Category: home cooking

Filipino Comfort Foods

When you are away from your birthplace and you miss home, there is not much you can do about it. Philippines is on the other side of the globe and I can only visit every two years. Going there takes a lot of preparation and good savings in order to avail the said vacation.

What I can do to ease the homesickness a little bit is cook foods and somehow think that I am in the Philippines while munching on the Filipino foods I love.

We call it, ” comfort foods” for it is with this foods we satisfy our cravings and fill our stomachs. Here are a few dishes and delicacies I can very well cook at home and feed my family with awesome goodness Filipino comfort foods.


Chopsuey, a Filipino dish that comprise of mainly vegetables, some cut up meat either pork, liver and or chicken. It is such a palatable dish that everybody can enjoy, of course this dish won’t be complete without quail eggs ( missing in the picture, I did not have it available when I cooked this food), young corn and a little bit of corn starch to thicken the sauce.

chops

Lumpia or eggroll. You can use any kind of shredded vegetables, ground pork, chicken or beef, seasonings and bell pepper. If you are vegan, you can replace the meat with tofu and enjoy the same taste eggrolls supposed to taste. The one on the right is what we call “suman malagkit” or glutinous rice cooked with coconut milk,white sugar, ginger and a pinch of salt to make it and wrap in banana leaves, steam for 45 minutes as the final step to cook the rice some more. It is a delicacy almost all Filipinos love and commonly prepared during special occasions because of the extensive labor this requires.

We can also make “suman cassava” by using grated yucca root instead of glutinous rice. It is a labor of love and therefore, should be eaten slow and enjoyed every bite in order to savor this delicious comfort food.

lumpia

Pork or calf liver is known for its chewy texture and this is what my mother used to give me growing up when I looked pale. She’d give it to me half grilled and when you slice it, you can see the blood dripping onto the plate.
It is rich in iron and known to help people with iron deficiency.
liver

Nutty Chocolate Banana Bread Recipe

Baking is not for me, I shall say. That’s a fact. I have tried a few times before baking some of the Filipino breads but I messed it up so I am not doing it again.

However, one thing I can do which I am good at is baking banana bread. This time, I made it perfectly. I craved for rich chocolate cake but I don’t have it available, I did not want to drive 12 miles just to get it at the grocery store. What I do instead, bake it at home.

Craving satisfied for a chocolate cake, though mine isn’t rich but it’s good and a bit healthier.

Here’s the recipe that I keep in handy, although not all in the list of ingredients I followed.

2 1/2 flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsps. hershey’s chocolate powder
4 large eggs
2 tsps. cornstarch
2 tsps. baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
4-5 ripe bananas (mashed up)
1 tsp. salt
2 sticks melted butter
2 tsps. pure vanilla extract
2 cups walnuts

HERE’S HOW:
Mix all dry ingredients except sugar! Add it to the wet ingredients. Use mixer to get the cake texture of your batter. Bake at 320 F for 1:20 minutes.

OPTIONAL: add nuts of your choice.

nuttybread

Cookout Once A Week

Nothing is more satisfying than moving to a beautiful home in a quiet place in the country. Comes with is a peace of mind and the appreciation of living in this world. Since we moved here, we make it a weekly routine to cook something for the entire family and invite a friend over to have dinner with us and watch a movie afterwards.

One of those cookouts is this fat cheeseburger prepared and grilled by my husband in his traditional egg grill called, “Kamado“. You know I see him as a grilling expert, he cooks anything in his kamado with perfection. Burger patties is one of them.

Everybody had a choice on what to put in their bun. This is mine pictured below. Just by looking at the picture, makes me drool and want to do it again soon. Home cooked meals are the best because you know what you put in your food. We do make our own meals 98% of the time.

However, sometimes I look for a change of taste and flavor and that is when I go to a drive thru or a restaurant to try other people’s food.

burger

Delicious Wrapped Purple Sweet Potato

Sweet potato is one of the root crops that is easy to grow and harvest abundantly in the Philippines or anywhere in the world. Anyone can plant this crop in their own backyard too so it is available almost everywhere if one is interested to eat a homegrown and organic sweet potatoes.

Anyway, here in our area, these purple Hawaiian sweet potatoes are sold but cost a bit of a price than normal ones. I love purple for the fact that it is different in color and they are only available at the Asian market 23 minutes away from where we live.

Since I am drawn to its color but not a big eater of a potato, I came up with the idea of wrapping it in eggroll wrappers. Others call this recipe, “KAMOTE KABOY”.

Here’s how I make it for it to be appetizing and palatable.

Ingredients:
2 pounds Hawaiian purple sweet potatoes
2 packs of frozen young coconut strips
half can of sweet condensed milk, you can use a full can if you prefer for it to be sweeter
3 packages of eggroll wraps
1/2 stick shredded butter

Boil sweet potatoes first then mash it once done.

Thaw coconut strips and drain excess water.

Pour/place all ingredients in potatoes and mix.

Start wrapping them. Once done, fry as many as you want or vacuum seal the rest and freeze!

Believe it or not, it’s delicious and my two girls love them even if they don’t like eating sweet potatoes.

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…. that delicious and attractive kamote kaboy! Hmmm drooling, aren’t they?
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I Cook to Make Up with My Kids

I work, just part-time now though yet I still feel exhausted when I work 4 straight days in a week. When I am working, I cannot always cook fresh foods for my girls but when I am able to, I make sure it is appetizing and appealing to them so they’ll eat what I serve them. As much as possible I try not to repeat the dishes, otherwise they’ll get tired of it.

My girls are fun to cook for, they eat almost anything I offer them. That alone encourages me to do my duty as a mother and give them nutritious foods for their growing body and brain. Thankfully, my girls aren’t picky and if they try to refuse the food, I will just remind them the photos of those malnourished children on Facebook so they’ll eat and have no option to say no.

One of the dishes I can very well serve them which they accept willingly is this breaded baked pork chops for dinner paired with baked asparagus and brown rice. They liked it, oh not just liked it but loved it. I feel accomplished when my hard work to make them dinner is eaten and all gone.

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Chicken Noodle Soup Vs Pizza

Sometimes I cook or prepare two different meals for me and my family. While my children love eating Filipino foods, there are certain dishes that they do not want instead they ask for an American food. One example is photo below. While I enjoyed my noodle soup so much, the girls, however, preferred eating pizza.

For me, Filipino foods are the best. They are filling and satisfying to my stomach plus it they are healthier for I always put some veggies on my soup and some garlic and onions which are known to be beneficial to our health. So, I will not exchange it over pizza or mac and cheese. My children have a taste of both American and Filipino foods because I tend to cook my food all the time and they eat most of it, if not all.

I am just lucky my girls aren’t picky, they eat whatever I give them, otherwise, they go hungry.

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Pinoy Versus American Food

I love to eat, I love food and most of all, I love cooking our own food at home. Cooking these days is difficult because I got a job and I can only cook on my day off or when I work the afternoon shift. So, in order for me to save time in the kitchen, I just cook two dishes at a time.

Like for instance these foods pictured below. I cooked “pinakbet” which consists of Asian veggies for me and the mac and cheese for the husband and the girls, well, unfortunately, I put spinach in there so my little girl doesn’t like to eat it all.

Cooking these dishes at one time gave me the opportunity to compare both which tastes great and delicious. I even asked my friends on FB which one they prefer best and they voted for the Filipino food. Well, that’s sucks huh because they’re all Filipinos.

As for me, I would prefer the Pinoy food also. Don’t get me wrong, I like mac and cheese but I can only eat a cup of it because it’s too cheesy and “bidli”. The food does not stay in my tummy for long too so yes, I love Pinoy food. Nothing beats Pinoy food!

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Native Visayan Stew in America

Those who grew up poor and in the province anywhere in the Philippines can relate to this kind of food with the exception of shrimp because it is expensive in my home country. A native Visayan stew or “utan bisaya” as we call it consists of Asian spinach, yellow squash, long yard beans, eggplant, bamboo shoot, malunggay or moringa oleifera, okra or anything that can be grown in your backyard can be made into a stew.

This is one of those that I so appreciate here in America because not all Filipinos have access to native veggies like me. I grow this in our own backyard free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals. When I feel like cooking native stew, I just go out there and pick some vegetables. I am blessed to have the ability to plant my own food that I enjoy so much!

Native stew freshly cooked paired with dried fish and leftover grits, anyone? This is my kind of food, belly filling, nutritious and it satisfied my craving for a healthy dish. Aside from that, it also felt like I was home when I gobbled this up!

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So Creamy Mac and Cheese, My Girls’ Favorite

Don’t we all want instant mac and cheese in a box? It is because it is fast, quick and easy to prepare, right? When we are hungry and tired from work, we don’t have that energy to prepare for a good meal anymore so we settled on instant foods and we don’t think about whether it taste good or bad.

Well, here’s a recipe that I got from an original poster that was shared on Facebook that is truly creamy, tasty and delicious homemade mac and cheese. I followed exactly her measurements and ingredients to achieve that yumminess mac and cheese that my girls love very much.

Just by looking at the pictures make me drool. You imagine when you get to taste the finished product, you’ll love it more than anything else. Once you tasted it, you’ll never try to go back making the boxed mac and cheese and you’ll have to trust me on that.

In fact, my 8-year old girl asked me to make it again which I wholeheartedly said yes. It is such a joy watching my kids devouring the dish I make for them, so it is always a pleasure making them dinner.

NOTE: Photos are mine but the recipe can be found here http://spicysouthernkitchen.com/super-creamy-mac-cheese/

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… girls’ plates right after I took out the mac and cheese from the oven, along side with it are fruits and vegetable.

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Visayan Adobaw Na Manok Recipe

Growing up, I still remember that chicken recipe that my grandparents and or father used to cook. It is a recipe that only Bisayan people can make and for years of residing here in America, I could not seem to get its taste nor cook adobaw na manok the way my old folks did.

There is something in it that I really love, the aromatic smell of ginger, onion and garlic is so heavenly that I have been wanting to taste for so long, finally satisfied. Thanks to a friend who shared her mother’s recipe as well as the technique to really come up with the delicious taste of the dish. The dish is so common in the Philippines yet seemed mysterious to make (at least to me).

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Ingredients:

1 whole chicken – I prefer Cornish chicken for it’s similarity to native chicken taste.

3 laurel leaves, 2 tsp. ground black pepper, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, garlic powder, onions, vinegar, oil and salt.

I don’t put exact measurement on those because all I do is estimate the amount of each ingredient according to my preference.

Here’s how:
~ Buy a whole chicken and cut up the meat into desired pieces. Bones in please.

~ Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes or more with Filipino soy sauce, vinegar, grated ginger, ground black pepper and garlic powder.

~ After marinating, bring the meat to a boil, covered and stirring constantly until meat’s natural juice come out. Cook some more until desired tenderness of the meat is achieved.

~ Saute minced garlic and onions until brown. Put in the chicken and its juice, wait until all juice is absorbed and dry, it’s optional if you put in the marinated sauce or not. If you don’t, it is also good and still make a great adobaw chicken taste.

~ By then, the chicken should be almost done, put some laurel or bay leaves, cover and cook a little bit more. Stir. Add some salt and ground pepper according to your taste.

~ Serve hot.

WARNING: Rice killer, make sure you a got a whole big pot of cooked rice before serving! Enjoy!