This dish is more like a summer dish instead of fall, but since I’m trying to clean up my drafts page on this blog, I present to you something fresh, light and easy to cook just when you’re getting inundated with pumpkin everything posts. You can thank me later 🙂
My daughter loved this. She said, it was almost like an optical illusion for food.
When planning what to cook for dinner, I fully intended to make my usual pork and chicken adobo with potatoes. But then, something happened along the way…
In the middle of assembling the adobo, I spied the can of coconut milk in the cupboard. We love anything with coconut milk! And I have seen adobo recipes online where they add coconut milk. So I thought, we’ll give it a try. Then when I was pulling out some bay leaves from the spice cabinet, there was that jar of turmeric just begging for attention. So what the heck, I just read about the health benefits of turmeric, I pulled it out too.
The family knew from the aroma wafting through the house that adobo was in the works. So they were a bit surprised when they opened the pot and saw this…
Gold Chicken and Pork Adobo
My daughter said, “I thought you were making adobo?” I said, “I did!” She looked skeptical. Then she tasted it…. she said, “that is weird! I was expecting to taste curry based on the looks of it, but it tastes like adobo! It’s an optical illusion; my taste buds are confused!”
But she and the rest of the family all agreed that it was actually pretty darn good!
This is a variation of the usual pork and chicken adobo.
1 head of Garlic, mashed and peeled
2 Onions, sliced
10 disks (round slices) of fresh Ginger
¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 cup Soy Sauce
1 14oz can of Coconut Milk
1 cup Water
1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 teaspoons ground Turmeric
5 Bay Leaves
2 lbs. Pork Belly, cut into 1 inch cubes
6 of each Chicken Legs and Thighs
3-4 Yucon Gold Potatoes, quartered
1 cup of cherry or grape Tomatoes, halved
¼ cup of Scallions or Green Onions, chopped
Since we're using pork and chicken and they require different cooking times, start by giving the pork a head start. Place the pieces of pork into the pot and add 3 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil.
Let the pork cook while you're preparing the rest of the ingredients (about 30 minutes) or until most of the water has evaporated.
Once the water in the pot is almost evaporated and the pork is starting to sizzle, add half of the ginger, garlic, onions and bay leaves.
On top of that, layer the chicken pieces and add the rest of the onions, garlic and ginger on top.
Pour in the soy sauce and vinegar. Then the coconut milk. Pour 1 cup of water in the empty coconut milk can to rinse out the remaining bits and pour that water into the pot as well.
Add the black pepper and turmeric and cover. Let it come to a boil and turn the heat down to medium low heat and let it braise for an hour or until the chicken is tender.
Add the potatoes and cook for another 15 minutes until cooked through.
Add the tomatoes when everything is cooked and just before serving. You don't want to cook the tomatoes, just warm them up for a minute or two.
– the addition of tomatoes and scallions is optional. I just happened to have some really sweet grape tomatoes from the garden and it paired perfectly with this dish, adding a very pleasant sweetness to contrast the acidity in the adobo.
– traditional adobo dishes were actually cooked to be on the dry side. Some people even go as far as frying the meat after braising in the sauce. However, since some people in my family love to drown their rice in adobo sauce and will resort to pouting when there isn’t enough sauce to go around, I have taken to making my adobo dishes on the soupy side. If you prefer a less soupy dish, I suggest omitting the water and cutting the soy sauce down to 3/4 cup then let the remaining sauce to cook down by letting it boil uncovered for a few minutes towards the end of your cooking time.
I tried out the a new shortcut to an old bibingka (rice cake) favorite today and I must say, it didn’t turn out half bad at all! This glutinous rice cake is called Bibingkang Malagkit in Tagalog but in Ilocano, we usually call it Inkiwar which roughly translates to ‘something stirred’.
When my grandmother used to make this rice bibingka, it usually involved a long arduous process of grating the coconut, extracting the coconut milk and then spending an inordinate amount of time stirring the mixture over a hot stove, the effort to stir becoming more difficult as it gets thicker and stickier. Thus the name, inkiwar or stirred. My aunts who were tasked to do the stirring always complained of sore arms afterwards!
For this recipe, you can use either coconut cream like I did, or coconut milk. There isn’t much difference from the two, except that the coconut cream is richer and thicker so I use it for rice cakes such as this one and I use the coconut milk for curries and other savory dishes that call for coconut milk.
By pre-cooking the rice, you cut down on the overall cooking time. The traditional way of cooking this rice cake would have been to cook the rice in the coconut milk and sugar mixture, thus the constant stirring required so as not to have the coconut milk separate and/or the rice stick to the pan. I added the salt because my that’s what my grandma used to do, but it’s also to counter some of the sweetness later on. The virgin coconut oil, I added for the aroma and flavor and because I still have a jar of it in the cupboard. The oil is optional if you don’t have it.
If you noticed, I pre-cooked the rice in only two cups of water. That’s because you don’t want to cook it all the way just yet. You wan’t to cook it only part way or al dente if such a thing applies for rice. Transfer the rice into a baking dish, which in this case, I used a 9×9 inch square Pyrex dish.
I only had the light brown sugar so you can see how pale it is. Next time, use the dark brown sugar or add a tablespoon of molasses for a richer flavor. I didn’t have either of those this time. — Pour the sugar and coconut cream mixture over the rice…
and mix well until you have no lumps. Put it in the pre-heated oven and bake it for about 50 minutes or until it is browned at the edges.
When it looks like this, you can stop here and it’s good to go. But I wanted a sweet sticky topping so I went a step further…
Pour a can of condensed milk over the top and put it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes until the top is bubbly and caramelized.
I couldn’t resist taking a photo while it was all bubbly in the oven! But you can tell how my oven is heating up unevenly because the back part is already browning but the front is still looking pale. It probably didn’t help that I kept opening the oven to check it out. lol!
When the condensed milk has caramelized, take it out of the oven and let it cool before cutting into it. For me, the best part are the corners and edges where it is almost crusty and a bit chewy. I let the kids have the soft, crust free center slices. They don’t know what they’re missing! 🙂
This is an update to the gising-gising recipe that we previously posted on this blog. Since the garden has been quite prolific with these beans, I had to freeze some of them yesterday. I left out enough for our lunch though, and decided that this updated version to the gising-gising recipe is in order. The original recipe did not have any meat nor did I use any peppers so I though I would incorporate those two things in this update.
1 Pork Chop, cut into small pieces (about 1 cup) - optional
3 cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped
1 Onion, diced
2 Tablespoons Ginger, peeled and minced (about an inch of fresh ginger root)
3 Tablespoons Patis (Fish Sauce)
1 can (approx. 1.5 cups) Coconut Milk
Salt to taste
Heat about a tablespoon of oil and saute the pork (if using) until it is starting to brown on the edges.
Add the garlic, ginger and onions. Stir for another couple of minutes until fragrant and the onions are translucent.
Add the fish sauce.
Add the beans and stir fry for a few minutes until they turn a bright green color.
Add the coconut milk and jalapeno. Stir and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the beans are to your desired doneness.
Adjust the seasoning, add more salt if needed.
Turn off heat.
This recipe can also be made with regular green beans if you don't have yard-long beans.
Also, the jalapeno and pork are totally optional. I just thought I would throw in the meat just to make it more of a meal. Shrimps would have been good too.
I happen to like this dish very spicy and I would have added more spice if I was the only one eating it. As it is, I wanted to use the red jalapenos because they were just so darn pretty! But I also removed all the seeds from them just so my daughters can still eat this dish.
It’s that time of year again…. CORN SEASON! They are on sale at the grocery store this week for 19 cents each. For me, that means 8 ears of corn for less than $2! And are they ever good right now.
They are so sweet and tender, you can eat them as is. Raw, without even cooking it, they taste like heaven! Needless to say, I have been back at the store three times already. We’ve been eating corn almost everyday!
The first batch, we simply boiled on the cob. The next two batches, we made creamed corn. The second batch of creamed corn was made because the first was so darn good, the pot was gone in one sitting and there’s only 4 of us. So I vowed to make a little bit more next time.
Cut the corn off the cob
Creamed corn is so easy and simple that I hadn’t even thought of blogging it until I realized that my daughters didn’t know how to cook it! I suppose I thought that they would just observe me making it (they’ve helped me make it often enough) and learn that way. I hadn’t realized that I never talked them through the steps and ingredients. So this time around, we noted measurements and steps.
If you’ve never made creamed corn, then I hope this helps you too.
Cook until thick, bubbly and creamy
By the way, you can make creamed corn with frozen or canned corn; but I think nothing beats the taste of sweet, juicy, in season corn when you can get it.
This is probably the simplest creamed corn recipe you'll find. I have tried additions of spices and variations on thickeners for the cream, but when you have fresh, sweet corn, I believe simplicity is the best way to concentrate the natural flavors.
8-10 Fresh corn, cut off the cob
3 Tablespoons Butter
1 cup Milk
2 teaspoons Corn Starch
¼ teaspoon Salt
Place the corn in a pan and add the butter on top.
In a mixing bowl, combine the milk, cornstarch and salt and mix well.
Pour milk mixture over the corn.
Cook on low until it comes to a low boil/simmer, about 10-15 minutes.
When you have young sweet corn, it doesn't need to cook long. Later in the season you may have to cook the corn a bit longer until it is tender.
If you noticed, there is no plated photo of this dish. It was so good, we forgot to take a picture! :)
Meyer lemons were on sale at the grocery store last week. I didn’t really have anything in mind for them, but they were so beautifully brilliant and smelled so good that I just had to buy them. So far, I’ve only used them to flavor my tea, too lazy to do any cooking.
I was especially tired and lazy last Thursday and didn’t really feel like cooking, but my sister-in-law’s birthday was the next day and my husband had promised her my coconut cake. I made myself cook if he promised to clean up after me and do the dishes. We had a deal.
We turned out a glorious coconut cake for his sister and she was happy to get it. But the thing with making coconut cake with seven minute frosting is that you are left with extra egg yolks. I didn’t feel like letting the yolks sit in the refrigerator waiting to be used in something then having to be thrown away when no possibility lends itself, so I decided to whip up a quick batch of flan to use them up.
I didn’t follow my recipe for the classic leche flan, but decided instead to work with what I had on hand and that’s where the meyer lemon idea came in. It turned out to be great idea.
The flavor was not so overwhelming that it could be called a lemon flan. The aroma and flavor of the lemons was very subtle but you can definitely sense their presence. It cut down the cloying sweetness and richness usually associated with flan. Too bad my husband and youngest daughter are not crazy about flan… this is all for me! 🙂
Make the caramel sauce: You can melt the sugar in a separate pan then pour into the bowl that you're going to cook the flan in but since I try to dirty up the least amount of dishes, I pour the ½ cup of sugar and a tablespoon of water directly into the metal pan (7 in. diameter in this case) and put it directly over the heat. Over medium heat, let the sugar caramelize until it is syrupy and amber colored. Swirl it around so it covers the bottom of the pan. Take it off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes while you're whipping up the flan mixture.
Combine the eggs, milks, lemon zest and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk until well blended.
Pour into the prepared pan.
Cover pan tightly with foil and place it in a large enough pan that you can add enough water to come up at least halfway of your pan for the flan.
Place the pan in an oven that's been pre-heated to 350 degrees F. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until the flan is set (firm) and not 'jiggly' in the middle.
Why the one whole egg? Well while I was separating the eggs for the 7 minute frosting, I messed one up. Ergo, I had 4 yolks and 1 whole. I'm sure this would work with 4-6 eggs. Don't be afraid to experiment.
With the proportions above, I had just enough to fill that one 7 inch round pan whereas the classic flan recipe makes enough for two pans. This is perfect if you're not cooking for a party.
With just three of us at home now, meal times have become a lot simpler and easier. My husband and I love fish but our daughter does not eat any kind of seafood. She leans strongly towards vegetarianism but pure vegetarianism just in not going to fly in our house. Just about everything is touched by one kind of protein or other. This is the type of meal that tries to fill all their wants without me having to cook too many dishes.
The tilapia is simply pan fried and topped with a vegetarian curry sauce that my daughter topped her rice with. She loves curries so she was a happy camper and so was my husband who still had his chunk of protein. 🙂
For pan frying tilapia, there is really no recipe. Simply season it with salt and pepper, dredge it lightly in flout then pan fry it until both sides are nicely browned and cooked through.
The curry sauce is pretty standard too except that this time I added a bit of miso paste to make the flavor more robust.
My wandering blogger friend Sha posted this recipe on facebook and I just had to try it. I had all the ingredients on hand, and the process was easy enough for a weekday meal, so why not? This was a very tasty dish and my family love it! Their verdict? “It’s like chicken curry without the curry!” LOL! Leave it to them to sum up a seemingly exotic dish with one pronouncement!