Category Archives: winged creatures

chicken delight

"chicken delight" from Asian Grandmothers cookbook
from The Asian Grandmothers’ Cookbook, Patricia Tanumihardja. (*what a happy surprise to find her blog!)
with a title like that? well you just have to purchase it, pronto. found in my favorite salvage shop, it lacked a dust jacket but i just couldn’t resist, and immediately i cooked “chicken delight” contributed by a Filipino lola (grandmother).

something about fried chicken that makes everyone happy, albeit it’s on the verboten side of my list now. my lola Ebeng used to make a simple but crunchy and tasty though sometimes dried up version of deep fried chicken, then she came up with an oven-fried chicken when she was living in upstate New York, and i was the only grandchild to cook for! heehee lucky me.

this version is truly delightful too, for crunchy and crispy on the outside and for juicy and moist inside, and for the flavorful punch of spices and for the loving memories of a jolly foodie lola.
the red hot sauce though is not lola-approved. 😉

i’ll share the recipe if anyone requests it! maybe later…

chicken inasal, take two

how many more bookstores will shut down? i can’t help but mourn the demise of the corner bookshop, even the big box chain bookshop. for now i have no plan to get an electronic gadget reader, there’s nothing like a book, a real live book–for that is what a book is to me, the way i can escape into its words, the way it feels in my hands, and the lovely art in its book covers and illustrations.
we went to the Big Mall and found one of the last chain bookstores about to close, and i felt guiltily like a vulture in picking out books with deeply-slashed prices. i got two cookbooks… i just could not pass them by. curiously i chose two on Filipino cuisine.
i immediately tested another chicken inasal recipe, and my family loved the results.
this barbecue recipe from the Visayan region of the Philippines is quite popular in Manila and i had tasted it with two of my siblings at the great big Mall of Asia one hot hot afternoon, last year.
i’m sticking to this version for now, as it is simpler and i preferred the texture of the meat: tender and juicy and flavorful.
chicken inasal

recipe follows… Continue reading

patriotic berry cake

we made our own “fire”-works at home.
my grill chef is very serious about his craft.
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burgers, ‘dogs, bacon-wrapped scallops, chicken yakitori, grilled whole tilapia, pork bellies, eggplants, boiled corn, were on the menu.
we had to burn some fallen branches and twigs we’ve been collecting the past year from the winter storms and autumn winds.
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and then we had berry cake with streusel topping.

recipe follows; it is from a blueberry cake, from the Boston Globe Food section, 29 June 2011.
to be honest, i am not a fan of blueberries (yeah yeah i know it’s very good for me, but still…) i do love raspberries, and blackberries? i thought i’d throw them in for a color punch.—–> Continue reading

roast chicken, Malaysian bbq-style

i’ve been spending the last few weeks in a terrible state of denial, really extreme denial.
i kept trying to convince myself that it’s not cold, and kept on wearing my flip-flops and Birks and refusing to dig out the warm sheepskin boots and down-filled coat.
but the cold bitter winds and icy rain prevailed, and now i’ve given in. for a while i’d forgotten i live in this spot of the world where we could very well get covered in frozen white stuff as early as this month!
in the same mind-state we have been trying to squeeze out as much use as we can from our outdoor grill, the last hurrah as husband calls it.
cookout in the cold
when it’s too rainy out we use our oven/broiler, and make do, but it’s not quite the same without the charcoal smoke flavor though.
i got this recipe from “The Food of Malaysia, Authentic Recipes from the Crossroads of Asia,” one in a series from Periplus Editions, 2000.
bbq mix, oven roasted chicken

marinate chicken (at most 6 hours) in 1/2 tsp. Chinese wine, 1/2 tsp. sesame oil, 1 tbsp. light soy sauce*, 2 tbsps. black soy sauce*, 2 tbsps. oyster sauce, 2 tbsps. honey, salt and pepper to taste.

use your favorite cuts of chicken. the original recipe called for wings for the barbecue; i used whole leg quarters, roasted in the oven in high heat (at 425F;–cooking time would depend on the thickness of the meat; i checked the temperature of my legs after 45 minutes) then broiled at the last minute (watch carefully, don’t walk away at this point!).
for best results and safety, use a meat thermometer to check for doneness (180F at the thickest part), or chicken juices run clear when pierced at the joint.

*light and black refers to the color of the soy sauces, not sodium content. black soy sauce is sweeter and thicker.

summer eats

one hot day in July, when i was feeling sluggishly sloth-y, and not feeling like doing any cooking, let alone moving at all…the urge to eat this moved me greatly.
pasta w/ capers, olives, tuna, grape tomatoes
i should have this memorized by now! from Delia Smith’s Summer Collection, i added extra of everything (garlic, chili, anchovies, basil, capers, tomatoes, olives), used thin spaghetti and added a can of solid white tuna in olive oil.
all strong, punchy flavors, over pasta: somehow it just worked on a hot summer day.
chicken inasal
and then on to more summer eats! i have three kids at home, very hungry and constantly checking out the fridge and checking in on mom at the kitchen–so i tend to be preparing quick and easy dishes, such as this bbq chicken a la Bacolod Inasal, a style of grilling marinated chicken.
i had heard about it a lot, and finally got to try it at a chain restaurant in the Mall of Asia, by the seaside Roxas Boulevard, Manila.
i used a recipe mostly based on Chef Pauline Gorriceta-Banusing’s via the Inquirer.Net. i added lemongrass stalks (as suggested by several recipes i found in other sites) and marinated the minimum 30 minutes (more than that and the chicken meat will get “de-natured”).

the special technique is the butter-calamansi-atsuete (annatto seed, used as a vibrant colorant) basting sauce. (i could not bear to use margarine, which is the original recipe).
i was nervous about using all that vinegar, with no soy sauce to soften all that acidic kick.

but it was a hit, yet i’ve decided i will use chicken leg quarters instead of whole chickens–i used baby “young chickens”–because the breast meat dried out. NO MORE BREAST MEAT. :fryingpan

highly recommended with achara as side dish…
achara-ra-ra-ra
achara of green papaya plus:not-so-secret formula here.

recipe for Chef Pauline’s chicken inasal follows… Continue reading

not-so-instant sisig

the craving just got too intense, too hot to handle.
i even ordered some from the one and only Pinoy restaurant in…my city? the state? the whole of New England?
it would have been good, except that they put a LOT of minced ginger in their otherwise delicious (and reasonably priced) sisig.
it took too long to pull out the finely minced pieces–don’t get me wrong! i like ginger, i love ginger!–just not in my sisig.
so of course, the only recourse, is to make some myself.
i first had mine, sizzling, at Trellis Restaurant–at the site which used to be my Uncle’s house.

there’s so much fun in the search for ingredients. (???) first you have to find a pork head. barring that, you find pork face/snout. the best sisig i had was in California, Ma-made, with fresh roasted lechon and the creamy pork brain mashed in.
impossible? then find some pork belly and ears to provide that unique crunchy chewy “makunat” texture.
i got lucky and found pork snouts. i just supplemented with a meaty pork belly, and the instant sisig packet,
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and my fresh calamansi from California, and bottled labuyo juice,
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and fresh chopped red onions. roast parboiled chicken livers stand in for the brains….
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and the cravings have been satiated.
for now.
now where’s that sizzling platter?

lime angel food cake with calamansi glaze

i thought i’d make something light to accompany the kids’ special request for dinner of roast semi-boneless beef ribs…
lime angel food cake with calamansi glaze
i decided on angel food cake, flavored with lime zest and drizzled with calamansi juice glaze.
it was like a cloud! like eating lime-flavored clouds!
citrus angel food cake
a canyon of angel food cake
it is truly an easy cake to make, considering… (and! easily adaptable to any citrus fruit/s of your choice.)
Continue reading

vanilla bean and calamansi flan

This post was entered into the “Grow Your Own” roundup, hosted this month by House of Annie.

i spent a week in California to hang out with my parents and siblings–our kuya (older brother) flew in from Manila with a suitcase full of goodies.
vanilla-bean-calamansi flan
i’ve had this recipe printed out and magnetically attached to the fridge for quite a while now. i saw it on a PBS special about Mexico, hosted by Tyler Florence, who is just about the only food network hunk chef i watch nowadays. he made it with lime zest.
calamansi, flown in fr CA!
in my carry on bag though was a small basket of these, handpicked from a garden in Camarillo, Ca.
(there were also saba bananas, pickled green mangoes, polvoron, and Ricoa flat tops. i tried to look as innocent possible when a little leak of pickled mango juice was detected in the overhead bin. :glasses-slip: )
vanilla bean pod
two quite rare ingredients blended together in an easy flan recipe…there was a bit of an overflow from leftover mix that i poured into a little ramekin and that i had–all by myself.
calamansi and vanilla bean flan
Continue reading