Estofado Experiment

Whenever there are celebrations at my co-worker's place, her mom would prepare Estofado. I have asked her how her every time how her mom prepares the tasty dish. It's sauce is thick and you could distinctly taste the liver and beef. Though my co-worker's mom palette is on the salty side, it is a dish you would look forward to eating on a daily basis. :)

When she gave me the instructions on how to make it, my mom revised the whole recipe thus the taste was not the same. It had no liver taste and the color was bright red than dark brown. The sauce was thick as well. Mom added vegetables to the recipe.

Let me share with you my mom's version of the Estofado she made. (How much I wanted to replicate the original recipe, I didn't dare interfere with her while she was in the kitchen.)

1 kilo pork, cut into cubes, about 2x2 inches
1/2 of the small can of liver spread
pineapple juice
1/2 of 250g box cheese, grated
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
1 250g tomato sauce
1 bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
salt and pepper for seasoning
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large carrots, cubed

Marinate pork cubes in liver spread, pineapple juice, cheese and soy sauce for at least 1 hour. Make sure that pork is submerged in the pineapple juice. Saute garlic and onions. Add the marinated pork plus the marinate sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes then add tomato sauce. Continue to simmer until the pork is tender stirring occasionally. Add the pepper, pickle relish to the pork. Season with salt and pepper to taste then simmer for another 3 minutes.

Chayote Tops

When I was young, we were invited to go my aunt's school friend who lives in Baguio. They had a small plot where they would plant vegetables and one of those were chayote. Being a good cook, may aunt prepared a simple dish using the chayote tops or shoots. Having the ingredients right out of the garden, the meal was a delight.

I tried to replicate the same manner using chayote shoots bought from the market. Nothing compares to the my aunt's cooking and the freshness of the green leafy delight. Let me share with you this simple dish that we usuually pair of with fried fish or pork chops.

The Ingredients:
1 bundle of chayote shoots, cut the stalks about 1 inch length, discard the tough stalks and mature leaves
5-7 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1 - 2 tbsp. fish sauce or 1 - 2 tsps. fish paste
2 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp. oil

Saute garlic and onion in 1 tbsp. oil in medium heat. Once the onions have reached translucent, add the stalks. Saute for 30 seconds, then drop the leaves and younger shoots. Saute for another 30 seconds then pour in vegetable stock. Add fish sauce or fish paste a little at a time until the desired taste is reached. Simmer until the vegetables are cooked but not overly done.

Serve along side fried fish or pork chops.


A month long hiatus

It has been a month since the last post. Things have been crazy and my photos plus recipes have been piling up. So here I am slowly trying to catch up with my posts and keeping you updated.

So what have I been doing? Work has been dragging me away. Personal errands too. Now, that things have been slower at the office and I have catch-up with personal obligations, I decided to share with you the Beef Lasagna (previous post). It made me think that the process of making lasagna is similar with what I went through with all the things going for the past weeks.

What will you be expecting then? Watch out for the Beef Stir-Fry, Chopsuey and an interesting new kitchen tool.

Keep tuned.... :)


Beef Lasagna

I remember growing up, my brother would painstakingly prepare lasagna for the family. This time around, it is my turn to make my own for the family. I don't have the family recipe with me so I decided to check different typed of beef lasagna recipes until I decided to get bits and pieces for other recipes and combine what I think was do-able for my version. The verdict: Mom's friends loved it. :D.

The Ingredients:
Meat Sauce:
2 lbs. lean ground beef (or 1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef with 1/4 lb. lean ground pork)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white onion, minced
1/2 cup tomatoes, seeded, chopped finely
1/3 cup celery, minced
1/3 cup bell pepper, minced
4-6 cups tomato sauce
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1/3 cup button mushrooms, sliced
1 to 2 tbsp. oregano or italian seasoning
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. hot sauce
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

White Sauce (Bechamel)
3 tbsp. flour
3 tbsp. melted butter
1 carton of fresh milk
1/2 cup grates quick melt cheese
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

9 cooked lasagna noodles
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
3/4 - 1 cup grated cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, quick melt)

Cooking Procedure:
Meat Sauce:
Saute meat in a non-stick casserole pam until brown. Drain the meat of the oil. Leave 1 tbsp. oil and saute the garlic, onions, tomato, bell pepper, and celery until cooked through (about 3 minutes) over medium heat. Add drained beef into the pan and mix into vegetables. Pour in tomato sauce and paste and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Season the meat with salt, pepper, seasonings, sugar and add in the mushroom. Simmer again for another 3 minutes. Stir occasionally making sure the bottom doesn't stick. Season the sauce to taste and set it aside.

White Sauce:
Mix flour and butter to form a roux. Slowly pour milk while stirring continuously with a wire whisk to avoid lumps. Continue to stir milk and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the grated cheese, seasonings. Continue to simmer until the sauce is thick and easily falls out of the spoon. You may run a finger at the back of the spoon and when it comes out clean, you may set the sauce aside.

Pour a thin layer of meat sauce on the bottom of a pan. Layer with noodles, then pour an even layer of meat sauce. Then pour a thin layer of white sauce. Sprinkle with a few pinches of parsley. Layer again with noodles. Repeat the process again until there are three to four layers of noodles. On the last noodle layer, pour remaining meat sauce then white sauce. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and 3/4 cup cheese on top. Cover with aluminum foil. Broil lasagna in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 20 minutes. In the last 5 minutes, remove the foil and brown the cheese and white sauce.


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