Monday, May 02, 2011

Mexican Oyster Guisada

30 April 2011. Alone in the Jesuit community house in Nogales, Arizona, I figured I could experiment on a can of smoked salted oysters cooked ala guisado Philippine style, but with a Mexican twist in honor of the migrants I cook for at the Comedor, the feeding center of the Kino Border Initiative. (For more stories, click here.) And of course, white rice. The Mexicans love Spanish rice so we have a steady supply of it.

I called it Mexican Oyster Guisada, with a note on the last letter: The Mexicans call this type of cooking, guisadA, while we Filipinos call it guisadO. Sharing the recipe. This is just good for one or two persons. A soda will go well with this. I got a Diet 7-Up. And ate with the music from the Jesuit Music Ministry’s Musica Chiesa. Enjoy!

*If you don’t have Mexican salsa: you can mix catsup and hot sauce, pwede na. At the Comedor, I liquefy in a blender dried red chillies, onions, a pinch of salt, and water.




With chopped tomatoes, add the spicy Mexican salsa.




Add the sage and brown pepper to taste.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Woking again

Sorry guys for not updating this food blog for more than a year now. We'll try to catch up. Just be patient with us.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Iced Salabat-Hibiscus Tea





Salabat or ginger hot drink (technically not a tea, because it is not made of tea leaves) is a staple for us who stretch our vocal chords so that the churchgoer would be able to pray and aspire for loftier things. The dread of many church musicians is a sudden turn of the head and a puzzled annoyed look from an individual who should look at God, and not on us. When we get this gaze with a pursed lip ala Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, we know what they mean: we don’t sing well and we don’t even approximate the choirs of angels.

But even those who love singing get bored by the usual salabat. So I remember putting something into salabat that made it a little exciting. If we don’t become glorious, at least, we are able to taste a little of that glory.

To serve around 8 people (a basic choir with two people per soprano, alto, tenor and bass), you can do this to a bottled salabat (though having it fresh is better). I’ll take the fresh anytime.

1 tablespoon of ginger (chopped)
2 teabags of hibiscus tea
5 tablespoons of brown sugar
ice
a twist of calamansi or lemon
a slice or curl of a citrus peel like an orange, calamansi, dalandan or lemon

1. Put the first 2 ingredients into a pot of 9 glasses of boiling water. Allow to brew for 7 minutes. Remove the hibiscus teabag.

2. Add the brown sugar and stir until it dissolves. (You can add more sugar. I don’t like it too sweet because I am diabetic.)

3. Cool and chill.

4. Pour over ice and add a twist of calamansi/lemon/dalandan.

5. Garnish with a citrus peel or a slice of dalandan.

Variation: if you want a tall drink, you can put soda like Sprite or 7-UP on top.


WARNING: Do not serve this during the practices. This is ideal after the rehearsals, when people want to chill out, unwind, move around, socialize. After all, the choir is not just a music ministry, it is also a community.

The good thing: When you have leftover salabat, you can just add the other ingredients and you have a nice cooler. Good choir singing is usually the result of friendship.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dulong in Olive Oil



Here's a quick post for another kitchen experiment. Write-up on what a "dulong" is and more photos to follow. Just so i won't forget the ingredients and the procedure.

Ingredients:
400 gms. fresh dulong (a very small fish)
1/2 cup whole shallots
1/2 cup black olives
1/2 cup white wine
3 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2-3 bay leaves
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup palm vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Procedure
1. Rinse dulong in water and vinegar. Drain and set aside.
2. Saute garlic in 3 tbsp olive oil. Low heat, just to infuse olive oil with garlic flavor.
3. Add in shallots, and allow it to caramelize a bit.
4. Add the dulong and olives and wine. Put a dash of salt and pepper.
5. Simmer until almost dry. Let it cool.
6. Add the remaining olive oil.

Serving suggestion: can be bottled and use for pasta sauce or topping for toasted breads.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

A Chocolatey New Year!


Dr. Jose Rizal, whose martyrdom we Filipinos celebrate every December 30, humorously depicted in his classic novel Noli Me Tangere the way some of the priests of his time would play favorites. In Chapter 11, this was shown by the way the cura (the parish priest)would serve chocolate drink to his guests. Here's an excerpt:

"Are you going over to the convento to visit the sanctimonious rascal there, the little curate? Yes! Well, if he offers you chocolate which I doubt—but if he offers it remember this: if he calls to the servant and says, ‘Juan, make a cup of chocolate, eh!’ then stay without fear; but if he calls out, ‘Juan, make a cup of chocolate, ah!’ then take your hat and leave on a run."

"What!" the startled visitor would ask, "does he poison people? Carambas!"

"No, man, not at all!"

"What then?"

"‘Chocolate, eh!’ means thick and rich, while ‘chocolate, ah!’ means watered and thin."


As the excerpt explains, "Chocolate, eh" is actually a code for chocolate espresso (rich and thick just like your espresso coffee) and "Cholate, ah" is a code for chocolate aguado (this can be likened to your cafe americano -- espresso diluted in hot water). Of course, "Chocolate eh" is specially served to those who are well liked by the cura (e.g. those with high stature), while "chocolate ah" is served to those considered unimportant.

It is a tradition among some Tagalog provinces in the Philippines to serve hot chocolate on New Year's Eve. A hot, thick and rich chocolate is a superb pair for sticky rice, bitso-bitso (fried rice batter -- close to churros) or any rice product usually served in Tagalog homes during New Year's eve.

In celebration of Rizal's day, and in joyful celebration of the New Year, I woke up early this morning to prepare "Chocolate eh" sans the political agenda. I just wanted to enjoy a nice cholatey New Year's breakfast.


These are cocoa balls from Legaspi City made from pure ground cocoa beans blended with sugar. Since these are local produce, you would probably not find this kind of cocoa preparation in most supermarkets. What you would find in most supermarkets are "cocoa tablets". Here,I used 2 cups of water and 2 cups of fresh milk for the 12 pcs. of cocoa balls to yield a darker chocolate.


The traditional way of preparing chocolate the Filipino way is to simmer it in a slender pot while slowly beating it with a tool called batirol(some kind of a wooden beater). I didn't have those traditional gadgets so I improvised a bit -- aluminum pot and aluminum beater. Preparing this needs some patience though because I had to slowly beat the liquid ingredients until the large cocoa balls totally disintegrate and the liquid is reduced to half its volume.


The 30 - 45 minutes of constant and slow beating yielded a hot, thick and rich chocolate -- ready for a nice New Year Breakfast. Happy New Year to all from the Jesuit Gourmet!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Don't Throw Away Those Precious Bones!


We received a gigantic roast turkey last December 24 -- juicy, tender roast turkey. Our community at De La Costa House took the opportunity to have an early community Christmas dinner. I roasted some potatoes, mixed my favorite Santa Sangria, and tossed some green salad (combination of arugula and romaine lettuce topped with kesong puti and grapes). Only six people ate lunch and so only half of the turkey was consumed. I carved the rest of the turkey for future use (for our sandwich, turkey waldorf salad, etc.)and decided to keep the bones for a hearty and tasty Turkey Noodle Soup. Yes. Don't throw away those precious bones! Here's how i got the most out of the turkey bones.

Preparing the Stock
1. Put the leftover bones into a large stock pot and cover with water by an inch. You may want to break up the bones a little to save space.
2. Add two bulbs of onions (quartered), half a teaspon of peppercorns, one or two stalks of celery and leeks, and some chopped carrots.
3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to bring the stock just below a simmer.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste (you may do this gradually, putting only a little amount and adding some more as you cook the noodle soup later).
5. Cook for three to four hours. (To remove oil from your stock, I suggest you let it cool (room temperature) and place it in your ref for at about 30 minutes. The oil will solidify which will make it easier to remove.)
6. Strain the stock and set aside.

Preparing the Noodle Soup
1. Saute half a cup of chopped onions in two tablespoon olive oil until they become caramelized.
2. Add chopped carrots, potatoes, celery (or parsley), a dash of dried thyme leaves.
3. Add a handful of broken spaghetti noodles. you may also use fusilli or macaroni.
3. Simmer until the vegetables and pasta are cooked through.

Serving Suggestion
* Pour in noodle soup in a soup bowl. Serve with slices of leftover turkey meat on top.
* In honor of my Chinese lineage, I would also recommend using hongkong style noodles (egg noodles) for the soup. But of course, we would need an entirely new recipe to give the soup a Chinese taste. I reserved some extra turkey bones to experiment on next time!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Cold Cuts, Fruits and Cheese Platter


Category: Appetizers & Snacks
Special Consideration: Quick and Easy
Servings: 8-10

Description:
This is one of my few attempts in food styling. Not bad, but needs a lot of improvement -- needs more color (for a Christmas theme), apples slices are rough, etc. my cam is low-tech though so the photo is really flat. I served this for the consultors meeting held yesterday in our Provincialate.

Ingredients:
Assorted Cold Cuts
Fresh Fruits
Kesong Puti (cottage cheese but for me it is more of a Filipino version of feta cheese)

Directions:
This is really quick and easy merienda. Just grab any fruits you have in your ref, some left over cold cuts, and a block of a nice kesong puti. Arrange them in a platter. Serve with warm rye bread and your favorite drink.