Friday, November 30, 2007

Dumplings for Dessert

Last November 23, 2007, the Jesuits invited some college students from the Ateneo de Manila University and University of the Philippines for a two-hour tête-à-tête. Here, we talked about our passion and how it helped us, in one way or another, live our Jesuit life. Of course i had to talk about food. But i thought it is not good to talk about food and not having the participants experience it. For this event i thought of tweaking the Filipino Turon (deep fried banana rolled in rice paper)and presenting it as a dumpling. (I was inspired by Häagen-dazs' dimsum themed ice cream)

Banana-Nangka Dumpling with Coco-Caramel Pearl Sauce

10-12 pcs. banana saba variety (plantains)
100 gms nangka preserves
1 pack dumpling wrapper (approx. 25-30 pcs.)
200 mL coconut milk
2 cups muscovado (raw sugar)
1/2 cup precooked sago (pearl tapioca)
500 mL vegetable oil

1. Puree banana and nangka on a food processor.
2. Put a teaspoon of banana-nangka puree on a single dumpling wrapper (You may add a dash of brown sugar)then seal.
3. Deep fry banana-nagka dumpling until golden brown. Set aside.
4. Combine coconut milk, muscovado and sago in a sauce pan and simmer. Stir occasionally, until it gives you a thick consistency.
5. Serve the banana-nangka dumplings with the coco-caramel pearl sauce.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Drunken Crabs (Nilasing na Alimango)

Hey, it's our second year anniversary! I never thought we will reach a second year. Since I transferred to Loyola House of Studies for my Theological Studies, I really didn't have many opportunities to cook. My fellow jesuit gourmets are also busy with their respective apostolic involvements. Luckily, some community members would receive gifts that have to be cooked before they can be really enjoyed. Fr. Archie Intengan for example received live mud crabs from a friend one saturday morning and asked me what to do with them. The cooking "starved" jesuit gourmet exactly knew what to do with those crabs. Here's a quick recipe I used in "taking care" of the crabs:

5-6 medium sized mud crabs (steamed and halved)
2 tbsp. melted butter
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
(or ordinary olive oil)
6 cloves garlic , minced
1 tsp. minced ginger
dried chili flakes
1/4 cup rhum
4 tbsp honey
2-3 tbsp soy sauce

Heat the oil and butter in a wok over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger and chili flakes(according to desired amount. Saute until golden brown. Add the crabs. Pour in rhum. soy sauce and honey. Simmer in low heat until the sauce is reduced to almost dry.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Another Filipino Feast from Rome

Fr. Vic was my spiritual director when i was a novice circa 1999. Aside from spiritual conversations, we also delighted in preparing food for the novitiate community especially during Christmas. Among our favorites is his "Chicken Kinulob" (Chicken Stew). I recieved an email from him recently and was delighted to see how he prepared it in Rome when he hosted a get-together party for friends. I thought of sharing with you his letter (and pics)

Three groups of friends visited rome and so we considered it opportune to prepare a simple dinner for all--cenacle tertians Srs. Susay, Beth and Cecile + Sr. Linda Lizada of their General Curia; then Ms. Marlu Vilches from AdMU English Dept and her sister Liza; and then of course our dear Fr. Cesar Marin who extended his Rome stay after accompanying his Mary the Queen Parish pilgrimage. It was getting cold here in Rome so I prepared our Baltazar family comfort food called 'Kinulob na Manok' and an improvised, Paksiw na Lechon using the Italian porchetta and a side dish of wedges of Brazilian mangoes.

The kinulob na manok as you know is ideally cooked in an earthen pot, covered-sealed with banana leaves but as you know, when in Rome, we do as the Romans do, so we simply used a teflon stewing pot. We simply placed all the ingredients whole--chickens, potatoes, onions, garbanzos or chick peas, chorizos (de bilbao, as we call it back home, though you really don't find that in Bilbao), plus cabbage, though I had to use brussel sprouts which were available when I did my marketing. I also put a small portion of prosciutto-in-bone. Salt and just enough water to cover the ingredients. After the stew comes to a boil, we lower the heat and allow the stew to continue simmering until everything is tender to the bite. Just before serving, we add some milk to make the clear soup white and a little creamy. The stew is served with a mixture of patis and calamansi or in our case here lemon juice.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Dinner for Fr. Johnny Ledesma

Last September 5, the Jesuit Residence of Ateneo de Manila University hosted a dinner on the occasion of Fr. Johnny Ledesma's 102th birthday. Fr. Johnny is the oldest Jesuit in the Philippine Province. Fr. Manny Perez, S.J., asked me to prepare the food. I willingly obliged....this was my first time to prepare a dinner for 60-70 people, so i was really excited to do it. Listed below is the menu I prepared for the occasion. Recipes and pictures of the Spanish Chorizo Tarts and Chicken Liver Adobo Pate to be posted soon!

Hors ‘d oeuvres
Crostini served with assorted pate:
- Smoked Bangus Pate
- Grilled Eggplant
- Chicken Liver Adobo Pate
Spanish Chorizo Tarts

Mixed Greens with Mango Dressing

Squash with Fresh Basil Soup

Pasta al Gorgonzola

Main Course
Herbed Leg of Lamb Roast
Lapu-lapu Poached in White Wine and Garlic

Fresh Fruit Salad with Honey Calamansi
Ice Cream

Friday, August 31, 2007

Filipino Food at the Jesuit Roman Curia

This was shared by Fr. Joe Quilongquilong,SJ who resides at the General Curia of the Society of Jesus. Fr. Joe works as a Regional Secretary of the East Asia and Oceania Assistancy)

During summer (July to August) the Jesuit Curia Community gathers every two weeks (on a Saturday) for dinner at the terraza which is overlooking St. peter's Square and teh Vatican. The members of the community are asked to prepared the meal based on a particular menu. Last July 21, the Jesuits of #4 Borgo Santo Spirito in Rome had their first Filipino meal. Here's the menu Fr. Joe prepared:


CHICHARON BABOY (Cotenna di maiale arrostita).
Ottimo per accompagnare birra or cocktail
LUMPIANG GULAY (Involtini di germogli di soia)

KANIN (Riso bianco non condito)
PANCIT CANTON (Noodles saltati alla cantonese)
(Uno dei piatti di noodles piu amati, nel quale gli spaghetti cinesi si accompagnano a verdure e carne. Ma la ricetta e tipicamente filippina e solo il nome si rifa alla citta di canton)
GUISADONG GULAY (Verdure lessate con gamberetti.

ADOBONG MANOK AT BABOY (Adobo di polio e maiale)



Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Bow Tie Pasta with Grilled Prawns & Veggies

The theologians' sub-community here at the Loyola House of Studies is going crazy about dieting. Three scholastics are on a strict low-carb diet, another three are on a semi-low-carb diet. Actually, the diet is working well. One already lost 15 pounds, another one lost around 10 lbs., and another one lost a total of 40 lbs! That's no mean feat. But even when these theologians are on diet, they have to celebrate small victories--they also reward themselves with a good and healthy pasta meal. This recipe is something I've prepared as a reward when I lost my first ten pounds. I'm not so sure about the measures i used now, but this recipe should yield more vegetables than pasta.

250 g uncooked bow tie pasta
100 g prawns; deveined
100 g oyster mushrooms
5-6 cloves of garlic; minced
2-3 medium sized green pepper; seeds removed
3 medium sized zuchini
2 medium sized eggplant
1 large bulb of white onion (add some more if you're an onion lover)
2-3 tbsp chopped sweet basil
1 cup white table wine
5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt (use according to taste)
freshly ground black pepper (use according to taste)
Parmesan cheese

1. Cook bow tie pasta al dente
2. Grill deveined prawns and veggies on stove or charcoal
3. Cut grilled ingredients into bite size pieces.
4. Saute garlic and basil in olive oil just enough to bring out its flavor, do not brown the garlic.
5. Add in cooked pasta into the pan and toss. Pour in white wine.
5. Toss grilled prawns, veggies and bow tie pasta. Simmer for about 2 minutes or until pasta absorbs the wine. Add salt and pepper according to taste.
7. Serve pasta with Parmesan cheese on top. Serves 6-8.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Grilled Pesto Chicken Sandwich with Spaghetti Carbonara

I fell in love with this combination.

Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwich

1. 1 tablespoon oil
2. 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
3. salt and freshly ground pepper
4. 1 bulky roll or any thick (sliced) bread
5. premade pesto (about 1/8 cup)
6. tomato, thinly sliced
7. cucumber, thinly sliced

Heat a grill or grill pan and brush lightly with 1 tablespoon of oil. (If you don't have a grill available, use a skillet over medium-high heat.) Pound the chicken between two pieces of waxed paper until it's thin (about 1/2 an inch) and season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken, flipping it once until it's golden brown and cooked through. Slice the bulky roll in half, spread it with the pesto and pile on the chicken, tomato and cucumber. Drizzle with a few more drops of oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Makes 1. Set aside.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

1. 1/2 kilo bacon, diced
2. 2 tablespoons oil or 1/4 bar of butter
3. 1 garlic clove, crushed
4. 1/2 kilo spaghetti
5. salt
6. 3 eggs, beaten to blend
7. pepper
8. 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated
9. 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, freshly grated

Saute the bacon in a large pan with the oil or butter until it changes color; don't let it brown or dry out. Add the garlic and cook it until aromatic. Set aside.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in 4 quarts of salted boiling water until al dente; drain and transfer to the pan with the bacon, stirring well. Remove from the heat and add the eggs, pepper, 1 tablespoon of the Parmigiano, and 1 tablespoon of the Pecorino. Continue to stir until the eggs have formed an even, yellow cream and coat the spaghetti evenly. Fold in the remaining Parmigiano and Pecorino and serve hot. Serves 4.

I did not have the time to take a picture. I was so hungry, I gulped everything before I realized I need to take a picture! :)

Squash-Orange-Chili Soup

I always love soup, especially on a rainy day. Here's one recipe that perked me up one stormy day in UP. This soup is also good for those who need fiber in their diet. The chili in the soup upstarts the spirit.

1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp corn oil
1-2 squashes, peeled and diced
grated rind and juice of 2 pongkan or mandarin oranges
1.5 rich chicken or pork stock (vegetable stock can also be used)
2 bay leaves
salt to taste
ground black pepper
nutmeg, grated
2 tbsp chopped parsley
half a teaspoon of chili or sesame oil (optional)

1. Cook the onion in the oil until softened but not browned, then add the prepared squash and cook slowly for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Mix the grated orange rind, then add the stock, bay leaves and seasoning. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 40 minutes, until the squash is tender and cooked through.

2. Allow the soup to cool slightly, remove the bay leaves, then puree in a blender until smooth.

3. Rinse the pot and return the soup to it, adding the orange juice.

4. Reheat the soup slowly (do not let it boil), then season to taste.

5. Add the chili oil or sesame oil on top.

6. Then add the chopped parsley and sprinkle with nutmeg before serving.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Chicken Rhum

Every third weekend of the month, we have an overnight recollection. Since our cook was not around I tried to cook for my brothers. This recipe was formulated when I was in Zamboanga Sibugay for my mission trial. I never really got to have any response after the meal since we observe magnum silencium (great silence) during a recollection day. However, some of my brothers had pink cheeks after. Must be the rhum... :)


1 whole dressed chicken
black pepper, whole and ground
cayenne pepper
coriander seeds, crushed
lemon grass, in small bundles
1/2 cup rhum
1tsp almond extract
basil leaves, whole
rock salt
1 tbsp brown sugar

1. Wash chicken in running water. hang to let dry.
2. Get a handful of salt and rub around the chicken. Make sure to include the inside of it.
3. Pour inside the chicken all the herbs, almond extract and rhum, alternately.
4. Pour some rhum around the chicken and dash it with some cayenne pepper.
5. Mix honey, brown sugar and rhum, set aside.

Marinate for at least 12 hours. Turn it over every four hours to make sure the rhum and almond are evenly distributed.
Cook in a turbo broiler or in an oven at 200C for 2 hours or until the skin is evenly brown. Brush evenly with a mixture of oil, rhum and brown sugar every thirty minutes.
Glaze a little honey when served.

Best served with mashed potato.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Almost Vegan Sandwhich

This sandwich could have been a perfect vegan meal had i found a good and affordable mushroom in the nearby convenience store. Sardines is not exactly the best substitute, but what can i do, I'm short of cash these days and so i have to dig into our cupboard just to look for any available ingredients for my sandwich.

This is a simple combination of lettuce, roasted zucchini (flavored with oregano, salt, pepper and olive oil), slices of Spanish style sardines, silken Japanese tofu, on a slightly toasted baguette topped with balsamic sauce (minced garlic, parsley, olive oil, and reduced balsamic vinegar.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Creole Red Beans

“It’s a hobby, but it’s almost a passion,” a newspaper once quoted Cajun cook Fr. George Wiltz, SJ, as saying about cooking. “I read cookbooks like novels.”

Fr. George Wiltz,SJ is the director of Montserrat Retreat House in Lake Dallas, Texas. As house director, he sees to people’s spiritual needs. As cook, he takes care of other needs as well. Fr. Wiltz recalled recipes from his Creole upbringing in Louisiana when he was a young Jesuit drafted to cook at residences on Sunday nights or holidays. Here’s one of his favorites.

* 2 lbs red beans
* 1/2 cup olive oil
* 2 lbs andouille sausage (turkey sausage works as well)
* 2 cups chopped onion
* 1 cup chopped green pepper
* 1 cup chopped celery
* 2 tbsp minced garlic
* 1/2 cup parsley
* dash of tabasco
* 1 tsp oregano

Soak beans in water overnight, keeping covered with water; drain and rinse. Put in a crock pot with the olive oil. Roughly chop sausage and sauté it, and then sauté the green pepper, onion, celery, and garlic as well (don’t let the latter burn). Put all in crock pot and add the last ingredients. Pour in enough water to cover everything. Cook on high for approximately 4 hours for soft beans; cut back time for firmer beans. Leave cover of crock pot cracked a bit to allow for evaporation to bring out the flavor better. Serve over white rice. Serves 10-12.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Dragonfruit Dessert Presentation

This is not a recipe post. This is a demonstration of the ingenuity and creativity of Filipinos. This dragonfruit desert was the final course in a luncheon in my honor, given by her excellency Ambassador Virginia Benavides, the Ambassador of the Philippines to Brunei. The cook is Filipino. The ice case was done by putting water inside a balloon and almost freezing it for 22 hours. The hollow portion was created by unfrozen water and a hot metal plate. Simply amazing!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Filipino Food: The Original Fusion Food

The Philippines is a melting pot of flavors because of the many years of foreign influences. One article I read called Filipino food as the original fusion food — a fusion cuisine not by the calculated invention of gastronomes, but one that was due to the providential confluence of cultures in history.

The Xavier University Jesuit Community just celebrated Philippine Independence Day with a Filipino Barrio Fiesta. To symbolize the Spanish, American, and Japanese colonizers, we prepared Beef Tenderloin Salpicado, Buffalo Chicken Wings, and Salmon Sushi / California Maki. The menu is as follows:

Pancit Molo
A Filipino wonton soup with dumplings made out of chicken and shrimp topped with roasted garlic.

Lumpiang Hubad
Julienned heart-of-palm with carrots, sliced smoked ham, and chicken. Dressed with a sweet-sour garlic peanut sauce.

Main Dishes

Gourmet Chicken Adobo
Chicken stewed in white wine, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, rosemary, honey, and cracked black pepper.

Inihaw na Panga
Charcoal-grilled tuna with a soy sauce-kalamansi dip.

Boneless Crispy Pata
Pork, trussed and boiled in lemongrass and garlic, then roasted to a crisp.

Mango Turon
Mango egg rolls dipped in white chocolate.

Let me give you the recipe for the Mango turon:

Sliced Philippine Mangoes (into half an inch thick strips, probably around four to six inches long)
Cream Cheese Cubes
Lumpia (Egg Roll Wrapper)
White Chocolate

Wrap the mango and cream cheese as you would in an egg roll: make sure that the you would have enough mango for each turon (probably around four to six strips) and merely dot the the mango with cream cheese before wrapping.

Deep fry the turon in hot oil until deep golden brown. Set aside.

While the turon is cooling slightly, melt the white chocolate over a double boiler. When smoothly melted, dip the cooked turon in the melted white chocolate, making sure that you leave half of the turon undipped (for presentation purposes).

Serve warm with Pistachio Ice Cream or Macapuno (Coconut Sport) Ice Cream.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Our Last Hurrah

The Theologians' sub-community took time off a few days before the new school year begins to welcome the members of the community. Last June 6 - 9, donned with beach attire, our community went to Punta Fuego in Batangas to spend four days of fun, food, and fellowship. My task is to feed 20 growling stomachs (to borrow from Passionate eater) for three days. Here's a sample of what we had (Pasta Night)

For cocktails, I served mild cheddar and hot peppered monterey jack. The cold cuts are a combination of florentiner and mortadela-- the cheapest that i can find in the local delicatessen.

As part of the antipasto, i served these marbled potatoes with a dollop of mayonnaise and a little dose of extra virgin olive oil and then sprinkled (a generous sprinkle) with garlic and fresh basil leaves. The guys finished it even before I served the pasta!

I served spaghetti prepared in two ways. One was cooked in sauteed garlic, tomatoes and basil leaves, half a bottle of white table wine. I used Spanish sardines to flavor the pasta. The other one was prepared with pesto sauce.

And of course, nothing beats grilled sausages (hungarian and italian garlic)for a good pasta night!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Halibut Supreme

(We're posting here a recipe created by Br. John Buchman, SJ. Original post can be found in

Br. John Buchman, SJ, who serves the Jesuit community at Brebeuf Jesuit Prep in Indianapolis as assistant to the rector, house manager, and cook, entered the novitiate in Milford, Ohio, in 1951. That is where he learned this dish from Br. Phil Anton, SJ, who cooked for many years for fellow Jesuits at Milford, as did Br. Buchman after him. The countless Jesuits who sing this dish’s praises do not have to rely on their memories; it is still served frequently at many Jesuit houses in the Midwest, including the Milford retreat house.
Br. Buchman OKs the substitution of any mild white fish, such as tilapia, orange roughy, or cod for the halibut, and suggests serving this with steamed asparagus and a tossed salad or a fruit salad.

• 8 halibut filets (about 1/2-inch thick each)
• 2 sticks melted butter or margarine
• 1 cup finely chopped onion
• 1 cup finely chopped green pepper
• 2 cups unseasoned bread crumbs
• 1/2 tsp sage
• lemon juice
• salt
• pepper
Mix melted butter, bread crumbs, onion, green pepper, and sage to make the stuffing. Layer some stuffing over one filet and cover with another filet (you can make two filets out of one if they are very thick). Alternatively, take one filet, spread stuffing on top, and roll it up. Sprinkle with lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and a little more of the stuffing. Bake at 350 degrees for 25–30 minutes.

Serves 8.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Becoming Bread

I am always amazed with the process of making bread. It is a long tedious process of cutting, breaking, grinding, kneading and heating. Yet, the product of this laborious process is something that delights the palate, something that fills hunger, something that gives new strength. Let me briefly describe this awesome process.

Baking bread really starts with a harvest. Any kind of grain— wheat, barley or oats, when harvested are cut from their golden stalks and treshed. Grains are unhusked and then ground to make fine flour. The flour had to go through the baker’s hand and oven. He will mix some other ingredients into the flour: salt, sugar, leavening and shortening. He will then knead the flour mixture until he produces a supple and soft mixture ready for baking. The mixture then is laid to the oven, put under the heat and baked. After a long process, the bread is ready to be served at the table, to be broken once again and be eaten for it to achieve its worth and its purpose.

The bread we eat at breakfast or mirienda is a product of a disciplined process, a “formation process”, so to speak. A good bread is a product of a disciplined process of cutting, breaking, grinding, kneading and heating and baking. Without this long process, there would be no bread to eat.

So is man. Mencius, an ancient Chinese Philosopher once said, “When Heaven is about to confer a great responsibility of any man, it will exercise his mind with suffering, subject his sinews and bones to hardwork, expose his body to hunger, put him to poverty, place obstacles in the paths of his deeds, so as to stimulate his mind, harden his nature, and improve wherever he is incompetent.” Men who are to carry great responsibility must become like bread -- they must be cut, broken, ground, kneaded and baked.

Reflecting on this imagery of bread making, I cannot help but think about my own formation as a Jesuit.

Like bread baking, my vocation started with a harvest. It started with a paradoxical experience of fullness and emptiness. While I felt so blessed in my life and everything seemed to fall on their proper places there was a correlative sense of lack. I always felt a constant urge to look for something more—something beyond the blessings, something beyond what is convenient. I began to look for a deeper purpose. I realized that there is more to life than just being loved, accepted and blessed. “Unless wheat dies and falls into the ground, it will not bear much fruit.” These words in the scriptures gave me a sense that “harvest time” was at hand.

To harvest means cutting off from the source. I did not realize what being cut-off means until I entered the novitiate. It was a freely chosen cutting-off and yet it was difficult because it meant cutting off from the world, from my family and friends, from the comforts of home and the work place. It was indeed a time of suffering, hard work and poverty, as Mencius would put it.

My formation was like the transformation process of a grain to becoming bread. I was stripped off my false husks so that my true self could emerge. With this, I discovered the beauty of being naked from false self-notions and defense mechanisms. The unhusking eventually led me to the process of grinding and kneading.

In the novitiate, I had to learn and “unlearn” things which were difficult to do. Indeed, to learn and unlearn was a grinding and kneading process for me. From the comforts of life, I had to learn simple living by going up the mountain and live with the people there. I had to learn serving others by serving in the hospitals and in the urban poor communities. From control of my own life, I had to learn to obey the will of my Superiors. From a carefree expression of my passion, I had to turn to discipline and personal mortification to train my body, mind and spirit to be chaste.

I pronounced my vows May 31, 2001. I thought the grinding and kneading would be over when I transferred to Loyola House of Studies for my formation as a Jesuit Scholastic. Some months later, I realized that the grinding and kneading was far from over. The profession of vows was just a stage in the formation—an opening that leads to more grinding and kneading—preparing us to become bread for others.

The Juniorate formation proved to be a practice on eloquentia or eloquence, as we are honed both in our written and oral communication skills. After a year, we are initiated into the rigors and discipline of Philosophy hoping that our minds are formed with sapientia (wisdom). After two years of philosophy, we are then asked to go out of the formal structures of the Scholasticate for Regency. Here, we get to taste the apostolic character of the Society as we engage ourselves in teaching or missionary work. After two years, we go back to the Scholasticate to have another four years of studying Theology. As one goes deeper to the formation process, the greater challenges and demands will be in all aspects: studies, apostolate, spiritual and community life.

Being in the Society of Jesus for seven years now and knowing the process that I had to undergo, I am now more convinced that indeed, I am yet to become bread. Not only would I continue to experience the long and tedious process of breaking, grinding and kneading, I also need to go through the fire. All these are necessary to become the finest bread that I am called to be.

Reflecting more deeply, I was lead away from my own formation process to contemplation on the lives of the great men of our history. An arresting realization came to me. Hindi pala ako nag-iisa. Rizal had to endure his separation from family. Ninoy Aquino had to be incarcerated in a solitary confinement. Mahatma Gandhi had to endure the pain of hunger as he stood for the rights of his people. Francis Xavier had to struggle with language barriers to preach the Good News. Ignatius of Loyola had to be taught by God like “a Master to his pupil.” They are only but few of the great men who have been subjected to tests, stretched, kneaded and baked. Yet, they have become the finest bread for humanity. This realization becomes even more arresting whenever I contemplate Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life himself, who went through the process of “cutting, breaking, grinding, kneading and heating” unto end. This is the same Jesus who in the Spiritual Exercises have invited me, “whoever would like to come with Me is to labor with Me, that following me in the pain, he may also follow me in the glory.”(SpEx 96)

Looking then at my Jesuit life now, I could only humbly admit that indeed I am yet to become bread. With this long process of formation, I could only hope that I may truly be able to follow Jesus. That I too, like Jesus, become a bread to be broken, blessed and be given away.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Culinary Pilgrim's Asian Salad

This one is an original creation from the culinary pilgrim's kitchen experiments. This salad was conceptualized as an appetizer served with fried dumplings on top. But the salad itself was already a good discovery, so i didn't bother to prepare the fried dumpling. What i did was to cut the dumpling wrappers into strips, deep fried them and added it in the salad as an added ingredient--to give it a little crunch. This recipe was originally posted from my personal food blog "cafe aranzazu".

300 g pea sprouts
1 - 2 pcs. cucumber, cut into strips (noodle size)
1/2 cup diced fresh tofu
5-6 pcs. shitake mushrooms cut into strips
5 - 6 pcs. medium sized shrimp, deveined and cooked
50 g black-wood-ear-fungus (tengang daga)
3 tbsp finely chopped chilantro
6 pcs. dumpling wrappers

3 tbsp hoisin sauce
3 tbsp sate sauce
3 tbsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup cane vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Wash, drain and dry pea sprouts.
2. In a salad bowl, toss the pea sprouts, cucumber strips, mushrooms, black ear
fungus,chilantro and tofu. Drizzle with sesame oil.
3. In a bowl, whisk hoisin sauce, garlic,sate sauce, sesame oil and cane vinegar.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
4. Cut dumpling wrappers into strips and deep fry until golden brown. Set aside.
5. Toss the salad with the hoisin vinaigrette. Serve in a salad bowl topped with
the golden brown dumpling wrapper strips.

Arrangement Suggestion: Instead of salad bowl, try putting the salad in a noodle soup/congee bowl and serve it as one will serve a congee. Extra hoisin vinaigrette may be put into a chinese soup spoon.

Possible Modifications:
1. Instead of shrimps, try substituting leftover chinese roast pork or soy chicken.
2. Try also adding some edible jelly fish (available in asian stores) into the salad.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ginger Glazed Salmon Kebabs

1 kg Salmon Fillets (Cut into Kebab Sizes)
1 medium can button mushrooms
2 – 3 green peppers (chopped)
1 medium can pineapple chunks
1 – 2 bulbs onion

¼ cup molasses
2 – 3 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp grated ginger
salt and pepper to taste

1.Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper
2.Alternately arrange button mushrooms, salmon fillets, green pepper, pineapple chunks and onions in a skewer.
3.In a small bowl, whisk dijon mustard, ginger and molasses.
4.Glaze kebab with ginger mixture. Set aside and marinade for about an hour.
5.Grill for about 6 - 10 minutes. serve with your favorite side dish.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Deconstructed Turon

(This is an updated version of a recipe originally included in the "Italian-Pinoy Fusion" blog entry)

16 pcs. dumpling wrapper
4-6 pcs. medium sliced banana
2 – 4 tbsp cooked langka
100 g roasted sesame seeds (linga)
1 pack instant whipped cream
½ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
4 – 6 tbsp. vanilla ice cream
2-3 cups cooking oil.

1. Fry dumpling wrappers until crispy brown.
2. Caramelize brown sugar in butter. Add roasted sesame seeds. Spread in fried molo wrapper
3. Alternately assemble the fried dumpling wrapper, slices of banana, langka strips, and whipped cream. Create 2 to 3 layers.
4. For an ala mode version, top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Pink Pomelo Dressing

(We're back from a long hiatus! The school year was too busy for all of us here at the Loyola House of Studies, that is why updating blogs have to be set aside for some time. But anyway, we just came back from our yearly summer vacation at the Mirador Jesuit Villa to rest and recreate and of course I was able to do that which I am most passionate about--cooking! I was assigned to supervise the kitchen staff to prepare a meal for more or less 110 people. As a sequel to the fruity salad dressings a year ago, Here's another salad dressing which was originally concocted for the Jesuit Villa.)

2 cups flesh of pink pomelo (or grapefruit)
1 cup apple cider or cane vinegar.
1/2 medium bulb white onion
1 clove of garlic
1 sprig of parsley
1 - 2 tbsp. fish sauce (adjust according to taste)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. ground pepper

combine all ingredients in a food processor. blend well until pureed. serve as dressing for mixed greens.