Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Crunchy Romaine Toss

As the soup simmers I throw together Crunchy Romaine Toss.

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 (3 ounce) package ramen noodles, broken
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli
1 small head romaine lettuce, torn
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the sugar, oil, vinegar, soy sauce, salt and pepper; shake well. Discard seasoning packet from noodles or save for another use. In a skillet, saute noodles in butter until golden. In a large bowl, combine noodles, broccoli, romaine and onions. Just before serving, toss with dressing and walnuts.

Pork Kilawin Recipe

Pork Kilawin Ingredients:
1 kilo pork
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Vinegar
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cups of water
1 teaspoon salt

Pork Kilawin Cooking Instructions:
In a casserole, put pork in water and some salt.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the pork is tender and the skin is soft.
Remove pork from water.
Slice the pork into bite sized pieces while still hot.
Place in a bowl and add vinegar, soy sauce and chopped, uncooked onions.

Serve Immediately If Possible!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Coffee Jelly

A refreshing Japanese summertime treat! My favorite way to serve it is with frozen whipped cream and chocolate sauce, although it's also delicious with ice cream, regular whipped cream, or flavored coffee cream! It can be served solid in glasses, or cubed in bowls.

Original Recipe Yield 4 servings

1 (.25 ounce) package unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons hot water
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 cups fresh brewed coffee

Dissolve gelatin in the hot water in a small bowl. Pour gelatin mixture, coffee, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Pour coffee mixture into glasses for individual servings or a large pan for cubing. Chill in the refrigerator until solidified, 6 to 7 hours.

Filipino Leche Flan Recipe

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Estimated cooking time: 1 hour

Leche Flan Ingredients:
1 can (390g) evaporated milk
1 can (390g) condensed milk
10 egg yolks
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or lemon essence
For the caramel:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water

Leche Flan Cooking Instructions:
In a saucepan, mix the sugar & water. Bring to a boil for a few minutes until the sugar caramelize.
Pour the caramelized sugar into aluminum moulds - you can use any shape: oval, round or square. Spread the caramel on the bottom of the moulds.
Mix well the evaporated milk, condensed milk, egg yolks and vanilla by hand or blender.
Gently pour the mixture on top of the caramel on the aluminum moulds. Fill the moulds to about 1 to 1 1/4 inch thick.
Cover moulds individually with aluminum foil.
Steam for about 20 minutes (the traditional way to make Leche Flan is by open-air steaming on either an open cooking fire or stove top) OR
Bake for about 45 minutes. Before baking the Leche Flan, place the moulds on a larger baking pan half filled with very hot water. Pre-heat oven to about 370 degrees before baking.
Let cool then refrigerate.
To serve: run a thin knife around the edges of the mould to loosen the Leche Flan. Place a platter on top of the mould and quickly turn upside down to position the golden brown caramel on top.

Cooking Tips:
You can tell when the Leche Flan is cooked by inserting a knife -if it comes out clean, it is cooked.

Atole (Mexican Warm Cornmeal Beverage)

Atole (ah-TOH-lay) is an ancient Mexican beverage with origins in pre-Columbian times. Similar warm drinks, thickened with cornmeal, are found throughout Central America and are especially popular for breakfast. Mexican atole is traditional at dia de los muertos celebrations, and it's chocolate version, champurrado, is popular at Christmastime. The consistency of atole varies anywhere from almost porridge-like to a thin, pourable drink.

4 servings

5 cups Milk or water
1/2 cup Masa harina
1/4 cup Brown sugar or piloncillo
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Whisk the milk or water, masa harina, sugar or piloncillo and cinnamon in a large saucepan until smooth.
Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to stir until thickened, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and serve hot in mugs.

Champurrado (Chocolate atole): After removing from heat, whisk in 4 ounces of chopped Mexican chocolate until completely dissolved. Or use 4 ounces of chopped baking chocolate. Adjust sugar as needed. Champurrado is traditionally whisked with a wooden utensil called a molinillo until it is frothy. The beverage is then served with a generous serving of foam spooned on top of each serving.
Atole de Fruta: Eliminate the cinnamon and stir in 1 cup of pureed pineapple or strawberries after removing the atole from heat.
Vary the amount of masa harina to make the atole thicker or thinner according to your personal taste.
Use oatmeal instead of masa harina. Puree until smooth in a blender before cooking.
Use half milk and half water if you like.

Arepas (Venezuelan Corn Cakes)

Arepas were originally made by the indigenous inhabitants of Venezuela and Colombia. These small corncakes are sold in Venezuelan restaurants called areperías and are stuffed with all manner of fillings like a sandwich. In Colombia, arepas are made a little smaller and are spread with butter or topped with cheese.
Makes 5-10 arepas

2 cups Pre-cooked cornmeal (see notes)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3 cups Boiling water
3 tablespoons Oil

Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal and salt. Pour in 2 1/2 cups of the boiling water and mix with a wooden spoon to form a mass. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Using wetted hands, form balls of dough out of about 1/4 cup of dough and press to form a cake about 3 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick. If the dough cracks at the edges, mix in a little more water and then form the cakes.
Heat the oil in a sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the patties, a few at a time, to form a light brown crust on one side, 5 to 6 minutes. Flip and brown on the other side.
When all the patties have been browned, transfer them to a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they sound lightly hollow when tapped. Serve immediately.

Filled Arepas: Split the arepas in half when finished and scoop out a little of the soft dough filling. Stuff with your chosen filling.
Arepa de Pabellón: shredded, seasoned meat and black beans.
Reina Pepeada: chopped chicken, avocado, and mayonnaise mashed together.
Arepa de Dominó: black beans and crumbled white cheese.
Arepa de Perico: scrambled eggs with tomatoes, peppers and onions.
Columbian Arepas: make smaller and thicker and don't bake. Top with butter and melted cheese.
Other possible fillings: grated white or cheddar cheese; guasacaca, ham and cheese, hard-boiled quails eggs.
The sautéing step is sometimes skipped and the arepas are simply baked. In the countryside arepas are often cooked on the grill.
Small arepas can be made and served as appetizers with garnishes on top instead of inside. Or they can be eaten as small biscuits.
Sometimes a little sugar is mixed in with the dough to form sweet arepas (arepas dulces).

The cornmeal used to make arepas is a special, precooked type that usually goes by the name masarepa, or masa precocida. It can often be found in Latino markets. The more commonly found masa harina is not the correct type to use for this recipe.

Agua Fresca (Mexican Fresh Fruit Beverage)

Aguas frescas are fresh fruit drinks that are very popular all over Mexico. These refreshing beverages are typically served from large barrel-shaped glass containers. Some of the more traditional varieties are watermelon, cantaloupe and strawberry.
Makes about 2 1/2 quarts

3 cups Fresh fruit (see notes), chopped coarsely
6-8 cups Water
1/2 to 3/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Lime juice (optional)

Add the fruit and 2-3 cups of the water to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a sieve into a large pitcher.
Add the rest of water, 1/2 cup of sugar and lime juice if using. Stir well and add more water and sugar as needed. Serve well chilled.

Agua de Fresa: Use strawberries.
Agua de Jamaica: see Sorrel Punch recipe.
Agua de Melón: Use cantaloupe or any other melon.
Agua de Papaya: Use papaya. The addition of lime juice makes a tastier beverage here.
Agua de Sandía: Use watermelon.
Agua Fresca de Pepino: Use peeled, seeded cucumbers and lime juice. Cut down on the sugar. Very refreshing.
The lime juice is not required, but can add a welcome tartness to some aguas frescas.