Monday, April 26, 2010

Shanghai Bites

One of my favorite pulutans is Lumpiang Shanghai with Sweet chili sauce. It's crisp, can be really, really flavorful depending on the spices and herbs you'll put in and it's perfect for a pica-pica. It can also be economical sa mga handaaan tulad ng Birthday parties, Fiesta, Binyag at kung anu-ano pa. Imagine with just a kilo of ground pork (and a ton of extending agents) you can feed a whole platoon of bisita sa handaaan. You know us Filipinos, inimbita na, nag-imbita pa! ( I know someone who has eight children and they're always present sa mga handaaan ng clan namin...AT, NAGSASAMA PA NG MGA PAMANGKIN HA!) Lugi talag ang nagpahanda lalo na kung sa Jollibee ginanap ang party!)

I made a little innovation to the usual Lumpiang Shanghai that we serve. Instead of serving it in the usual 4-inch rolls, I cut it in half-inch bite size pieces. Easier to cook and can look a lot!

You know how to make it so come on, have some Shanghai bites in your life! Here's a little tip: don't overcrowd the pan so it will be crispier and more manageable to achieve the golden brown color you desire. Also, make sure that the oil temperature is consistent all throughout the cooking process. Don't lower the heat towards the end of cooking so the shanghai bites or anything you are frying, for that matter will not soak up the oil and sag. AND... always drain in paper towels!

For the sauce, mix together 1/2 cup cane vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp salt and pepper, 1 tbsp crushed garlic, 1 minced onion, 1 tsp grated ginger, 2 tbsp ketchup, 1/4 cup water, 3 red hot chili pepper and 2tsp cornstarch in a saucepan. Whisk until cornstarch is completely dissolved then cook over medium heat until it boils and thickens.

HomeBurgers featuring Ate Cie as Taster

Burgers are as Filipino as pan de sal. Amazing, considering that it was only introduced to us commercially in the 80's. Kids born in the 90's are now used to eating burgers as a matter of right. We probably consume more burgers as we do sinangag. Just stroll down the mall and you'll find at least 3 major burger jaunts occupying about 35% of mall space. And that is on the first floor alone! We have I suppose the most burger brands-- foreign and local--in Southeast Asia. Jollibee, McDonald's, Burger King, Carl's Jr., Wendy's, Brothers, Burger Machine, Franks and Burgers, Angel's and a multitude of buy 1 take 1 stalls in every street corner.

What I wonder about is that I seldom see burgers served in birthday parties done at homes. We always have spaghetti, cake etc but i have never attended a party that served homemade burgers....despite the availability of ready-to-cook burger patties in the market. There's CDO burger patties, Holiday and many others that Buy 1 Take 1 vendors use. Is it because we find burgers ordinary enough? Then why do we keep the burger companies rake in so much from us?


Burger assembly is easy (and fun!) and you can experiment on the garnish, say by putting ethnic flavors in it like curry paste, wasabi, pechay, arugula or even humus. You may find pattie-making a bit difficult or intimidating so I'll share with you how I make mine.
Burger Patties 101

First, try to keep your patties simple in flavor. Remember, you are making patties, not meatballs. Whatever flavor you might want to add to make it your own, do so in the garnish later. The hardest part of pattiemaking is molding it. I'll show you an easy way.

500g ground beef with fat
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
1 egg
1 onion, fginely chopped
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (grated slices of bread)

Mix all ingredients together but don't overdo so the meat will stay tender.
Transfer to a parchment paper on a work surface. make sure that you put the mixture on just one side, leaving the other half of the paper clear for folding.
Fold over the parchment paper to cover the mixture.
Roll out with a pin or long bottle to flatten the mixture, making about 1/2 inch thick. Try to get an 8cm X 16cm with straight edges. It's ok if you dont get straight edges for some rustic and home feel. Just make sure you leave about 1/2 inch of paper on each end. The paper will keep the patties from sticking together and the extra 1/2inch of paper will make it easier for you to separate them.
Chill for about 10 minutes to make the patties firm and easier to cut.
Unfold the paper and, using a long knife or pizza slicer, cut horizontally through the middle, then, vertically to make squares of 4in X 4in.
Then cut the squares with paper underneath ann stack 'em up. Wrap in plastic bag and freeze. Or you can use 'em right away!

Nevermind if they're not round. Round patties tend to deform easily. Another tip is that don't use oil in grilling the patties if you are using a non-stick pan. For sticky pans, just brush it with a little oil.

I hope that in your next party, you'll serve "the lowly" burger. And invite me!!!

For a very special post, I enlisted the services of the "fairest of them all" endorser! Presenting the one and only.... Ate Cie! (Applause please!)

Friday, April 23, 2010


Again, during the jobless years of my life back in 2005 and 2006, I made empanaditas to sell on the streets of Washington (Pio del Pilar, Makati. Not D.C.) I made good money out of it. Iba-ibang filling--chicken, beef, pork... even apple and pineapple! Sarap!

Recently, I made some pork empanaditas. I want to share with you the recipe and behind the scenes photos.

Pork Empanada

1 & 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup flour for dusting
4 tbsp lard or vegetable shortening
1 tbsp margarine or butter
1/4 cup warm water
4 tbsp granulated sugar
pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients together except water in a bowl. Using the back of a fork, press down the mixture until crumbly. Slowly add warm water, a tablespoon at a time while continuing to mix the dough. When done with the water, knead the dough for about 4 minutes. It should look something like the 2nd picture above. Roll out using a rolling pin or wine bottle on a well dusted worksurface then make round portions with a cutter or a jar lid (about 5" diameter). About 1/4' thick. Dust with flour and pile up to 5 pcs. together and refrigerate fo about 10 minutes.

For the filling, saute 200grams ground pork, onion, garlic and 1 c up diced potatoes. Add kintsay towards the end of cooking. Transfer into a strainer with a bowl underneath to drain off excess fat.

Fill each dough with 1 tbsp of the meat on one side and fold the other side to form half moons. Seal the pastry on where the edges meet by pressing down a fork on the edges.

Deep fry in hot oil or bake in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350 F. Brush the pastry with eggwash if you chose to bake them.

Now, here's what I can say:


Got stale bread will make Pudding.

Isa pang pinaka gusto kong meryenda sa hapon is pudding. I mean, if I have to rank my top 10 favorite meryenda ko sa hapon (iba pa yung sa umaga ha!), pudding will be at #3. Number 1 would be kalihim (....that my cousin Elsie calls menstruation bread. In tagalog, pan de r*gla!). Lumaki ako on 2 kinds of pudding: 1, those bought from the friendly neighborhood bakery na tigpi-piso,na matigas at too sticky, and 2, homemade.

I have fond memories of eating homemade pudding with my cousins during elementary days. Paborito namin ito ng mga pinsan kong lutuin sa mga lutu-lutuan sessions namin on lazy weekend afternoons back then. Kanya-kanya kaming dala ng lumang tinapay. May naka toka sa pagdala ng sugar, egg at milk. Actually, skim milk. Tinutunaw na lang namin. Galing ang skimmilk from our parish church. We earn a bag of milk for every catechism session we attend. Bribery? Sinabi mo pa! And while we're at it, ang mga pari, masyado yatang "malambing sa mga Knights of the Altar who happened to be the cutest in our public school".

Upon completion of the ingredients, lulutuin na namin ang pudding. First, we would make the steamer by tying banana Q sticks together to form a crisscross sort of elevated flooring to the kaldero ( na usually, mauling ang pwetan.). Then we mix all the ingredients together and put it sa llanera. After cooking, the pudding is shared equally among us. Ang sarap! Lalo na with Fres Gusto! (Remember that softdrink?)

Now that I've grown, seldom na akong kumain ng bakery-bought pudding and I've already upgraded the recipe and technique by baking. Here's my modern-day pudding recipe:

about 300g leftover bread (fresh will do, too!)
1 can evaporated milk.
1/2 cup condensed milk
3/4 cups sugar
3 whole eggs
cheese to top

Combine all ingredients except cheese. Put in a baking dish, top with grated cheese and bake for about 20minutes at 350C. Let cool and serve.
Even some species of furry animals will like it! Promise!

Boys Don't Cry

I've always wanted to do this! Hahaha! My own MTV of the most popular ever The Cure song back from the 80's--my decade. I remember jumping to the dance floor in street parties whenever this song was played. Ecstatically slamdancing, bone-breaking and jaw-locking!

Try it. Feels really, really good!

Disclaimer: No animal, not even a single flea or tick was hurt in making this video. It also has no MSG and has zero grams transfat. And oh, the lipstick I used was not tested on animals.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Onion Rings

A lunch platter for one person at a famous American casual dining franchise in Makati costs an average of P350.00. That consists of about 3 pcs. chicken fingers, some fries and onion rings. Drinks excluded.

For under P300.00, I cooked a lunch that fed 6 people including me, and there was some left over, too, for dinner. The lunch consisted of crispy fried chicken, real potato fries and of course onion rings. And 1.5 Liter Coca-Cola.

Frying chicken and potatoes is no big deal so I'll just share with you my "tricks" in making calamari-like onion rings. Naaalala ko pa, elementary pa ako, nung bagong bukas pa ang Shakeys sa Makati Cinema Square, pabalik-balik kami ng mga pinsan ko para bumili ng onion rings. It was new to us and it tasted good! But the real reason we bought ng paulit-ulit is not really because of we like the onion rings but because, Shakey's, on its launch, gave gift certificates FOR EVERY PURCHASE MADE, and balloons, too! An order of onion rings was P20.00 and we get P50.00 worh of gift cert which we could use to buy a regular-sized manager's choice pizza at 50% discount. Clever diba?

Here's the recipe:

Onion Rings

For the batter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 pc lagre egg
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup water or milk
ground pepper or paprika

Combine all ingredients to form a batter. Batter should be thick enough to coat the smooth onion. Test 1 or 2 rings for consistency and adjust liquid and flour accordingly.

4 pcs medium white onions
Japanese bread crumbs for the breading
Oil for frying. Lots of it.

Coat onion rings first with the batter ONE OR TWO AT A TIME, then transfer to a platter of Japanese bread crumbs. Deep fry in vegetable oil. Make sure not to crowd the pan so the temperature of the oil will not drop to avoid sagging and to achieve real longer-lasting crispness!
When rings turn golden brown, transfer to a plate lined with kitchen towel to drain excess oil.

Onion rings, eventhough it's deep-fried is not actually oily, my face is.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Homemade Pancakes

Who doesn't like pancakes? When I was a child, paboritong-paborito ko ang hotcakes for merienda sa hapon. Hahaha! Naaalala ko pa how primitive we used to make pancakes maybe because mahirap lang kami and we can't afford to buy pre-mixes like Maya and White King.

Mother used to make pancakes pretty much the same way as how pancakes should be made except that:

1. Gumagamit sya ng murang klase ng harina. Minsan may kuto pang lumalangoy-langoy sa batter.
2. Ang gamit nyang baking powder ay Diwata Brand na ang paet-paet! OMG!
3. Di sya naglalagay ng asukal sa batter. Siguro kasi: a) mahal ang asukal, b) dumidikit sa kawali naming hindi naman nonstick or, c) ginugulong naman namin ang pancakes sa margarina at asukal anyway.
4. Mantika ang gamit nya instead na melted butter or margarine. Juice ko!

Now that we've grown, we still enjoy pancakes anytime of the day-- morning, noon, night, midnight. Whenever we please. And upgraded version na, although I still wouldn't prefer spending for a box of premix dahil kaya ko namang gumawa ng sweet and fluffy pancakes!

Here's the recipe:

Pancakes, Homemade Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tsp CALUMET baking powder
4 tbsp melted margarine
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup and 3 tbsp water

Combine all dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls. After egg has been beaten and combined with water and melted margarine, pour the mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix by whisking. The batter should have the consistency that just coats the back of the spoon. Not too runny and not too thick as to be solid-like. Don't overwhisk because it will make the pancake a little tough and loose its potential fluffiness.

Ladle the batter into a heated nonstick round pan. When the upside bubbles, turn and cook for another half minute. Serve.

For me, it is important that you use quality baking powder like Calumet. I'm not paid to endorse the brand ha! But it's so good I wouldn't mind promoting it for free. And it's available in small packs kaya affordable. The label says to use 2 tsp per cup of flour but I use a tsp more to achieve my desired fluffiness. And even if you use more, hindi sya pumapait. Di tulad ng Diwata!

Mga Paboritong Lafang

I've photographed some of the dishes I cooked and they accumulated overtime. I don't have the luxury of time to tell all of their stories one by one in separate posts so I'm putting them all together in one.

Peanutbutter and Oats Cookies
This is my first attempt in making cookies. I used cheap ingredients here like regular flour, cheap margarine and peanut butter that your regular palengkera sells, leftover oats and raisisns and brown sugar. It turned out to be too sweet and I burned it a little

For Chopsuey, I have different versions or technics in cooking it. The one immediately below is a mix of buttered veggies and roasted potatoes, carrots and bell peppers. The one far down is made with cream of mushroom soup and shrimps.

Chopsuey I made for a Handaan.( Mind you, I was paid!)

Nilagang Baka
Pressure-cooked beef chunks with corn, saba, pechay, whole peppercorns and potatoes. Mmmm yummy!

Pork Tonkatsu aka Breaded Pork
This really easy to make. Just season some pork chops, preferably skinless/boneless, bread with flour-egg-Japanese breading. Tapos!

Pork Tonkatsu on a bed of Romaine and Tomatoes

Lumpiang Sariwa in Homemade Crepes
One of my most favorites. I made the crepes with flour egg, wataer and a little bit sugar. The batter should be uberthin so as to spread easily on the pan. For the filling, saute ubod ng niyog, carrots, cabbage, potatoes and this is important... kamote for the sweetness with a meat of your own choice. The sauce is made from the juice of shrimp heads that we otherwise discard, fresh chopped garlic, lots of them, brown sugar, soy sauce and cornstarch (although cassava starch will give you a better translucency).

Simply cut potatoes into big strips. Dredge with a salted or spiced breading (I put Ginisa Mix). Fry. Shake in paperbag with cheese powder. Enjoy!

Pork Hamonado
1 Kg Pork Pigue or Kasim sliced a la morcon
1 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp salt
2 medium carrots cut lenghtwise into 1/2 inch strips.
100 grams pork fat strips
500ml pineapple juice
1 bottle lemon-lime soda
1 big white onion, chopped
annato powder

Marinate pork in a mixture of brown sugar and salt overnight.
Spread it out on a work surface and lay strips of carrots and pork fat, then roll.Tie with kitchen twine or gantsilyo thread.

Saute in oil onions and annato powder. Add pork rolls and brown all sides. Pour in pineaaple juice and soda and let boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until pork is tender. Take away pork from the pan and allow the liquid to reduce by about half. That will be the sauce. Allow the pork rolls to cool before slicing. Pour sauce over sliced pork rolls upon plating.

garnish with GBOP*.
GBOP=generous bouquet of parsley

More next time.

Pizza Pie

This is what is left of the 3pcs. of 10" pizzas I made this morning for breakfast. Kasi sobrang sarap. I made 2 kinds--beef 0nly and cheeseburger (below).

Look how they enjoy the pizza.

Here's the recipe:

I made the crust a day in advance para di ako maghintay ng matagal resting the dough on the day itself.

Pizza Crust

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp active dry yeast immersed in 1 cup water with 2tsp sugar
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder

Mix all ingredients together. Knead for about 5 minutes. Let rest for at least 2 hours and cut into 3 pcs. Rest again for another hour. Roll each ball of dough into round flat shape and stretcch out each on a pizza pan (10"). Half bake for about 8 minutes at 350 C.


Top crust with a mixture of tomato paste and Italian Spaghetti Sauce or Tomato Sauce with Oeregano, cooked ground beef, tomatoes, cheese cream (heated roux, milk,grated cheese), and another layer of cheese, tomato ketchup. Bake at 350 C for about 10 minutes.

And this is the ultimate word:

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Hehehe. Sarap balikan ng panahong wiling-wili ako sa mga sisiw na binebenta sa harap ng elementary school, simbahan, tuwing fiesta at all-season available ito sa Pasay. Halos araw-araw bumibili ako kasi araw-araw namamatayan ako ng alaga.

Noon, di pa uso ang mga kulay-kulay na gaya ng nakikita nyo sa larawan sa taas. Ang alam kong kinukulayan eh ibong maya na walang kwentang alagaan kasi di mo pwedeng alisin sa kulungang gawa sa kinayas na kawayan. Di mo pwedeng halik-halikan, pahabulin at walang tunog na pasiyap-siyap na ikinabubwisit ng nanay mo dahil istorbo sa gabi.

Minsan, nakapag palaki ako (actually, di akin.... sa kapatid ko pero ako ang nagpapakain) ng sisiw. Syempre tuwang-tuwa ako ng ang mga delicate feathers nya ay unti-unting nagpupti at tumitigas, hanggang maging isang true-blue chicken na sya.

Maligaya ako sa sisiw na iyun at gayun din sya sa akin. Binabantayan ko sya mula sa mga atake ng iba pang mga alagang hayop sa looban namin tulad ng pusang itim na pagka-kinis-kinis ng balahibo (pagka takaw-takaw din!); asong matanda na (Nora ang pangalan) at ginagalis, pabo na nanunuka whether you're naughty or nice at mga dagang animo'y tao dahil di takot sa amin.

Nagulat na lang ako nang minsan isang tanghali ay di ko makita ang ngayon iy isan nang manok. Hanap ako ng hanap hanggang maamoy ko ang masarap at mabangong amoy ng tinola. Ayun! Kinatay na pala ng tatay ko!

Syempre nalungkot ako ng sobra-sobra. Hindi ako kumain nang tanghalian at hapunan nung araw na yun. (And what do you expect?!)

Since then, di na ako nag-alaga ng fowl until now... when I bought Chelsea the duck whom I will feature here next time so watch out!