Monday, January 28, 2013

Tokwa't Baboy (Pork and Tofu)

Crispy fried face mask with ears and tongue
Look at the fine and milky texture of fresh tofu 

Pig's mask with ears  are the best parts to be used for this recipe. Nepot would salivate a lot everytime he sees me preparing this. In fact, he helps because this is just one of the best dishes he can prepare himself.  I would go to Manong Magtataho to get the freshly made tofu. They are best early morning. The ones sold in the wet market that are soaked in water become fermented making the tofu smells a bit sour. They can still be used for cooking, but you need to have an acquired taste for it.  Fresh ones are so milky and delicious and don't have the sour smell that spoils the freshness of the fried pork mask. 

The sauce for this is actually my nepot's recipe. He eats what he cooks and he indulges much!  Really much! And he eats them all day.

Pig's mask (maskara) with the ears
Pig's tongue (white part removed)
(Ask your butcher to get these parts for you)
Freshly made tofu
Salt and pepper
Oil for frying

Boil the pig's mask and tongue with salt and pepper until fork tender.  Drain until it's dry.   Heat oil in a deep pan. Fry the meat and drain again.  Slice according to your want. But bite sized are preferred.
Fry the tofu in big squares then slice also the same size with your meat.

Tokwa't Baboy, yum yum!
Now, prepare the sauce:


Mix according to desired taste.

Voila!!! Let's dip and eat! Sarap, promise!

Bulanglang, Diningding! Whatever

This isn't really on my top list of vegetable dishes, but Nepot would crave for this once in a while. I'd rather have pinakbet or pakbet instead of this bulanglang or diningding thing. But I learned one thing from my mom on cooking this. It has to be used with rice wash (hugas bigas).  And it should be the last wash.  Bulanglang ang tawag dito sa timog katagalugan (Southern Luzon), at Diningding naman sa parteng Hilaga ng Luzon (Northern Luzon) where it is more common.  Bagoong or anchovy paste or sauce is used in this. It is considered as the main flavoring for diningding.  But it is still best eaten when served really hot!

Ingredients and Procedure:

4 cups rice wash
String beans
Ginger (pressed)
Onion (peeled and quartered)
Bagoong (anchovy paste or sauce), according to taste
A handful of dried anchovies (dilis)

Bring the rice wash into a boil with ginger, onion and the dried anchovies.  Slowly add in the vegetables from the hardest to softest. That means squash should be first and okra will be the last. When all vegetables are tender, but not soft, add in the bagoong (according to taste). Serve hot!    

We love Kimchi!!!

I and my nepot are both kimchi fanatics.  My korean friends would give me bulk of it which we would consume at home for a week. But by the time she went back to Korea, I needed to make on my own because I found that commercially sold kimchi in supermarkets are quite expensive, and would be much more expensive  thinking that nepot and I eat kimchi anytime we want.  And the bad thing is, we want it everytime! I already shared the recipe on my other blog at hubpages. Just look for lois sunday at hubpages.  There are three kinds of kimchi I love best: cabbage kimchi, cucumber kimchi and radish kimchi.

Mix of Cabbage and Radish Kimchi

What I want to share with you is how we actually consume kimchi at home. No matter what kind of kimchi you have or you choose, it is so good in any way. A korean mom said, sweet breads and cakes should be eaten with kimchi for better digestion. Haha! I  had a good laugh when I heard that! Ever saw a coffeeshop serving cakes with kimchi on the side? :D   :D  :D  But then, when I once tried it, I realized they're exactly a perfect match!  A Dunkin Donuts  Store in Korea is even serving Kimchi donut! :D 'Guess, that one is good too!

                                                                                      Oi Sobagi or Cucumber Kimchi

Noodles! Yes, instant noodles get better when cooked with kimchi!  Just boil the noodles with water. Add the other spices then put in some kimchi. Voila!!! You may also add onion leeks for more flavor and crack an egg then stir. That's the simplest you can do. But when you have all the time to prepare, better grab some egg noodles, cook it as usual. Before removing from fire, add the kimchi. Great one!

                                                     Look at that! Dried noodles (pancit canton) with kimchi 

There are plenty of tales about kimchi as there are much dishes you can do with kimchi. Yet, the best about kimchi is that, you can just eat it alone and still enjoy its aroma and benefit.  I will be sharing recipes for kimchichigae (kimchi soup) and Kimchibokumbap (kimchi rice) on my other posts in this blog.  Have fun! Enjoy.

Trivia: Kimchi is a good source of vitamin C and many other nutrients.  

Liver steak

One of my favorite breakfasts! And nepot's too! When I was young I used to have liver steak at least twice a week for breakfast. My dad used to tell us: that is good for you because it contains plenty of iron. Brain food!  So, now that I have my own kids, I do serve my family with it more often. I love beef or cow's liver than pig's liver, but my kids prefer the latter.  Sometimes, I have the liver ground to make delicious gravy. So that's extra nutrients for my family.       

If you can't slice liver thinly, ask your butcher  do it for you.  The thinner the better because you have to cook it fast.


Half pound Liver , sliced into thin servings
1 Big onion, slice into rings
4 cloves Garlic, crushed and minced
3 Tbsp. Soy sauce
1 tsp. Pepper
3 pcs. Calamansi (extract only)
Oil for sautéing
1/4 cup Water

How to do it:

Saute garlic in oil.  Add the liver and mix. When the liver is done, which means there no more blood coming out when you prick it with a fork, pour water and soy sauce. Sprinkle with pepper. Bring to a boil. Add the onion rings and the calamansi extract.  Simmer for a while but don't overcook the onions. Adjust taste if desired. Serve with rice. 

Trivia: The longer you cook liver, the harder it gets. So make sure you just cook it right.  Opt for chicken liver if you want it to remain tender.
In place of calamansi, lime can be used. 

Squash cake (Okoy na kalabasa)

When it comes to vegies, innovations should be done. I don't know but my husband and kids don’t want the same recipe for vegetables over and over again.  No repetitions, but modifications and revisions can fool them.  So, instead of making soups, stews and sautes with my squash, I grated it and make into squash cakes! Nice idea and a good job!  Everybody loves it. Yumyum!

Getting ready for cooking , okoy na kalabasa (squash cake)

Grate 1 medium-sized squash in a cheese grater.
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 pieces ripe finger chili or 1 bell pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 whole egg
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
Oil for frying

Mix the ingredients together.  Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Scoop some of the mixture and put on hot oil. Flatten with the bottom of a turner. Cook each side for 3 minutes at medium fire.  Drain on paper towel to remove excess oil. 
Serve hot!  Super good and nutritious!

Dip: Vinegar with garlic or just plain tomato catsup

The Best Palabok, Promise!

Ever heard of someone whose favorite food is palabok? Before I thought it's weird. But when I heard Enchong Dee (a Filipino Actor from ABS-CBN channel) said that his favorite food is palabok, I thought: Oh my, how much more if he would be able to taste my palabok!  Palabok is a tagalog term for glass noodles with yellowish sauce and topped with garnishes,  smoked-fish giving the dominant flavor. 

My palabok in a bilao
Before, Nepot was not really into Palabok. If we would eat out in Filipino Restaurants,  palabok was never a choice. I asked him one time why not try palabok even for once, but he said, he already did and will never try again. He didn't like the fishy aftertaste of palabok that made him feel like puking

But one time, I was craving for palabok, and I thought maybe I could try it on my own. I'm also not a fan but I wanted to try if I could make better palabok that my hubby and family would love.  The kind that we will always crave for.

And yes, I am so proud that I was able to do it! And the best part is that, it's not only my family who craves for it often, but also my friends and my friends' friends who have tasted it. 

Here's how:

The glass noodles should be blanched until al dente. Yes, al dente and not soft. Drain and drizzle with oil. Set aside.
my plate of palabok

My sauce is made of annatto  oil, where I saute my minced garlic, shallots and the rest of the ingredients. I mix it with salt while sauteing. The flavors have to blend well  altogether before  adding the flour  to make it like "roux". Then pour with water.  Mix continuously until it boils. 

I use the following for toppings/garnish:

Fried and shredded smoked fish 
Crushed chicharon (homemade chicharons are the best)  
Hard-boiled  eggs
Chopped green onions

Drizzle with calamansi.

Perfect palabok!

You may use seafoods for your toppings like mussels and shrimp.  Both should be cooked well before adding. But as for me, my palabok is so simple, no seafoods but tastes a lot better! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pizza, pizza, pizza overload!

One of Nepot's favorite snacks!  It can be heavy kaya pwede na ring lunch. It only has to be healthy. My pizza is always made overloaded! Overloaded with healthy ingredients from fresh tomato sauce up to the cheese toppings. What's better is that I make the crust myself, because we want it thick and fresh. Sabi ni Nepot, he wants it that way kase nakakabusog and yummy talaga.

I pre-baked the crust for few minutes before laying the toppings.

My crust is made from all purpose flour, sugar, salt, yeast and olive oil.
Prick the crust with fork before baking. The toppings vary.   From beef balls or ground beef and beef tapa (dried beef) to pineapples and bell pepper, you can have the best pizza of your choice!
Pizza crust topped with different toppings
I used three kinds of cheese combined:  cheddar cheese, Australian cheese which i purchased from baking materials supplier and of course mozzarella cheese which makes the gummy, sticky effect. :D

Here the pizza is being baked in a pizza pan cooker which my nepot brought home from the middle east 
My pizza, beef and ham overload!
This one  has thicker crust, with dried beef (beef tapa) and more overload ready for the oven


ready  to be sliced

Pick your choice sweetie! Love them all!
 I made these for my birthday, wherein I had my guests dig in and enjoy my pizza. I actually baked 15 pizzas that day. But still Nepot had much of it. He really loves it... with hot sauce. Yummy!!! Great and Filling! (Burp...)

Trivia: Crusts vary based on the kind of flour used. Whole wheat  flour can be made but it can be too heavy. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Habhabin ang sarap ng Pancit Lucban

Pancit Habhab (pancit Lucban)

Anywhere in Quezon (Province) you'll find pancit habhab. Isa na nga itong street food dito. Habhab means to eat directly with the mouth (without utensils). So this pancit (noodles) has to be eaten that way. At dahil it's anywhere else there, naging comfort food ito ni nepot. Accessible, cheap at instant! But because he remains special to me, mas masarap pa rin ang special na pancit habhab na gawa ko! I used pancit Lucban. Yes, the kind of pancit from Lucban. Lucban is a town in Quezon, famous for its Pahiyas Festival and Kamay ni Hesus. It's just like egg noodles but brown in color that is just blanched (not cooked). The rest of the toppings or ingredients are cooked. But the best part of this is the vinegar. It gives habhab the taste like no other! It has to be little spicy to experience the kick that's fantastic. 
Pancit Lucban with toppings and Sesame seeds

Vinegar sauce for the Pancit Lucban
After blanching the noodles, make sure to drain it well and drizzle with oil. It will avoid the noodles from sticking together.  Then saute the toppings, consist mainly of garlic, onions, carrots, sayote, pechay and pre-cooked chicharon. I also have big onion rings, green onions and sesame seeds for the garnish.  

This vinegar sauce for the pancit habhab is made of vinegar, chopped onions, chilis, sugar, salt, shallots and little garlic.  
Haluin at habhabin!!!

Trivia: Pancit habhab is best eaten in banana leaf. 

Homemade Longganisa (sausage)

Healthy and Delicious! That's how I would always describe my foods!  And when I say that, you have to believe me. As they said: Never Trust a skinny chef. Haha! That's so true! That's why I never want to get on a diet! Well, I'm proud that I'm into healthy and delicious foods.  I'm not into processed foods, especially those that are preserved with artificial flavors, colors and additives. So?  So, even if it had to take extra time preparing, I make sure I have some in the fridge when cravings come into the air…
And! Of course, I prepare them myself.  That is to make sure it's clean and healthy.

With this sausages (uu nga, longganisa sa tagalog), I have to spend 4 hours to finish 2 kilograms of meat into links.  Stuffing the casing takes a long time so this recipe calls for "patience".  I use collagen casing for this recipe. And the first time I served nepot with it, he said, "Wow, masarap nga! Pwede nang ibenta!"      

Homemade Sausage (Longganisa)
this thinner version goes well with pancit canton and kimchi  


1 kg. coarsely ground pork
1 kg coarsely ground beef
1/4 kg. pork fat, ground
salt (according to taste)
1 tbsp. sugar
1 whole garlic bulb, pressed and minced
1/4 cup extract from oregano leaves
1 tsp. pepper, ground
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed

Mix the ingredients well, but don't overdo. Stuff into casings. Prick with needle to release air. Tie to make sausage links. Refrigerate. Fry or grill! Great-tasting sausage! Ay, longganisa pala... :)

Trivia:  Collagen casings are also made from animal parts (mainly the parts that produce collagen), and they are edible. Soak first in water for a minute before using. It softens the casing making it easier to stuff. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Eggplant forever... (Talong habangbuhay...)

Eggplant, "talong", aubergines. Whatever you call it, it remains on the top list of nepot's favorite vegies.  Yes, his week is never complete or happy or satisfying without a "talong" meal. Even if it only means once a week. Ask him in one word how he describes talong and he'd say: MASARAP! (delicious) Ask him how he feels everytime he learns we have talong for lunch or dinner and he'd say: Wow, exciting! 
peppered baked talong
This talong meal was just made in a rush. Because nepot was missing talong already and because I cooked adobo at that time, he was thinking that talong would be an excellent match with my classic adobo.  So I sliced my talong, drizzled with olive oil, rubbed with salt and sprinkled with pepper. I lined the seasoned talong in a pan, cover  the pan tightly and baked the talong for 3 minutes on each side. Perfect! So, the next time you make adobo for lunch, try to have this too!  If you're into mediterranean foods, you can add cumin and curry powder to the seasonings. Yum! Ooohhh, that one makes my mouth water...
Tortang Talong! Super sarap!

 Tortang talong!!! Yipeee!!! Eggplant omelette. That's how I would translate that into English. I love this too, and so does our son, cholo. One talong dish we gladly share together.  Tortang talong becomes more special with banana or tomato ketchup. But for me, I love it more with vinegar and garlic on the side or crushed tomatoes with chopped shallots.
tinigang na gulyasan
 This photo on the right is Tinigang na Gulyasan. Don't know exactly how it is called, but this gulyasan or skipjack tuna is cooked in vinegar with garlic, ginger, salt and pepper and finger chili. And because i am pleasing nepot, sliced talong has to be added. Voila! Rice all you can!   If i have some left overs of pork fats (especially from my adobo), I would put it on the pan before laying the fish. It's oil makes my tinigang more special.  
Binagoongang baboy with talong
 See that? It was supposed to be a simple pork binagoongan.  Pork binagoongan is sliced pork sauteed  and cooked in bagoong (shrimp paste). You can purchase fresh shrimp paste from wet market. Other ingredients for binagoongan are finely chopped garlic, chopped onions, sugar, cane vinegar and chili pepper. Yes, this one is spicy. Now, if you're an eggplant fanatic, add sliced eggplants! Eggplant goes well with bagoong, and adding it to pork binagoongan makes it a lot better.

 Ensaladang talong  (Eggplant Salad)

perfect appetizer! The dressing is simple yet really appetizing. Boil some eggplants until tender. Then cool it a bit or run in cold water to cool then tear or shred with fingers.  Mash in salt and pepper. Meanwhile prepare the dressing. Chop some tomatoes and shallots. Mix the two together, then add with vinegar, sugar and pepper. Pour into the shredded talong. Mix well. hmmmm... yum

Eggplant for a party? Yes, why not? I made this first during my daughter's third birthday, then when my husband came home from abroad, I made it again for his bienvenida party. I call it Eggplant Parmigiana. Layers of eggplant, ground beef, homemade tomato sauce, bechamel sauce and cheese then baked.  Tastes wonderful! you can try it. Really really good! You can use the bigger eggplants or aubergines for this recipe.   

Eggplant Parmigiana or Beefy Eggplant Lasagna

Talong in Kare-kare  (Recipe available in another blog) 
 Kare-kare is not complete and perfect if one of the vegies is missing. And one of the best is eggplant (for nepot only. for me, I wouldn't want to miss banana heart in karekare). Kare-kare is beef stew in peanut sauce. A perfect recipe is available in this site too. Great meal for a great husband!

Talong Guisado

Talong guisado goes well with any fried dish. I learned this from my mom who, just the same with my husband is a talong addict! But this one is different from the usual sauteed talong because this one is boiled first. So, the same with the talong salad, you have to boil the talong first then shred or tear. Then sauté in oil, garlic, onions, tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. The more tomatoes, the better the taste.

This is my eggplant show.

Trivia: Eggplants are called aubergines in other recipes especially in mediterranean dishes. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Puto, puto, puto... oh my fluffy puto!

Yes, my fluffy puto comes in different sizes and toppings! At love na love talaga ‘to ni nepot and our kids lalo na kung may dinuguan on the side.  There goes my puto sa bilao! Yes. Kung merong pancit luglog at pancit pal;abok sa bilao, meron ding puto sa bilao! Truly a great perfect treat for large parties.  Oh, wait... for adult parties ha! Made from the finest and freshest ingredients, my fluffy puto melts in the mouth that you’ll keep on  asking for more.  Napanood ko the other week na yong egg tart na famous sa Macau ay hindi talaga originally from Macau. So sabi ko ke nepot, “pwede ko rin palang dalhin sa ibang lugar ang puto ko and 

make it famous there”.   Hmmmm...  Let's think about it. Pero... for now, secret muna recipe ko ha. Pero in case you really want, you can email me on the email add provided and i will send you.  
You can also use smaller pans that will fit in your cooker. Like the one on the photo on the left.      

And then, here goes mini puto for kids’ parties! I call it minis.  Ciempre aside from the fact na cute sila, love ng kids ang parang marshmallows na puto in assorted paper cups. Of course, lahat ng kids in the party would love to indulge!  Some of them even skipped the pasta and the other foods in the party just to be able to eat more puto. And when I learned about that, I felt happy and told myself I certainly make the best puto in town!  

Last December, I made this minis with chocolate toppings for my daughter iona's school christmas party. When I checked my paper cups, I found out that there were only two colors left: Brown and white!  So, I decided to make cheese for the white cups and chocolate for the brown cups. Sabi ni Iona, "I love the chocolate puto!" And her classmates loved it too!       
And who wouldn't want pork asado on puto?  Yes, it's puto pao! With pulled pork asado and some cheese on top, this puto came out to be so special! You just have to cook the asado well so it would go with the fluffiness of the puto. Pagkakain ni nepot ng isa, umisa pa ulet cia, at umisa na naman at umisa pa ulet! Well, 5 inches lang naman ang diameter nito!      

 OR, you may opt for this.
Puto with salted egg! Nice, right?  Just pick the freshest salted egg you can find. The taste is a lot better than cheese. Do you know the taste of eating something sweet and rich in egg with something salty and much egg-y on top that melt away together? sarap! 
parang ensaymada but a lot fluffier than that! promise, you won't say no to this!   

At ang pang-finale! Puto with Dinuguan (Pork and blood stew).  You'll love it, especially if your dinuguan is cooked deliciously... Wanna know how? Ask me, i'll teach you. Will be posting recipe soon. Sabi ni Nepot, "I wouldn't want anything else today, but this! sarap!"
How about you?

Trivia: Pig's blood can be purchased from meat vendors in the market or you get it free as long as you buy pork. Make sure it is clean. Ask your vendor too if the blood is salted or not.