Almost fresh salsa

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I really like the Tostitos salsa but I can’t really justify paying that much for something that could be whipped up at a fraction of the price. Ok, not exactly the way it taste but hopefully something that could pass as salsa. Here is my take on the Tosterin Salsa. 🙂

Ingredients

  • Plump red tomatoes, about 1/4 kilos, diced
  • 1 small tomato paste – the brand I used came in 100 grams sachet
  • a sprig of cilantro, kinchay or whatever fresh herb you have access to. chopped finely.
  • 1 small onion,chopped finely
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 piece siling labuyo chopped finely
  • 1 piece of green chillies – the kind used for sinigang, chopped finely
  • 2-3 tbsp of vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Procedure

  1. Mix all ingredients in a saucepan.
  2. Heat the mixture to wilt some of the ingredients. I let it simmer for about 3 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a serving bowl or jar for storage.

Mild and sour salsa

I dont really measure when I cook as it goes against my Pacham(ba) cooking style. The different chillies are intended to give different kinds of heat. Jalapeno pepper would be nice but not something that I would have access to. The amount would vary on your taste and I only used half of the siling labuyo since it might come off as too spicy for my wife. I also used apple cider vinegar as I have that handy and I am always looking for reasons to use it. 🙂

Now off to buy some inexpensive corn or potato chips to complement the “affordable” salsa that we have in the pantry. The salsa ingredients costs about 50 pesos, which is not bad considering the grocery bought salsa fetches for 3 to 5 times that amount.

Musings from the kitchen counter

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Some things that I realized today:

– boil a liter of water with some lemongrass stalks, steep 1-2 tea bags. Strain and cool. Doesn’t taste much but smells wonderful. Remember to sweeten it with honey or brown sugar.
– Sliced lemon adds flair to the iced tea but dont leave it in the pitcher. It will make the whole batch bitter. 🙁
– I love eating chico, but putting it in oatmeal is just plain wrong.
– making teriyaki sauce is a breeze. Just mix 2 cups water, 1/2cup soy sauce (light if available), 3/4 cups brown sugar, 2-3 tbsp cornstarch, 2tbsp minced garlic. Cook until it thickens a bit.
– fried tokwa cubes with teriyaki sauce and some chopped onion leaves = heavenly fare/snack.

ciao!

Good for the Heart Sisig Recipe

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Posting for Macy.

Caveat Lector:

  • I dubbed my cooking style as “Tantyamba” or “Tantyahang+Tsambahan” (Guesstimate+Luck-of-the-draw). I usually look at a recipe and then just follow the general procedures. You can do the same.
  • Be adventurous, you only live once. My cooking satisfies that criteria, depending on how you look at it.
  • Good for the Heart means its will make your heart take a break faster. Faster is good, no?

Required Cooking Equipment:
– Knife and chopping board
– Pressure cooker
– Grill (I use a stovetop grill as I’m too lazy to tend a real grill)
– Tongs, strainer (optional)

Ingredients:
– 1/2 kilo balingit (pig’s ears), can be swapped with fatty pork cuts with skin
– 1/4 kilo lean pork, which replaces the pork face mask.
– 4 cloves of garlic, or garlic powder
– onions (about 3/4 coffee cup when chopped)
– salt and pepper
– mayonnaise (2/3 cup)
– 3-5 pieces of calamansi (or lemon/lime)
– liquid seasoning (2 cap full)
– 1 finely chopped hot chili (siling labuyo), optional

Meat Preparation:
– Clean the pork balingit and mask.
– Put all the meat products in the pressure cooker, together with the crushed garlic/garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cover with water, enough to cover the meat. If you are using both balingit/mask and normal pork cuts, don’t put the normal pork cuts yet.
– Put the pressure cooker on high-heat until it whistles. Once it starts whistling, put in low heat (enough to maintain the blasts of pressure every 5-10seconds) and maintain it for about 20-30minutes.
– If using normal pork cuts, add it on at the 15-20 minute mark and then bring the pressure up again. Resume the countdown when the cooker whistles again.
– Once the meat is soft enough (a bit gelatinous), strain them and let them cool enough to be handled without screaming.
– Once the meat is strained and cool enough, grill the meat until the skin pops and becomes crunchy (instant chicharon!). I like giving the whole meat pieces enough face time on the grill to dry them off.
– Once done, chop the meat into small pieces. Some people find it therapeutic to use cleavers but dont get carried away. The aim is to reduce them to small pieces and not to turn them to liquid.
– Mix 1/4 cup of the chopped onions to the chopped meat and set aside.

Sauce:
– Put the remaining chopped onions, mayonnaise, liquid seasoning, calamansi juice, and chili in a small saucepan. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper.
– Put the pan in low to medium heat and simmer until the onions are soft/wilted.

Serving:
– Coat the chopped meat with the sauce.
– Serve while it is hot. If it has already cooled down a bit, that is what microwave ovens are for. 😉
– Goes well as viand to freshly cooked rice and some ice-cold drinks, or as pulutan with alcoholic drinks. Greasy foods always goes well with alcoholic drinks!

sisig!

ciao!

Adobo sa Gata

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Posting here for Ate Mai. Taken from Cook Magazine (January-Februart 2003 issue). 🙂

Ingredients:
1/2 kilo liempo w/ skin, cubed
1/2 kilo chicken parts
2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp ground peppercorn
1/2 cup strong vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 head garlic, pounded
1 pc. laurel leaf, if desired
1-1 1/2 cup coconut milk
about 2 tbsp achuete oil, for coloring, if desired

Procedure:
– Season meat with salt and pepper and leave for about 15 minutes.
– Add vinegar and water, garlic and laurel
– Add achuete oil
– Simmer, covered in a heavy pot
– Reduce till liquid has practically evaporated
– Add coconut milk
– Let the sauce thicken to desired consistency

Knowing me, I’ll just take a look at the ingredients and then create the dish a’la chamba. And add some whole peppercorns at the end for that Adobo-effect. 🙂

ciao!

The mexican fiasco

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I spent the whole day at home working on my IS238 TMA. Getting bored with adobo and other tomato (insta-mix based viands included), I decided to have a mexican meal parade. I grabbed half a kilo of ground pork (beef is too expensive here, costing as much as 30 euros per kilo), some tomatoes, a small head of lettuce, a texmex mix, a bag of salted nachos and a pack of soft tortilla wraps. I did not find any grated cheddar so I opted to go with grated mozarella since I figured it is also a hard cheese. Bad move but not a complete disaster. I also picked up 1.5 liters of coke to complete the extravagant parade. More or less I spent 10 euros which is not bad since this will be enough to last me 3-4 meals.

The plan was to make the ground meat based stew as the base for the nacho dip and filling for the burritos. So I chopped up some garlic , onions and a few of the chili peppers (siling labuyo, the taiwanese variety) that I bought from the asian store a month ago.

DANGER!!! Cover your nose with a cloth when sauteing the chili pepper. Putting it in hot oil will make the capsicum evaporate which produces a burning sensation on the sinuses and makes you want to sneeze worse than ground pepper does. When will I remember this lesson? 🙁

Ok, back to the pot. In goes the garlic and onion, then the ground pork. Add tomatoes when the pork has been browned then added the tomatoes and texmex mix, some salt and pepper and let everything simmer for a while.

Apartment lesson number 1: The range hood is not enough to absorb the smell of the tex-mex mix. You need to open the windows. WIDE!

Then it started to rain. Hard. I had to close the windows because water was getting in. Now the studio type apartment smells like it was sloshed in jalapeno pepper. But any filipino would tell you it smells like a certain anatomical crevice of a “5-6er”.

Overall, the nacho dip was ok. Just dont use mozzarella on top of the dip because it melts but does not disintegrate. Then I forgot that I left the softdrink in the freezer and it was nearly frozen. I placed it the sink and immediately unscrewed the cap. I was expecting to get a fine spray of cola but what happened was my first viewing of a slurpee rocket! 😀 A cork-sized frozen cola rocketed upwards up to eye-level.

One word describes it: COOL!

I need to get back to my TMA and eating nachos. I will do the burritos tomorrow.

ciao!

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