Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lunch in a Hurry | Pan Fried Thinly Sliced Beef

We all need a dish on the fly in our repertoire- especially when everyone expects that we are THE wizard of pots and pans.  For this reason, I love to stock up on seafood (they are ready in 5 minutes, ok uhh maybe a little exaggeration) and thinly sliced beef (whoah they never fail to deliver a delightful meal).

Like  you, there are times when my husband comes home from work earlier than usual. And when he does, he announces that he is so hungry.  When I hear the words "I'm so hungry",  I wish that I had a magic wand where I could just swirl and point to the table where food magically appears... or I dart to the kitchen, grab my thinly sliced beef and cook lunch in a hurry.

Well I'm sure you know that magic wands don't work. Clearly this is where a pack of thinly sliced beef comes in handy.

Pan Fried Thinly Sliced Beef


Ingredients:

1- 1.5 lb beef thinly sliced
2 tbsps fish sauce
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk of green oinon, sliced (divided)
2 tbsp chili oil (optional)
1 serrano pepper

Whisk all of the fish sauce and brown sugar and garlic together.When the brown sugar is dissolved, add the beef  and half of the green onion slices.  Mix thoroughly. Heat up a skillet,  when it's hot enough, place one layer of beef and pan fry each side.  You will hear it sizzle.

You should keep an eye on it as it carmelizes easily.  You may want the edges to be brown and crunchy but not burnt.  Add more green onions and minced garlic and serrano pepper.  Give it a quick stir and voila, it's ready.

Transfer to a serving plate. Drizzle with chili oil or you may opt to put it on theside.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Take 5 | Arroz Caldo (Rice Porridge Soup)

"Turkey left-over is now an endangered species"  said our beloved local weatherman on KSDK Channel 5, Chester Lampkin.  

Maybe that's the case in most households, but not in ours.  You see as soon as our Thanksgiving dinner ensemble were washed and tucked back in the upper shelf of our cupboard, I divided my turkey left-overs in small storage containers and kept them in the freezer.  


So instead of living out the weekend with endless left-overs and suffer the unequivocal turkey coma syndrome, I just grab a container whenever we feel like it.  With the temperature down to the 20's and with some sniffles to cure, I grabbed one container in the freezer and  magically transformed it to a wonderful bowl of comforting Arroz Caldo. The steam from the ginger lent some homeopathic remedies to the sniffles.

I hope all's well on your end :)


Arroz Caldo (Rice Porridge)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
½ medium onion
3 slices of ginger (thumb size and pounded)
Tukey lef-over bone in ( Use 8 pcs. Chicken - drumsticks/thigh or if you prefer white meat do so)
1 c  rice (soaked in water for about 30 minutes but is optional)
5 cups chicken stock (add if needed)
A dash of safflower
green onions

Directions
Heat pan. Saute garlic until light brown. Add onions and ginger. Add the turkey slices and bones. (Use chicken in lieu of Turkey).  Add the rice and give it a quick stir. Add 5 cups of chicken stock and a dash of safflower. Cook for about  30 minutes (if using lefovers and 1 hour if using raw meat). Cook longer if desired.  You want the rice to be soft and mushy.  Add chicken stock as you go.

For garnishings: Toasted garlic-annato oil  and soft boiled egg.  (you could use hard boiled egg if desired) Sprinkle some green onion leeks. Enjoy :)


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Video Blog | How to Make Camaron Rebusado


Yes, I finally got my newest youtube video up.

Ok, it's not professionally done and refined as I hoped for, but I did  put in a lot of time editing this video.  Ask my husband, who saw me go crazy throughout the process - from the video shoot, to downloading the music, to addressing the problem of my "possessed" laptop.  Thank you to my hubby for helping me and putting up with all my questions and request.  So after a week of editing, here it goes.

As always, I would love to hear your feedback.  Please comment if the techniques and tips I shared are helpful.  So here's my video on: How to make Camaron Rebusado.





Camaron Rebusado


Ingredients
1 lb shrimp, deveined
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tsp lemon-pepper powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
salt to taste
1 egg slightly beaten
3/4 c ice cold water

Procedure
Pat dry the shrimp with paper towel.  Season with lemon-pepper powder and salt.

Mix the dry ingredients first: flour, cornstarch, lemon-pepper powder.  Roll the shrimp iver, This will allow the water to be absorbed by the dry ingredients. 

On a separate bowl, whip egg and  ice cold water together.  Pour it over the dry ingredients and mix well.The batter should be very cold so that when it hits the hot oil, the reaction causes the batter to inflate, making it crispy and fluffier.




To fry, fill a deep pan approximately half full of oil. Heat to 350F to 375F. Place 3 to 4 pieces at a time.
The rebusado floats as soon as you drop them  but continue to cook, turning until all sides are slightly golden brwon.  Remove from pan and put the shrimp on a plate lined with paper towel to drain

Enjoy with sweet chili sauce



Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday | Left-over Turkey Rice with Pineapple and Bagoong (Shrimp Paste)

I  hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

While most of you enjoyed your Black Friday shopping, I sit here writing a new post. What's up with that?  Haha!  But oh well, since I am already here and I already got your attention, I'd like to share what just came off of my skillet (no kidding, we are just about to have this plate).

I'm sure with the plethora of turkey left-over recipes out there, you already have an idea what to do with yours. Turkey sandwiches, casserole, soup or even paksiw na pabo (in lieu of lechon), are excellent dishes to enjoy your Thanksgiving leftovers.  But wait, let me introduce you to my take on a Turkey left-over recipe:  Fried rice with turkey, pineapple and bagoong (shrimp paste).  It gives you a very different flavor profile from the original dish.  It is a dish more similar to yang chow fried rice.  And if you are an adventurous eater, you're in for a wonderful (or better yet - a sweet and salty) surprise.

Leftover Turkey Fried Rice with Pineapple and Bagoong (Shrimp Paste)
My husband has been on a pineapple rice binge lately - from Thai to Vietnamese style fried rice, he has savored and obsessed with lately.  He challenged me to make a plate that should be as good as the one that he orders from his favorite restaurant.  Well, he said my version was way better... LOL.  The secret really is to use day-old rice.  Day old rice is dry and that's what you need to avoid soggy fried rice.

Another secret that I used here is bagoong (shrimp paste).  Well, if you cringe at the idea of using shrimp paste, you can substitute it with fish sauce or salted fish or just plain salt, but no soy sauce please.  Keep an open mind and you are in for a wild adventure!




Ingredients:
1 turkey leg, de-boned and sliced
or 3 medium slices of white turkey meat (which is healthier)

1 medium tomato, sliced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 medium onion, sliced

1 medium carrots, sliced, jullienne
1 stalk green onions, sliced
1 tsp bagoong (I use the Barrio Fiesta brand)
1/3 cup pineapple slices
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 cups day old rice

Procedure:
Saute garlic and onions until wilted.  Add tomatoes, stir and mush the tomatoes.  Add bagoong,stir for a minute.  Add rice and cook for about two minutes.  Or until the steam from cooking begins to sweat the rice Dig a hole in the middle and pour the slightly beaten egg.  Stir altogether.  Add veggies and pineapple.  Enjoy!




Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving | Buko Fruit Salad

I got an invitation from Luwen of APartnership, an award-winning NYC based advertising agency specializing in reaching Asian American consumers. I was asked to write a blog article about my own Asian Thanksgiving recipes and represent Filipino cuisine.

 She writes:

With Thanksgiving coming in one more week, Asian families all over the U.S. will be gathering together to celebrate what is a traditional American holiday. We’re interested in learning and helping Asian families with creating an Asian Thanksgiving. We know that some Asian American families not only prepare the turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie, but also prepare traditional Asian cuisine, because as we all know,  culture is a significant part of Asian identity here in the U.S., and brings a sense of pride and uniqueness.

Thanksgiving is an American tradition and I want to keep it that way.  I wish I had a bucket full of memories to share, like grandma's recipes to make during this holiday. But unfortunately I don't.  For over ten years I've lived here in the US, I could count only a few times that I have actually prepared a whole Thanksgiving spread.  Luckily, American families always invite my family to partake in their tradition.  And so when I accept, I always bring a dessert.  Yes dessert because as I've said I want to keep their tradition of turkey, pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes.  Well at least with dessert,I can add more variety of delicious desserts for my hosts to try.



Buko Fruit Salad is an iconic dessert in every Filipino holiday.  You could find this in fiestas, birthdays and   holiday celebrations.  I also want to bring it to the Thanksgiving table, while keeping the "American" stamp on it with the turkey and sides.  Buko Salad (young coconut) dessert adds an authentic Filipino touch for a Thanksgiving celebration.


This dessert may look so simple, but believe me each bite is delightful. After all, Thanksgiving is not about a fancy spread. It's about enjoying your time preparing food with your family; it's about being grateful for all the blessings you've received.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Buko Fruit Salad

2 large cans of Fruit Salad
1 small can of cream (use Nestle cream)
3/4 can condensed milk
3 tbsp cream cheese
1 cup kaong (sugar palm)
1 cup nata de coco (coconut gel)
1 pc. young coconut (shredded) you could also use the shell for serving



Kaong and Nata de coco 
Procedure:
Drain the fruit salad, kaong and nata de coco.

Mix the condensed milk, cream and cream cheese (yep cream cheese is the key ingredient here) altogether.  Toss the fruits, kaong and nata de coco.  Let it chill... and voila, you're done!

Oh by the way, aside from this post, APartnership has also invited me to host a 30 minutes Twitter chat on Tuesday at 3 pm EST.  Follow the hashtag #asiantgiving.  I hope you could join me @malou_nievera.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I Love You Sabado | Home Fries

Good Morning!

Don't you love Saturdays? I do! After a long Friday at work, I look forward to Saturday mornings. I am just like a kid who is anxiously anticipating Christmas morning to get a look at the gifts. Saturday is a day when a whiff of java coming from my kitchen greets me in the morning.  It's when I tiptoe to my kitchen and hear the sound of a sizzling pan, running water, clicking plates and yes my husband busy taking over my turf... that makes my heart dance.  Or sing.  I'm disarmed.  I tell you, I just love the idea of  him doing the cooking. Breakfast on Saturday is his self proclaimed turn to be the master chef  in my kitchen.

I leave the kitchen totally to him.  He cooks with precision and is very methodical. The simple task of cooking soft boiled eggs is done with a timer, water measured with a measuring cup.  When he brews our coffee, he lifts the coffee pot to check the water level like I would imagine him preparing liters of buffer solution. Did I tell you that I am married to a scientist (haha...  I love saying that, much to his chagrin)

" Breakfast is ready!" he announces chirpily.

And voila breakfast is ready!  I hope you have a Happy Sabado!

Home Fries
Ingredients:
2 large potatoes
1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp garlic salt

Procedure:
Boil potatoes (make sure it's still firm)  You could also just microwave the potatoes too (wash the potatoes, prick the surface with fork and cover it with a wet paper towel and microwave for 4 minutes) Slice the potatoes and set aside.  Make sure the potatoes are not hot when sliced.

Heat a pan.  Add the oil.  Put the potatoes and brown its sides.  Add onions and cook it for a minute.  Season with garlic salt and pepper.  Add parsley.




Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Izzy Lovin'| Puto (Steamed Muffin) Two ways: Mascarpone and Sundried Tomato

I just ate the tomato simmered pork that you sent. Makes me feel like I'm home.

After hearing this from my daughter, a gush of joy suddenly swept over me like the light peering from the morning sun. I smiled on the other end of the line, because the truth is that was exactly the plan... *wink *wink. 

The truth is, I seldomly send care packages to my kids.  But this time I overdid it.  Never mind if my jaw dropped when the postal worker told me how much it costs to mail the package.  All I want is for Izzy to have a box filled with 21 pieces of home cooked food and baked goodies.  It's her birthday week and the last thing I want her to worry about is food.

Did I say 21?  Yes my second daughter turned 21.  I know it's a big deal for her to reach this milestone in her young life, just like everyone else.  I am even amused by the thread on Facebook showing how her older sister will take her bar hopping when they next get together.  But as a mom, I realize 21 years is like a lifetime. 

Where did the years go? 

That night, my husband and I went through her baby albums.  And just like any other mom, I tear up.  You miss the times you held them by the hand as they learned how to walk.  Or the times you played peek-a-boo and their laughter resonated through the whole house.  But it's all good, as I am comforted by the fact that my baby is on her way to reaching her goals. She's actually working very hard and burning the midnight oil to get to where she wants to be. This is something we parents dream of, something that we pray for their continued success...Hoping, worrying, waiting and worrying some more.  Until they're all grown up with their own career and a family of their own. 

Happy 21st birthday my Izzy!
_________________________________________________

Since it's my daughter's birthday and since it took me 5 days to get a new post up, I am going to share with you two recipes... well, almost.  The basic ingredients are the same, so here it goes:

Special Puto (Steamed Muffins): Puto Marscapone and Sun Dried Tomato Puto

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
3/4 c sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp melted butter

For topping:
Mascarpone Puto:  1/2 c Mascarpone (you could also use cream cheese)
Sun Dried Tomato :  2 tbsp drained and chopped sun dried tomatoes

Procedure:

Get your steamer ready. Line the muffin cups with paper baking cups.  Coat the baking cups with cooking spray.  Whisk together flour and baking powder and sugar. Dig a well in the center and add the egg, milk and butter.  Mix them all together until smooth.

Fill each cup with the batter.  Swirl in a tsp of mascarpone  (or sun dried tomatoes).  Steam for 15 minutes or until a toothpick come out clean when pricked in the middle.  Let the puto sit for a few minutes before serving.  Enjoy!
       

Ingredients:

Friday, November 9, 2012

an autumn oasis | hot and sour soup

Two weeks!

Yes it's been two weeks since my last post. I wish I have an alibi to tell you why I couldn't be here. Sadly, I don't. I just needed a break.  

It was like facing a labyrinth, I needed time to find my way through.  I struggle with so many aspects of my blog; there is so much focus on SEO, proper photography techniques, and to constantly engage followers and friends on Twitter and Facebook, respectively.  For the past two weeks I struggle for the reasons why I blog.  On why I sit in one corner of my room writing, even as there are chores to do, nooks to decorate, new sights to behold.  That's when I thought I needed to stay away from my blog. 

Last weekend my husband and I went to Barnes and Noble, where I usually gravitate towards the cookbook section (where else haha) while he goes to the stereophile aisle.  That morning, I went straight to the decorating magazines instead, grabbing the first 4 magazines I see and start leafing through them for inspiration.  Suddenly, my husband sneaks up out of nowhere and hands me a new cookbook- The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.  Smitten Kitchen is a popular blog (remember Babble's Top 100 Mom blog list where I ranked 48? Well she's ranked #1).  But as soon as I saw it, I felt my face warm.  I didn't know how the magazines dropped out my hands or how they magically went back to the shelf.  All I know is that I am totally "smitten" by this new cookbook.

There's something in the cookbook that got me back here.  There's no stopping me now.  I'm here to write about food, family and friends.  This is my space to be me. No platforms nor templates to follow.  Just me and you reading it.  Even if I know you are silent, I know you are there... and that's all I need to know... and that's all that I have to be thankful for.

Hot and Sour Soup
When I served this last night, my husband told me that I should post it here.  It is even better than what he usually gets from his favorite Chinese take-out place.  Way better!  The bowl was a "pick-me up" bowl for a chilly evening.  It will literally get you fired up!

Ingredients:
5 cups broth (you may use chicken or beef broth)
5 black fungus (soaked or parboiled)
1/3 small can bamboo shoots
1 egg (slightly beaten)
5 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp chili sauce (I used Mae Ploy)
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 block tofu sliced
1 stalk green onions sliced
1/3 tsp chili oil (optional)
1 tsp sesame oil


The procedrure is easy.  Pour all ingredients in a stockpot (except for the egg)  Let it boil.  When boiling stir in the beaten egg.  Add sesame oil.  Garnish with green onions... enjoy




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