Saturday, January 30, 2016

#173: Cuba's Platanos Maduros: Fried Sweet Plantains



Plantains! Oh wow, I have never tried frying them until this time. So good, so sweet and so filling! In the Philippines, we have a wide variety of bananas and we really did not eat the one we export--cavendish, which is one widely available here..we ate the much sweeter binangay, and we also fry sweet saba bananas..we call it Maruya. Plantains are cooking bananas, they are huge! It has a tougher skin and when super ripe, tastes like our sweet bananas back home too. One great thing I learned, although it is sweet, it has less sugar than any other bananas. 
I also learned that the secret to a sweet and soft fried plantain, is making sure to use the most ripe, with lots of blacks on the skin. I tried frying the slightly unripe, and it had a different flavor and texture. This Cuban version of fried plantain, is great when eaten as is, its super sweet and does not need anything else to enjoy it. It's delicious!




PLATANOS MADUROS 
Ingredients: 
  • 2-3 very ripe Plantains
  • 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil 
Directions:

  1. In a pan, over low heat, add coconut oil.
  2. Fry the plantains over low heat until golden and soft. Turn over to cook the other side.
  3. Remove cooked plantains from oil and transfer to plate lined with paper towels to drain oil.
  4. Enjoy!





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#172 Lechon Manok: Filipino Lemongrass Roasted Chicken



This is an all-time favorite in our home in the Philippines and here in San Jose, California.  The secret to the delicious aroma is the lemongrass. We call in tanglad in Filipino. I wish I have the same bush we have in Lupon so I can bring the freshest ones to the table... Maybe I should try planting one this spring.
Lemongrass or citronella grass or tanglad is commonly used in Asian Cuisine. It is also used as medicine, it is supposed to help relieve cough and nasal congestion,  and it also anti-fungal properties. 
It is fragrant, I love how it smells. I have a bottle of lemongrass essential oil in my bathroom, and I mix it with my patchouli, neroli and rose essential oils, it makes the bath water smells amazing. This great plant is also used to make perfumes. So can you imagine what your roasted chicken will smell like  after you take it out from the oven? :) Trust me, it will smell delicious.


Ready to make it? Here's how I made mine:

LECHON MANOK

Ingredients:
  • 1 roasting chicken
  • lemon grass
  • 6 garlic
  • 1 onion
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 F.
  2. Remove the giblets, if there are any from the cavity of the chicken, generously add salt and pepper into the cavity. Fill it with the garlic, cut onions, lemongrass and giblets if there any. Add as many lemon grass as you can fit it in there.
  3. Line a large baking pan with lemon grass stalks.
  4. Truss the chicken and place it breast side up, and place it on top of the lemongrass. Roast in the second bottom rack of the oven until the bird is golden on the outside and leg join moves easily when you rotate it. About 1 hour.
  5. Remove the chicken from the oven, add salt and pepper generously all over. Flip the bird onto breast side down on the lined lemongrass and return it in the oven and let it there for another 20 minutes.
  6. Carve the chicken and enjoy!




If you enjoyed this post, follow this blog as we will be posting 193 more recipes this year! 193 recipes to discover, learn to cook, take pictures and post here to complete the goal of 365! 
Will I finish this big task? Check back often to see my progress! xo Van 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

#171: Nilagang Baka: Filipino Beef Soup



This soup reminds me of home, one of my many comfort foods. And it is also super easy to make! You can leave it simmering while working on other tasks, it will be ready and delicious after 3 hours! 



My Nilagang Baka is very simple. I do not put a lot of ingredients, I just want to taste the flavor of beef in the hot soup, definitely no msg, and of course enjoy a super tender meat...
The secret to a clear broth is tending to it during the first few minutes after it starts boiling, scum accumulates on the surface, and so you need to remove ALL of it using a laddle or a slotted spoon. 


NILAGANG BAKA
Ingredients:
  • 1.5 lbs. chuck roast
  • 5-6 cups of water, add more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more if needed  
  • pepper
  • potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • bokchoy 
  • cabbage 

Directions:
  1. Cut meat into 2-inch chunks.
  2. In a big pot, add water and meat. Bring to boil. 
  3. Remove all scum from the surface.
  4. Add salt. Simmer until meat is tender. About 2 hours. Add water if needed.
  5. Add potatoes, simmer until tender.
  6. Turn off heat, add bokchoy and cabbage.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve hot. 


Yummy and very filling!
If you enjoyed this post, follow this blog as we will be posting 194 more recipes this year! 194 recipes to discover, learn to cook, take pictures and post here to complete the goal of 365!  
Will I finish this big task? Check back often to see my progress! xo Van