should be coursely chopped.  Also the vinegar should be sukang iloko or  if it's white vinegar, use a good brand such as Datu Puti and lastly, there should be plenty of garlic.


Once dry, store in the freezer or if you can't wait like me, cook it by rendering its fat; add a minimal amount of water., let it simmer until its fat is rendered.


Serve with garlic rice and egg... with sides of fresh tomatoes and a dipping sauce of vinegar... ENJOY!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

happy thanksgiving

I wanted a fancy spread for my Thanksgiving post.  Perhaps a round up of my previous posts just like what you see in other blogs...


But oh well, I've been busy in the kitchen, and my kids are all here now, so all I want to do is spend every minute I can to be with them.


But then again, Thanksgiving is not all about a fancy spread, it's all about being grateful for all the blessings...


and so I am grateful for the wonderful gifts of family and friends... and to all of you who visit my site regularly I'd like to extend my heartfelt appreciation.


I am grateful for simple joys like the scent of freshly baked almond mini tarts wafting from the kitchen... while enjoying the warmth of being with my family.


Happy Thanksgiving to all. May you find joy and happiness this holiday season...


Monday, November 21, 2011

Destination: Orlando

I'm in Orlando right now, and yes I'm having too much fun time!  I know you would be thinking Disneyworld or Islands of Adventure or the other water parks Orlando is famous for, but no, the highlight of my stay is the overwhelming joy of being with family and friends.


The Disney song "Making Memories" is in my head as we write our own.  Our magical adventure began when the garage door at my sister's house opened and saw my Mom, aunt and my brother who came from the Philippines.  It is as spellbinding as stepping into Main Street USA in Disneyworld.   I was enveloped in sheer happiness when I hugged my mom for the first time in awhile. Her face lit up and there were no signs of being tired from the 26 hour long flight. The cheery and oftentimes loud hellos and tight hugs that go with every person arriving one after the other (mom's sisters from Canada) to attend my sister's 20th wedding anniversary celebration. My sister's house is instantly transformed into a bed and breakfast inn, its halls murmur so much fun and excitement.  I watch in marvel as my mom and her sisters  gather around as they tell their never ending stories; their smiling  eyes  lend a window of the world I have not seen. These moments are truly as magical as watching the Disney Parade.  I listen to their animated stories that are engaging and often times hilarious.  The echoes of their laughter that vibrate all throughout the house, enthrall me like sparks of fireworks at the end of the day.  Now in their aging years,  their love and support to each other never faded.  Indeed it warms my heart seeing my mom having a great time with her sisters like old times.

One morning I woke up to their (loud) "whispers"  and the aroma of toasted garlic coming from the kitchen downstairs.  The scent caressed my nose that it got me out from the snuggles of my bed even if it was way too early.  I learned later that my aunt started cooking at 4 am, her congee (rice porridge) that I wanted to try.  I thought she didn't hear my request, as the chorus of their voices drowns my voice.  But the bowl was just soothing to wake up into... a spoonful hits the spot as an early morning meal...And so for this month's Kulinarya I share with you:

Nangnang's Congee



Ingredients:
1 chicken breast
1 cup jasmine rice
shitake mushrooms, sliced
3 cups soup stock (add more as needed)
1 medium onion, quartered
1 thumb sized ginger, peeled

Procedure:

Boil chicken breast in a stockpot. Scoop out the chicken and set aside.   Using the same stockpot, add onions and ginger.  Add rice.  Let it boil then reduce heat to medium and let it simmer.  Add shitake mushrooms.  Continue to simmer until rice is mushy.

Meanwhile, shred the chicken breast and add it to the rice mixture.  Season with fish sauce and pepper. Dash some sesame oil.
Serve hot.

For garnish:

Sprinkle some toasted garlic, ground crispy pork rind (chicharon) sliced green onions. And boiled eggs.




Squeeze some fresh calamansi or lime.



Enjoy.

This has been my Kulinarya contribution for this month's theme of arroz caldo.  Visit all the other Kulinarya Members to check out their posts.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Crispy Dinuguan

Friends and family who visit the Philippines, rave about their dining experience at a popular restaurant in Manila called Kanin Club.  The restaurant is known for their modern take on Filipino dishes.  One of the dishes that's wildly talked about is the Crispy Dinuguan. Dinuguan is a savory dish of pork belly mixed with pork blood simmered with vinegar which I posted here  before.  But it seems as though pork belly wasn't enough cholesterol booster so they had to put it a notch higher by deep frying it!    


When I heard about the dish,  I just knew that I had to try it... but yes with my cholesterol pill on the side LOL!  They say that it's basically like a lechon kawali (crispy pork belly) with dinuguan so what I basically did was to marry them both and voila! Crispy Dinuguan indeed!


For the dinuguan recipe click here .
For the lechon kawali click here.

When the dinuguan is cooked, I mixed some lechon kawali bits, let it simmer for a few minutes just enough for the flavor from the fried pork to fuse with the dinuguan.  Set aside some lechon kawali pieces for toppping, so that it would remain it's crispy-ness when eaten.

I haven't been to Kanin Club (it's in my bucket list when I go home to the Philippines)  but this bowl of dinuguan goodness was the star of the dining table when we had it.  YUM!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fall Inspired: Fried Pork Chop (Chuletas) with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I watched from my balcony a flock of birds that appears from nowhere, descends from the clear blue skies and then just as  swiftly disappears between the trees.  The trees move, shaking its glowing orange and red leaves while some brown ones fall off from the branches and swoop into the ground in a comely manner.  I'd imagine them waltzing with the light breeze with grace and poise.  Accepting these as little miracles that feed the spirit comes natural with the beauty that surrounds us.  




Like artists and designers, food bloggers  mimic the colors and the rhythm  of the season.  You see a plethora of food posts featuring the spectacular hues of fall: amber, orange, yellow and gold.  I turned my inspiration on a plate by making my childhood favorite of golden brown breaded pork chops we call Chuletas with sides of mashed sweet yams and buttered green beans.  If you grace your table with an inspired plate, the smiles and the "thumbs up" come naturally too... :) 

Happy Monday everyone!


Chuletas (Breaded Pork Chop)

4-6 pcs.  pork chops
saltt and pepper 
1 cup flour
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
cooking oil

Procedure:
Season  pork chops with salt and pepper.   Slightly coat  pork chops with flour.  Then dip in egg mixture.  Press pork chops in bread crumbs, patting to make a thick coating. And oh, I love making homemade bread crumbs using odds and ends of breads. Simply toast the bread, tear them into pieces, then put them in the blending jar (I/m smitten with my immersion blender-- I find it really handy and easy to clean). Then a few whirls until you achieve the perfect texture. Add herbs and spices voila it makes a lot of difference than store bought!) 

In a large skillet fry the chops in medium heat.  After five minutes or until the chops turned golden brown, turn it and fry the other side for another 4-5 minutes.  Let meat stand for 5 minutes before serving.

For the Mashed Sweet Yams.  Simply boil 2-3 pcs of sweet yams.  When it's soft enough, discard water and let it cool.  Peel the yams and put it on a mixing bowl.  Add a third cup of  and chicken broth and again using the immersion blender (I told you I love this gadget!) mash the yams until you've achieved your desired texture. Season with sea salt, butter (go ahead indulge!!!) and a pinch of cinnamon.   


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Squash Bloghop: Squash Curry

Inspired by the numerous posts on the Squash Bloghop event (#squashlove), I was compelled to cook kalabasa (squash) again.  Well it's actually my first time to cook kalabasa as a veggie dish. I've used this in previous posts to make sweets.  Having grown up in the Northern Philippines, I've always associated kalabasa as part of a veggie dish, i.e. pinakbet.  I don't usually cook this popular veggie dish.  First, I don't really care for it (or for most veggies for that matter) and second, it's quite challenging to slice the veggie/fruit.  But upon reading everyone's post for this month's bloghop, off to the lab, aka kitchen, I went and started my own kalabasa experiment.


First, I microwaved the whole kalabasa.  That  instantly solved the problem of slicing the veggie/fruit, as slicing it into halves was made a lot easier. The knife ran through it without much effort. I removed the hairy strings and seeds and microwaved it further to make sure it was cooked. Then I blanched some string beans.  Traditionally in the Philippines kalabasa is paired with string beans.  It's  either sauted or cooked with coconut milk.


Then I poured over some curry sauce (actually it was from chicken curry left over)  But for the curry recipe you may click here.  And the result was a beautiful trio of flavors!


The squash curry was ready in less than 20 minutes. ..
We enjoyed a veggie dish that went well with our fried fish for dinner.  YUM! 


November is #squashlove month! (thank you Junia of Mis Pensiamentos for this fun event, the love is infectious and you could tell by the trail of all the squash links here!)

Please join the #squashove fun by linking up any squash recipe from the month of November 2011. Don't forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #squashlove event! The twitter hashtag is #squashlove. :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

simple homecooked chicken: estofadong manok (chicken stew)


"How come when I cook, it doesn't taste as good as this?" my husband asked me over dinner.

"Uh, I have a secret ingredient" I said.

"What?"

"I  add tons of LOVE"  I said in jest.

Shaking his head he said: "Never mind, I just want to tell you that you have a knack for turning a simple home cooked meal such as this look so special" 

So let me share with you what  my husband calls: simple homecooked meal that look so special... but where  I come from this dish is what we call Estufadong Manok:

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken or leg quarters
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 onion quartered
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
3-4 tbsp white wine (cane vinegar is used traditionally)
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 stalk celery
2 medium sized carrots
2 medium potatoes, sliced
3 bay leaves
black pepper and salt to taste


Procedure:

Marinate chicken overnight with soy sauce, lemon and pepper.  (You could also shorten this part by marinating  it for 30 minutes  and it should be fine. (Left over Rotisserie Chicken works perfectly for this dish too)


In a pan, brown the potatoes and carrots.  Set aside.  In the same pan, brown  chicken quarters, set aside.  Saute garlic and onions, put back the chicken quarters.  Add a dash of pepper and 2-3 bay leaves.  Give it a quick stir. Add the soy sauce, white wine or vinegar, and chicken stock,Make sure to deglaze the pan.  Those brown bits add flavor.  You may add the celery at this time and throw in some carrots (leave some for later).  Now all you have to do is simmer  it for 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked.  Bring back the potatoes and carrots until they are cooked. To thicken the sauce, add bread crumbs until you've achieved a slightly thick gravy like sauce.  Enjoy!









Friday, November 4, 2011

Squash Bloghop: Sticky Rice with Pumpkin Coconut Compote

November is studded with family celebrations.  Of course there's Thanksgiving, when all of my kids will be going home, and it's our first in St. Louis.  Also, we will celebrate the birthdays of my two girls.  And one event I am really looking forward to is that I'm off to Orlando to see my Mama who will be flying in from the Philippines.  Along with my brother and aunt, they will be spending the Holidays here in the US.  They are  also here to attend my sister's and brother-in-law's 20th wedding anniversary party, which is turning out to be a huge affair.  My Mama's sisters from Canada are also flying in. I haven't seen my Mama for more than a year.  This is the first time too that all of my mom's sisters will be all together after so many years. Having said that, the excitement is killing me.  My thoughts run faster than my words, or better yet, they run faster than my fingers could strike the right key.

Like most family gatherings, I'm certain the center of activities will be around the dining table and the busiest part of the house will be the kitchen.  One of my aunts is a seasoned caterer in Manila, the other one is a fabulous baker who could compete of the title of being Canada's Cake Boss.  Not to be outdone is my brother in law who has already planned his menu and having my sister taste test his cooking. All of them plus me in the kitchen, I bet we will have our own version of Iron Chef battling in the kitchen stadium.    

And oh btw, we finally "moved"(after 7 weeks in STL) to our new place over the weekend and with the 4000th box (ok, I'm exaggerating, lol!) unpacked, I still managed to have the time to play around with my pumpkin recipe to share with you for this month's Squash Bloghop.  With my mom's pending arrival as my inspiration (and knowing how my mom and her sisters love deko or sticky rice) I tweaked one of my Mama's easy afternoon favorite snack Puto Maya.  Puto Maya is basically sticky rice boiled with coconut milk and topped with freshly grated coconut and sugar.  To make it extra special, and to go with Bloghop's theme this month, I added pumpkin coconut compote.  I bet once I introduce this dessert/snack to my mom and my aunts they will never look at puto maya the same way again, haha.


Sticky Rice with Pumpkin Coconut Compote
for the sticky rice we need:
 Ingredients:
3 cups rice
5 cups water
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cans coconut milk

Procedure:
Soak the rice with water for 20 minutes.  In a pan, pour the rice with water.  Add 2 more cups of water and 1 can of coconut milk, sugar and salt.  Bring it to a boil while stirring continuously to make sure that the rice won't stick to the bottom of the pan.

Continue to cook until the water is absorbed.  Add the other can of coconut milk. Let it simmer and cook until rice is tender but not mushy.  Set aside.

Now for the Pumpkin Coconut Compote, I adapted a Brazilian recipe from Weirdcombinations' blog. Click here for the recipe

Layer the sticky rice and the pumpkin compote and you get this:




Now remember pumkin yema balls  I posted last week?



When it's not rolled the mixture looks like so:
You could definitely use it as an alternative... and it is as good! All you  need are:
3 eggs
1 can condensed milk
1/2 can pumpkin puree
1 tbsp plain flour
a pinch of salt

Combine all the ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Cook in a double boiler.  Continue stirring until it thickens.  
Now, layer it with sticky rice and you have a warm dessert or snack to soothe you in this cold November rain.



November is #squashlove month!

Please join the #squashove fun by linking up any squash recipe from the month of November 2011. Don't forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #squashlove event! The twitter hashtag is #squashlove. :)



This month is co hosted by

Baker Street | Anuradha : @bakerstreet29
Bloc De Recetas | Salomé : @blocderecetas
Bon à croquer | Valerie : @valouth
Cafe Terra Blog | Terra : @cafeterrablog
Cake Duchess | Lora : @cakeduchess
Elephant Eats | Amy
Food Wanderings | Shulie : @foodwanderings
Hobby and More | Richa : @betit19
Mike's Baking | Mike : @mikesbaking
Mis Pensamientos | Junia : @juniakk
My Twisted Recipes | Dudut : @mytwistedrecipe
No One Like Crumbley Cookies | T.R : @TRCrumbley
Queens Notebook | Elizabeth : @mango_queen
Simply Reem | Reem : @simplyreem
Skip To Malou | Malou : @malou_nievera
Teaspoon Of Spice | Serena : @tspcurry
The Daily Palette | Annapet : @thedailypalette
The Professional Palette | Regan : @profpalate
The Spicy RD | EA : @thespicyrd
Vegan Miam | Rika : @veganmiam

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Guest Post Wednesdays: My First IM Macarons by Annapet

If you've been following my blog, I'm sure you already know my Ninang Annapet of The Daily Palette, as she's been mentioned here and here and a lot more.  She's aptly called Ninang (godmother) because she paves the way for me to meet people on twitter and on the blogosphere.  I've joined blog events because of her too which makes me cherish our friendship.  

"I just love making macs" she told me today. "It's my first time to make Italian Meringue and I clinched it right away" she said. I could tell by the tone of her voice and by the pictures that she took that  indeed she's so inspired! Making macarons  definitely makes her heart skip and her face light up! (and of course her love for gardening too!)


 I call her the Queen of Macarons, and why not.  She makes these French pastries like a pro. Her  being a scientist is very evident with the precision and mastery she puts into making them.  And mind you, she even made  a macaron template (which I could share with you; just send me your email address so I can email them to you!) I promised her that I will  make some macs soon but for now, l am so thrilled to give you Annapet, our guest for STM's Guest Post Wednesday.  Aren't we lucky, as she is sharing not one but two recipes.  Take it away Annapet...


You have no idea how excited I am for Malou to have me over.  These Coffee Macarons are my FIRST Italian Meringue [IM] Macarons, and I am so happy to share these macarons with the readers of Skip To Malou!  Thank you so much for the wonderful opportunity!

Making these macarons would not have been possible without the help of Lady Macaron herself!  She makes the most exquisite IM Macarons I have ever laid my eyes on.  This recipe I am sharing is adapted from her Basic Macaron RecipeFor the Basic Macaron Recipe and Instructions, please click here 

Coffee Macarons



      TPT

    •       150g almond meal (Trader Joe's)
    •     144g icing sugar 
    •        5g ground coffee
    •        1g kosher salt
    •       55g egg whites
    • Italian Meringue

    • 150g granulated sugar
    • 37g water
    • 55 egg whites


    and now for an UBE-licious macaron:

    TPT
    • 150g almond meal
    • 124g icing sugar
    • 1g kosher salt
    • 25g ube powder
    • 55g egg whites
    Italian Meringue
    • 150g granulated sugar
    • 37g water
    • 55g egg whites


    Thank you so much for these dreamy macarons Annapet... You don't know how much long I gazed at your beautiful creations.  I wish I had that brown box right now haha.  But seriously, I truly appreciate the time you put in to grace my blog.  Have a great macaron filled day!


    here

    Share this thru:

    LinkWithin

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...