Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw

Ginataan is a Filipino cooking term that means to cook in coconut milk.  So Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw is Squash (kalabasa) and long beans or pole beans (sitaw) cooked in coconut milk.  Like adobo, there's a myriad of ways to cook this dish - spicy, sweet, salty, with a whole new cast of vegetables, with shrimps, talangka, crabs, dried fish (daing) or with pork.  It can even be a sweet dessert stuffed with rice balls, bananas, yams, taro, sweet potato, langka... the list is practically endless!  

In our household, this dish is a favorite such that it's on the table at least once a month!  And while the standard is always with some shrimp and ground pork, sometimes we vary the dish depending on our particular mood.  The more interesting twists that we've made with this dish was with talangka (small crab, which someone said to be shore crab) and with squash blossoms.

This time, however, we made the dish a little more special by  adding bagoong alamang (shrimp paste in English).  But the bagoong I used is no ordinary shrimp paste!  It's the one made by friend M's mom!  In our humble opinion, it is ABSOLUTELY the best one! 

The bagoong is used a seasoning and it brings out a different dimension to the dish - a nice contrast of salty to the sweet coconut milk.  And it is sooooo goooood!!!  Believe it or not, I actually ate the whole dish (see the picture above) all by myself!  Yummmm!

The recipe -

3 pieces thinly sliced ginger
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
pinch of chili flakes
2 tablespoons bagoong
100 grams ground or thinly sliced pork
100 grams shrimp, cleaned, deveined
about 200 to 300 grams squash, skins removed and cubed
about 200 grams long beans (sitaw), cut into 2-inch lengths
2 bundles bulaklak ng kalabasa (squash blooms), cleaned
1 1/2 to 2 cups coconut milk
1/2 to 1 cup coconut cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Saute ginger until lightly browned.  Add garlic and onion and stir fry a few seconds.  Sprinkle in the chili flakes and bagoong.  Add the pork and stir fry until halfway done.  Throw in the shrimp, squash cubes and beans.  Stir fry several seconds.   Pour in coconut milk and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the cut of the squash.  It may take as along as 20 to 30 minutes.  Add the squash blooms.  When the mixture boils, add the coconut cream and bring to boil again.  Then season with salt and pepper.  Remove from fire.  Serve while hot.

Note - the measures are a bit variable depending on personal preference.  We prefer a dish with a lot of thick sauce (to pour over rice! Mmmm...) so we use the larger measure.  Some people prefer a really thickened, almost no sauce dish, in which case use the lesser measure and cook until the sauce has totally reduced, but note that too long a cooking time may result in the coconut milk/cream to exude its oil (we know someone who prefers that as well!).  Take care also that the squash does not get too overcooked that it crumbles and disappears in the sauce.  Personally, we no longer add salt when we use the bagoong, but this may depend on the bagoong as they are not created equal - some bagoong are saltier than others, and there are sweet and/or spicy variants.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Bistek Tagalog, My Way

Bistek is the Filipino version of beef steak.  Usually, the beef is sliced thinly then marinated in calamansi juice and soy sauce then seasoned with salt and pepper.  It is then cooked with onion rings.

My version, however, is a bit different - mainly because I don't like using thin slices of beef, instead I like small chunks of tenderloin (whether beef or pork).  I also like my bistek sour (more than the usual), with a lot of thick sauce (thickened with cornstarch) and with caramelized sweet onions mixed right in (not as garnish).

My version -

500 grams tenderloin, cubed or sliced as preferred (beef or pork)
6 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 tablespoons calamansi juice
5 tablespoons low fat milk
1 to 2 teaspoons black peppercorns, lightly smashed

1 large sweet onion (Vidalia), sliced into rings
1/4 to 1/3 cup water
salt and pepper, to taste
cornstarch slurry

Marinate the tenderloin pieces in soy sauce, calamansi juice, milk and peppercorns at least an hour (personally I don't recommend a too long marinating time).

Heat oil gently and caramelize the onion rings (this may take some time over a gentle heat so as not to burn the onions).  Remove the onions and increase heat to medium or medium-high.  Using a slotted spoon, lift the meat pieces and place into the frying pan.  Stir fry to almost the desired doneness.  Remove the beef from the pan and pour in the marinade.  Heat gently; taste the marinade and adjust with water and seasonings, as preferred.  Reduce a little or thicken with cornstarch slurry.  Add in the meat and onions and toss for the sauce to coat the meat and onion pieces.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.

(I usually "undercook" the beef because it still "cooks" even off flame and overdone beef is not tasty at all!  Also I almost never add salt anymore, but then honestly, my taste buds veer towards "matabang" or being a bit bland.  I do, however, at times, add more calamansi juice.  For those unable to get calamansi juice, lime or lemon will do.)

Friday, August 23, 2013


There was a time in my childhood when we had this dish ONCE A WEEK!  My mom was trying to perfect her version of lomi, which was (then) the all time favorite of my brother.  To tell you the truth, after the first 6 weeks, I grew rather tired of it.

Fast forward to the present, where hubby chooses lomi at almost ALL the Chinese restaurants that we go to!  And while lomi STILL does not make it to my favorite food list, seeing as hubby seems to adore the dish, here is my version...

How to make lomi -

500g Lomi noodles, parboiled, rinsed and drained
shallots (at least 6 pieces), sliced
4 slices of ginger
8 cloves garlic, minced
50 to 100 grams pork liver, sliced thinly
1 piece (100g approx) liempo, sliced into thin strips
1 tablespoon hebi (dried shrimps), rehydrated
8 pieces squid balls, halved
8 pieces small dried shitake mushrooms, rehydrated (4 large ones, halved)
about 1/4 cup dried "tenga ng daga" (woodear fungus), rehydrated, sliced into strips
1 medium carrot, julienned
about 6 cups chicken stock
1 stalk celery, sliced diagonally (celery leaves to be used too)
Baguio pechay or shredded cabbage

1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 to 4 tablespoons soy sauce
shao xing wine (rice wine)
salt and pepper, to taste
cornstarch dispersed in water
2 to 3 eggs, beaten lightly

For the garnish:
1 to 2 stalks leeks, green part only, sliced diagonally
wansoy leaves
dash sesame oil

Heat oil over low heat and brown the shallots (keep heat on low).  (Hubby says that the browned shallots are the secret ingredient to a truly yummy lomi.)  When the shallots have browned, remove them from the oil and set the heat to high.   

When the oil is very, very hot.  Drop in the liver (careful, the oil may splatter) and saute only until half done; set aside.

Saute the ginger and garlic (add more oil, if necessary).  Add pork belly strips; splash with shao xing wine and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.  Add the dried shrimp (discard the soaking liquid).  Stir fry a few seconds.

Add the quartered balls, mushrooms, woodear fungus, and carrot strips.  (Feel free to add any other items like kikiam, squid, chicken strips, boiled quail eggs, etc.).  Season with oyster sauce and soy sauce (use a light hand, it's always easier to add seasonings later but it's quite difficult to fix a too salty dish).  Stir fry a few seconds then pour in the stock.  Add the celery.  Cook until boiling and let simmer a few minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the noodles.  Adjust seasonings.  Cook until simmering.

Adjust the broth to preferred "soupiness".  Thicken with cornstarch water.  Check seasonings again.  Let simmer again.  Then, while stirring constantly, slowly pour in beaten eggs, while stirring.  Remove from heat immediately.  Add back the half-cooked liver.  

Before serving, garnish lomi with a few drops of sesame oil, leeks, cilantro and browned shallots.  Serve with calamansi and fresh ground pepper on the side.

Perfect on a gloomy, rainy day...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sinigang na Salmon

We've been having rainy days.  And when the weather is wet and cool, we love comfort foods.

Sinigang is one of the greatest comfort foods I know.  There's just something about a hot, spicy and soup broth that feels homey.  Mmmmm...

There are many variants of sinigang.  By "meat" - pork, chicken, beef, fish, shrimp, or even the lack thereof - vegetarian.  By souring agent - bayabas (guava), sampaloc (tamarind), hilaw na mangga (green mango), kamias (I have no idea what this is in English), kalamansi (Philippine lime) and santol (another one whose English name I don't know).  By far the most common is pork and sampaloc, although bangus (milkfish) is a close contender.

The sinigang of my childhood is one made from scratch (by boiling sampaloc in water, mashing it when cooked and straining everything in another pot of water, usually with gabi boiled in it and softened), but these days, there's a multitude of instant sinigang mixes that is simply added to water and voila!  sinigang in a few minutes even without anything in it.

But in my book, sinigang is always with sampaloc and gabi (taro), tomato, sitaw (long beans), and kangkong (swamp spinach/cabbage).  My absolute favorite is shrimp!

Yesterday, I had a longing for sinigang with salmon, specifically salmon belly.  Unfortunately, I only found the head and tail.  But tides turned in the afternoon when the salmon belly (figuratively) fell into my lap!

Here's the recipe:

sampaloc, prepared as indicated above OR
     instant sinigang mix (for 2 liters of water)
1 piece salmon head and tail (came in a set)
1 pack salmon belly (about 8 to 9 "strips")
gabi (we like a lot of these)
1 large Spanish onion
2 medium local tomatoes
sitaw (1 bundle)
okra, sliced (discard ends)
sili (finger chili)
kangkong (2 bundles)

Prepare the souring agent (cook, mash and drain fresh sampaloc) or dissolve instant sinigang in a little water.  Boil the gabi to desired "softness".

Clean the head, tail and belly.

Saute the onion until caramelized, add the tomatoes.  Pan fry the fish for several seconds.  Pour in the gabi with boiling liquid, souring agent, and top up to make about 2 liters total.  Add the sitaw, sili and okra and simmer until quite done.  Throw in the kangkong, cover the pot and remove from heat.

Here's our sinigang:

Yummy!  And yes, very comforting...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mu Shiu Pork

We went on a day trip to Tagaytay (a popular destination for rest, recreation, food and fun about 2 hours south of the city) to have some leisure time.  We found these -

fresh wood ear fungus, cloud ears, tree ears or simply black fungus... or in the vernacular - "tenga ng daga" (literally, rat's ears, perhaps in reference to its appearance). 

As a child I knew of this in its dried form, which required rehydration much like the dried shitake mushrooms.  But having discovered the taste of the fresh ones, I've stayed away from the dried version unless I had no choice.  The fresh ones are so crunchy!  And they taste so much better!  (I find the dried ones rather bland and tasteless).  Never mind that the fresh ones are a bit slippery to hold and has a faint off-putting scent...
It has many uses in Chinese cooking and is even believed to have medicinal value particularly in aiding high blood pressure and heart ailments.  It's great in soups, stir-fries, and even as a salad ingredient!  My favorite?  Pork rib soup with lots and lots of this wood ear fungus!

But today's kitchen adventure is for a dish that I first heard while watching an episode of an American sitcom.  The scene was generally dinner where the characters were eating Chinese take-out, specifically Mu Shiu Pork.  At that time, I didn't know what it was; I only "discovered" what it was when I read about it in an American-Chinese cookbook.

At the time, I thought the recipe was very familiar, except for the cornstarch bit.  In fact, we'd been enjoying that dish all throughout my childhood, except that I knew it as "sliced pork with black fungus", and I'd even cooked it for hubby several times.

This time, however, I decided to follow (more or less, that is) the recipe I found in an American-Chinese cookbook in my collection. 

The cast of characters (oops, I forgot to photograph the eggs) -

The main difference in my "old" version and the cookbook version was the addition of cornstarch in the marinade.

The recipe (with my personal notes/changes) -

500 grams tenderloin, sliced into matchsticks
(I used very lean pork belly (fat trimmed), sliced thinly (but not matchsticks)
2 tablespoons shao xhing wine
2 tablespoons light soya sauce
2 to 3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 eggs
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
pinch each salt and pepper

4 slices of ginger
1 small onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 stalks of spring onions, sliced thinly, white and green parts separated

100 grams fresh wood ear fungus, sliced into strips
100 grams fresh shitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced into strips
20 grams banana blossoms, ends trimmed (or lily bulbs)
1 tablespoon light soya sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Mix the pork strips with soy sauce and xiao xhing wine.  Sprinkle cornstarch over pork and mix well.  Marinate about 20 to 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, beat eggs with sesame oil, salt and pepper.

Cook the eggs scrambled style; remove from the pan and break up into small pieces.

Saute 2 pieces of ginger in oil (quite a lot, enough to shallow fry the pork, about 1/3 cup or so, depending on the size of the pan).  Add the pork and shallow fry, stirring to break apart the pork pieces.  Cook over high heat for about 3 to 5 minutes, about halfway done.  Remove pork from the pan.  Reduce oil, if desired.

Saute remaining ginger, onion, white part of the spring onion and garlic.  When fragrant, add the wood ear fungus, shitake and banana blossoms.  Season with soya sauce, salt and pepper, to taste.  Return the pork to the pan and stir fry until pork is fully cooked.  Adjust seasonings, if needed, according to taste.  Add in the scrambled eggs and stir to mix.  Move to a serving plate and top with green part of the spring onion.

Personally I like this dish as a rice topping but hubby prefers a wrap.

Hubby's lunch - Mu Shiu Pork "Wrap"

How he made his wrap -

Hoisin sauce on half the soft tortilla and on the other half, roasted chili sauce.  Pile on the mu shiu pork and fold, or roll!

Another way to serve is to wrap some mu shiu pork in cabbage leaves, roll the cabbage into a roll and steam.  Or wrap the mu shiu pork in fresh lettuce leaves and munch away!

Yum, yum, yum!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Spaghetti with Tri-Color Peppers and Mantis Shrimp

Look at what I found in the market earlier.


The "meat" of the mantis shrimp is like a cross between shrimp and lobster; it's quite delicious with an interesting texture - sweetish, with a bit of a crunchy bite.  What I don't like about this shrimp is that the shell is pretty hard (although not as hard as a lobster or crab that you'd need a "hammer") such that it's difficult to open the shells with your hands.  Hubby used kitchen shears.  It's all worth it, all the same.

So, for lunch, we had this -

about 300 grams pasta, cooked al dente
500 grams mantis shrimp
4 slices of ginger
1/2 large sweet onion, sliced
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced into rough squares
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into rough squares
1/2 orange bell pepper, sliced into rough squares
2 medium tomatoes, sliced thinly
pinch of crushed chili
salt and pepper, to taste
4 - 8 tablespoons cooking cream
1/2 to 3/4 cup reserved pasta cooking water
fresh basil

Marinate the mantis shrimp in a mixture of oil, chili flakes and sea salt.  Set aside for a while.

Saute ginger in half oil, half butter mix.  Add onions and garlic.  When onions and garlic become soft and fragrant, add the peppers.  Stir fry briefly then add the mantis shrimp.  Cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the sliced tomatoes and crushed chili.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Throw in the pasta and mix well.  Add cooking cream and pasta cooking water and mix to coat the noodles thoroughly.  Add in the fresh basil last.  Serve immediately, garnished with a sprig of fresh basil.  Top with parmesan.

Regular shrimp may be used.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


The worst typhoon this year is here.  It has been named "Labuyo" (literally cayenne chili pepper) and classes have been declared suspended.  I took the day off, for fear of being stranded should the typhoon bring torrential rains with it, so I am stuck at home!  I actually don't mind being at home since it means I can cook!!!

And for this rainy, windy, gloomy weather, comfort food is on the top of my list... one of which is champorado!

Champorado is a sweet chocolate sticky rice congee or porridge.  It is cooked with sticky rice (a.k.a. glutinous rice or malagkit in the vernacular), water, coconut cream and tablea (local unsweetened cacao tablets) or unsweetened cocoa, then sweetened.  When I was little girl, we used condensed milk.

A quick look in the pantry and I discovered a pack of tablea balls from Tuguegarao (which is claimed to be famous and original).

We had some super malagkit rice, as well as some Balinatao rice, so here's the champorado!

How is it cooked?  Well, these days there's packets of instant mix where one just adds water and cooks a few minutes and it's ready.  But the way I learned to make it a long time ago is no shortcut (we stir the pot continuously for a long, long time!) and has no recipe... and it was a really, really big pot!  I'd say a batch could be good 20 merienda-sized servings although with our appetites, it was just right for our household of 9 people!

Anyway, I was taught to make it by "feel" or "instinct".  But for the sake of uniformity (and perhaps for my future generations to be less confused), I tried to quantify (measure) my procedure for this batch...  so here it is (at a more manageable level, good for 6 to 8 merienda servings) and without coconut cream (simply because it is not easy to go to the wet market in this weather but I have put it in the recipe too just in case someone else wants it).

1 cup glutinous (sticky) rice
1/2 cup Balatinao rice
6 cups water
5 to 7 pieces of tablea (quality counts here)
1/2 cup sugar or equivalent, or more depending on preference
1 cup coconut cream (or substitute water)
pinch of salt (the secret ingredient according to my mom 20 years ago)
condensed milk or dulce de leche
sugar or sweetener

Rinse the rice and place in a pot with the water.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Add the tablea and stir to melt.  (Note:  I prefer a deeply, intensely chocolate-y champorado so I add at least 7 tablets, but this makes a slightly bitter dish, 5 is actually ok.)  Stir constantly, over low to low-medium heat, until the rice is cooked and mixture is thickened (may take up to 25 to 35 minutes).  Add sugar (or sweetener) to taste, but remember that it is served with condensed milk later so err on the side of caution to avoid excess sweetness.  Throw in the pinch of salt.  Stir in coconut cream (but this is optional and if not using, use a total of 7 cups water which is what I did this batch).  Simmer until thickened.  Serve hot, with condensed milk and sugar on the side.

Then I remembered that I still had some dulce de leche and so I decided to use some in my champorado... and it was better than I remembered!!!

Comfort food fit for gloomy weather!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Pork Adobo, My Way...

There's a million and one ways to cook adobo - it is, after all, the national dish of the Philippines (well, not officially...).  Seriously, I don't know anyone who does not like it, even if everyone has varying preferences - salty, tangy, oily, saucy, mixed, double cooked...  In fact, it was my late father's favorite dish, the other one being Braised Pata (pork hocks).  As a child I could eat loads and loads of adobo with a ton of rice... and ice cold coke!!!  (which was the way my dad enjoyed his adobo!)

But the adobo that I like and cook at home these days is one where a bit of my ancestry shows through - with banana blossoms (which some say are really lily buds but that's another story...)

And, I like my adobo with bay leaves and boiled eggs... in addition to being all pork, specifically belly part (although on occasion I also use kasim or pork shoulder), where I try to find ones that have very little pork fat (otherwise we trim off as much as we can).  As much as I like pork adobo, I'm really not a fan of the chicken variant, don't know why.

My recipe is pretty standard, although I use my magic cooker -

5 to 6 strips of pork liempo (about 750 to 1000 grams), cut into cubes (we trim a lot of fat off...)
1 whole bulb garlic, cloves smashed
2 to 3 large pieces bay leaves, crumbled
1 cup soy sauce (I use light soy sauce)
1/2 cup native vinegar
a handful whole black peppercorns, lightly smashed
1 cup water
a handful of banana blossoms, rehydrated, tough ends cut off
hard boiled eggs (optional)

Clean the pork and place into the inner pot of the magic cooker.  Add garlic, bay, soy sauce and vinegar.  Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Place the pot on the stove, add water and cook (simmer) over low-medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.  Stir only after the mixture has bubbled (initial boil).  Place the inner pot in the magic cooker and let it sit for at least 30 to 40 minutes.

Return the inner pot to the stove.  Add the banana blossoms and boiled eggs.  Lightly stir the mixture.  Let simmer about 10 minutes.  Return to the magic cooker and let sit until meat is tender - another 30 minutes or so.

Adjust the seasonings.  I know some people like a really salty, or a salty-sweet adobo, but personally I like mine adobo tangy and only a bit salty so I've been known to add a little more vinegar (the banana blossoms add to the tanginess, too).

Yummmmyyy!!!  And perfect with ice cold coke (diet or zero).  Where's the rice????

Friday, August 9, 2013

Homemade Granola, No Sugar Added and No Nuts!

These days, hubby likes granola for breakfast.  But he's specific - he likes my homemade version because I skip the nuts and sugar, and I add loads of dried fruit!

I loosely based my recipe for granola on these.  As usual I made a number of changes, mainly that I (1) doubled the recipe, (2) used a mix of seeds, no nuts of any kind (3) used olive oil instead of coconut oil, (4) used organic agave instead of honey or maple syrup,  (4) skipped the extracts and salt, and finally (5) added the dried fruit after the granola baked and cooled.

Next time, I'm thinking of adding dried tropical fruits like papaya, mango, pineapple... then add fresh sliced bananas before serving!!!  Mmmmm...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sweet and Spicy Spaghetti (Filipino-style)

The Filipino style spaghetti is a sweet one, sometimes with a little spiciness. It is almost always present in a party for kids, together with other party standards such as barbecue, meatballs, fried chicken, and buko or fruit salad.

I grew up loving this spaghetti.  And while I now prefer the "real deal" spaghetti, once in a while I crave that childhood spaghetti...

Here is how I make mine -

1 large onion, minced
6 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
500 grams ground meat
10 slices of spiced ham, cut into squares
4 to 5 pieces (regular) red hotdogs, sliced
2 cups crushed tomatoes, with all its liquid
2 cups tomato sauce (or mix with banana ketchup)
diced pimientos, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup, drained
2 to 4 tablespoons brown sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
dried chili flakes
1/2 cup cooking cream
grated cheddar cheese
about 500 grams spaghetti, cooked al dente

Saute onions and garlic until soft and fragrant.  Add ground meat and cook until browned.  Add spiced ham and hotdogs.  Pour in crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce (and banana ketchup, if using).   Add diced pimientos.  Cook to a gentle simmer.  Season with sugar (if using banana ketchup use 2 tablespoons sugar only), salt and pepper, and chili flakes, to preferred taste.  Cook again to a gentle simmer, stir pot occasionally.  Lastly add cooking cream and heat thoroughly to cook.  Pour over cooked spaghetti noodles.  Top with grated cheddar cheese.

Personal notes -

1.  Truth is, I don't use banana ketchup anymore, ever since it occurred to me that bananas are yellow so how could the ketchup made from bananas be red?  But I understand that traditionally, banana ketchup is an ingredient of the Filipino-style spaghetti.

2.  I always add hotdog slices (the tender, juicy kind), but for some strange reason, this particular time, I forgot to get a pack of hotdogs from the supermarket so when I got home... no hotdogs, obviously!

3.  the diced pimientos can be omitted, but seriously, the dish tastes better with it added in.

4.  a whole cup of cream can be used, the sauce will taste a bit sweeter and milkier (which is not necessarily a bad thing)

5.  While I love the Filipino style spaghetti that's really, really sweet, served in a couple of establishments, I just can't bring myself to cook my home made version to be as sweet as the "originals".

In any case, my homemade version is yummy, but nothing really beats the original!!!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Pork Paprika

We usually have Chicken Paprika and it a dish I can whip up in about 30 minutes.  This time, however, it seemed that I forgot to buy some chicken.  Instead I found a pack of pork belly in the freezer.  So it was Pork Paprika for this meal!

Cooking time was definitely not just 20 or 30 minutes.  It was more like 45 to 55 minutes!  The pork had to be simmered longer for it to become tender.  But it was delicious all the same!

The recipe:

about 750 to 800 grams pork belly, cleaned and parboiled
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions , minced
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 teaspoon salt, or more/less to taste
2 tablespoons whole peppercorns, lightly crushed
3 pieces bay leaves
2 to 3 tablespoons paprika
1 cup stock
1/2 cup cooking cream or sour cream

Slice pork belly into cubes; set aside.  Saute garlic and onions until fragrant.  Toss in sliced tomatoes.  Add the pork cubes and stir fry for a couple of minutes.  Add salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, paprika and stock.  Simmer until pork is tender (depending on the size, 45 to 60 minutes).  Add more stock if necessary.  When pork is tender, add cream and bring to a soft boil.  Remove from heat and serve. 

The dish was soupy rather than saucy (thin sauce not thick), either way is good, it just depends on one's personal preference.  To make the dish thicker, thicken the sauce with cornstarch slurry.  Also either cooking cream or sour cream can be used, although personally I think it is better with sour cream!

We made ours into a rice topping dish.  Yummmmyyyy!!!