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:

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

Salad
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.

Dessert
Mango Turon
Mango egg rolls dipped in white chocolate.

Let me give you the recipe for the Mango turon:

Ingredients:
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!