Roasted Chicken with Lemon Grass

Back in the day, whenever my late aunt would come and visit, she would pass by and buy a whole roasted chicken from the local rotisserie a block away from our home. This would come with their own special gravy sauce and a small container of atchara (pickled papaya). I thought why not relive it by turbo broiling a whole fryer. It didn't taste like the one my aunt bought. It tasted like the competitor's recipe hahaha.


1 whole fryer (about 1.2 kilo grams or more)
3 stalks of lemon grass, washed, tied into a knot
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon or calamansi juice
1 tsp of black pepper
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsps. flour

Clean chicken really well. Dry cavity and skin with paper towels. Rub the black pepper in and outside the fryer then stuff with the lemon grass (stalks and leaves). Combine soy sauce and lemon juice then pour over the chicken. Massage the chicken in its marinade for 5 minutes. Store in the refrigrator for atleast 4 hours, covered. For best results, marinate the chicken overnight.

Preheat the turbo broiler to 350F and cook the chicken for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 250 - 300F and continue cooking for another 30 minuted or until the juices are clear. Transfer chicken to serving dish. In a sauce pan, melt butter and add in flour to make a roux. Add in drippings and stir until sauce thickens to the desired consistency. Serve on or on the side of the chicken.


Beef Salpicao

1 lb pound beef (sirloin, tender loin tips), sliced into 1/4" cubes
half a head of garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tbsps. olive oil
2 tbsps. Worchestershire sauce
1-2 tbsps. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. butter

Marinate beef with minced garlic, salt and pepper and 1 tbsp. olive oil for atleast 30 minutes. I prefer to marinade this longer for about 4 hours. Heat the remaining olive oil in a non-stick pan. Sear the beef for about 3 minutes then add the Worchestershire and oyster sauces. Stir occasionally and let the beef cook in the liquids in low heat until tender. Once the beef is cooked to fork-tender, add the butter and stir for another minutes. Serve hot with rice.

*Fried garlic may be added to the finished dish for a more garlicy taste.


Homemade Spanish Sardines

With the prices going up for canned goods plus the move to go natural and minimize the consumption of processed foods, making homemade sardines is one of the best alternatives. I remember back in high school we had a Home Economics class and one of the activities was to make homemade sardines. I lost the recipe but I still remember how simple this can be done at home. Hope you would give it a try.

3/4 kilo milkfish (bangus) or about 8 pieces 4 inches long by 2 inches wide, cleaned (I kept the head on but cut off the tails and fins)
3-4 tbsps. rock salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup olive oil
20 pepper corns
8-10 carrots, sliced into rounds, about 5 cm
5 slices of pickle chips
3 bay leafs

Clean the milkfish by removing the gills and inards. Cut out the fins and tail. The head may be removed if desired. Slightly scald the fish with hot water but do not let it cook. After scalding, rub the fish with the rock salt leaving 1 tbsp. to be used for seasoning. Arrange the fish in a pressure cooker and add all ingredients. Make sure that there is enough liquid to cover the fish. Add equal amounts of oil and water if needed. Season with salt. Cook under medium heat until it starts to boil. Cover and let it cook for atleast 30-45 minutes under low-medium heat.

*Add chili if you prefer a spicier taste to your sardines.
**I ran out of pickle chips, so I subtituted it with 2 tbsps. of pickle relish


Kani Crab Spread

I was disappointed to learn that the Subway branch near my office closed down. My co-worker and I would often grab quick bites for lunch or spend the hour savoring our favorite Subway combos. Love the tuna or the sweet onion grilled chicken.
Because I was craving for the Seafood Sensation, I thought of making one at home. It turned out pretty good. Not like Subways, but I would do this all over again.


250 grams Kani crab sticks, cut 1/2 lengthwise, then sliced into match-sticks
1 sweet onion, minced
1 red bell pepper, minced
250 grams mayonnaise
garlic powder
chives, minced
lettuce or shredded cabbage
lightly toasted buns (white or wheat or any you prefer)

Combine all ingredients and season with salt, pepper, 2 tsps. turmeric, garlic powder and minced chives. Refrigerate for about 1 hour to let the flavors blend.

Slice the buns in half and slightly toast to add texture. Spread about 2 heaping tablespoons of crab mixture on one side of the bread. Top with lettuce and tomatoes. Top with the other bun.

Optional: To try a different flavor, replace the chives with cilantro. I haven't tried  yoghurt to replace the mayonnaise for less calories.


Another Baked Macaroni

I guess we are just fanatics for baked macaroni so I made with what was available in the kitchen. It came out pretty well - a Filipino-style sauce which mom likes.


1/2 kilo (1 lb.) lean pork, ground
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup onion, minced
1/3 cup green and red bell pepper, minced
1 kg tomato sauce
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. chili powder
2 tbsps. sugar
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup milk
500 grams elbow noodles, cooked
1/2 to 1 cup grated cheese
2 tbsps. parsley, chopped

In a sauce pan, saute meat on medium heat until everything is brown. Keep sauteing until the meat is dried out of its juices. Set aside. Add 2 tbsps. olive oil and saute onions, bell pepper and garlic until the onions are translucent. Add in the meat and continue to stir until the ingredients are well blended. Add the soy sauce, salt and black pepper. Pour the tomato sauce and stir until it boils. Reduce the heat and add the sugar and chili pepper and bay leaf. Simmer the sauce for about 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally to avoid the bottom from sticking and burning. Adjust the seasonings based on your taste then add milk to make a creamier sauce. Simmer for additional 3 minutes then turn heat off. Let the sauce cool and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator to allow the spices to marry together with the sauce.
Cook noodles and drain. Mix the noodles with the meat sauce. Pour into a baking dish and top with the grated cheese. Sprinkle the parsley and bake at 350F for 5-8 minutes until the cheese melts and tops slightly turns brown.


Recollections - Humba

Mom and I were trying to reminisce the old times and the conversation ended up with how Grandma and Tita was able to cook really well. One of these dishes was Humba - a sweet and salty concoction for pork belly or pata mixed with banana blossoms. So this is the recipe version that I tried with adjustments that passed our taste buds. It was nothing close to my aunt's but it is a working progress :)

1 k. pork liempo (belly), cut into big cubes
1/2 head garlic, crushed
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp. muscovado sugar
2 pcs. bay leaf
1 star anise
1 tsp. peppercorns, crushed
1/2 cup banana blossoms 

Sear the pork pieces until all sides are brown in a thick sauce pan. Add garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, bay leaf, anise and peppercorns. Add water enough to cover the meat and bring to a boil. Remove all scum that rises, add more water if necessary. Set to medium heat and simmer until pork becomes tender for about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. When pork skin turns to gelatine like texture, adjust the saltiness and sweetness according to taste. Add the blossoms. Set heat to low and continue to simmer until all the liquid has evaporated and pork start to render fat. Now cook the pork on its own fat until brown on low heat stirring occasionally to avoid burning the bottom.
Serve over hot rice.


Fish Stew

The Lenten season is here and I want to think of ways to serve meatless dishes. When I say meatless, I was referring to chicken, pork, beef, duck, veal and everything else that does not belong to the seafood, fruits and vegetable group. I had left over eggplant, a can of diced basil-oregano flavored tomatoes, 1/4 of a red bell pepper, flat leaf parley, fish fillets, a few carrots and potatoes. So I combined the ingredients and made a hearty stew that I think would go well with a sliced toasted bread or croutons.

3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced (about 1/3 cup)
1 tbsp. each of olive oil and butter
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cup eggplant, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1 cup potatoes, diced
1 can of diced tomatoes, basil - oregano flavored
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. all-purpose seasoning or italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. sugar
250 grams firm white fish fillet, cut into 1x1/2x1/2 inches
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Saute the garlic and onions in oil and butter until the onions are tender. Add the bell pepper and eggplant. Stir until the eggplants are tender. Add the carrots and potatoes and diced tomatoes. Add 1 1/2 can (of the diced tomatoes) of water or no-sodium chicken stock. Season with soy sauce, seasonings, salt and pepper to taste. Add the sugar. Let the broth simmer in a covered pot until the potatoes are cooked. Add the fish and turn off the heat. Cover the pot and let the fish cook in the remaining heat.
Sprinkle the parsley when ready to serve warm.


Left Over Chicken Noodle Bake

I can't think of a better title for this entry but this one of the fun things I have done so far.
We had a get together, my friends and I, and had left overs. We had about 8-10 store-bought dry fried chicken which no one wanted to eat even after the event. I didn't want to throw it away so I had to think of something to make this more appealing using what ever I had in the kitchen. First, I thought of mixing everything with cream of mushroom, noodles and cheese to bake. After taking the meat from the bones, one can will not make it. Luckily, I had a few cans of diced and stewed tomatoes and that did the trick. :)

8-10 pieces of left-over fried chicken
5 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
3 tbsps. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning or italian seasoning
4 cans of any combination of diced tomatoes, stewed sliced tomatoes*
1 - 1/2 tbsps. soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
a handful of chopped flat leaf parsley or basil leaves
500 grams of dried pasta noodles, cooked
grated cheese

Remove the meat from the bones and dice the meat. Set this aside.
In a large pot, heat the oil and butter then saute the garlic and onions. Once the onions have caramelized and the garlic slightly brown, add the meat and saute for another 5 minutes until it is heated through. Pour the canned tomatoes and stir. Add about 1 cup of water and season with the italian seasoning, salt, soy sauce, and pepper. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid the bottom from burning. Adjust the seasonings.
Cook the noodles using the package instructions. Drain. Place the noodles in a baking dish and pour the chicken tomato mixture over it or mix the noodles into the chicken tomato sauce and gently mix everything together then pour into a baking dish. Top with the chopped parsley or basil. Sprinkle over the grated cheese and bake in a 350 pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes.

This can be any flavor of your choice. I used 2 cans of roasted garlic and basil and 1 can of basil and oregano and 1 can of stewed Italian seasoned tomatoes.


Cheese Hopia Anyone?

It was a great Saturday to spend with friends to one of the quaint and relaxing B&B places in Tagaytay. The food was refreshingly fresh (straight from their gardens) and the ambiance felt like a home away from home in Sonia's Garden. The staff and owner was so welcoming and hospitable that it felt that we were one of their long lost family.

Before heading home we headed to their bakery to buy freshly baked goodies back to the city. They suggested the cheese hopia. We all went along with all our curiosity killing us since no one of us had a cheese hopia before. So i bought 2 bags and their Spanish bread.

So the next day, I heated one of each for breakfast. It was really good. The hopia had a good balance of sweetness and saltiness. The dough was not hard as it looks mind you. Everyone from home enjoyed it too. Maybe when you get the chance to be in the area, you can try it out for yourself and let me know what you think.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin