Saturday, April 28, 2012

Chicken Strips Adobo Sandwich

I don't know about you...but I sooo love stew. Just like any other typical Filipino, I love eating it with rice...but I also enjoy eating it with rolls and bread, especially the leftover. Whether it's beef, chicken or pork stew, making a sandwich filling out of it always excites my taste buds. I remember that when I was little, whenever we have stew for dinner, whether its adobo, afritada, estofado, kaldereta or menudo, I would always ask my mom to make me some stew filled pandesal or pandelemon for breakfast the next morning. Sometimes, I would even bring them to school for snack. Even now, I still love that kind of sandwich. During our road trips, I would usually cook adobo or menudo the night before then stuff them in buns. My family consider it as a very yummy on-the-go meal!

For this month's Kulinarya Cooking Club Challenge, I found the perfect chance to share one of my family's favorite stew sandwiches with you. Thanks to our host, Louie Yan of East and West for choosing "Filipino portable bites offered by food trucks" to be this month's theme. Here in the US, I've only seen food trucks when we were in NYC. If I am to find one here in Texas, I would love if they have Filipino food like those in California...and how I wish they have this Adobo Sandwich!
It looks so good, right??? If there are food trucks selling this here in Texas, I'll definitely be a frequent customer! And if someday I'll have my own food truck or Filipino fast food restaurant, this Chicken Strips Adobo Sandwich will be one of our house specials! This is no ordinary sandwich, I tell you! It has the goodness of the Filipino all time favorite adobo plus the yummy combination of egg and cheese and the added spice of Jalapeño pepper and onions! 

Though I enjoy any kind of stew, adobo is my most favorite because it is the quickest to cook and it doesn't require much ingredients. For the sandwiches that I prepare for our trips, I usually use shredded leftover pork or chicken adobo, but for this post, I used freshly cooked chicken breast strips adobo with Jalapeño pepper and lots of onions. Chicken breast cut into strips cook a lot faster so this will be perfect for on-the-go meals like this.

You should try it! I'm sure you'll love how tasty and filling this is!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Polvoron: Cookies 'N Cream, Milo and Pinipig

I was cleaning the pantry the other week when I found something which I haven't seen since we moved here in 2010. I really thought that I've lost it during the move. Glad to know that I didn't! I'm talking about my polvoron molds...
They were sent to me by Ryan's mom, after I broke the one that my mom gave me before we left for the US. She said I should always have these special molds so I can always make polvoron, a type of Spanish shortbread that is a popular dessert in the Philippines and is commonly given as a "pasalubong” or homecoming gift for friends and family. It is made with toasted flour, powdered milk, sugar and melted butter then pressed in the mold shown above and then wrapped in wax paper or cellophane.
 
After finding the molds, I just couldn't resist making these delicious treats! The ingredients are very simple and I have them all so there was really no reason not to make them. Clarise and Cherlin helped and we came up with three different flavors: Cookies 'N Cream, Milo and Pinipig(rice flakes).
We were able to make 108 pieces...and guess what? They're almost gone! Well, the girls really love polvoron and they are really excited with the thought that we can now make them instead of buying from the Asian store. :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Catfish with Black and Red Beans in Coconut Cream

Ryan went fishing again for a couple of hours last weekend, and he caught 3 big catfish. Last night, he asked me to cook this...
I simply call it Catfish with Black and Red Beans in Coconut Cream. This is one of our favorite ways of enjoying his freshly caught catfish. Filipinos love anything cooked in coconut milk/cream, you know. We call it ginataan. We cook anything with gata (coconut milk/cream): from beef, pork, poultry and seafood to vegetables and fruits. I've featured some ginataan recipes here already like the Ginataang Tilapia, Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw and the Ginataang Halo-Halo, but this one is a bit different. This doesn't have a soupy consistency, mainly because I used coconut cream instead of coconut milk. I also added Japanese curry roux into it for more flavor and it also made the sauce thicker...and instead of vegetables, I used beans for added texture.
This very flavorful dish is always a hit on our dinner table. You should see for yourself!

Note: 
This way of cooking works well with fish fillet. For whole fish, a soupy consistency like that of my Ginataang Tilapia is more appropriate.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Homemade Ice Cream: Cookies 'N Cream with Marshmallows

Weather here in Texas is really unpredictable. It can rain cats and dogs for a couple of hours, then it will be sunny and summer-like a few hours later. One day it's hot but very windy...the next day it's cold and raining. When I made this ice cream the other day, the sun was shining so bright, I swear...but now, it's all gloomy and starting to rain.
Oh well, I love ice cream regardless of the weather...so the rain won't stop me from sharing with you this Homemade Cookies 'N Cream with Marshmallows Ice Cream. I'm more of a fruit-flavored ice cream person, and mango, avocado and strawberry are among my favorites. But if there is one non-fruit flavor that I like, it's Cookies 'N Cream. I guess my daughters have influenced me on this one. Whenever we buy ice cream and we let them decide on the flavor, very seldom do they choose other flavors. It's really Cookies 'N Cream most of the time. They love it so much and they enjoy topping it with marshmallows. So since we got our ice cream maker last year, I always make it with marshmallows in it. Now, they don't have to top it with marshmallows...it's already in the ice cream. :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

PiTCC Goes Japanese with Nikujaga from Just One Cookbook


It's the third Wednesday of the month...and it's time for PiTCC's Favorite Dishes from Around The World!

Today, I am sharing with you a dish from the Japanese Cuisine which Ryan and I really like. I am not sure if I have told you before that Ryan worked with a Japanese company right after we passed the engineering board exam until he left for the US. He had been on several job related trips to Japan ranging from one to six months, which made him love everything about Japan most especially its friendly people, its fascinating state of the art railway system, the heated toilet seats (LOL), the huge electronic stores in Akihabara and its cuisine, of course. Though I haven't been to Japan myself (except for those stop overs in Narita Airport on the way to and from the Philippines), I have come to love Japanese food mainly because I have been influenced by Ryan. When we were still in the Philippines, we regularly ate at Japanese restaurants in the Makati area like Saisaki, Sakura, Jipan, Tokyo Tokyo, Yoshinoya and Teriyaki Boy. Gyudon, Katsudon, Tendon, Unagi Don, Takoyaki and Yakisoba became my favorite Japanese food among many others. But our featured dish for today is something that we got to eat not from a restaurant but from several parties hosted by Ryan's Japanese boss. It's called Nikujaga which is basically a dish with meat, potatoes and onions stewed in sweetened soy sauce. 
It has been years since we last had this dish. Just like in the Philippines, it's not in the menu of the Japanese restaurants we've been to here in Texas. I've tried cooking it before but I don't think it came out as authentic as it should be...there seem to be some flavors missing. I'm truly glad that through my good friend Nami, I can share with you this simple but really delicious dish and we can all learn the authentic way of cooking it. I'm sure most of you know Nami...but for those who don't, well, let me tell you that she's one of my favorite bloggers. She was born and raised in Yokohama, Japan and now lives in SF Bay Area with her Taiwanese husband and two adorable kids. She's the author and co-founder of this blog called Just One Cookbook where you can find the most authentic Japanese recipes and cooking tips. I'm truly glad to have known her! With a husband like mine who loves Japanese food so much, having Nami and her blog is truly a big help! And today, I'm so honored to have her here on PiTCC! Without further ado, let me bring you our second guest blogger for PiTCC's Favorite Dishes from Around The World series...Namiko Chen!!! 

Hi everyone!  My name is Nami and I am the author, cook, and photographer behind my blog, Just One Cookbook where I share quick and easy Japanese food and recipes.  I’m really excited to be here today to share with everyone Tina’s favorite Japanese meal, Nikujaga.

Nikujaga (Japanese: 肉じゃが) literally means “meat and potatoes”, from two of the main ingredients niku (meat) and jagaimo (potatoes). It’s the Japanese version of beef stew; however, it contains a fairly small amount of meat.  The meat is added for flavor rather than substance, just like most of Japanese cooking.  It is simmered in the classic Japanese seasonings of soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar. Unlike Western stews, the simmering time is much shorter because nikujaga uses thinly sliced meat.  Beef is commonly used for this dish but in eastern Japan, pork is more popular.
  
Nikujaga is a comfort food for the Japanese and it is a very popular meal cooked at home.  It is often considered as “mother’s taste” meal (“ofukuro no aji” in Japanese) as each household cooks it just slightly different.  The food itself is very simple and homely, and the warm bowl of your mother’s nikujaga brings one back to their roots.  It is probably the most popular dish among all kinds of nimono (Japanese stewed dishes). 

Thank you Tina for having me here today and I hope you and your readers will enjoy this dish!  Now let’s get cooking!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Baked Paprika Chicken and Mushrooms

Hi everyone! Did you miss me??? Sorry for my absence in the blogosphere! Our internet connection was down since Thurday. Our new neighbor had their internet installed on that day and for some reasons (that our service provider hasn't explained to us yet), our connection was affected. It really sucks! But the worst part is that it took two days for AT&T to attend to the problem. It was only fixed last Saturday and we didn't even get an explanation about what really happened.

But at least my connection is up now, right??? I am really happy to be back...and I am glad to bring you another family favorite non-Filipino recipe. 

As I've told you many times, my daughters love mushrooms so much. This Baked Paprika Chicken and Mushrooms is one of those dishes that I came up with to satisfy their craving for mushrooms. The combination of chicken, mushrooms and cheese, and the wonderful flavors of garlic, paprika and sake in it make this a very exciting and delicious dish.
We all love this from the first time I cooked it...I'm pretty sure you will love it too!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ube Macapuno Cake for Clarise's 10th Birthday

Clarise turned 10 last Monday. Unlike the previous years, she didn't want a party...she said all she wants is to have a family celebration at Master Grill (her favorite resto) and that I make her an Ube Macapuno Cake...and that we buy her a laptop and a Kindle Touch. I'm not sure if she really didn't want a party or she was just trying to be considerate because she knew that the gifts she requested were kinda expensive. Anyway, we granted her requests...all of it. We ate at Master Grill with some friends last weekend...we bought her a laptop and a Kindle Touch...and I made her an Ube Macapuno Cake.
I also prepared some of her favorite food that she said she wants to eat on her birthday. 
Though Clarise insisted that she wanted her birthday celebration to be a family thing, I invited some friends to join us for dinner last Monday. I'm pretty sure she didn't mind. She had so much fun and didn't have the time to complain. :)

Thanks to Abigail of Cuddles and Crumbs for the Ube Macapuno Cake recipe. Clarise and everyone else loved it! 

Ube Macapuno Cake is one of my family's favorite cake from Red Ribbon Bakeshop in the Philippines. It has been almost 5 years since the last time we had it. I'm really glad I was able to find a good recipe!

Ingredients:
Adapted from Cuddles and Crumbs (originally from Heart of Mary)
For the Cake:
  • 2¼ cups cake flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7 eggs, yolk and white separated
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup grated ube (If using fresh ube, cook it first in boiling water. Peel it after allowing to cool down, then grate. If using frozen ube, use it as is.)
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
For Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 *8oz. package of cream cheese
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 *12 oz jar of macapuno (preserved sweet coconut strings)


Procedure:
For the Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two 9" round, 1½" high pans and one 4"x8" loaf pan with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, sift cake flour, baking powder, ¾ cup sugar and salt and mix until well combined. On a separate bowl, combine egg yolks, oil, milk, and ube. Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Beat on lowest setting until just combined. Set aside. 
3. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites on high speed until frothy. Gradually add in remaining ¾ cup sugar and cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Gently fold in egg whites into mixture until very well combined. 

4. Divide batter into prepared pans. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool down in pans for about 5 minutes then transfer to wire racks and allow to completely cool down.

For the Frosting:
In a small bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy. In another bowl, beat heavy cream, sugar and vanilla on high speed until stiff. Slowly fold in cream cheese and beat again at high speed for a few seconds just until well combined. Be sure not over beat your frosting.

To assemble:
1. Drain some of the syrup from the macapuno. Set aside. 
2. Place one of the round cakes on your serving plate or cake board. Spread and level about 1/3 of  frosting onto the cake layer until it is about ¼" thick. Top with 1/3 of the macapuno. Place second round cake on top of macapuno. Spread the next 1/3 of frosting to cover top and sides of cake. 
3. Remove sides and bottom of the loaf cake. Cut the cake into cubes then crumble using a food processor or blender. Gently stick the crumbs to the cake top and sides until it is fully covered. 
5. Using the remaining frosting, pipe out big rosettes around the cake’s top edge, and some small ones around the bottom part. Spread the remaining macapuno in the center of the cake. You may also top the rosettes with macapuno.
Note:
I only made 2 layers. If you want more filling, you can make it 4 layers by dividing each round cake into two but you will have to double your frosting ingredients if you will do that.

 


Friday, April 6, 2012

Ryan's Fish and Chips with Tartar Sauce

It's Good Friday today, and before my family heads out to do Visita Iglesia, I want to bring you PiTCC's last Meatless Friday recipe for this year.

Hubby went fishing last Monday and he caught more than 20 lbs of catfish. I don't usually like catfish because of its strong muddy taste, but that's not how it is with Ryan's catfish. You see, he learned from his officemate that the most effective way to remove the muddy taste in catfish is to let the fillets bleed out on ice overnight. So that's what he does...and it really works!

The next day, he made fish and chips and he wanted me to share it with you...so here it is!
This is one of Ryan's specialty. Everytime he catches some fish (whether its catfish or white bass) from the nearby lake, fish and chips is what you will first see on our table. I guess he really finds it easy to make and very enjoyable to eat. He even makes tartar sauce to go with it. Ryan's Fish and Chips is something that my daughters consider real comfort food. They love how crispy and flavorful their dad makes it!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

PiTCC Goes Italian with Risotto alla Marinara from Manu's Menu

Just like what I mentioned in my last post, I am launching a new series called "PiTCC's Favorite Dishes from Around The World" today. It's where I will ask a fabulous blogger every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month to guest post here on PiTCC with one of my favorite non-Filipino dishes. 

I am a person who loves to eat and though I love Filipino Cuisine so much, I enjoy lots of other cuisines too. This new series on my blog is my way of sharing with you what those other cuisines are and what specific dishes from those cuisines please my taste buds.I believe that doing this will give both you and me the chance to learn authentic recipes from trusted resource people in the blogging industry, and that's really awesome, right???

As I've told you many times, I'm a big lover of seafood. That is why I've chosen a seafood dish to be featured first on PiTCC's Favorite Dishes from Around The World. It's also Holy Wednesday today and some people abstain from eating beef, pork and poultry, so this is really timely! The dish I'm talking about is called Risotto alla Marinara or simply Seafood Risotto

I had this delicious Italian dish several times at Italianni's Restaurant when I was still in the Philippines. I have been wanting to learn the original version of it, and yes, now is the perfect time! I believe no one can give me the most authentic recipe for Risotto alla Marinara other than my good friend Manu of Manu's Menu. Manu and I started food blogging almost the same time last year. Though we haven't met in person yet, I feel that we have a very special bond. We may not keep in touch that often, but I know that she's someone I can really depend on here in the blogosphere. Her willingness to do a guest post for PiTCC is a great proof to that, right??? With her very busy schedule both as a mom and blogger, I am glad that she found the time to be here with us today. It is such an honor for me to have her! Without further ado, let me bring you our first guest blogger here on PiTCC...Manuela Zangara!!!
Hi everyone! I am Manuela, the author and creator of Manu’s Menu. I was born and brought up in Milan (Italy) by Sicilian parents and my passion for cooking can be traced back to my childhood, when I used to prepare meals together with my parents. I come from an artistic family and I often say that cooking is my art of choice. After moving to Australia in 2006 and becoming a mother of 2 beautiful daughters, I decided to create a blog to share my passion for cooking and to spread the concept of authentic Italian home cooking to the world.  

When my dear friend Tina asked me to write a guest post on Risotto alla Marinara for her beautiful site, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. I have a soft spot for risotto, and it is the first dish I learned how to cook completely on my own as a child. Making risotto is very easy, you just need to know a few simple rules and the great part is that the method is always the same: after you master the basic technique, you can make ANY kind of risotto you like. Making Risotto alla Marinara is no exception and even though it does require a bit of time and a few extra steps, it is no more complicated than any other risotto. “Alla Marinara” literally means “seaman style” and it is basically the same as “Alla pescatora” (“fisherman style”) and“Ai frutti di mare” (“with seafood”), so it is a seafood risotto and it is most commonly found in the coastal areas of Italy where fresh seafood is abundant. You could cook it with any combination of seafood (the ingredients vary slightly depending on “today’s fresh catch”), but I was lucky enough to find the most classic combo of ingredients at the fishmonger: prawns, calamari, mussels and vongole (or pippies/clams).  

Making this risotto with fresh seafood makes a huge difference, so I highly recommend it. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I did!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mais Queso (Corn and Cheese) Ice Cream Nests

Holy Week officially started yesterday and that means Easter is here in just 6 days! I'm pretty sure that everyone's busy preparing for some get together this weekend, so I feel that there's nothing better for me to share today than this ice cream treat that will be perfect for Easter dessert. Whether you're planning something festive or you're just thinking of a simple family lunch, this is something that's sure to give delight not only to the kids but to the whole family. Everyone will surely find this to be so refreshing after the egg hunt.

When I saw this on meals.com, I knew I have to try it. This ice cream nests idea is actually perfect not just for Easter but for all kinds of occasions. It's such a fun alternative to the usual cone. My girls find this way of serving ice cream too cute. For this post, I used homemade Mais Queso (Corn and Cheese) Ice Cream, (a favorite Filipino ice cream that I haven't had for ages), but you can actually use any ice cream flavor you want. 

Check out my version of Nestle's Easter Ice Cream Nests and let me know what you think!

By the way, starting this Wednesday, I will be doing PiTCC's Favorite Dishes from Around The World every 1st and 3rd Wednedays of the month, wherein I'll be asking fabulous bloggers to guest post with one of my favorite non-Filipino dishes. I can't wait to introduce you to my first guest blogger!!! I'm sure most of you are familiar with her. Here's a hint...she's Italian! :) Be sure to come back this Wednesday to meet her and find out about one of my favorite seafood dishes...