Crispy Fried Fresh Anchovies

My sister-in-law's mom serves this dish and it is a hit. My brother recommended that we add this to our regular meals. So the first chance I got to find fresh anchovies (or dilis in our local dialect) I bough half a kilo or almost a pound. To make sure that you get the freshest catch, make sure that the fish is whole and firm. The skin and eyes are shiny and glossy and not dull. As for size, it would be up to you. My mom recommended to get the large ones which were about an 1 1/2 inches long.

So when we got home, I tried my hand at it and so far it would definitely be added to our regular menu. So I am sharing this simple (and inexpensive) dish.

1/4 kilo or 1/2 pound fresh anchovies
1 slightly beaten egg with 3 tbsps. water
potato flour or potato starch
2 cups oil

Clean the fresh anchovies and salt it to remove the fishiness. Wash the fish again and let it drain well. Heat pan with oil. Dredge each anchovy in flour, then in egg wash, then dredge again in potato flour. Deep fry anchovies in several batches until crisp but not burnt. Remove from oil and drain excess oil in paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Serve with vinegar and hot rice.


Chunky Guacamole

During the month of July to the early weeks of August, avocados are abundant in the markets and side streets. When we were kids, we would prepare this nutrient-booster with condensed milk and blend until smooth the freezer. My mom and us kids would devour this cold dessert the soonest it hardens. This was the only way we would prepare this lutien-riched fruit. Lutein, an important antioxidant, that helps maintain a healthy eyesight and skin as we age.
When we were visiting my brother in the States, mom was surprised to see that there were customers who would buy avocados even if they were not in their freshest state. The skins were wrinkled and dried.
My cousin brought me to a Mexican restaurant and told me to try the guacamole that came with my ordered fajitas. I was sort of skeptic but after taking the first bite, I got hooked. Now, I have two ways of preparing avocados.

4-5 avocados, pitted and diced (make sure that these are not over ripe)
1 medium onion, chopped
5 tomatoes, seeded, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
a handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
Tabasco sauce (optional)

Place diced avocados in a bowl. Add lemon juice to avoid discoloration and preserve the color. Add the onions, tomatoes and coriander leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients well. Add Tabasco hot sauce to add a slight kick. Serve this with corn chips or fajitas.
For a more smoother texture, mince the onions and tomatoes and avocado. Mix well bended with the rest of the ingredients.


Prune Raisin Nut Bread Pudding

When I was staying in Florida, my landlady had too much bread that would be put to waste. I decided to make it into bread pudding. So aside from making use of the excess bread, I had the liberty to search the pantry for other ingredients that I can use. I saw an open can of prunes, a small box of raisins, a bag of chocolates, a couple of biscuits, and a tiny pack of peanuts. So I went to the grocery to get a few more items to start my mini project. And the outcome went pretty well. The top was crunchy while the center was moist and dense. I didn't add any caramel sauce since it was sweet enough as it is.

2 cups granulated sugar
5 large beaten eggs
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups cubed Italian bread, allow to stale overnight in a bowl
1/3 cup prunes and raisins combined
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.

Mix together granulated sugar, eggs, and milk in a bowl; add vanilla. Pour over cubed bread and let sit for 10 minutes.
In another bowl, mix and crumble together brown sugar, butter, and pecans.
Pour bread mixture into prepared greased 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan. Add the prunes and raisins. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top and bake for 35 to 45 minutes in a preheated oven at 350F, or until set. Remove from oven.

You may serve this with caramel rum sauce. To make the caramel sauce, mix 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 beaten egg and 1 tsp. vanilla extract in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is melted. Add 1/4 cup rhum and stir well until it reaches to the desired consistency. Pour over pudding or serve on the side.


First Aid # 2 What to do in case of poisoning

I would like to share with you a few tips, notes and preventive measures around the home, the kitchen (or anywhere you are for that matter). This is a continuation from my first post on first aid. I could say that the kitchen is a haven of food in every home. But it can also be a source of toxins and poisons from how we store and prepare our foods to the items we use around the home. I hope this first aid series would help each of us prepare ourselves from letting any accidents from happening and be aware of what to do if such emergencies arise.

What to do in case of food poisoning

First, how do we know if one is poisoned or signs of poisoning?
1. Odor of poison on the breath.
2. Discoloration of the lips and the mouth.
3. Pain or buning sensation in the throat.
4. Whenever bottles or packages of drugs or poisonous chemicals are found open in presence of children
5. Evidence in mouth of eating wild berries or leaves.
6. Unconsciousness, confusion, or sudden illness when access to poison is possible.

If you suspect someone you know is poisoned:

1. Speed is essential. Act before the body has time to absorb the poison. If possible, one person should begin treatmetn while another calls a physician.
2. Save and give to the physician or hospital the poison container with its intact albel and any remaining contents. If the poison is unknown, bring along the vomitus for examination.
The nature of the poison will determine the first aid measure to use.

Keep tuned. I will be posting additional tips and notes on First Aid in the upcoming days.


Chicken and Pork with Sweet Soy Sauce

With the challenge of what to cook next that I haven't tried, mom suggested that I try this recipe. I am not sure if she has even tried it though. And so, the verdict? I wasn't really a fan of it. There was something missing and I couldn't put my finger on it. Maybe you can let me know where I went wrong (".")

1/2 half chicken (about 1/2 kilo), cut into pieces
1/4 kilo pork, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 tbsps. garlic, chopped
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1/4 cup sweet soy sauce
3 potatoes, peeled and sliced
salt and pepper to taste
bunch of coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Saute chicken and pork over medium heat until the outer is brown. Add the garlic and onion and continue to stir until the onion is translucent and the garlic is tender. Pour sweet soy sauce and mix until the meats are coated. Add 1 cup water or broth and the potatoes. Let it simmer until the meats are tender and the potatoes are cooked. Season with salt and pepper. Add more liquid if necessary. Continue to simmer until the sauce has evaporated leaving about 1/4 cup. Remove from the fire and transfer in a serving dish. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Notes: Sweet soy sauce may be bought in Asian stores or on the international or Asian isles of the grocery.


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