"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Pork Menudo

This is a reposting from my old kusina.

I have cooked this only twice this time, because I only cook it when . craving hits me. Why? 1 - Hubby is not a big fan of pork. 2 - Hubby does not really care for cubed meat. 3 - Hubby usually leaves out the veggies save for the potatoes. 4 - Kids and hubby leave out the liver (I think they are only grossed out by the thought, but beef liver tastes pretty good compared to pork liver, and especially better than chicken liver. I can only tolerate chicken liver when mashed to thicken sauces and gravy.)


So I cook it despite the above-mentioned reasons, then freeze the rest in a foil, then whenever craving kicks in, I reheat the pack in the oven toaster at 450 deg F for about 20 minutes. I can re-freeze the rest and repeat the procedure whenever I want menudo. So if you want, you can do the same, but make sure that you freeze within 2 hours of cooking/reheating.

I marinate my pork pieces overnight prior to cooking, because that was the tip given to me by my sister's MIL (a Kapampangan - I bow to the Kapampangans for most dishes I love to eat during fiesta, of which menudo is one) when I asked her during a fiesta how she made her menudo so tasty. She used soy sauce-kalamansi combi. I made mine now using lemon instead of kalamansi.

My recipe:

1 pound lean pork cut in cubes, marinated overnight in
juice of 1/2 lemon and
1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tbsp oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, minced
3 medium tomatoes, cubed (the more, the better)
1/2 bell pepper (whatever color; tip on what to do with the rest found below)
1/4 cup raisins
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 carrot, cubed
water as needed

1/2 cup green peas

a handful of cubed beef liver (I have cut into cubes one whole pack of beef liver and placed them in separate plastics by the handful, for such cooking purposes as this)
1 chicken liver, mashed or finely chopped
two hotdogs cut into pieces equivalent in size to the pork pieces
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil. Sautee garlic for 10 seconds then the onions until transluscent. Add the tomatoes and sautee until they caramelize. Add the pork and stir until browned. Lower the heat and cook covered for 5 minutes.

Add the bell peppers, raisins, potatoes, and carrots, stir and cook covered in another 10 minutes. Add water in increments of 1/8 cup to keep it from drying, if needed. Meanwhile, you can chop the livers and hotdogs while waiting.

Check for doneness of potatoes and carrots. When almost done, add livers. Stir to thicken sauce. You may add more water depending on the consistency you want. Add the hotdogs and let simmer for 2 minutes. Adjust taste with salt and pepper.

Serve with hot plain rice and enjoy!

Tip on storing bell peppers:

One of our problems when buying bell peppers is that we often want two colors at least. I sometimes buy the 3-in-1 pack of yellow, red, and orange bells. But I usually just slice 1/4 of each pepper then use the rest at some point in time later. What I do is slice them longitudinally, layer them on a baking pan, freeze for 30 minutes, then pack into freezer bags. When I need them again, I just shake or bang against the countertop to loosen some pieces and grab some, then return to the freezer the rest. I do the same with fresh ginger (I can't use all in arroz caldo or tinola or chicken curry). Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Pecan Crusted Chicken with Honey Mustard Sauce

This was what we had today for dinner.

Since I wanted to make use of pecans and honey that my SIL gave me, I made a search for recipes using both/either of them.

Also, since I have some mustard seeds left over from making my favorite cucumber pickles, bread and butter pickles, I searched for a recipe for the honey mustard sauce.

I first made my honey mustard sauce two days ago using this recipe for Basic Coarse Mustard Recipe from cdkitchen.com, with the help of the good old blender and a pint-sized Ball jar (yes, it fits perfectly, plus it had the advantage of storing the prepared mustard in the jar itself). If not for my desire to use my honey supply, and the mustard seeds left over from my pickling, I could have just bought Dijon mustard and followed the procedure for making honey mustard sauce as directed in the cdkitchen.com's Pecan Crusted Chicken recipe. Or, maybe it is available in grocery stores (it definitely is served in KFC, McDonald's or Friendly's.)

Basic Coarse Mustard

1/3 cup mustard seed
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 clove garlic -- halved
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons liquid honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground cinnamon


Combine mustard seeds, vinegar and garlic in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 36 hours.

Discard garlic. Process mixture in a food processor with water until coarse consistency. Stir in honey, salt and cinnamon.

Refrigerate in tightly sealed containers.

Among the variations, I tried

Dijonnaise Mustard: Add 1/3 cup mayonnaise

It was very very spicy. I stored that in the fridge until I was ready to make my honey mustard sauce for the chicken.

I came up today with this menu for our dinner:
Pecan Crusted Chicken with Honey Mustard Sauce
Honey Whole Wheat Loaf
Roasted Veggies and Potatoes

I started the bread in the bread machine at around 3:00 p.m. , then made my final honey mustard sauce by mixing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp Dijonnaise honey mustard (that I prepared)

I tasted that and adjusted the amounts until it was good to my taste (not too spicy).

I rested for about 2 hours, before preparing the potatoes/veggies and chicken. And here is the recipe for the

Honey Whole Wheat Loaf

Makes One (1-1/2 pound) Loaf

1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons FLEISCHMANN'S Bread Machine Yeast

Add ingredients to bread machine pan in the order suggested by manufacturer. (Mine says to put all (room temperature) liquid ingredients first topped by the dry ingredients.) Select basic/white bread cycle; medium/normal color setting.

When cycle is complete, remove from pan; cool on wire rack.

I preheated the oven to 375 deg F. I washed thoroughly (with a brush) and cut 5 medium red potatoes into quarters and placed them in a bowl, then poured about 2 tbsp of olive oil and mixed to coat evenly, then sprinkled with 1/2 packet of Italian Dressing Mix. I then placed the potatoes on one side of the baking pan (would use the other half for the rest of the veggies) in the oven and let them cook while I prepared the chicken strips.

For Pecan Crusted Chicken, I revised the original recipe such that I used one packet of Italian Dressing Mix (available at Hannaford) instead of measuring the different spices called for. So, my final ingredients were:

2 eggs (room temp)
1/4 cup butter (melted and cooled to room temp)

1 cup pecans, finely chopped using chopper
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs (I used my own)
1 packet Italian Dressing mix

2.5 pounds chicken breast cut into strips

The chicken breast strips were dipped first then coated. I arranged them on a pan lined with parchment paper. I then placed them on the higher rack in the oven (and I placed the potatoes below). I set the timer at 20 minutes (only because my chicken strips were still a bit frozen).

Meanwhile, I got half of summer squash and half of small zucchini, and cut them into wedges same size as those of potatoes, coated with the same (olive oil and 1/2 packet of Italian dressing). I placed them alongside the potatoes, and let cooke for another 5 minutes. Then I set the temp to 400 for the last 5 minutes to make a good browning on the surface of the potatoes.

Everyone enjoyed the chicken strips. My boys said the honey mustard sauce was more spicy than that in restaurants, and hubby quipped, "because this is made with real honey and real mustard." My older son used it, though, despite it being different from what he was used to. Hubby, daughter and I liked it. Younger son used ketchup. It was a very satisfying hearty and healthy meal!

Hubby's comment: "Your chicken dinner was a success! Everyone enjoyed it!"

Later tonight, as I was posting this actually, he approached me to thank me again for that wonderful meal, and asked if there were enough left over for his lunch tomorrow to take to work. I said I prepared three strips for him, then he asked whether we still had that honey mustard sauce as well, because "that was very good!"


This is a (gallon) bag of uncooked pecans, again from my SIL. She must like me so much!

It so happened that I am so fond of pecans.

She has given me pure honey and raw pecans at least twice now, so I think I should expect these gifts to be coming on a regular basis.

That means, I should hunt for recipes using these ingredients.

I plan to make pecan pie later (when we have consumed the peach pie that I made yesterday).

I did use pecans and honey for a recipe I prepared today for supper, the pecan crusted chicken with honey mustard sauce. It was a hit among everyone. Posted by Picasa


Last year, my SIL gave me honey in it's most raw form...still in honeycomb (see the hexagonal pattern made by these greatest natural architects called bees). She and her husband have just started having it for home-based business. I am lucky to have some form of benefit from it.

Every summer now I look at my garden full of flowers in bloom, surrounded by bees and butterflies and hummingbirds...I eagerly anticipate the honey that I know would follow.

This year, SIL gave me two pints of honey ready to be consumed.

Ah, the goodness of all-natural honey...

Friday, August 18, 2006

BLT Sandwich

Every supper time I am in a quandary, not truly knowing what to prepare that my fussy hubby will eat. If I ask him ahead of time, his usual answer is, "I don't know, honey. I am too full now that I can't think about supper for tomorrow." Won't do me any good to ask him when he is actually hungry for supper (as in 10 minutes before).

So, sometimes I ask him what he wants me to get from the grocery store. Summer is a hard time, because during this season when produce abound and I feel like eating stir-fries or salads, I always worry about what to offer to him (and daughter). My boys will always eat what I serve.

Can you believe I just learned about him liking BLT ("the perfect summer food") this year, our third year together????!!!!

But he does not like tomatoes, so for him, it's BL sandwich.

For me, I like it with onions and cucumbers as well, so it's BOLTC sandwich.

How to prepare:

Cook bacon the usual way and drain on paper towels.

On separate bowls/platters, serve lettuce (there are several bags available in Hannaford ready for consumption right from the bag), sliced fresh and ripe tomatoes, sliced fresh cucumbers, sliced onions (I get these three items from my garden during this time of the year). Also place on the table the mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard.

Put regular bread or buns on the table. To each his own. Let everyone prepare his own sandwich.

I know this is not the healthiest meal, but it is complete nonetheless. We only use 2-3 strips of bacon per sandwich. One is enough for me, two will do for each of the boys (including the big one). Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Fried Rice

I do not want to give it any special name. I just want to post here how I usually prepare my fried rice.
Basically, I heat 1-2 tbsp of oil (depending on the amount of leftover rice; I don't want my fried rice to be swimming in oil), then sautee 1-2 cloves of chopped garlic, then add the rice. No salt added. Sometimes my sons would add soy sauce. (I sometimes use bacon drippings, or even use leftover bacon, usually the fatty parts, instead of the vegetable oil.)

But, in times when I have leftover sauce/gravy from such dishes as beef pares, chicken or pork adobo, Korean short beef ribs, or meatloaf, I save that even if it is just 1/4 cup, because I love using them to flavor fried rice.

Then I also always have in my freezer bags of peas, sometimes I have canned slice mushrooms, which I love adding to the fried rice. I also save some leftover scrambled eggs (even bacon if any) from past day's breakfast, and cut them into strips before adding.

If I have chives or leeks or spring onions, I also sprinkle them on top before serving.

When prepared this way, especially if we add bits of sausage or hotdogs, truly we Filipinos can say, "Kanin pa lang, ulam na!"

My sons already know what to do when we have leftovers which they can imagine to be good with fried rice.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Honey-Ginger Pork Roast

I found this recipe in 1st Traveler's Choice Internet Cookbook. (http://www.virtualcities.com/).

Although hubby is not a big fan of pork, he liked this one! Even stepd liked it. Needless to say, the boys and I loved it as well.

One 5-pound center cut boneless pork loin (I used a 3-pound pork loin)
1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger root
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons salt

Run knife between fat and meat to form pockets on top of roast. Using a long-bladed knife, insert grated ginger into pockets. In small bowl, mix olive oil, ground ginger, and salt. Place pork in roasting pan and brush with oil, ginger, and salt mixture. Bake at 350 degrees, allowing 30 minutes per pound. About 15 minutes before roast is done, brush meat completely with honey. Allow roast to stand 15 to 20 minutes before slicing. Posted by Picasa

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