Beef Caldereta

Nanay Chit makes great caldereta. She asked me to bring home some to share it with my family. Everyone got hooked. Too bad that Nanay had to go to the US to visit her son and his family. So through trial and error, I stumbled to a recipe that is almost near to hers. I can't wait until she comes home this September.

half a head of garlic, minced
3-4 whole onions, minced
4-6 tomatoes, chopped
2-3 bell pepper, chopped
1 kilo beef, sliced into 1x1.5 inch cubes
200 grams tomato sauce*
tabasco sauce
salt and pepper to taste
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, peeled and cubed
1/4 - 1/3 cup liver spread
1/4 cup cheese

Quickly boil beef and remove the scum from the water. Remove the beef from the stock and reserve the liquid.
Saute garlic and onions until the garlic is fragrant and the onions are transparent. Add in tomatoes and saute until it is tender. Stir in the bell pepper. Add the beef and stir well. add enough water to cook the meat until it is fork tender. Drop in potatoes and carrots. Pour in tomato sauce and Tabasco sauce based on personal preference. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add liver spread when the vegetables are almost cooked. Stir to make it blend well. Reduce the liquid and add in cheese to thicken the sauce. Serve hot.

*Tomato Sauce - I accidentally saw that I didn't have enough tomato sauce. I only had the 90 gram pack. So I used yomato ketchup.


Broiled Pork Belly

Mom loves lechon kawali and we would prepare this on special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas, or days when she wants to just treat herself. Unfortunately, as the years go by, she can't indulge on too much pork pleasures for health reasons. As we would remind her, preventive measures are better than just letting our indulges get in the way :). So this made me want to try the broiling approach over deep frying. So far, with my first attempt the skin came out cripy, the meat tender and moist. Taste wise, everyone liked it except for mom. She really doesn't care for spices like five spice power, which I used for this recipe. They think the marinade would be good on chicken too. Maybe will try this and let you know.

1 kilo pork belly (with skin on, bones removed and with a thin layer of fat)
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2-3 tbsp. hoisin sauce
1 tsp. light soy sauce
a pinch of black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. five spice powder
2 tbsp. spicy brown mustard

Dry the pork well and pierce the skin mulitple times until the whole skin is full of holes or score the skin to be able to make sure the pork dries faster and it would easily crisp. Puncture parts of the meat to allow the marinade to get through the meat. Rub 1 tsp. salt on the skin of the pork.
Mix the rest of the ingredients well and rub on the flesh side of the pork. Avoid rubbing on the sides of the pork to avoid from burning. Air dry the pork for 8 hours or until overnight.
Preset the broiler to 200C and set the pork with skin side up. Line the broiler with a pan with water to catch the drippings and for easy cleaning afterwards. The skin will start to brown and "bubble". Broil for 10 minutes. Adjust the temperature to 190C and continue to broil for 1 hour. Let the meat rest for 10 - 15 minutes and slice into 1x1 1/2 inch. Serve this with hot rice.

The next time I will try broiling pork belly, I will try to remove the marinade and season the pork with just salt and pepper. My mom would perfer this one in my opinion.


Pasta with Asparagus, Shitake and Sun Dried Tomatoes

I went to the market bought a kilo of fresh salmon fillet. Then I came across a stall selling fresh shitake mushrooms and asparagus. I called my brother if he wanted me to get some with the catch that he will be cooking it. So I got a pound of asparagus and 200 grams of shitake. So he prepared it with pasta and sun dried tomatoes. It is came out great :D

400-500 grams cooked long noodles such as Gemelli, Bucatini
1 lb asparagus, sliced into 2 inches
200 grams shitake mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup sundried tomato, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil (I reused some of the olive oil from the sundried tomatoes)
1 tsp. dried oregano or thyme or italian seasoning
salt and pepper
grated parmesan

Saute the garlic until tender in 1/2 cup oil. Avoid letting it brown to avoid a bitter taste. Add mushrooms and asaparagus. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper, and dried oregano. Add more olive oil to make sure the noodles get covered. Add tomatoes and saute for 2 minutes more. Toss in noodles and mix thoroughtly. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.


Baked Spareribs

On a special day, this would make everyone at home run to the table to get their fare share. I know there are alot of other baked spareribs on the net and in cookbooks that maybe better than mine and for sure you would have your own version with strings of followers. I just want to share ours and would appreciate if you have other opinions or suggestions to further improve this :D


1 kilo pork spareribs
1 cup honey or brown sugar
1/2 cup worchestershire sauce
2/3 cup vinegar
1 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce or 1/2 cup chili powder*
1 cup tomato catsup
4 tbsp. prepared yellow mustard
4 cloves garlic peeled and crushed


Marinate spareribs for 2-3 hours or overnight. Boil ribs until tender in moderate fire. Be sure the sauce won't dry or be to little for basting. Transfer into a baking dish and bake for a few minutes. Serves 4-5 persons.



My cousin shared this to me when I visited her. I loved it for its taste and simplicity. A simple way to entertain in a quick way without too much hassle.

Mix together the following ingredients:

1/2 kilo plum red tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 bunch chopped green onions
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, shredded
2 Tbsp. fresh oregano, shredded
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Top a tablespoon or 2 on toasted garlic bread.


Chicken Marbela

Mom isn't a fan of olives, bay leaves or oregano. So this didn't pass her standards. My brother on the other hand liked this. I guess mom isn't that much of an adveturer with her food.


4 chickens (2.5 lbs each), cut into quarters
1 head garlic, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup pitted olives (spanish, green)
1/2 cup capers with juice
6 whole bay leaves
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup chopped italian parsley or cilantro

Put all ingredients except sugar and wine together. Marinate chicken. Sprinkle sugar and pour wine over chicken before cooking. Bake for 350 deg F for 50 - 60 minutes. Place foil or baste often until the chicken is cooked.


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