Wednesday, January 23, 2013

On the Menu: Filipino Food

Do you Adobo?
So we are halfway through our trip around the world.  I have made food from 26 different countries and my kids have eaten the food of about 15!  Well, this week they ate the food!!  Filipino food, like the people, is a mixture of many cultures.  There are influences from China, the Pacific Polynesian Islands, Spain, the traders from the Middle East, and America.  All these influences have made for an interesting mix.  The flavors of many of the dishes mix tangy and salty and sweet with different textures but the main staple of every meal is white rice.  They also don't waste any part of the animal.  I like to try many different foods but I will admit to being very particular about my meats, and because of that I will be very cautious whenever I order food in a Filipino restaurant.  Many of the recipes had ingredients like pig ears or blood - I guess I've just been spoiled and they probably do taste good but I'm too much of a chicken!  So I made a very simple yet exotic tasting Filipino recipe- Chicken Adobo (and the kids loved it).  

Chicken Adobo
For the recipe you will need:
  • 4 lbs Chicken.  Thighs were recommended but I only had boneless breasts.
  • 1/2 cup Vinegar.  I used real Filipino vinegar from Asian market (99cents!) but apple cider or regular is fine too.
  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce - I used a low sodium one.
  • 4 cloves garlic - crushed
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (this might not be very traditional but was in quite a few of the recipes I saw)
1. Combine all the ingredients in large pot.  Cover and let marinate for 1 to 3 hours.
2. Bring ingredients to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Since I was using boneless chunks of chicken I only went for 15 mins.
3. Uncover and simmer until sauce is thickened and reduced and chicken is cooked through.  Maybe another 15-20 mins.
4.  Serve with steamed rice and a veggie.  We had ours with bok choy stirfried with garlic and chili sauce.  The kids had corn.

This is yummy.  Super tangy sauce that gets soaked up in the rice and gives the chicken such a great flavor.  We liked it so much that we had Pork Adobo for lunch at a restaurant today.  I actually think I liked the pork better (or maybe they had a different recipe).  Both my kids really liked the sauce and when we were making it (before I added the raw chicken) I couldn't keep their fingers out of it.  I served them their chicken with a bowl of the cooked sauce for dipping and they were in heaven.  I will definitely make this again!!
It would probably be great in a slow cooker!

There are so many different recipes that sounded really good and I will have another food post later in the week but I have one more for tonite.  It's purple, creamy but firm, sweet, but not too sweet, and it's made from a vegetable.  It's called ....

Halayang Ube
For the recipe you will need:
  • 2 cups grated ube (found in frozen section of Asian markets)
  • 1/2 cup butter and a little more for greasing bowl
  • 7 oz. evaporated milk
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
1. Melt butter in large pan.  When melted add milks and combine.
2. Turn to low and add ube.  Cook for 40 mins stirring often to break up the chunks.
3.  When mixture transforms into a sticky blob (about 40 minutes) transfer to a greased 9" dish or mold or 8x8 pyrex
4.  Let cool completely and either unmold or leave in dish. 
5. Top with toasted coconut (I didn't have any) and cut into pieces

        It looked more purple in real life :)
This was fun, easy and it made PURPLE food :)  There isn't enough purple food!  Most of you are probably not familiar with ube, a.k.a the purple yam, and I wasn't sure I would be able to find it, but it was all over the Asian market.  Now if you live in rural WI and don't have an Asian market you might not be able to try this- I am sorry.  I will post another recipe Friday that has easier ingredients but I wanted to try this ube.  Ube is rich in fiber, potassium, vitamins B6 and C, and loads of antioxidents. The dessert ended up being good but "different".  We all ate it and actually thought it was pretty good but no one would probably ask me to make it again.  My brother brought a chunk to work so some Filipino co-workers could try it and they said it was exactly the way it should be.  If you are in the mood to try something exotic give it a whirl!

1 comment:

  1. Great work Jenny! And you made it with Bok Choy, nice work!