Recipe: My Mom’s Kare-Kare

Most Pinoys are fiercely loyal to their mom’s adobo. Not me, though. I can appreciate, even like, versions of adobo other than the one I grew up with.

My mom’s signature dish that remains unmatched in my opinion is her kare kare. Oh, yes! Here is where my loyalties unequivocally lie.

The irony is that when I was a kid, I didn’t even like kare kare. I found the idea of eating parts of animals other than the meat and skin unthinkable (and you should see the ingredients while they were still uncooked!). I also found the orange sauce weird, used as I was then to the brown hued sauces of adobo and mechado and the lightly-tinted broths of nilaga or tinola.

Then the time came, right around high school, when my palate began to mature and I started to develop a taste for the unusual, that I decided to give this dish a try.

Ooh, those bits of meat and cow innards so tender they melt in your mouth! That bright orange peanutty sauce that can already be considered a viand even if just accompanied by veggies (sarsa pa lang ulam na)! Put those together in a heaping spoon with steaming white rice and my mom’s home-made bagoong (shrimp paste) and I’m in heaven.

I recently made my mom give me this recipe (she had long ago given up trying to teach me to cook the more traditional or effort-laden dishes) by saying that her granddaughter, #ExhibitA, should start learning how to make it by now.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo beef cheeks
  • 1/2 kilo beef tripe and intestines
  • 1/4 kilo ground peanuts (Note: you can substitute this with peanut butter but try to find one that’s sugarless)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • achuete (annato) seeds
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 1 small bunch of pechay (Chinese cabbage)
  • 1 small bunch of sitao (string beans), cut into 2-inch slices
  • 4 eggplants, sliced
  • 1 small puso ng saging (banana flower bud), sliced
  • salt and pepper

Procedure:

  • Clean and boil the beef cheeks, tripe and intestines separately for 15 minutes in a pressure cooker.  Chill overnight in the refrigerator and scoop out the fat that forms on top.
  • In a small pan, lightly toast the flour, then remove from heat.
  • In a casserole, saute garlic and onion, then add meat, tripe and intestines. Add a bit of the water used to boil the meat. Add the toasted flour and crushed nuts, then stir the mixture.
  • Add in the banana flower, string beans, and egg plant.
  • Soak the annato seeds in hot water.  Strain and add to the stew.
  • Stir the mixture until thickened to your desired consistency.
  • Add the Chinese cabbage and season to taste.

Serve hot with freshly cooked white rice and bagoong.

This recipe serves 6 at 570 calories per serving.  That’s quite a lot but you don’t get to eat this everyday anyway.

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Recipe: Thai Peanut Sauce

I admit: I did have my doubts about the Smoke & Fire Peanut Butter that Fix & Fogg sent me to try out. I was intrigued at the concept of a smokey and spicy peanut butter ever since I heard about it; I just didn’t know what to do with this variant.

Fix & Fogg is a maker of small batch peanut butter based in Wellington, New Zealand. Its peanut butter variants have just become available in the Philippines, stocked in retail outlets like All Day Supermarkets, Cartel Deli, Earth Origins Marketplace and Power Plant Market, as well as distributed online via websites such as Beauty MNL, Gerald.PH and the Green Grocer.

While I have recently grown to appreciate some spicy food, thanks in large part to my passion for Korean dishes, I usually shy away from these as my palate gravitates more towards sweet and/or salty food.

Fortunately, my daughter, #ExhibitA, was feeling adventurous and volunteered to cook dinner while incorporating this peanut butter into the recipe. So, last Friday night, after a long day at the office, I came home to a culinary masterpiece courtesy of my darling baby girl.

She basically pan-fried a half-kilo of porkchops seasoned with salt and pepper in olive oil. Then, she set about making a Thai peanut sauce based on a recipe from Epicurious, adjusted due to availability of ingredients and to taste.

Fix and Fogg

Ingredients:

Procedure:

  • With the motor running, drop the ginger and garlic clove into your blender. Blend until the ingredients are finely chopped.
  • Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar and water, then blend until smooth. Add in more water by tablespoonfuls to thin the mixture.

This recipe yields 2 cups of the peanut sauce, equivalent to 8 servings, with approximately 47 calories per serving.

You can make this sauce ahead of time. Place in a container with a lid then chill. It will keep for 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

It went well with the pork chops, adding a citrusy zing and a spicy bite to the viand. The sauce may also be used as a salad dressing or as an accompaniment to lettuce wrapped minced chicken.

Want to try this recipe today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

Disclosure: Fix & Fogg provided product samples for me to review.  Reactions and opinions about the product are my own.

Recipe: Oatmeal Peanut Butter Breakfast Balls

It is a cliche already but breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It fires up your metabolism and gets you going for the rest of the day.

However, in the rush of morning chores and preparations to leave for work or school, family members seldom have the time to prepare and eat breakfast. Fortunately, I came across some recipes for Oatmeal Peanut Butter Breakfast Balls on Pinterest that seem easy to prepare in advance over the weekend and just take out and serve for a quick breakfast before leaving the house.

Another lucky break for me is getting a Super Crunchy Peanut Butter among the sampler jars that Fix & Fogg sent for me to try out.

Fix & Fogg is a maker of small batch peanut butter based in Wellington, New Zealand. Its peanut butter variants have just become available in the Philippines, stocked in retail outlets like All Day Supermarkets, Cartel Deli, Earth Origins Marketplace and Power Plant Market, as well as distributed online via websites such as Beauty MNL, Gerald.PH and the Green Grocer.

I tweaked the original recipe: substituting instant for rolled oats, replacing walnuts with some chopped cashew nuts that I bought from Antipolo, using semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of the regular ones and taking out raisins (because I’m not too wild about them).

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup instant oats
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Fix & Fogg Super Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped cashew nuts
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Procedure:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop up the mixture to form domes. (I had to firmly pat down the mixture into the scoop to get some properly shaped domes. If the mixture is not tightly packed, it will easily crumble once you take it off the scoop.)
  3. Freeze for an hour or until the balls are firm.
  4. Store in airtight resealable bags inside the chiller.
  5. Take out the balls you plan to have for breakfast a few minutes before serving (like while you’re still making your coffee).

Recipe yields 22 breakfast balls. Each ball has approximately 87 calories.

My little boy tried one and he immediately wanted another!

Want to try this recipe today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

Disclosure: Fix & Fogg provided product samples for me to review.  Reactions and opinions about the product are my own.

Recipe: Lava Cake in Less than 5 Minutes

I got myself a pair of Hershey’s Lava Cake Makers from Gourdo’s a couple of months back.

These nifty plastic mugs enable you to make mug cakes using your microwave oven. They even come with lids so you can have your mug cakes on the go.

Imagine the possibilities:

  • Whenever you have craving for sweets, you can easily whip up a dessert
  • You can teach your kids how to make their own sweet snacks in a fun, fast and easy way
  • You can have something to serve to unexpected guests in a matter of minutes

The packages come with 2 lava cake recipe options: one using the cake mix from Hershey’s and one from scratch. Since I have the ingredients readily available, I decided to make the lava cakes from scratch. I wrote down the recipe as I thought I might lose the hardcopy (and I did!). This recipe yields 2 yummy mug cakes, great for sharing!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Procedure:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, milk and vanilla. Add the flour, sugar and cocoa and whisk to combine.
  2. To make 1 lava cake: place 1/8 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips at the bottom of the mug, then pour in 1/4 of the batter to cover the chocolate chips. Place another 1/8 cup of chocolate chips then cover them with 1/4 of the batter.
  3. Microwave on HIGH for 90 secs or until cake is fluffy.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to make the second mug cake.

Enjoy the lava cakes while they’re still warm! You can add a few dollops of vanilla ice cream as an extra treat.

If you have trouble finding the Hersheys Lava Cake Makers in local stores, you can order them from Amazon.com.

Want to try this recipe today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

Recipe: Frozen Mocha Cheesecake

My mom discovered the recipe for Frozen Mocha Cheesecake several decades ago and it has become a family favorite. We whip it up every year, particularly during special occasions and clan get-togethers. I decided to make it in time for our New Year’s Eve celebration tonight.

The original recipe is closer to this, but over the years, we have changed some ingredients depending on what is easily available or cheaper to buy.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 30 pcs Hi-Ro chocolate biscuits, crushed (remove white filling prior to pounding with mortar and pestle) (Note: You can buy pre-crushed chocolate biscuits in some baking supply stores but these are usually available per kilo.)
  • 1 100g stick Dari Creme butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp white sugar

For the filling:

  • 2 225g packs Magnolia Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 300ml can Alaska sweetened condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup Clara Ole chocolate syrup
  • 1 tbsp Blend 45 instant coffee dissolved in 1 tsp hot water
  • 1 250ml Alaska Crema All Purpose Cream (you can use whipping cream as a more indulgent – or expensive – alternative)

Procedure:

  • Combine all crust ingredients and press into the bottom of a 9-in spring form pan. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in condensed milk, chocolate syrup and dissolved coffee.
  • In another bowl, whip all purpose cream until fluffy. Fold into the cream cheese mixture until evenly distributed.
  • Pour the mixture into the crust. Sprinkle some crushed chocolate biscuits on top as garnish.
  • Put into the freezer for 6 hours until set.

Enjoy!

Want to try this recipe today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.