Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Filipino Chicken Adobo and Ginisang Sitaw at Kalabasa (Green Beans and Squash)

For ungrounded reasons, Bryan thinks all my cooking is bland. I had to prove him wrong, so I pulled out the most flavorful dishes I know...Filipino food!

PS. After the meal Bryan conceded I had flavor. Boo yah!

Filipino Chicken Adobo
A classic dish that's super easy to make. There's not one set ratio, so everything is to taste. The white vinegar and bay leaf is crucial for the flavor. 

Here is what it looks like when marinating. Look at those spices, oh yeah!

For the Chinese version, remove the white vinegar and add brown sugar and star anise. This is what I was used to at home. When I joined the Filipino community at Stanford, they were baffled at my mom's version. Personally, I make the Filipino one more since the sour vinegar flavor gives a nice kick, but both ways are delicious.

Ingredients
cooking oil
garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
3-4 chicken thighs/legs (pork works well too)
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
black peppercorns
2-3 bay leaves
2 eggs, with shell for hard boiling (optional)

Directions 
Sautee garlic and onions in oil and add chicken to brown. Add vinegar and soy sauce, just barely covering the chicken (water may be added, but don't add too much for maximum flavor). Add pepper, salt, and bay leaves, and eggs if desired. (optional: let sit and marinate for a few hours). 

Bring to boil, then lower heat (do not overboil). Cover and let simmer for 1-2 hrs, stirring occasionally until sauce is reduced and thickened, and chicken is tender. Serve with steamed rice.

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Ginisang Sitaw at Kalabasa
This is my favorite vegetable Filipino dish. There's a billion variations (this is after all home cooking!) which can include shrimp, pork, and other meats, but this all veggie one is the version I like to make.

Kalabasa (acorn squash) is a small squash, green on the outside and orange on the inside. It's really hard to cut, so I recommend getting a nice strong dude to chop it for you.

Ingredients
cooking oil
garlic, minced
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
1 squash (kalabasa), peeled and cubed
green beans (sitaw), cut into 2-inch strips
1 can coconut milk
2-3 jalapeno or serano peppers, chopped, with seeds
black bean chili paste
crushed red pepper
salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions
Sautee the onion and garlic in oil with the kalabasa in a saucepan. Add coconut milk, jalapeno or serano peppers, chili paste, salt and pepper and let it stew on medium high.

When the kalabasa is starting to soften, add green beans (I don't like my green beans overcooked and kalabasa takes a while to stew). Stew with top covered until vegetables are ready.
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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tea Time Treats: Mini Pizza Cookies

Pinterest is unhealthy. You feel an urge to make pretty things. You can't resist. Productivity and work vanish. Your inner housewife/Martha Stewart/XX chromosome traits explodes uncontrollably. There is no cure.

Thus, I organized a Tea and Cookie Party for my friends, where everyone brought tea/cookies/dessert. I wanted to make something that looked fancy, and stumbled across mini pizza cookies. I was going to use frozen sugar cookie dough, when I realized (gasp), I never even made sugar cookies from scratch. This had to be remedied.

So I made found a lovely sugar cookie recipe from Joy of Baking, and pressed the dough into muffin pans for a cute and easy tart shape. Add topping and fruit, and voila! Pinterest cuteness in your own kitchen!

Bonus: A Pinterest tea party requires pinterest flowers as well! I made White Peonies using paper clips and put it inside a tall glass mug lined with colored paper as a centerpiece.

So instagram is not the best way to take high quality pictures...



Ingredients
Sugar Cookie Base:
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Filling:
1 oz package neufchatal cheese (yay healthiness)
sugar to taste
whipped cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Fruit topping:
sliced mandarin oranges, grapes, berries, kiwis, etc

Directions 
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. 

Press dough into muffin spaces (make sure the spray well) so that you line the bottom and a little up the sides. Don't add too much since the cookies expand and you want a tart, not a cookie muffin! Bake cookies for about 10-14 minutes (depending on size) or until the edges are just starting to brown. Let them cool thoroughly, and they'll jut pop right out

Combine the filling ingredients together and spread on top of the cooled cookie bases. Add fruit on top.

Notes: I made a 1/2 batch of the sugar cookie recipe, which is enough for ~14 tarts in a normal sized muffin tray. I had extra filling, but I also used it sparsely one 12 tarts since I only had one muffin tray.
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