Monday, September 18, 2017

Tortillitas de Camerones

Among the tapas I devoured in Andalusia, Spain in these past years, this crunchy ,aromatic and 
 thin shrimp fritter is one of my favourites. It reminds me of Filipino ukoy, minus the vegetables. No complains here! 


I first tried this addicting nibble about 3 years ago in Malaga, Spain. FF and I had a fantastic guided Tapa Tour on our first night in the city and among the array of fabulous foods we had that night, this shrimp pancake was by far, the one I liked  the most. I liked everything I ate that time. I tell yah. Everything. So when we went back to Spain last year, I tried ordering this particular dish ,every chance I got. Some restaurants make good shrimp fritters, other even better but there are places that made it mediocre at best. How can I tell? Well, let's just say, I ate  too much tortillitas de Camerones while in Spain that I might have cough out a shrimp or two without even knowing it.


I will be coming back to the south of Spain next week! This time, with some Filipina friends in tow. I intend to show them around the city, hit the beach, catch as much Vit. Sea as much as possible and of course, eat some mouth -watering Andalusian foods. So while counting the days , I am keeping my stubby fingers crossed that our flight won't get cancelled . Our budget airline is on strike and will be cancelling 50 flights, every freakin day til end of October!๐Ÿ˜“.


 While waiting for our holiday dooms  fate, I decided to cook some tapas this weekend to keep my spirits high and  to remind me of the good things  that yet to come. And it was pretty darn good! I could almost smell the sea and feel the Andalusian sunshine already !


Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups of baby shrimps, shell, tails and all, use fresh ones if you can get it
1 egg, beaten
a medium sized red onion
2 stalk of green onion
a handful of parley, chopped
5 tbsp. all purpose flour
2 tbsp. chickpea flour
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika powder
200 ml water
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying

Let's make some Tortillitas de Camerones


 1. Put baby shrimps, onion, green onion and parsley in a big mixing bowl.
 2. Add in flours , turmeric and paprika powder. Mix well.












3. Slowly stir in water, Mix until well combined.  Batter must  not be too thick  nor too runny. If the mixture turns out dry, add more water, if it's too watery, add a spoonful of flour until you're happy with the consistency.

4. Stir in beaten egg. Season with salt and pepper. Cover bowl with cling foil and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes in the refrigerator.









5. Heat oil in a frying pan, scoop about a tablespoon of the mixture unto the hot oil, spread batter as flat as possible to make your tortillas extra crunchy.  Fry to a crisp. Dry on a paper towel and serve with lemon wedges.



Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Cookies and Cream Polovoron

I am still tinkering Polvoron recipes and don't see anyone complaining as they munch on this delightful grub. As a matter of fact ,  I don' think I will ran out of taste testers/ willing guinea pigs .๐Ÿ˜Š


This particular version was a hit and the first to disappear from my poltroon basket. Crumbly, chocolatey with an extra cookie-y crunch. What's not to love?


The process of making it is the same the  Classic Polvoron, I simply reduce the amount of sugar because of the cookie which is already sweet enough and add a whole pack of crushed Oreos. 


Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup + few tbsp. melted butter
1  1/2  cups of crushed  Oreo cookie

 Just toast the flour until aromatic . Then transfer toasted flour into a big mixing bowl, adding the rest of the dry ingredients. Lastly stir in melted butter. Follow the process of my previous polvoron recipe .



Wrap each polvoron individually and it's good to go . It's an addicting nibble and makes perfect gift too!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Classic Polvoron


Filipino Poltroons are  much -loved,  flour and powdered milk -based, crumbly shortbread cookies. It comes in many different flavours , shapes and sizes. The most famous brand ,Goldilocks,  sells it in these neat  boxes and makes a perfect gift. Since stacks of these polvoron are readily available in many supermarkets, malls and even the airport, it became a convenient and very much welcome souvenir to bring back to family and friends.



I receive Polvoron  from Filipina friends who came back home from the Philippines . I also bring boxes and boxes of it and give it to them whenever I get back from our country. We usually bring other knick knacks, chips, sweets and pieces of home to share it with our little Filipino community but Polvoron is always among these Pasalubong.



August is my birth month and like every year, I invite family and friends over and cook up a storm. I throw a dinner party two days in a row, cooking different  dishes on each day. Classic dishes for FF's family and a more exotic ( shrimp paste, fish with eyeballs and all and lots of rice) for my Pinay friends. The only thing in common is serving Polvoron with tea  . I had basketful of these sweet babies after the meal and it was well received and appreciated by all. So far, I made 4 different flavours, this is just the basic recipe . More recipes coming !๐Ÿ˜œ





Ingredients:


1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups powdered milk
2/3 cup sugar + 1 tbsp. vanilla sugar
2/3 cup melted butter

   

Let's make some Polvoron! 

1. Toast flour in a pan for 10-15 minutes or until light browned and aromatic.


2. Sift toasted flour and transfer into a big mixing bowl.


3. Add Powdered milk, sugar and vanilla sugar. Stir! Stir! Stir!


 4. Pour melted butter over flour and milk mixture . Mix until butter is well incorporated.


 5. Once the mixture resembles moist meal or wet sand, then it's ready! Use Polvoron molder if you got one . Simply fill each molder with poltroon mixture,  press to make a compact cookie.


5. Transfer polvoron onto a tray 




  I refrigerate my polvoron for 30 minutes to harden it before wrapping each individually. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Tuna Canneloni, my way

My better half, FF , eats warm meal once a day and that would be dinner when he gets back home from work. When my own work schedule permits, I love to tinker and  tackle recipes in the kitchen to serve him something worth looking forward to. But sometimes, I am simply too tired or too lazy to cook something that required more than half an hour on the kitchen counter.

Today was one of those days. I am whipped from work that when I got back home I simply went  straight  to the couch, lied down and was dead to the world in no time. I woke up late in the afternoon  to  cold house and an even  colder kitchen. So I checked whatever I had in the kitchen pantry and found a pack of cannelloni , a bottle of marinara sauce  and some tins of tuna. My exhausted husband came back home to an aromatic dining table and to well rested wife. Praised me for uhurm, another tedious looking and delicious tasting meal. What do yah know, this pasta recipe became a keeper.




Ingredients of this recipe are things I found in my pantry, fridge and pots of herbs near my kitchen window. 

Ingredients:

about 400 g Cannelloni shells
500 g marinara sauce
150 g grated cheese, more if you like it extra cheesy
( Emmantaler, Gouda, Mozzarella , Cheddar or your favourite melting cheese)

Tuna Filling:
2 cans of tuna in olive oil, drained
1 medium sized red onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
400 g Krรคuterquark ( or your fave cottage cheese)
a handful of parsley, chopped
salt and pepper and pepper to taste



Let's get cooking!

1. Mix tuna filling mixture in a big bowl until well combined. Test taste as season according to your preference. You can naturally add other species or chilis if you like it hot.





2. Fill each uncooked canneloni shell with your prepared filling. Lay stuffed canneloni on a greased baking pan. I made just 1 layer.











3. Pour  marinara sauce over the cannelloni. 

4. Spread marina sauce evenly .

5. Top it with your favourite melting cheese.



6.  Bake at 190° for about 30 minutes or until cannelloni is thoroughly cooked. Look at package's instruction.





Serve piping hot and with green salad. Yum!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Gnocchi in creamy garlic and spinach sauce

Sometimes, a good recipe requires very little effort and even less time to prepare. Economical and easy dishes are my  friends  and the   lick -smacking good  ones became my BFFs. One of my all time favourite recipe is this gnocchi dish. 


It's creamy, cheesy and  garlicky .What's not to like? 

 Aside from the gnocchi, two of the important components are garlic and baby spinach which are cheap and readily available almost everywhere. 


Although a friend of mine swears it's very easy to make your own gnocchi and how versatile this little knobs of carb could get once you master making them, I am simply too lazy to get my hand on the basic recipe. So I choose the most convenient way; the frozen section at our local supermarket. Fuzz and fail-free.  Good enough for me . ๐Ÿ˜‰ 


Ingredients:

500 g of gnocchi, cooked according to package instruction, 
my frozen ones requires only few minutes in boiling salt water
2 tbsp. butter
4-5 cloves of garlic, less if you're not a big fan, minced
2 tbsp. flour
1 cup cream + 1/2 cup milk
about 2 cups of baby spinach
salt and pepper to taste 
and as much Parmesan cheese as you like!




Let's get cooking!



1. Heat butter in a pan, saute garlic until aromatic. Stir in flour.
2. Make roux by add milk and cream into the pan. Stir until no lumps remain.
 3. Add your gnocchi , then the spinach. Season with  salt and pepper, cover pan for 2-3 minutes. Cook until spinach just wilted.











4. Turn off the heat, add your parmesan cheese and serve.  And Viola! Instant meal in no time.














One can not have enough cheese , so put that block of Parmesan on the table and add as much cheese as your conscience  will allow you!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Street Food Tour ,Germany

Today, I envied a cow. For cows can  spend their entire day grazing, chewing and eating  without bursting their seams. Thanks to their four chambered- stomachs ! It makes me wonder how it feels to be a bottomless pit.


I  put my only gut and its distention capability to a test today when we visited Schloss Rastatt, location of this week's Germany's Street Food Tour , featuring numerous food trucks.



FF and I came across the  Website about this Street Food Fair few days ago. Each weekend, a handful of chefs and their mobile kitchen visit  different cities , bringing with them their masterworks. These Foods on wheels enable many promising and creative culinarians to share their specialties and passion to the public.


Food trucks is a relatively new dining concept in this country , as far as I know. Although Germans love reasonably - priced and top- quality foods, they undeniably love to  sit, savour and enjoy the comforts of food establishments. Restaurants, cafes,  beer gardens where they can sit, eat  and mingle. They however, do enjoy outdoor setting  , soaking up as much Vitamin D  as possible when the sun is up and shining. It did not came as a surprise that this project was a big hit especially to the younger generation.

 This weekend's food tour location is starting to fill up at 4 PM when we arrived. The  glossy eyed visitors like me and FF are looking happily lost and excited. Sweets and savouries stalls stood side by side. I feel like a kid in Candyland.

 The sun was blazingly hot that afternoon. The heat seems to be a bit too much for many, I saw a lot of patrons grabbing their nosh and retreating back to the shadows , before braving the heat in search for edible treasures once again and again and again  . FF and I watched , learned and followed suit . When the temperature finally mellowed down , we almost sign and relief as we to went out in the open without getting toasted by the scorching sun .

With icy Caipirinhas in our hands, we leisurely checked out each and every food truck and was pretty stoke  with the smorgasbord of food choices. Aside from the usual Burgers, hot dogs, Barbecues, wraps, brownie , fudge  and cup cakes , there are exotic food choices from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Africa and other countries.

FF and I had a food tour without paying a dime for plane tickets. I feel like I am on a holiday!



First Stop:  Rib Eye Patty Burger for 6.50 EUR

 The Bun was too thick for my liking, the patty thin and was honestly dry. Taste wise, it was ok, the veggies are fresh and crunchy, the sauce quite good, I can't complain for what I get, this burger is quite big and filling. Some people might get too full from eating this, luckily I am not some people.

 2nd Stop. Barbecue Wrap.  Almost a foot long, and brimming with pulled pork filling for only 6 EUR. This is worth every penny. Our favourite among the foods we tasted that day. This tortilla wrap from The Duke is highly recommended! Delicious and generously portioned.


3rd Stop: Spanish Churros. Freshly made , this little stall in the middle of the courtyard got a slow but steady costumers. The churros are made from scratch and fried as you order, served pipping hot. For 4 EUR,  my churros was drizzled with generous Nutella cream.  It tasted almost as good as I had in Spain. Fantastico!

 4th Stop: Mr. Adobo's Pimped Lumpia. The reason why I dragged FF to this food fair. Filipino foods is rarely represented in Germany. While Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and even Malay restaurants are popping all over the country, Philippine cuisine is sadly absent in the culinary scene.  So it's pretty exciting to see  a food truck in Germany serving Filipino Foods. I am also happy to to see how Germans are showing curiosity and interest in our cuisine.  For 4 EUR, this spring roll certainly is steep, considering how small it was. But it tasted good and brimming with  flavours. The crunchy cucumber salad gives the whole dish a nice textural kick.

 5th Stop: Mexican Taco. After a half an hour break, we went to a food truck manned by a sweaty and stressed looking German guy and a Mexican lady. They were whipping tacos one after the other, serving a rather long queue of hopeful diners. For 1 got a taco 3.50 EUR . It was rather a smallish taco shell with about a tablespoonful of meat and look suspiciously different from the posters gracing the food truck . I heard many dumfounded costumers complaining what they got from their money. I got the cheapest  taco on the menu and I'm starting to be very full so I was not bothered. Taste wise, hmm beefy and spicy. I don't know how original tacos are supposed taste , maybe when I visit Mexico I will know. But in the meantime, I'm quite happy .


 6th Stop: African Barbecue and Samosa. I was lured by the lively music and energy of the people behind this stall. They seemed to be really happy to be here , dancing ,cooking and serving  curious Europeans. I asked for a Samosa, FF , meat on a stick, which came with aromanic rice, fried banana and tomato based sauce. It cost us 9.50 EUR and full , distended bellies.


Final Stop: Dessert. After having all those meats and savory treats, FF and I shared a 4 EUR frozen yogurt topped with berries and fruits. We went into a food coma soon after that.....๐Ÿ˜”




















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