"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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Baking & Cooking

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Potato Peasant Bread

My husband is so fond of whole wheat type of breads. This one combines whole wheat with mashed potatoes, and is very soft and tender, like my pandelimon de patatas (which my husband also loves because they are so soft even on reheating), only healthier. Any leftover is good for garlic bread. So if you are like me who end up wondering what to do with leftover mashed potatoes, this is another wonderful way to use it. Of course I got the recipe from my favorite baking site, breadworld.com .

Makes 2 loaves

3 to 3-1 / 2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 / 4 cup sugar

2 envelopes FLEISCHMANN’S RapidRise Yeast

2 teaspoons salt

1-1 / 2 cups potato water or tap water

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

3 / 4 cup mashed boiled potato*

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, and salt. Heat water, butter and mashed potato until very warm (120o to 130oF). Gradually add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.

Divide dough in half. Roll each half to 8 x 12-inch oval. Beginning at short end, roll up tightly as for jelly roll. Pinch seam and ends to seal. Place on large greased baking sheet; flatten loaf slightly. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

With sharp knife, cut 3 diagonal slits (1 / 4-inch deep) on top of each loaf. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour. Bake at 400oF for 15 to 20 minutes or until done. Remove from sheet; cool on wire rack.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Pleasant surprise from a friend

One of the many joys of blogging about something that is truly shared by many is that I get to meet a lot of Filipino/Filipina friends online. Whether it remains an online relationship or I get to meet them in person does not really matter. These friends are as real as my friends who live here, sometimes even better (as in no intriga, no envy, no judging, if you know what I mean).

I came home the other night very tired from work, and had this pleasant surprise: bottles of pandan essence and various mixes (palabok, tocino, and pancit bihon). Who sent it?

My new friend Deb L from NY sent these goodies. And I want to thank her for sympathizing with me, being very far from the nearest Filipino store, which, actually to date, has closed. So now I only have the Chinese-owned Asian stores to go to. She has read about my plight in one of my previous posts and was very thoughtful to ask me what I wanted/needed and offered to send some to me.

Thanks so much, Deb! No I have to marinade some chicken and pork pieces. My hubby (and of course, the kids and I) loves tocino.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

(Crown) Roast of Pork (South Beach Diet recipe)

I was at the kitchen at work when someone else was reheating his food in the microwave...smelled like pork adobo so I got curious. I told him it smelled like a Filipino pork dish cooked in garlic with vinegar and soy sauce. He said those (except vinegar) were the main ingredients indeed. I asked for the recipe, which I received later in the week (he had to ask his wife for it). This year we have pork cuts in our freezer, as this was the first time we had a pork raised by my MIL and we had slaughtered for our family's consumption. When I tried this recipe, although not using a crown cut (whatever that was), my husband was reminiscing the days he had same pork roasts made by his mom. Needless to say, it was a hit among my sons and I. I just substituted dried basil in place of fresh sage as I did not feel like making a special trip to the grocery store for that.) The recipe called for asking the butcher to trim the fat and french the bones, mainly for presentation purposes, which I did not bother with.)

2 tbsp plus 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp crushed dried oregano
1 tbsp crushed dried basil
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 (6- to 7-pound) roast of pork
4 celery stalks, cut into 1&1/2-inch pieces
2 medium onions, quartered
2 medium carrots, cut into 1&1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp water
1/4 red wine


Whisk together 2 tsp of the oil, garlic, oregano, basil, pepper and salt in a small bowl. Rub pork all over with garlic mixture. Cover pork with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Position rack in lower third of oven and heat oven to 425 deg F.

Toss celery, onions, and carrots with remaining 2 tbsp oil in a roasting pan; set pork on top. (I actually tossed the veggies in an hour before my "done" time.)

Roast pork for 30 minutes, reduce heat to 350 deg F, and continue roasting, turning pan halfway through, until thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a few of the chops reads 155 to 160 deg F, 1&1/4 to 1&1/2 hours (I actually cooked mine for 3 hours to make sure it is well done, as hubby never likes less cooked meat).

Remove roast from oven. Carefully transfer roast to a platter, loosely cover with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes.

while roast is resting, remove vegetables from pan and discard (I did not discard, although I placed them side by side with the roast). Place roasting pan over lowheat and add water and wine. Bring to a simmer and, using a wooden spoon, scrape browned bits of pork from bottom of the pan. Simmer until you have a flavorful juice, 3-4 minutes (if I remember it right, I added some soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to it and kept tasting until I was satsisfied.)

Carve roast into thick chops and serve with pan juices. (The gravy in the last photo in the slideshow is something else I made from leftover ham dish, which my husband also liked a lot. Will post about it later.)

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