Thursday, November 26, 2009

Baon – Ginataang Hipon at Kalabasa (Prawn & Pumpkin in Coconut Milk)

In the past I never would have dared bring such delights to work. But after my tuyo and curry lunch barely caused a murmur I feel almost invincile and uninhibited to bring whatever i fancy. I figured there couldn’t be anything worse of an assault to your nostrils than dried fish (there's plenty I know but let’s not get side tracked).

The recipe is a rehash of a previous post with a slight variation. I peeled the prawns before cooking for a less fiddly lunch at work.

I also brought some tuna for another layer of flavour to my lunch.

Ginataang Hipon at Kalabasa (Prawns & Pumpkin in Coconut Milk)

1 medium onion chopped
6 slices of ginger
6-8 medium prawns peeled
Pumpkin (I don’t know how to quantify this. 1 regular size wedge, I suppose)
1 bunch mustard greens (mustasa)
1 can coconut milk
Fish sauce or sea salt
Oil for sautéing

1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Sauté the ginger for about a minute then add the onion. Cook until the onion is translucent.
3. Add the prawns and cook for about a minute.
4. Add the pumpkin.
5. Add a bit of fish sauce or sea salt at this stage of the cooking.
6. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer until the pumpkin is done.
7. Add more fish sauce or sea salt if necessary.
8. Add the mustard greens and cook for another minute.
9. Serve with grilled or fried fish.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Baon – Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwich)

The one and only sandwich that truly hits the spot for me is the Vietnamese Banh Mi.

What is Banh Mi?

It is a sandwich composed of a light and crispy baguette (made using a combination of rice and wheat flour) filled with mayonnaise, liver pâté, chillies, coriander, cucumber, pickled carrot and your choice of protein (Vietnamese cold cuts, leftover roasts/barbecues, etc.).

It does sound a lot…because it is. But you only need small quantities of each to create this masterpiece of a sandwich.

For today’s lunch I’ve used leftover lechon (and Vietnamese pork roll) to give it a Pinoy touch and then some beetroot instead of pickled carrots to add a bit of an Aussie element to my sandwich.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Baon - Pork Adobo

Adobo is a cooking style indigenous to the Philippines but is similarly named to a Spanish cooking method. Filipino adobo basically means cooking meat (sometimes fish and seafood as well) in vinegar. The addition of soy sauce and other spices, black pepper and bay leaves in particular, came later when the Filipinos started trading with other cultures (especially the Chinese).

Homemade ensaymadas for breakfast

There are as many versions of adobo as there are Filipino households around the globe. Mine is quite simple and I prefer to use only pork. To achieve a real authentic adobo I suggest you use Filipino branded coconut vinegar (Datu Puti perhaps) and soy sauce (Silver Swan).

To balance the fattiness of my adobo I would normally serve it with a side of vegetables. For my baon today I brought fried eggplant that I topped with caramelised garlic and onion from my adobo.

Pork Adobo ala Kidpawan

1kg pork belly cut in fairly large chunks
60ml coconut vinegar
60ml Filipino soy sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
Black pepper
1 head of garlic chopped finely
1 large onion chopped
Water (just enough to cover the meat)
Bay leaf (optional, I don’t use it in mine)
A bit of oil for sautéing

1. Combine all the ingredients in a pot but set aside a quarter of the garlic and onion for sautéing later.
2. Bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour or so or until desired tenderness of the meat is achieved.
3. Remove everything from the pot but separate the meat from the sauce.
4. Heat up a bit of oil in the same pot. Sauté the garlic then the onion.
5. Add the meat pieces back in and fry for a couple of minutes. If you prefer a “crispier” adobo fry it a bit longer.
6. Add the sauce back in and simmer for another five minutes.
7. Serve with steaming hot jasmine rice.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Minatamis na Kamote (Sweet Potato in Rich Syrup)

A bad kamote (sweet potato) experience as a youngster put me off this tuber for a long time. I would naturally substitute regular potato for any savoury recipe that calls for kamote.

I was re-introduced to it when my wife craved minatamis na kamote and asked me to prepare some. I willingly obliged, of course, consequentially resurrecting a dead and buried taste for this root crop.

I like my minatamis chewy and stretchy. By this I mean I want the kamote almost candy like. I prefer it to have a bit more bite resulting from engorging each piece of kamote in the rich syrup. This is not hard to achieve. NEVER ADD WATER!

The recipe is actually quite simple and needs only 3 ingredients. I use the purple skinned/white fleshed sweet potato variety. This strain of kamote, I find, is able to hold its shape well even after a long cooking process.

Minatamis na Kamote

1-2 kamote (sweet potato) cut into cubes
1-2 cups brown sugar (depending on how much syrup you want)
A bit of butter

1. In a thick based pan combine the kamote and the sugar. Use low to medium heat. There is no need to put any liquid as the water in the kamote should suffice to melt the sugar. Using water will boil the kamote and not result in the chewy texture that I’m after. Let this simmer for about an hour.
2. Add a bit of (real) butter at the end then turn the heat off. This is a personal preference. The butter turns the ordinary syrup into something like creamy caramel.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Baon – Spaghetti Bolognese with Meatballs

Who doesn’t like spaghetti? We might not agree on what is the best but everyone knows about it making it quite a “universally accepted” dish to have for lunch at work.

Spaghetti is quite popular among Filipinos (albeit, a version catered for the sweet-toothed). Evidence of this is found in all the popular fast food places. I might be wrong but I think it is only in the Philippines where you’ll find spaghetti at McDonald’s and KFC.

Brioche & Coffee for breakfast

I usually don’t make my Bolognese sauce from scratch. Getting home close to 7pm just does not give me enough time to pick tomatoes from the garden and simmer my sauce for hours and still be alive at the end of it. I use bottled pasta sauce (que horror!) and just tweak it to suit my taste. To give the sauce more body I add homemade meat balls.

Brioche w/ Nutella

Easy Meatballs

500g beef mince
1 bread slice torn to pieces then soaked in milk
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1 egg

1. Squeeze the excess milk out of the bread pieces.
2. Combine all the ingredients together
3. Form into your preferred size balls.
4. Cook half-way through by frying in olive oil.

Quick Bolognese Sauce

1 onion chopped
2-3 cloves garlic chopped
1 carrot chopped finely
1 celery stick chopped finely
500g beef mince
1 jar Raguletto Romano Cheese Tomato Pasta Sauce
Salt & pepper to taste
Olive Oil

1. Heat up some olive oil.
2. Sauté the onions until soft.
3. Add the garlic, carrots and celery.
4. Add the beef mince and cook until the meat changes colour.
5. Add the pasta sauce.
6. When the sauce starts bubbling add the meat balls. Simmer until the meat balls are thoroughly cooked. Add salt and pepper to suit your taste.
7. Serve with spaghetti or whatever pasta you prefer.