Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kulinarya Cooking Club JULY 2011--SINIGANG

This month's Kulinarya Cooking Club theme is Sinigang...come to think of it, I don't remember if I already posted a Sinigang recipe here on my blog aside from that it's also perfect for this stormy weather we are experiencing at the moment...Sinigang weather!

For the uninitiated, what exactly is Sinigang? It's a sour soup filled with vegetables--the most common being sitaw (string beans), labanos (white radish) and kangkong (water spinach) and also fish or other kinds of seafood or meat (pork, beef etc.) This soup is made sour by sampalok (tamarind) or bayabas (ripe guava), but these days for the sake of convenience, we have Knorr Sinigang Mix which comes in a packet and all you have to do is pour it boiling water with all the other ingredients to produce Sinigang. I've been thinking what kind of sinigang I wanted to cook, well there's my favorite Sinigang na Buto-buto made of pork spareribs or Sinigang na Hipon (Shrimps) but I wanted to try making another kind so I experimented with beef. And here is my Sinigang na Baka.

There's a restaurant here in the Philippines (Sentro) that serves their Sinigang na Corned Beef and they've gotten very popular because of that dish. I wanted something similar, but I didn't realize I needed at least a week of lead time so I can make corned beef from scratch. I only had one day so this is what I did. I pricked 1/2 kilo of Beef brisket with a fork and rubbed salt on it and left it in a covered glass bowl overnight in the fridge, rinsed it in the morning and tenderized it for 30 minutes in the pressure cooker with water, 3 cloves of crushed garlic, 2 bayleaves and a spoonful of peppercorn. When it was tender already, I fried it in garlic and onion and a little bit of oil until it was brown. And this is what I used for my Sinigang :)

Oh and I didn't want to use Sinigang Mix, so I made my own Sampalok juice for souring. To produce about 1/2 cup, I boiled fresh tamarind in water until softened and mashed it with a fork and strained the juice. I can still remember the commercial jingle "Sampalok ay iyong nilalaga, pinipiga..sinasala..." and that's exactly what I did.

I don't usually measure when I cook (as opposed to when I bake) but this is the recipe for my Sinigang na Baka:
1/2 kilo of prepared beef brisket (see recipe above)
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
2 white onions, diced
1/2 cup of Sampalok Juice (see recipe above)
Rice washing (for my liquid)
Broth from the pressure cooker
1/2 Radish, peeled and sliced into rings
1/4 kilo String Beans
Kangkong leaves, handful
Patis (Fish Sauce)

Boil the rice washing, broth and sampalok juice with the tomatoes and onions. When the tomatoes are soft (can be mashed with a spoon against the side of the pot) add the beef brisket and the radish. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the string beans and season with patis (I didn't use salt at all). Cook for another 5 minutes then add the kangkong leaves, cook just until they are wilted. Serve hot with steamed rice. Enjoy!

Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about 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!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Daring Bakers July 2011 Challenge: FRESH FRAISIERS!

Oops here I am again...posting late. But I finished my challenge way ahead of time, it's just that sometimes I forget the date. Okay no more excuses...on to the challenge!

Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to make Fresh Frasiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.

Fresh Fraisiers...ah, I remember making this cake a long time ago in baking class more than 10 years ago and I've not thought of making it again because it was time consuming (for me at least) and it was really not the easiest of cakes to make (that's a nicer way of saying it's just too hard to make.) But then, I had to make it for this month and I thought of actually skipping this month's DB challenge but nooooo I just had to do it, and so I did...and here it is :)

Basic Chiffon Cake:

1 cup + 2 tablespoons (270 ml) (5½ oz/155 gm) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon (5 ml) (4 gm) baking powder

3/4 cups (180 ml) (6 oz /170 gm) sugar

1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) (1½ gm) salt, preferably kosher

1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) vegetable oil

3 large egg yolks⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon (3.17 fl oz/95 ml) water

1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon (3¾ ml) (3 gm) lemon zest, grated

5 large egg whites

¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1 gm) cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to moderate 325°F (160°C/gas mark 3).
Line the bottom of an 8-inch (20 cm) spring form pan with parchment paper. Do not grease the sides of the pan.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. Add in all but 3 tablespoons (45 ml.) of sugar, and all of the salt. Stir to combine.
In a small bowl combine the oil, egg yolks, water, vanilla and lemon zest. Whisk thoroughly.
Combine with the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly for about one minute, or until very smooth.
Put the egg whites into a stand mixer, and beat on medium speed using a whisk attachment on a medium speed, until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat on a medium speed until the whites hold soft peaks. Slowly add the remaining sugar and beat on a medium-high speed until the whites hold firm and form shiny peaks.
Using a grease free rubber spatula, scoop about ⅓ of the whites into the yolk mixture and fold in gently. Gently fold in the remaining whites just until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Removed the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack.
To unmold, run a knife around the sides to loosen the cake from the pan and remove the spring form sides. Invert the cake and peel off the parchment paper. Refrigerate for up to four days.

Pastry Cream Filling:

1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) whole milk

1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) pure vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon (1/2 ml) (¼ gm) salt, preferably kosher

2 tablespoons (30 ml) (10 gm)cornstarch

1/4 cup (60 ml) (2 oz/55 gm) sugar

1 large egg

2 tablespoons (30 ml) (1 oz/30 gm) unsalted butter

3/4 teaspoon (3¾ ml) (4 gm) gelatin

1/2 tablespoon (7½ ml) water

1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) heavy cream
Pour the milk, vanilla, and salt into a heavy sauce pan. Place over medium-high heat and scald, bringing it to a near boiling point. Stir occasionally.
Meanwhile, in a stand mixer add the cornstarch and sugar. Whisk to combine
Add the eggs to the sugar and cornstarch and whisk until smooth.
When the milk is ready, gently and slowly while the stand mixer is whisking, pour the heated milk down the side of the bowl into the egg mixture.
Pour the mixture back into the warm pot and continue to cook over a medium heat until the custard is thick, just about to boil and coats the back of a spoon.
Remove from heat and pass through a fine mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool for ten minutes stirring occasionally.
Cut the butter into four pieces and whisk into the pastry cream a piece at a time until smooth.
Cover the cream with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap onto the top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for up to five days.
In a small dish, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for a few minutes to soften.
Put two inches (55 mm) of water into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.
Measure 1/4 cup (2 oz/60 ml) of the chilled pastry cream into a small stainless steel bowl that will sit across the sauce pan with the simmering water, without touching the water.
Heat the cream until it is 120 F (48.8 C). Add the gelatin and whisk until smooth. Remove from the water bath, and whisk the remaining cold pastry cream in to incorporate in two batches.
In a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream until it holds medium-stiff peaks. Immediately fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream with a rubber spatula

(Instead of using a springform pan to hold my cake together, I just wrapped acetate which is also called plastic transfer sheet around the cake and taped them together)

Fraisier Assembly

1 baked 8 inch (20 cm) chiffon cake

1 recipe pastry cream filling

⅓ cup (80 ml) simple syrup or flavored syrup

2 lbs (900 g) strawberries

confectioners’ sugar for dusting

½ cup (120 ml) (5 oz/140 gm) almond paste
Line the sides of a 8-inch (20 cm) spring form pan with plastic wrap. Do not line the bottom of the pan.
Cut the cake in half horizontally to form two layers.
Fit the bottom layer into the prepared spring form pan. Moisten the layer evenly with the simple syrup. When the cake has absorbed enough syrup to resemble a squishy sponge, you have enough.
Hull and slice in half enough strawberries to arrange around the sides of the cake pan. Place the cut side of the strawberry against the sides of the pan, point side up forming a ring.
Pipe cream in-between strawberries and a thin layer across the top of the cake.
Hull and quarter your remaining strawberries and place them in the middle of the cake. Cover the strawberries and entirely with the all but 1 tbsp. (15 ml) of the pastry cream.
Place the second cake layer on top and moisten with the simple syrup.
Lightly dust a work surface with confectioners' sugar and roll out the almond paste to a 10-inch (25 cm) round 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) thick. Spread the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of pastry cream on the top of the cake and cover with the round of almond paste.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
To serve release the sides of the spring form pan and peel away the plastic wrap.
Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

I omitted the sugar syrup, instead I spread whipped cream on the top layer of cake and placed the almond paste that I rolled thinly. I also piped rosettes to hide the imperfections.
Thank you Jana for this month's challenge! I'm glad I decided not to skip it and step out of my comfort zone! I even surprised myself because hey, my fresh fraisier doesn't looks so shabby! For other Daring Bakers' Fresh Fraisiers click here.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Daring Cooks July, 2011 Challenge - My Noodle Hands!

Steph from Stephfood was our Daring Cooks' July hostess. Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine. She provided us with recipes for Spatzle and Fresh Egg Pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with!

I really appreciated this challenge because although this isn't the first time I made fresh handmade noodles, Steph allowed us to make our own sauces. I followed the Fresh Egg Pasta recipe but the sauces I used were my own recipes. I wanted to make sauces that were Filipino so I tried to think of ingredients that are readily available here in Manila and I came up with Tuyo (Dried Herring) and Taba ng Talangka (Pure Crabfat). Both of which are very popular and almost every Filipino I know likes.

Handmade Egg Fettuccine:

2 cups (480 ml) (280 gm) (10 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour

3 large eggs, beaten

water, as needed
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Push the flour out of the very center of the bowl, to make a 'well'. Pour the beaten egg into the 'well'. Slowly incorporate the flour into the egg by mixing a small amount of flour into the "well" at a time and mixing until incorporated. Start by mixing in flour around the perimeter of the egg, and gradually widening the mixing to include more and more flour. Mix until all of the egg is mixed into the flour.

At this stage, use your hands to try to form a rough ball. If the dough is too dry, add a few drops of water and incorporate. Be careful to not add too much liquid – it's better to slowly add water as needed, as opposed to trying to add more flour to a sticky dough. My trick is to wet my fingers, instead of pouring water directly into the dough. This ensures a minimal amount of water is added, and is more evenly distributed.
Knead the dough for a few minutes, until it is smooth.
Roll the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rest. It should be allowed to rest for at least 15 minutes, at most 2 hours. Take this time to set up your pasta roller, and/or to prepare the sauce.
Divide dough into 6 equal pieces. Take one piece to start and put the remaining back into the plastic wrap so they don't dry out.

Form the piece of dough into a ball, and then flatten using the palm of your hand.
If using pasta rollers: Run this through the pasta roller at its widest setting If using a rolling pin: Use a rolling pin to create
a thin elongated oval.
Place the dough horizontally on your work surface, and fold the long ends into the center, so that they meet. Press down on the edges to seal them. At this stage, you should have a rectangular shape. Run the dough through the pasta roller, open-side first, again at the widest setting. Now run the dough through the roller two more times, again on the widest setting, without folding first. This will help to make the dough very smooth and elastic, for stretching.
Now stretch the dough by running through the rollers, each time switching to a narrower setting. After the final setting, you should be able to see the outline of your hand through the dough. Run the stretched dough through the fettuccine-sized cutters. Gently lay or hang your freshly cut pasta, and cover with a clean cloth so that it doesn't dry out while you roll and cut the rest of your dough. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, gently drop in the freshly cut pasta, and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain and toss with sauce and enjoy immediately!

This is how half of my noodles looked like after I hung them to dry for about 2 hours. The other half I cooked straightaway, because I can't wait to try my sauce recipe!


Bottled Tuyo in Olive Oil
Garlic, peeled, crushed and minced finely 3 cloves
Siling Labuyo (Bird's Eye Chili) finely sliced 1 piece
Calamansi (local Lime)

Preheat pan over medium heat, pour about 1/4 cup of the olive oil from the bottle of tuyo. Saute the garlic until golden and fragrant. Add the tuyo (you can keep them whole or shred them into smaller pieces). Add the chili and cook for about 3 minutes and pour the cooked noodles. Toss until noodles are coated with the sauce. Season with pepper and a little bit of salt (although the herring is already salty.)
Enjoy while hot. Add calamansi juice as desired (to get rid of the strong taste of the tuyo).

After 2 days, I was really glad it was time to cook the other half of the pasta. I've been wanting to duplicate this sauce which I tasted from a classmate a few years ago. It is made of Taba ng Talangka (Crab Fat) and Shrimps....mmmmm!


Bottled Taba ng Talangka (Pure Crabfat) 1/4 cup
Olive Oil

Garlic, peeled, crushed and minced finely 4 cloves
Shrimps, shelled and deveined 1/4 kilo
Juice of 1 Lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat pan over medium heat with about a tablespoon of olive oil, saute the garlic until golden and fragrant. Add the shrimps and cook until they turn pink, remove to a plate. In the same pan pour the crabfat and cook for about 5 minutes. Add back the shrimps and the cooked noodles. Pour the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Enjoy while still hot!

Thank you Steph for this month's Daring Cooks' challenge. I had so much fun experimenting with my sauces! For other Daring Cooks recipes, click here. So which one of my sauce recipes did I like more? The Shrimp in Crabfat of course!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Portuguese Salt Cod and Potato Casserole (Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá)

I look out my window as I write this entry and watch the rain splashing against the glass...sigh..summer is really over and the rainy season has come. I was born and bred here in the tropics and being the true island girl that I am, the rain is making me feel lethargic and out of sorts. There are days I just want to burrow under my blanket and stay home, but alas, there is work to do so I grudgingly get up, prepare for work and brave the elements . Hmm...this kind of weather is making me crave for my favorite Tuyo and Daing (Dried Salty Fish) with tomatoes--yum! One of my favorite Daing variant is Labahita or Salt Cod in English. And I was pleasantly surprised that one of my favorite dishes Bacalao ala Vizcaina can be made with the humble Daing na Labahita!

But I was also wondering if that was the only dish that can be made with Labahita and a Portuguese friend recommended this Bacalhau dish that didn't have tomato sauce. The original recipe was baked with the potato on the bottom and the bacalhau on top but I chose to bake it in a pie pan with the bacalhau on the bottom and the potatoes on top.

Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá

Salt Cod 200 grams
Olive Oil 6 tablespoons
White Onions, peeled, minced roughly 2 pieces
Garlic, peeled, crushed and minced 4 cloves
Potatoes, boiled, cooled, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch disks 4 pieces
Pinch of Nutmeg
White Pepper, to taste
Eggs, hardboiled 2 pieces
Olives for garnish

Rinse salt cod in water and place in a glass container, with enough water to cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, changing the water several times. Boil for 7-10 minutes and flake removing the skin and bones. Set aside.

Saute onions in half of the olive oil until translucent and fragrant. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Combine the flaked salt cod with cooked onion-garlic mixture, season with the nutmeg and white pepper. Pack the mixture on the bottom of a pie pan generously greased with olive oil. Layer the sliced cooked potato on top (slices may overlap) and bake in a preheated 400 degrees farenheit oven for 30 minutes. Garnish with sliced hard-boiled eggs and olives.

I would have to say I still like Bacalao ala Vizcaina better than this dish but I am also glad I have another fancy dish I can make with my Daing na Labahita. Oh and I ate this with steamed rice, delicious!