Friday, December 27, 2013

Lechon Congee

Yup.  Still on Christmas food... specifically, leftovers...

But still delicious!  Really.

Here's one in defiance of lechon paksiw!  Lechon lugaw!  from leftover lechon and leftover rice...

Ok, the problem here is that this is a dish without a recipe...  I did not measure anything and just winged it... like this -

a big bowl of mixed lechon pata and laman (pata is the leg part and laman is meaty parts)
about a third of the rice cooker "bowl" of leftover rice
about twice as much water or chicken stock as the rice (or more if you like a soupier lugaw)
thin slices of ginger
sliced onions
minced garlic

Saute the ginger, onion and garlic.  Throw in the lechon.  Add the water or chicken stock.  Lastly add the rice.  Then stir, stir, stir.  Cook on low-medium heat until thick and creamy.  For this particular dish, we wanted a soupy congee so I added more water.  Season with salt and pepper (or patis/fish sauce).

It was perfect for breakfast this chilly morning!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fruit Salad, My Way...

Christmas Eve is always celebrated with Noche Buena, or midnight feast.  Our usual spread often includes lechon, noodles (spaghetti or Chinese noodles), ham, queso de bola, arroz caldo, barbecue, fruit salad, and hot chocolate.

This year we had the usual lechon, aligue rice (in lieu of arroz caldo) and fruit salad... but while the usual Filipino-style fruit salad is made with canned fruits, fresh buko (coconut), cream and condensed milk, I always skip the condensed milk and buko.  Then I add fresh apple chunks (simply because apples are traditionally a part of the Christmas season!)  This year, I added something else - strawberries to the cream!

The recipe -

1 large can Del Monte fruit cocktail (the one with pears and peaches)
1 large can tropical fruit cocktail (with papaya chunks)
1 small bottle green kaong
1 small bottle nata de coco
1 large Fuji apple, skin peeled and sliced into chunks
2 to 3 tetra packs of all purpose cream, well chilled
canned strawberries (about 10 pieces or so)

Drain the fruit cocktail, kaong and nata de coco at least overnight, in the refrigerator.

Drain (separately) the strawberries, mash lightly.  Whip the cream a few seconds (only) and add the strawberries.

Toss drained fruits, kaong, nata de coco and apple chunks.  Add the strawberry cream and toss well to coat.

Chill thoroughly before enjoying.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Upside-Down Cake, Apple

There's always an abundance of apples when it's Christmas.  And, while I am ready to try my mom's apple pie again, I'm waiting for a more leisurely time to do so... definitely after the "baking storm", which means not until next week, at least!

But I am okay with trying out something else with the apples... like an apple upside-down cake... or 2 small ones...

one for us and one for my mom...

As a child, apples were a great favorite.  But in the years that passed, apples became less and less of a favorite, except perhaps for my mom's apple pie, which only made an appearance once a year... yes, at Christmas time.

This cake, however, is sooooo delicious that it's got me eating apples again.  And I've had three slices already! 

I used to have a favorite recipe for upside down cake, a versatile one for almost any fresh fruit but I couldn't find it so I went looking for another one...  out of all the cookbooks I had, I chose a recipe from this book (image courtesy of Google images)...

The recipe is really for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake but I thought I could use apples instead of the pineapple.

Basically I followed the recipe, except...

1.  I used apples, of course!
2.  I used 2 smaller pans instead of 1 big pan
2.  I used all the schmear in the 2 smaller pans (it's really delicious, but I might have over-done it, seriously...).
3.  I sprinkled apple pie spice over the "schmear" before putting in apple slices.

By the way, I used Fuji apples... and they were still crunchy!

The recipe (and hence, the cake) was absolutely spectacular!  A tad bit sweet for me but otherwise, super yummy!!!  So from now on, this is my go-to upside down cake recipe!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sate Chami

To discover the spicy aroma of sate (satay?) at my age is quite late indeed!  I always thought it was just a spicy condiment (and I was not fond of spicy food) but I was wrong.  It has a depth of flavor that enhances so well, and I only regret that I never tried it before!  Hubby, on the other hand, has been enjoying sate for the longest time and has been asking me to try it (and cook with it!)

Interestingly enough, it was when I gave in and make him one of his favorite restaurant dishes (ordered from our favorite Chinese restaurant always) that I finally discovered the wonder of sate barbecue sauce!

Presenting... Sate Chami (Stir Fried Satay Noodles)

The secret to the dish is a bottle sate sauce (image courtesy of Google Images) -

and the recipe is not as difficult as I thought... it's basically like the soupy lomi recipe but without the soup and with a lot of sate barbecue sauce!

500 grams thick egg noodles, parboiled and drained

8 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 piece (100g approx) liempo, sliced into thin strips
100 grams shrimps, shelled (keep the heads)
4 pieces squid balls, sliced thinly
4 pieces fresh shitake mushroom, julienned
1 medium carrot, julienned
1 stalk celery, sliced diagonally
1 to 2 pieces cooked kikiam, sliced
3 to 4 cups reserved chicken stock
Baguio pechay leaves

salt and pepper, to taste
shao xing wine (rice wine)
soy sauce

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

Saute the garlic and onion.  Stir fry liempo, shrimps, carrots, squid balls, mushrooms, celery and kikiam.  Add chicken stock.  When the dish boils, season to taste with salt, pepper, rice wine and soy sauce.  Then put in the noodles.  Add the pechay leaves last.  Cook until almost dry then add half the bottle of sate sauce (yes, half the whole bottle!).  Toss and mix well...

Then enjoy!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Healthy Smoothies!

Hubby is always requesting healthier foods... breakfast specifically.  I'm used to a heavy breakfast of rice, egg and some form of meat (usually processed... not good, I know!  I know!) but hubby is just fine with yogurt or granola or oatmeal...

We have frozen strawberries and frozen blueberries that my brother got for me just last week.  And hubby just loves bananas (we froze some bananas just for this), so for breakfast yesterday morning, this is what he had...

The recipe is really simple... here are the main ingredients - 6 big pieces of frozen strawberries, a handful of frozen blueberries (about 1/4 cup more or less), a couple of frozen bananas, 1/2 cup low fat yogurt and 1/2 cup low fat milk.

Give everything a whirl in the blender and breakfast is served!  No sweetener required, since the bananas are sweet enough.

Today, he's having more of the same, sort of...  There's still strawberries, bananas and blueberries, but this time dried cranberries, cherries and golden raisins were thrown in to the mix.

The smoothie was definitely sweeter, due to the raisins.  But the mix made it more complex too.  Either way, it's good!

I've done this using all milk and it still turned out thick and creamy.  Maybe next time I will try it using all yogurt.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Red Braised Chicken

It started out with me looking for a chicken recipe... because I had a pack of skinless chicken thighs that I had to cook (it had been overstaying in the freezer already!)

But I really didn't have time to look for a recipe so I decided to "re-make" a pork recipe, specifically the Red Braised Pork.

But I added bamboo shoots and mushrooms.

Yummmyyy!!!  It was a great way to cook the chicken!  And it was ready in about 40 minutes, too.