Monday, January 16, 2006

Open House

It is customary for Jesuit Communities to have an open house. Once a week or depending on the house's custom, a Jesuit community usually prepares a special meal and "opens the house" for Jesuits from other communities to have a good time of bonding and fellowship.

This reminds each Jesuit that they are "a communitas ad dispersionem but also a koinonia -- a sharing of goods and life..." and that "each member of every Jesuit community is ever mindful of what St. Ignatius says about love, that it consists in sharing what one has, what one is, with those one loves." (cf GC32 [28])

Personally, i find "open houses" and community meals in general very helpful in sustaining my vocation. This is where I get to know the lighter side of the Jesuits. This is where I find how human the Society of Jesus is. And that is why during our open house (Saturdays), I always try to preapare something special for my fellow Jesuits. It is my little way of saying "thank you" for making the Society of Jesus a compagnia for me.

Here's a simple recipe that I served last Saturday. (I was inspired to create this when passionate eater asked me about using Tilapia as substitute for my lemoned sea bass recipe). Pardon the picture, I'm still a beginner in this area (used a cell phone cam—yaiks).

Tilapia Crisp with Mango-Orange Salsa

3 Large sized Tilapia; filleted
2 cups Corn Flakes; slightly crushed
1-2 eggs; beaten
2 large Philippine Mangoes; cubed
3 - 4 pcs Kalamansi (or Lemon)

1/2 cup Fresh Orange Juice
1 large onion; chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel. Drizzle with kalamansi or lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Coat the fish with flour. Soak it in egg then roll it in the slightly crushed corn flakes. Set aside.
3. Heat oil in a medium frying pan. Fry the fish until golden brown. The corn flakes will give your tilapia fillet an extra crisp. Set aside.
4. Sauté and caramelize onion in olive oil. Add in mango cubes. Pour orange juice and dry white wine then simmer (Cornstrach may be added for a more syrupy consistency)
5. Serving suggestion: On a plate, place fried tilapia on top of steamed or grilled vegetables (asparagus tips or for that familiar Filipino look, try eggplant). Pour in Mango-Orange sauce around the plate. Garnish with fresh tomatoes, poppy seeds and orange zest.

Makes 6 servings.


Passionate Eater said...

Hi there J. Haw! Don't worry too much about the picture, I think it looks lovely, and it definitely helps me to better visualize your delicious tilapia recipe on my dining room table! I agree with you, that adding pictures adds another layer to which one may better enjoy the blog post.

And I had a question: Where do you get your ideas when you create these complex-tasting recipes? Crispy fish, coupled with a citrus-flavored mango salsa is an incredible creation. Did you ever attend culinary school? I'm not very innovative, so I enjoy learning new ideas from you. Thank you J. Haw!

Jhaw said...

Hi PE! Thanks for the complement. I did not attend any culinary school. But I grew up in a family who loves to eat and cook. Chinese cuisine is close to my heart since this is what my Father (who's from mainland China) usually prepares for us when I was a kid. Some of my recipes are not so original though, they're basically inspired by Food Channel. Some of the recipes are also comination of food that i've tasted here and there. I make sure though that I infuse my own personality and creativity in the recipe.

I usually day dream (ha-ha), and one of the higlights of my day dreaming is to imagine how one flavor will blend well with another flavor--which gives birth to recipes.

Talking to people who have the same passion also gives me idea (See the initial post by Katimugambalon). As i mentioned in my last post, the crispy tilapia recipe basically came out because of your question last time.

By the way, I think my fellow jesuit gourmets will agree that we're also learning a lot from you. Thanks for your visits.

Jessel Gerard said...

Yes, passionate eater! We loooooovvve your comments. Somehow people like you who try our recipes and put themselves at risk (he!he!he!), inspire us to create , create, create.... Thank you very, very, very much. And I agree with J. Haw (we call him JHAW), that new ideas are products of old ideas: but done with a twist here, modification there, a substitute here (usually the substitute is an equivalent of a fruit or spice in the Philippines), or even a combination of two recipes placed together (a mexican salsa and a Philippine fish). Again, my personal gratitude to you and to the other bloggers.

relly said...

Very interesting idea for tilapia, we are getting more imaginative on fish preparation in the Philippines, unlike those days our parents classique cuisine, fried, paksiw and sinigang!

Connie said...

Wow, that looks wonderful. With mangoes aplenty these days, I'd like to try this one soon. Thanks.