Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Leftover Ham Soup

It's the day after Christmas and we are still eating food from the Noche Buena feast! The roast chicken has been deboned and sauteed with celery and red bellpeppers, the cheese we are still eating while having our family tradition of watching The Lord of The Rings trilogy extended dvds. What to do with the ham...I decided to slice it into thin pieces to store in containers inside the chiller. But the bones...hmm what better way to make use of it than in a soup! We received a basket of organic fresh vegetables and I made good use of it in this soup. Carrots, celery, onions...and there were some black beans in the pantry and oh, there was a bag of Penne Rigate that I also decided to use because I had no elbow Macaroni which would have been better suited to this kind of soup. At the last moment my sister requested the addition of milk to make it more like the Filipino sopas that we have not eaten in a long time.


2 tablespoons Lauric Oil

5 pieces Carrots (small), diced

1 piece Onion, minced

2 stalks Celery, peeled and diced

2 pieces Ham bones

2 pieces Bay leaves, dried

1/2 cup Beans (I used black), soaked overnight

1/2 cup dried small pasta (I used Penne Rigate but elbow Macaroni is better)

Enough water to cover

Salt and Pepper to taste

Milk (optional)

Preheat pot with oil and saute carrots, onions and celery until soft. Add ham bones, water and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then add in the beans and the pasta. I cooked this for about 30 minutes at a hard boil, then I turned down the heat and seasoned it with salt and pepper.

When it was cooked I added about 1/4 cup of milk and let it simmer for 5 minutes before turning off the heat. Serve hot.

It was a hearty addition to lunch today, and I think I found a new way of making use of ham bone! So how about you? What do you usually do with your Christmas leftover food?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

KULINARYA COOKING CLUB DECEMBER 2011--Ensaimada for Noche Buena

"Huli man daw at magaling, naihahabol din"

I got so caught up with the Christmas holiday season this year that I completely forgot the kidding. So sorry to my fellow Kulinarya Cooking Club-bers, but here is my post for this month's theme. I've always been thinking and planning Christmas Eve Dinner or Noche Buena as we Filipinos call it, but I noticed that it was always the savory items that I prepared...desserts took the backburner maybe because someone always gave leche flan or the ubiquitous fruit salad. But this year I have decided to start giving dessert the attention it deserves on the Noche Buena table. So I tweaked this recipe I found because after baking and tasting, it reminded me of ensaimada, which is a sweet bread that is also part of Christmas in the Philippines. It came out with a tender crumb and the sweetness was just right, not cloyingly sweet as some recipes of ensaimada turn out.


1 teaspoon Instant Yeast

1/4 cup Fresh Milk

1/4 cup Water

3 Tablespoons Sugar

1/4 cup Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons Salt

2 Large Eggs, beaten

3 1/2 cups All-purpose Flour, sifted

Combine milk and water, and heat until lukewarm (I usually do it in the microwave, 30 seconds), set aside. In a clean bowl, combine flour, sugar and yeast. Dissolve the salt in the lukewarm milk-water mixture and whisk in egg, pour mixture into flour and knead with the softened butter for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel and leave in a warm place to rise until double in bulk (it took me 1 hour).

3/4 cups Cashew, chopped roughly

1/2 cup Raisins

1/3 cup All-purpose Flour

3 tablespoons Sugar

6 tablespoons Butter, softened

Combine ingredients in a clean bowl mixing well. Refrigerate.

Punch down dough and knead for about 2 minutes. Roll out dough into a rectangle. Place filling in the middle of dough and roll up starting from the long side, pinch edges to seal. Slice down the middle and lay on the worktable with the cut side up with the filling and braid the bread, tucking down the ends. Put on a greased baking sheet. Leave to proof (rise for a second time) for 20 minutes. Brush with a beaten eggs and bake in a preheated 350 degrees farenheit oven for 30 minutes.

I baked a batch of this bread and gave it to some friends as Christmas gifts and got rave reviews. I will also bake another batch for our Noche Buena and experiment with Majestic Ham for filling. Thank you Joy and Sherilyn for hosting this month's theme! Maligayang Pasko!
Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colorful cuisine. Each month we will showcase a new dish. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino food as we do.

If you are interested in joining our Kulinarya Cooking Club, please feel free to drop by our food blogs and leave a comment. We would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Daring Cooks’ December, 2011 Challenge: CHA SUI & CHA SUI BAO

Our Daring Cooks’ December 2011 hostess is Sara from Belly Rumbles! Sara chose awesome Char Sui Bao as our challenge, where we made the buns, Char Sui, and filling from scratch – delicious!
I was very excited when I read this month's DC challenge, making Cha Siu from scratch...awesome! However I didnt want to use maltose and artificial coloring for my Cha Siu so I chose Sara's alternative recipe and it came out tasting great!
CHA SIU (Cantonese BBQ Pork)
1 teaspoon (6 gm) salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

1 teaspoon (3 gm) ground white pepper
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons (30 gm/1 oz) sugar
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon shaoxing cooking wine
1 teaspoon (3 gm) five spice
*(1 tablespoon=15 ml, 1 teaspoon=5 ml)
Trim the pork loin to remove fat and tendon and slice lengthways so you have two long pieces, then cut in half. Place in container that you will be marinating them in.
Combine all the other ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine.
Cover pork well with ⅔ of the marinade mixture. Marinate for a minimum of 4 hours, I find it is best left to marinate overnight. Place the reserved ⅓ portion of the marinade covered in the fridge. You will use this as a baste when cooking the pork.
Follow the desired cooking method.
*There were several cooking methods suggested and I chose to sear the cha siu on a hot pan and then roasted it in a preheated 350 degrees farenheit oven for about 20 minutes.
Makes 20 Servings

Filling Ingredients:
350 grams Cha Siu (finely diced)

2 Shallots (finely diced)
1 Tablespoon Dark Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce

1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
1/4 cup Chicken Stock
1 teaspoon Cornflour
1/2 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

Heat vegetable oil in wok or pan. Saute shallots for one or two minutes until soft. Add diced cha siu to wok/pan and stir. Add oyster sauce, dark soysauce and sesame oil to the pork mixture. Stir fry for one minute. Mix cornflour and stock together and add to pork mixture. Stir well and keep cooking until mixture thickens, 1 or 2 minutes. Remove mixture from work/pan and place in a bowl to cool. Set aside until ready to use.

Bun Ingredients:

1 cup Milk, scalded

1/4 cup Sugar

1 Tablespoon Oil
2 1/2 teaspoons of dried yeast

3 cups plain Flour
Scald milk and stir in sugar, oil and salt. Leave to cool until it is lukewarm. Once it is the right temperature, add the yeast, leave until yeast is activated and it becomes frothy 10-15 minutes. Sift flour in a large bowl. Add yeast-milk mixture to flour. Mix flour mixture together with your hands. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and slightly elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Leave to rise until it is doubled in size. This will take 1-2 hours depending on the weather condition. Punch dough down and divide into 20 equal portions. Roll each dough into a 7-8 cm round. Place one tablespoon of filling in the middle, gather the edges together at the top and place on an 8 cm square of baking or wax paper. Repeat until all dough is used up. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes. Place buns in steamer, leaving space between the buns. Heat water in a pan or wok and place steamers one on top of each other. Place lid and steam for approximately 12 minutes.

I made a simple sweet-salty sauce for my cha siu bao. Everyone at home liked them. Thank you Sara for this awesome challenge! Do check out the other Daring Cooks' versions, you won't be disappointed!