Sunday, July 31, 2005

Pastel de Pollo

Sunday is the perfect day to stretch the many possibilities of chicken. I've long contemplated whether or not to use the Chinese Plum wine i got for free from our company outing in Subic. The thing is, you wouldn't really know unless you try. Guess what? it was all worth it. The wine really complemented the cheese (wine and cheese...makes sense huh?) which is a primary ingredient in the pastel. The best thing is that it gave the dish a sophisticated flavor, making it extraordinarily major in taste.
1.5 k chicken, cut into serving pieces
1 bar cheddar cheese, grated
3 onions, minced
3 medium-sized potatoes, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 small can vienna sausage, sliced (reserve water)
1 small can button mushrooms, sliced (reserve water)
2 pieces chorizo de bilbao, sliced
10 pieces pitted black or green olives, sliced into rings
2 cups water
1 c white wine
1 chicken buillon cube
2 teaspoon cornstarch or flour dissolved in 1/4 c cold water
1/4 c cooking oil
1/4 c butter
salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and dried basil to taste
Pat dry chicken pieces in paper towels. Season with salt and pepper, and fry in hot oil until slightly golden brown in color. In a separate pot, heat butter and saute onions until limp and fragrant. Add in the chorizo and cooked chicken. Pour in the water (including the reserved water from sausage and mushrooms), buillon cube and the potatoes. Cook covered for 7 minutes. Stir in the carrot and mushrooms. Let boil once, then add the wine, grated cheese, cornstarch mixture and olives. When all the vegetables are cooked remove from heat and season with pepper, Italian seasoning and basil to taste.

Out of Boredom Chocochip Oatmeal Cookies

Yesterday afternoon, James and i literally found ourselves staring at the ceiling, boring ourselves with nothing...and i mean n-o-t-h-i-n-g to do. I then asked him if he wants to bake something provided he be the one in charge of everything. I suggested the easiest recipe i have at hand which is chocochip oatmeal cookies. Five hours later and i'm still baking. The kids deserted me after transforming themselves into cookie monsters and finishing the first batch of cookies we made that afternoon. It was just so good that i can't help but do a repeat performance and quadruple the recipe that will hopefully last till after the weekend.
5 cups all purpose flour
4 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
4 eggs
1 (225g) butter or margarine, melted
3 cups brown sugar
4 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract together. Stir until well blended. Slowly add in the dry ingredients, alternately cutting and folding in between to bind all the ingredients together. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, pre-heat oven in 350F (175C). Form dough into balls (in your desired size) and flatten using the back of a fork. Provide 1"- 1 1/2" spacing per cookie since it will rise when heated. Bake for 15-20 minutes in an ungreased cookie sheet.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Salisbury Steak with Mashed Potato

Finally, a kid-friendly lunch to satisfy the monstrous appetites of my monster brothers. This is my version of fastfood burger steak sans the extenders and preservatives. Nothing really beats home-cooked meals.

1/2 k (500 g) lean beef, twice ground
2 white onions, minced
1 head garlic, grated
2 eggs
3 tablespoon flour
1 tsp. salt and 2 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Form into large balls and flatten to resemble burger patties. Fry in hot oil over medium-low heat until golden brown (slightly toasted) in color. Serve with the mushroom sauce.

Mushroom Sauce:
1/2 pack powdered mushroom soup
1 1/2 c water
1/2 tsp. soy sauce

In a saucepan, dissolve powdered mushroom soup in water. Stir until there are no lumps. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Season with soy sauce.

Mashed Potatoes:
3 extra large potatoes
water for boiling
1 tablespoon salt
1/8 c butter
1/4 c low fat milk
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt and peper to taste

Peel and quarter potatoes. In a large pot, boil potatoes in water seasoned with 1 tablespoon salt for about 30 minutes, or until soft enough to be mashed. When cooked, drain water and mash completely. In the same pot, scald milk over low heat. Add in the mashed potatoes and the rest of the ingredients. Stir completely. Add more milk for a creamier consistency.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Chicken-Macaroni Salad

My cousin kept on saying that my version is definitely better than KFC's. This is the second time i made chicken-macaroni salad, and i could say that this is definitely one of the easiest and no-fuss recipe i can prepare even with my eyes blindfolded;). The secret is by adding lots and lots of chicken, cheese, and pepper. Yep, I'm a pepper person as well.

1 k salad macaroni, cooked al dente
1 k chicken breast, boiled for 30-45 minutes in 8 cups water with: 1 native onion, sliced into two; 1 head garlic, crushed; 1 thumb-sized ginger, pounded; 2 pcs leeks; salt and pepper, 1 teaspoon each
4 c mayonnaise (more or less, depends on how rich you want your salad to be)
1 white onion, minced
1 large carrot, peeled, minced, and blanched for 2 minutes
2 stalks celery, peeled and minced
1 big can crushed pineapple, well drained
1 bar cheddar cheese, sliced into small cubes
salt, pepper, and sugar to taste

Separate chicken into thin strips using two forks. Discard skin and bones. In a large salad bowl, toss all remaining ingredients together, reserving 1 c mayonnaise and 1/4 c cheese. Refrigerate for about 5 hours. Around 30 minutes before serving, fold in the reserved 1 c mayonnaise as the salad tends to absorb moisture and dry up after refrigeration. Top with remaining cheese.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Chicken and Mushroom Hofan Noodles

Traditional Filipinos believe that the long strands of noodles signify long life. This must be the reason why it is considered almost a requirement in every birthday celebration here in our country. Since, i've grown too tired of the usual stir-fried vermicelli (locally known as "pancit"), i've decided to explore a little and introduce something new for a change. I should get a gold medal for this, since this was actually my first attempt to cook Chinese-style noodles for my mom's birthday.

2 (375 g) packs thin Hofan noodles (i bought mine at LandMark Supermarket)
1 k whole chicken, cut into small pieces
2 native onions, minced
2 heads garlic, crushed
1 large red bell pepper, julienned
2 c young corn, sliced into three each
1 large can button mushroom, drained and thinly sliced (reserve water)
1/2 cup dried Chinese mushroom (tengang daga)
2 stalks leeks, thinly sliced
8 cups chicken broth
3/4- 1 c soy sauce
1 c oyster sauce
3 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in the reserved mushroom water
3 tablespoons cooking oil
salt, pepper, and sugar to taste

Cook the Hofan noodles according to package direction. Be careful not to overcook. Drain well and set aside. In a large wok, brown chicken pieces in hot oil over medium heat. When the chicken is done, push aside, and remove excess fat, leaving only about 3 tablespoons. Saute garlic and onion in the remaining oil until limp and fragrant. Stir chicken with the onion and garlic. Carefully pour in the chicken broth, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Let boil once. Add in the button mushrooms, Chinese mushrooms (soaked in warm water for 20 minutes, and sliced lengthwise), bell pepper, and the cornstarch mixture. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Add in the leeks at the last minute of cooking. Be careful not to overcook the young corn. When the vegetables are done, remove from heat. Set aside a large bowl of drained chicken and vegetables for toppings. Toss in the cooked hofan noodles and serve at once.

P.S. You might want to cut the dish into half because i'm cooking for a party of about 20 people here.=)

Next time...
  1. I will really serve it at once. The noodles tend to absorb too much sauce that I had to make another batch of the sauce alone to rehydrate it.
  2. I'll use deboned chicken breast next time.
  3. I'll use more leeks. You can't imagine the aroma and taste it imparts to this dish.
  4. I'll try to add more veggies, i'm thinking of brocolli leaves and snow peas.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Steamed Lapu-lapu with Mayonnaise

This recipe is very basic yet a classic. Cooked this at my mom's birthday dinner. Just thought i'd share this with you...
  • 2 medium sized or 1 big lapu-lapu, cleaned and scaled
  • 2 stalks celery
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 c mayonnaise
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 large carrot (peeled, diced and blanched)
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced

Pat dry fish with paper towels, stuff cavity with celery stalks (be sure to remove this after cooking) and rub with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and steam over briskly boiling water for about 30 minutes or until cooked. Meanwhile, mash the boiled egg yolks and egg whites separately using the back of a fork. Serve by spreading mayonnaise over the fish, alternately topped with egg white, carrot, egg yolk, and cucumber slices on the side.

Next time...

  1. I'll also stuff the fish with sliced ginger which helps remove the "fishy smell" (???) of the fish.
  2. I'll add chopped onion or garlic to the mayonnaise for additional flavor.

Mom's Birthday Dinner

Last July 16th was my mom's birthday. Actually, I was supposed to post a picture of the entire dinner table but my shots were just too terrible to be published. Anyway, we had Arroz a la Valenciana, buttered shrimp, shrimp with cashew and green peas, steamed lapulapu with mayo, chicken-mushroom hofan noodles, macaroni salad (recipes to follow), maja blanca, leche flan, and the Chocolate Overload cake from Conti's. It was such a happy dinner that i've totally forgotten how tired i was from all the kitchen adventures i had that day. =)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Churros Balls con Chocolate

The monsters did it again. James kept on saying that he is going to cook Churros con Chocolate but badly needs help. And so Neil, our youngest, willingly volunteered, but was assigned the heavy task of mixing the sticky batter, while his kuya pre-assigned himself to cook the chocolate (claiming it is the harder task...tsk...tsk). As usual, when the war between the two monsters begin, no one is ever going to compromise, leaving me alone to do everything...again.

for the churros:
2 c all purpose flour
2 c boiling water
pinch of salt
1-2 c vegetable oil (i prefer virgin coconut oil)

Combine flour, water, and salt in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly (texture is very sticky). Spoon batter into a piping bag and squeeze to form loops in a greased cookie sheet. Actually this is the ideal way of doing it. Not that I'm too stubborn to do it the usual way but my cheap piping bag exploded the moment i squeezed the batter out of it. An easier way to do it is to spoon the batter into balls directly in the hot oil and fry it over medium heat until golden brown. Drain in paper towels. Sprinkle sugar over the churros and serve with the warm chocolate dip.

for the chocolate:
1 large can evaporated milk
4 tablespoons cocoa (i used unsweetened chocolate bar)
3 tablespoons sugar (adjust according to taste)

For the chocolate, mix all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan over lowest heat. Continuously stir to avoid burning the bottom of the mixture. The chocolate is ready when it has thickened in consistency.

Next time...
1. I'll buy a heavy duty (yet expensive) piping/icing bag before i make another churros.
2. I'll make sure the monsters are aware that Churros is a certified junk food whichever way you look at it, not to mention the fact that it eats up my expensive VCO in the cooking process.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Italian Afritada

Sister out, mom busy...that leaves me in charge for last Sunday's lunch. I'm feeling quite independent that morning, so i decided to do away with cookbooks and follow my cooking instincts for a change. I was really planning to cook the traditional afritada, but the temptation of all the spices in the kitchen cabinet was too strong i just had to give in.

5 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
1 onion, minced
1 head garlic, minced
1 thumb sized ginger, peeled and pounded
1 large chicken cut into serving pieces (about 1.2- 1.5 k)
2 large potatoes, cubed
2 carrots, cubed
1/2 c green peas
1/2 c raisins (highly optional...i'm just a raisin-holic)
1 large bell pepper, julienned
1/4 c tomato paste
1 1/2 c water
2 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 c water
2 bay leaves
salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon paprika, and 1 tablespoon dried basil to taste
2 tablespoon olive oil or virgin coconut oil for sauteeing

Saute garlic, onion, and ginger in olive oil over medium heat until fragrant and limp. Add tomatoes, and saute until juice comes out. Add chicken pieces. Cook until chicken loses its raw color. Season with salt and pepper. Slowly pour in 1 1/2 c water and tomato paste to prevent the chicken from sticking at the bottom of the pan. Add in the potatoes and bay leaves. Simmer covered for 5 minutes and add in the carrots, bell pepper, green peas, and raisins. Thicken the sauce by adding the cornstarch-water mixture. When vegetables are cooked, remove from heat and season with paprika and dried basil. Serve at once.

***Fyi...after taking her first bite, my sister exclaimed "italian style!!!", thus the name Italian Afritada=)

Cathedral Window Jello

I must i must i must have something sweet over the weekend. Just realized that i've been feeding my monster brothers too much chocolatey desserts lately. This is actually my first attempt to replicate a Goldilock's original. Obviously, i failed big-time in the presentation. But the taste...oh the taste is just heavenly. I'm still having bouts of LFS (last food syndrome) except for the fact that i made this about a week a go.

1 box strawberry flavored gelatine (i use the Ferna brand)
1 box pandan flavored gelatine
1 box unflavored gelatine
2 boxes almond flavored gelatine
1 1/2 c coconut milk (squeezed from 1 large coconut)
1 tetrapack all purpose cream
1 c water
sugar to taste
pinch of salt

Prepare strawberry and pandan flavored gelatine separately according to package direction. Refrigerate to set and cut into cubes. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine together the water, almond and unflavored gelatine, coconut milk, and salt. Stir until gelatine is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add all purpose cream. Add sugar according to taste. Pour gelatine mixture over molding bowls. Add cubes of strawberry and pandan flavored gelatine befor the cream jello sets completely.

Next time...
1. I won't add sugar anymore, since the Ferna brand is a tad too sweet for my taste already.
2. I'll try using the Mr. Gulaman brand (the one in sachet) for the strawberry and pandan flavored gelatine. Apart from cutting the cost (it is sold for only 13/sachet), it is also made from seeweed extract. I'll just add sugar and flavorings since it comes unflavored.
3. The reason why the colored jello (see photo) sank in the bottom was because i kind of waited to long before adding the cubed gelatine. At least next time i'll know better.
4. I'm still trying to figure out a way on how to prevent the cubed jello from melting as you add it in the hot cream jello. Any thoughts?

Breaded Tofu with Teriyaki Sauce

Last last Sunday, my sister prodded me to cook something that will complement her chicken adobo for lunch. At first, I thought of preparing veggies on the side, but then it seems like it's time to take a break from the greens and explore other alternatives. Since we haven't had tofu for quite sometime, it's just the perfect timing to try Breaded Tofu with Teriyaki Sauce.

2 large blocks tofu (i used the UFO brand)
1 egg (slightly beaten)
1 c Japanese breadcrumbs
oil for frying (use virgin coconut oil or olive oil for a healthier alternative)

Drain tofu in paper towels to get rid of excess water. Slice into serving pieces. Dip in egg and dredge in breadcrumbs until evenly coated. Fry in hot oil over medium heat until golden brown in color. Drain in paper towels. Serve hot with teriyaki sauce.

Teriyaki Sauce:
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 c soy sauce
2 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 c water
1/4 c sugar (adjust according to taste)

Mix everything together in a saucepan. Simmer over low heat until thick in consistency for about 10 minutes.