Monday, September 27, 2010

#14: In Lieu of an Oven

We Filipinos are not the type that will cook in an oven. We are a stove-top people and we will try to do as much as we can on top of a fire. Besides, a gas range with an oven is not the most affordable kitchen appliance there is. I got mine as an exchange wedding gift from my gracious mother-in-law. She saved up a sum of money from her dressmaking gigs and bought herself a gas range even if she never baked. So, knowing that I do bake dishes and pastries, she agreed to just exchange the 2-burner stove we got with her gas range as a wedding gift. She knows that I will be able to maximize our gas range friend better. Anne was happy! 
This funny cartoon came from
Thank you!

So most Pinoys cannot afford an oven and some of us with an oven think that cooking in them uses up more gas. I'm not so sure about that.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

#13: Simple Pinakbet (The Recipe)

Calm down, calm down...

The recipe you waited for is here. :-D This is simple because it only has the bare necessities: kalabasa, string beans and malunggay. The more elaborate ones include eggplant, okra, malunggay fruit, patani, kalabasa flowers, some wrinkly vegetable that looks like short string beans like the one in the upper right of the picture here. Are you familiar with that? Anyway, the more vegetables you use, the more bagoong and pork you should use as well to make sure that it will stay flavorful.

Monday, September 20, 2010

#12: Simple Pinakbet (yackety yack part)

Pinakbet was something frowned upon by us three Nicomedes siblings. During our youth, we were carnivores. But learning how to love vegetables come with the wisdom of age. :-D This used to be a non-favorite because one, I was too young to want to eat veggies, and two, too foolish to realize that it is one of the tastiest pinoy vegetable dish ever. You just have to learn the trick to cook it right.

Friday, September 17, 2010

#11: Food Finesse

One of the things that makes my face twitch when in parties or buffets is when people dump 5 different kinds of food on their plate. Yes, even the cake and ice cream beside the menudo and pancit guisado. How can they stand that?

I know people will tell me, but it will all go in your tummy anyway? Why bother separating them in your plate?

C'mon guys. Then if you're gonna run that by me then maybe you should just blend all those in an osterizer and just suck them through a straw.

Enjoying food is an art that takes much care and respect.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

#10:Blackened Chicken on Creamed Leafy Bed

I saw this on TV a few weeks ago but it required spinach. Hmmm... spinach may be affordable in POpeye's town but not here in the Philippines. So you know what I did? I substituted it with kangkong (water spinach) and  malunggay! It looked the same, tasted really good and is sure-fire to be very healthy. If you don't know yet, malunggay, when cooked right, it is the ultimate vegetable. You can practically live just eating malunggay leaves as your vegetable! Take this:

"Gram for gram, moringa leaves contain four times the calcium and two times the protein in milk. It also contains seven times the vitamin C in oranges, three times the potassium in bananas, and four times the vitamin A in carrots. "(Ernesto OrdoƱez, IInquirer)

I thought that this is such a nice balanced meal that is perfect for lunch or baon for your kids. You just have to stock up on a number of spices first before you do this because this is spice-heavy. Meat and veggies, spicy and creamy, strong and mild. I love this because it is so simple yet when you serve this, it oozes with elegance, flavor, and wholesome goodness,  this should be part of every family's menu! 

Friday, September 10, 2010

#9: Sgt Pepper is Lonely...

...because few understand what peppers are for.

Salt and pepper are soulmates. They are meant to be together in almost every savory dish. Although we know what salt is for, why do you think there is pepper? 

This is my attempt to put together my knowledge, logic, assumptions and articulations to put meaning in these taken-for-granted granules.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

#8: Buttered Vegetables

These baby carrots from
indeed look tasty and refreshing
This vegetable side dish is so versatile because it can go with any fried or baked meat dish that's relatively dry or monotonous in color. I usually pair this with Pollo Al Ajo because it balances the chicken's rich, spicy flavor with the light and refreshing flavor of the beans, carrots, the earthiness of the mushrooms and the sweet bursts from the corn. The light crunch and color definitely add not just nutrition but also life and depth to your meal whether it be simply fried chicken or fried fish. At the end of the recipe, I added variations to this to suit your taste and the main dish that it will be partnered with.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

#7: Pollo al Ajo

What's for lunch mom?

It's gonna be Pollo al Ajo and Buttered Vegetables. *wink*


Just saying the name makes you feel like a hotel chef. Remember my post when I said I'll share a recipe that involves chicken, garlic and ginger but it is not tinola? Well, here it is. I learned this dish from a bargain bookstore recipe book. It turned to be a very tasty dish! We have another featured ingredient here that will spell the difference and make an ordinary P50 chicken dish taste like P250. ;-) It's time to try THYME! It is an herb that has a fresh minty, woody bouquet or scent. The dried variety of these little leaves is so potent that a little goes a long way. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

#6: My Late Lolos

I trace my interest in cooking from both my grandfathers.

My late maternal lolo (whom we lovingly called "Tata") is a farmer and is also the community chef of our then still provincial Baranggay Bancal in Meycauayan. Whenever there is a wedding or a debut or any occasion in the town, you'll be sure to find him in the front yard with his gigantic stove and equally gigantic talyasi (it's a very big wok, you can even take a bath in it).