Thursday, 29 November 2012

OPEN BEEF AND MUSHROOM PIES



As the seasons change, we also change the way we eat. We need warming food to bolster our bodies against the cold weather. We eat rich and hearthy meals rather than fresh light ones.

Monday, 26 November 2012

CHEESE CUPCAKE


Cheese cupcake was all the rage in the 80's and everyone was making as well as buying them. It has all the flavours that Filipinos like: cheese, butter and condensed milk. Although it is called cheese cupcake, the only cheese in it is the grated cheddar on the top. 

Monday, 19 November 2012

FRIED TAKOYAKI BALLS


My taste buds are honed to love eastern food. I usually cook Asian food at home so my children are accustomed to that taste, too. 

One of the cuisines that has remained unexplored is Japanese cuisine. We love Japanese food but we usually have to eat it in restaurants. The only reason for that is Japanese ingredients are not readily available in our area. Sadly, there is only a small selection in our Oriental supermarket so I can only make a few basic recipes. I also have to forego of ingredients that I cannot use again or those that are too expensive.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

SWEET POTATO DOUGHNUT STICKS (SWEET POTATO BICHO BICHO)


"Bicho bicho! Bicho bicho!". Hollers like this make children (and some grown ups, too) scamper out to the streets. It is the equivalent of the ice cream van's melodies to our Filipino ears.

What is it that made us run? Soft and fluffy, piping hot bicho-bicho! It is the Philippine equivalent of donuts. So now you understand what the excitement was about. It tastes almost the same but is lighter, softer and, in my biased opinion, yummier. 

I have been trying to make them for some time now but with no success. After giving up and moving on, I just by chance happened to make them. I was trying to make sweet potato bread but the dough turned out too soft. I didn't want to add more flour because that will dilute the sweet potato taste. So I tried frying the dough. The dough was brown and slightly crusty but soft and pillowy inside. The sweet potato flavour was very apparent and made the crust a lovely brown colour when fried. It was love at first taste. 


I suddenly had visions of the bright, hot sun  and the children scampering to get to the vendor's basket full of bicho bicho, waving hands clutching coins. The first mouthful is like heaven. The sandy sugar smears the lips but is left there for licking after the last stub of bicho bicho is gone. 

It is funny how we yearn for simple pleasures like this. No matter how much and how nice the food we get to taste today, there is still some food from the past that we'd like to have a chance to eat again. It is as close to reliving yesterday as we can get.


Ingredients:

4-5 c. plain flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 tbsp. active dry yeast
1 1/4 c. milk, lukewarm
1 egg
1 c. cooked sweet potato puree
1/4 c. melted butter
1 tsp. salt


Method:

Put the 4 c. of the flour, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl. Add the milk, egg, sweet potato puree, butter, and salt. Use an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment to knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Add a bit more flour if the dough is too soft. It will be a bit tricky to knead this by hand because the dough is soft and sticky. Mix with a wooden first then knead with oiled hands.

You may not need to add the full amount of flour. Aim for a very soft dough that forms a ball. If the dough is too wet, like thick batter, you need more flour. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place until double in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours). 

Heat up some oil in a wok or pan to medium hot, enough for deep frying. When hot, pinch a bit of the dough with oiled fingers and stretch to form a thin long piece, about 6" long and 1" wide. Don't make the dough too thick because the dough needs to cook through before turning brown on the outside. This dough expands quite a lot so don't crowd the pan. Fry on medium heat, turning over when one side is browned, until puffed and browned. Roll in sugar while hot.


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You might also like 
Special Ensaimada

Buñuelos
Sweet Potato Dumplings
Thanks for dropping by. It would be nice if we could meet up on FACEBOOK or TWITTER

Monday, 12 November 2012

CAMARON RELLENADO (STUFFED PRAWNS)


As in the west, our celebrations on our side of the globe command cooking of stuffed dishes. Having a lot of ingredients make dishes special. 

Camaron rellenado simply means stuffed prawns. It is actually a Chinese dish but has a Spanish name because, in the olden days, restaurant menus in the Philippines were written in Spanish. 

There are a lot of stuffed dishes like these in Chinese cuisine. It is basically the same mixture used in dumplings but wrapped around or used as filling. There is one ingredient that make it tasty and have a firm texture. It is an ingredient that I don't use because, sorry to say, it is bad for your health. That ingredient is chopped pork fat. You can add that to this dish if you wish but I skipped that part.


This dish is simple and only has a few ingredients. Although headless prawns are usually used, I have kept the heads intact. I think it looks better and I also happen to like prawn heads, especially when fried. If you like crab roe, then the inside of the prawn's head could also be a treat for you. What comes after is the best part. The creamy prawn flesh is encased in a seasoned pork mixture that brings on a distinct flavour of celebrations. I don't think anyone will walk away unhappy after eating this.


Ingredients:

250 gms. of minced pork
2 dried Chinese mushrooms, softened in boiling water and chopped
1 tbsp. sherry
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 egg, separated
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 tbsps. chopped spring onions
2/3 c. corn flour (corn starch)
6 large shell-on prawns

Method:

Put the minced pork and chopped mushrooms in a mixing bowl. Add in the sherry, soy sauce, salt, sugar, egg yolk, sesame oil, garlic, spring onions, and 1 tbsp. of corn flour. Mix very well and divide into 6 portions. Set aside.

Cut off the antenna and legs of the prawn. There is also a very sharp, saw-like part on top of the prawn's head that you'll need to cut off.

Peel the body of the prawns but leave the head and tail intact.

Cut 3-4 slits in the inner curve of the prawns. This will keep them from curling as they cook.

Dredge the prawns lightly in corn flour.

Wrap the prawns body in a portion of the meat mixture.



Dust again with corn flour and dip in the egg white. Give them a final dusting of the corn flour.

Heat up a pan with enough cooking oil for shallow frying.

Fry the prawns on medium heat, two at a time until crisp and cooked through (about 5 minutes). Drain on kitchen paper. Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce or sweet and sour sauce (recipe here).


All rights reserved ©Adora's Box Copyright 2011. 

Please support Adora's Box by making your Amazon.com and mymemories.com (use the code STMMMS55174) purchases from this site. Click on their respective banners to proceed to their websites. It will not cost you a single cent more but will help sustain this blog. Thank you.


You might also like 
Camaron Rebosado
Pork and Prawn Siomai
Stuffed Roast Chicken (Rellenong Manok)
Thanks for dropping by. It would be nice if we could meet up on FACEBOOK or TWITTER

Thursday, 8 November 2012

THE BEST RED VELVET CAKE


...recipe search is over. That's what I mean. I have tried a few recipes and this is the best one yet. This recipe makes the most perfect of perfect cakes.

My daughter loves red velvet cake and it has been her choice for her birthday for  a few years now. I have been using a different recipe each time I make it because I am still unsatisfied with the outcome. Mind you, it is always "sold out". Maybe I am not a big fan of red velvet cake though I seriously want to be. It is so pretty in looks and in name but the flavour leaves me wanting for  more of something that I can't put my finger on. The vibrant red colour probably fools my taste buds into thinking that it has a red flavour. The cocoa is in such a small amount that it doesn't really come out as its flavour. 

Monday, 5 November 2012

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP


We are all still shaken by the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. Even though we are oceans away, we are shocked and saddened by the tragic event. We hope and pray that recovery will be smooth and swift.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

ARROZ ALA CUBANA


Rice is so important to the Asian culture so much so that the Chinese greeting "Chifanle meiyou?" directly translates as "Have you eaten (rice) yet?". The concept of food revolves around rice and what can be eaten with it. In the Philippines, it is not uncommon to ask or be asked "Ano and ulam ninyo?" which means "What  is your viand?" or "What are you eating with rice?". It is not a poking question but, since it is one of the most important daily concerns, people tend to talk about it, much like talking about the weather.