Creamy Coleslaw

Who doesn’t like KFC chicken?  I am a fan!  But there is something else they sell that I really like – it’s their coleslaw!!!  I like that it is minced and that it has pineapple.  I like that the dressing is sweet…

But when I make my own I make it differently.  Why?  Well, because I am lazy! I just shred the cabbage and even if I would like to mince the cabbage, I am simply too lazy!!!  Plus, hubby seems to prefer crunchy slivers to tiny minced pieces…

In any case, it is delicious!  Even if I do say so myself! 🙂

1 medium head of cabbage, shredded
1 small head purple cabbage, shredded
(should come up to 2-1/2 to 3 cups of shredded cabbage total)
1 medium carrot, shredded (about 1/4 cup)
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 to 3/4 cup mayonnaise, or to taste, as preferred
1 tablespoon minced celery
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
ground pepper, to taste

Toss shredded cabbage, carrots, and drained crushed pineapple tidbits together. (Some of the coleslaw I’ve eaten have raisins and minced onions i them but I prefer mine without. You may add them, if you prefer or as you like.)

In a separate bowl, mix together mayonnaise, minced celery, and spices. (Just to let you know my brother likes his coleslaw with a dash of mustard!!!) Add vegetables and toss to mix. Chill at least 4 hours.

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Pork Pata, Osso Buco style

Hubby doesn’t eat beef anymore so once in a while I make a beef dish using pork.  This particular one is Osso Buco but using pork leg.

about 1 kilogram of lean pork leg pieces
1/4 cup flour, seasoned with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil

7 pieces small Spanish onions
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 big carrot and/or potato, cubed
handful of celery leaves
1 tablespoon cooking wine
1 can diced tomatoes (with juices)
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, or to taste
2 pcs. bay leaves

Clean the pork leg pieces by rubbing with salt and rinsing then parboiling.  Dry thoroughly with paper towels.  Dredge in seasoned flour mixture. Shake off excess; set aside. Heat butter and oil together until butter melts. Brown the pork leg pieces on each side, around 5 to 8 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.

Sauté garlic and onions until fragrant in the same pan. Add carrots and/or potatoes and celery leaves. Put the beef shanks back in the pan and mix in the cooking wine and diced tomatoes.  Add enough water or stock to cover everything and throw in the spices.

I always use my magic cooker to cook this dish.  But it can be cooked with a slow cooker as well, or a pressure cooker.

When the mixture boils, I let it simmer about 10 to 15 minutes on the stovetop and then put the pot into the magic cooker.  After 4 hours, I check if the meat is tender.  If it is not, then I place the inner pot on the stove and let it simmer another 15 minutes then it goes back into the magic cooker for another 2 to 4 hours.

To cook in a slow cooker –  Simmer over low for about 4 hours or until meat is tender.

To cook in a pressure cooker –  Pressure cook for about 25 minutes. Wait for pressure to dissipate before opening the pressure cooker.

After the pork is cooked until tender, use tongs to gently transfer the pork leg pieces to a serving dish.

Cook the sauce over low-medium heat and simmer until reduced to desired consistency. Check and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Hubby liked the dish very much!

 

Mocha Roll

Today is an extraordinary day… two of my childhood best buds came over for lunch – that’s not unusual at all.  What is special today, however, is the fact that I am NOT cooking!!!!!  It is one of those rare times when someone volunteered to cook for me!!!!!!!  And I really, really appreciate it!

Of course I could not be “ungrateful” and contribute nothing to the feast, so I took the opportunity to bake a cake roll with my “new” electric oven…

Since I had a lot of time, I cooked custard for the filling too… and while I was at it, I experimented with a different buttercream – a more stable one, as suggested by a friend of mine.  These days, because of the heat and humidity, my buttercream always, always melt!  So I wanted to see if her secret (not so secret anymore I guess) technique would work wonders for me!

Basically, to stabilize my buttercream, she said, I had to use a bit of Crisco (butter flavored) with the butter.  To be honest, when I heard this, I was hesitant because I have always felt an unpleasant mouth-feel when using Crisco.  But my friend said that I could use about 1 tablespoon of Crisco for every half cup of butter and it would not be noticeable at all!  So, what the hey, it was a day for experimenting…

Well, guess what?  it worked!  and I did not notice any weird mouthfeel at all!!!!

 

Ginataang Langka at Mais

Ginataan means cooked in coconut (milk or cream).  It could be savory or sweet.  This is a sweet one.  I previously posted one for Ginataang Mais at Sago, this time it is langka (jackfruit) and mais (corn), but it still has sago and bilo-bilo, which are sticky rice balls…

4 cups coconut milk
1/3 to 1/2 cup muscovado, or to taste
a lot of langka (jackfruit), sliced in bite-sized pieces
1-1/2 cups shredded sweet corn (canned is okay)
about 20 pieces bilo-bilo (sticky rice balls)
1 cup thick coconut cream
1/2 to 1 cup cooked sago (tapioca)

Mix coconut milk and sugar together in a thick-bottomed saucepan. Heat on medium fire. When the mixture boils, add the langka (jackfruit) and reduce the heat to low-medium, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Cook about 15 to 20 minutes, then add the corn kernels and bilo bilo. Cook until the bilo bilo float (this means they are cooked already). Add the coconut cream and sago. Let simmer a few minutes. Adjust sweetness, if desired. Serve hot.

I think I like the ginataan with langka best of all… if only langka was not expensive!!!!!

 

Kamote Buns stuffed with Ube

We had some kamote (sweet potatoes) left.  Actually, I did it on purpose and asked everyone in the household to leave some for me to make bread!  I followed the recipe by Fleischmann’s, although I formed them into buns and filled them with ube halaya (purple yam “jam”)

I loved them!!!!  But the kid didn’t really care for them…  She thought it was a bit weird!

Bibingka!

This is not the first time I made bibingka… truth is, I’ve been experimenting on and off for years.  The first relatively successful one did not look all that nice but it was ok.  This latest experiment is the most successful one, I think (a slightly different recipe from before).

Bibingka is a local “cake” made from rice flour.  I’ve seen many recipes for bibingka without using rice flour and to me this is plain cheating!  It is not bibingka if it is not made from rice flour!  Now, there are many kinds of bibingka – the fluffy kind (which is the kind this one is), a heavier pudding-like concoction, another kind made from cassava… it seems that there are as many kinds of bibingka as there are provinces or regions in the country!!!

The other “secret” to bibingka is the banana leaf lining.  For some reason, it does not quite taste like bibingka unless its bottom is covered in banana leaf!

There are special bibingka “ovens” where several can be cooked, in a “tower” with “drawers” where the bibingka pan is placed.  It is difficult to describe but it is the best I can do.  Google has many images of bibingka ovens for those who want to get a visual picture.

My version of bibingka is the one that I personally like.  I don’t know if it is any one of the variants of any region but what I can say with honesty is that the inspiration for it is the bibingka from Via Mare Cafe.  I “upgraded” my version by including real coconut flakes in the batter. The recipe also has cake flour because I found that the bibingka has a softer bounce to it with cake flour in the mix.

1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup cake flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter, cooled

tender/moist coconut flakes, about 1/2 cup

sliced kesong puti (local white cheese made from carabao milk)
1 salted egg, coarsely chopped

butter or margarine to serve (margarine is preferred locally)

grated coconut to serve

Preheat oven to 435 to 450F. Prepare a 2 7-inch bibingka pans by buttering the pan, fitting a banana leaf on the bottom of the pan and buttering the banana leaf.  In my case, I used 1 bibingka pan and 6 large muffin tins to make mini-bibingka.

Note – my bibingka is baked in my convection oven, with the fan on, because I will not buy a bibingka oven!!!

Stir together dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and mix to combine. Fold in coconut flakes (or actual coconut strips but make sure that actual coconut strips have been patted dry).

Pour into the prepared pans, top with kesong puti slices and chopped salted egg pieces.

Bake 20-25 minutes for the big pan and about 15 minutes for the muffin tins.

Brush with melted butter straight from the oven.

Serve piping hot with more butter and grated coconut on the side.

Buko-Macapuno Muffins

I have a basic, standard muffin recipe but I decided I was ready to try another recipe.  The one that caught my fancy was the “Anything but Basic Muffin Recipe” by Broma Bakery.  There’s many variants of the muffin but I wanted to make a variant with a local flair – hence this Buko (coconut) Macapuno (mutant coconut!) muffin.

Mix dry ingredients together –

3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt

Mix wet ingredients together

2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup melted butter-flavored Crisco (because I discovered too late that I ran out of butter!)
3/4 cup coconut milk (originally buttermilk)
1 teaspoon each vanilla and coconut extract

Stir the dry ingredients into the wet; mixing only until just combined.

Fold in 2/3 cup coconut flakes (the moist, tender kind, not desiccated).

Scoop into muffin tins lined with paper cups (I got 6 large muffins and 8 mini-muffins).   Spoon macapuno (I used chunky sweetened macapuno that came in a bottle) on the top.

Bake in a preheated 375F oven (I did not follow the oven instructions!).  For the large muffins, bake about 25 minutes.  For the mini-muffins, bake about 15 minutes.

We shared the muffins with friends and the consensus is – IT’S GOOD!!!!

Coconut-Rum Cupcakes with Ube Halaya Centers and Ube-Coconut Buttercream

Coconut is never my first choice when thinking of baking cupcakes.  But I had leftover coconut cream in the fridge, as well as coconut flakes… so for hubby friend’s birthday, coconut cupcakes it is.  And, since I had leftover ube halaya, the cupcakes got an ube halaya center and ube-coconut buttercream on top!

Of course I did not have a coconut cupcake recipe on hand!  Thank goodness there’s a number of them on the internet.  I picked one from Brown-eyed Baker.  As usual, I changed a few things…

my adaptation –

1-1/4 cups flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut flakes
1/2 cup butter (I used butter flavored Crisco)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut cream (well-stirred)
2 tablespoons Malibu coconut rum

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Place paper cups in cupcake tins.

Stir flour, baking powder, salt and coconut flakes together (I did not process the coconut flakes); set aside.

Beat Crisco and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add egg and beat to mix well.  Add vanilla.

Stir in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the coconut cream and coconut rum.

Scoop mixture into the paper cups.  Place a small teaspoon of ube halaya in the center of the batter.  Bake for about 18-22 minutes; rotate pan midway.

When the cupcakes have cooled.  Frost as desired.  I used ube-coconut buttercream for mine.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup ube halaya
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup coconut cream (well stirred)

For the frosting – Beat butter and halaya until well combined. Gradually add powdered sugar (adjust according to personal taste). Add coconut cream by tablespoons, beating well after each addition.

 

 

Sukiyaki!

It is undeniable that sukiyaki is one of the most famous Japanese foods.  The usual is beef sukiyaki but since hubby doesn’t eat beef anymore, the one I made is with pork.

I keep thinking that sukiyaki is a complicated dish, because it looks that way when we order it at the Japanese restaurant.  It is definitely impressive, so when 2 of my best buds were coming over to have dinner, I wanted to impress!!!

Not that I haven’t tried to make sukiyaki before but it has not been 100% successful… but this time I think I’ve got the right mix.  I based my sukiyaki on the recipe in this book –

While I did follow the recipe to the letter, especially with regard to the ingredient list, I did think that the most important part of the recipe was the soup base – the sukiyaki sauce.

The difficulty I encountered with the previous recipes was that they all required dashi stock… from scratch.  While it is a good idea to make stuff from scratch, I really did not know where to get the ingredients!!!  What I looooove about this recipe is that it used “instant” dashi, which was available at the nearby Japanese specialty grocery!

As for the other ingredients, I used Chinese tofu, enoki, shitake mushrooms, button mushrooms, fish cake slices, Baguio pechay, sotanghon (vermicelli), pork sliced in sukuyaki-style,

As for the sukiyaki sauce, my perfect proportion is 1 part mirin, 2 parts Japanese soy sauce, and 3 to 4 parts water, with sugar to taste (I was actually ok with skipping it) and a couple of pinches of instant dashi granules (although truthfully I’ve also make it without and it was still ok!)

Now, I wanted a prettier presentation but my guests came earlier than expected so I did not manage to arrange the ingredients in organized areas… in the end everything got mish-mashed together… but what counts is that it is delicious, right?

RIGHT!!!

 

Tortang Alimango

This is a simple dish, IF the crab meat has already been removed from the crabs!!!!

BTW, as opposed to the English language where the term crab encompasses everything, in our local language there are specific terms for crab – alimasag for the salt water blue crab, alimango for mud crabs, talangka for salt water shore crabs, katang for fresh water crabs.  We also have coconut crabs (dunno the local term for this one), and recently I’ve come across what was labelled “ocean crabs” whose shells are thick, and whose flavor in dishes is very pronounced but the crab itself has very little meat!  (got a couple of dishes made of these in future posts)

Anyway, the recipe for Tortang Alimango or Crabmeat Omelette is one that was given to me through oral instruction.  Any crab meat may be used and I have, on occasion, bought canned crab meat and frozen flaked crab meat to use.  Traditionally though, we collect the meat found in the “legs” because those tend to be discarded at the dinner table and it seemed a waste!

For every 3 pieces of egg, use about 1/2 cup crab meat.  For a family of 6, we use 6 eggs, which meant we had to collect 1 cup of crab meat – which is definitely NOT easy so if we were short on the crab meat we augmented with diced potatoes.  These days though, I use kani, or Japanese crab sticks (cut into smaller pieces of course) to augment…

Back to the recipe – sauté diced onions and tomatoes (should be proportionate to the size of the omelette) and add the crab meat, stir fry for several seconds.  Remove from the pan and let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Stir in the slightly cooled sautéed crab meat.  Pour into a heated, non-stick pan.  Cook until done (both sides).

Serve hot with ketchup!