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 !😜





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 Kräuterquark ( 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 . 😉 


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.....😔




















Friday, June 16, 2017

Shallow Poached Salmon, my way

It's white asparagus season in our place! My family have been having it for lunch every Sunday since mid- May.This subtle -tasting, diuretic- inducing and smelly- pee causing delicacy have been many German's  spring food tradition.



My family enjoys asparagus in it's simplest form. Simmered in salted water and served with white or hollandaise sauce. Not baked, not roasted,  not grilled and certainly no overpowering seasoning. So to make our Sunday spread less monotonous, I have been serving these boiled goodness with all things imaginable . Grilled sausages, roasted chicken, Schnitzel, ham and cheese pancakes, you read it, we ate it.



 I saw the a sexy looking salmon filet at the supermarket this weekend and I decided to serve it  with this weekend's asparagus.



It took me few hours to decide how to cook the salmon . After coming to a decision, prep and cooking was surprisingly brisk. It took me a mere 15 minutes to prepare, cook and serve the fish .
It went very well with white asparagus and pasta. I guess, I still have a room for 1 weekend or two of this delicacy!





Shallow Poached  Salmon
serves 3

about 700 g salmon, cut into 3 servings
salt and pepper
2 lemons
3 shallots, chopped
a handful of parley and dill
1/4 cup white whine
2/3- 1 cup water, depending on the side of your pan


Let's go poached some salmon!

In a wide pan, Put sliced lemons, sliced onion, and your herbs.


Carefully lay salmon filets/steaks over it. Season salmon with salt and pepper. I keep the skin of the salmon on, it holds the flesh together better but you can remove it if you will. Pour wine and and water on the side the salmon. There should be enough fluid to submerge at least the lemon slices and parts of the herbs but it should not soak the salmon.

Bring liquid to a boil, once boiling cover and lower the heat. Allow herb and wine infused steam to gently cook the fish. It will take 8-12 minutes of gentle poaching for the salmon to be cooked, a tad longer of the filets are thicker. Do not over cook the fish, nobody wants to eat dry fish.


Herb and Lemon White sauce
2 tbsp. butter
2  tbsp. flour
1 cup milk ( feel free to add more)
a handful of chopped parsley and dill
rind of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

 Now while the fish is cooking, heat butter in a sauce pan. Stir in flour and cook until buttery aroma is prominent.

 Stir  the milk, stir until no lumps remain in the sauce. 


Add the chopped herbs and lemon rind, season with salt and pepper. Done!



Serve salmon with the herb and lemon white sauce. Enjoy!






Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Honey- Butter- Garlic Korean Fried Chicken

I noticed that many Koreans got this Honey-Butter  and Garlic obsession during my spring holiday in South Korea this year. They have honey, butter and garlic- flavoured chips, breads, pastries, sweets, nuts, rice cakes, anchovies,  lobsters, scallops, shrimps and or course in their staple guilty pleasure, their fried chicken. I might have missed out other delicious stuff which they drench  in this sweet and tangy sauce  but I will be very happy to give it a try.



This golden brown,  twice fried, drenched in butter chicken is not the healthiest thing  I put in my mouth, but my, it certainly is one of the yummiest! Sinfully delicious and irresistibly addicting.
I served it to colleagues at dinner and they loved it just as much.




Ingredients:

chicken drumstick, about 800 
marinated in : 5 cloves of garlic,salt and pepper,2 tbsp. rice wine
1 egg, beaten
1  cup potato starch
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup glutinous rice flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup raw peanuts
oil for deep frying

Sauce: 
1/2 cup softened butter
5 cloves  of garlic
4 tbsp. light soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp. honey






Marinate chicken  in  minced garlic,salt and pepper , rice wine for 15-20 minutes.
Add the rest of the dry ingredients and the egg. Coat chicken well. 

 Heat oil in a deep pan/deep fryer. Deep fry for about 12 minutes.


Using a slotted spoon, fry the peanuts  around 1-2 minutes.  Take chicken and peanuts out of the hot oil , drain and set aside.

Turn the heat to high, fry the chicken again until golden brown or until  the the skin crisps. Took me 12-15 more minutes. If you are using smaller pieces of chicken, adjust cooking time.

In a separate pan/wok, heat all the sauce ingredients and cook until bubbly/ foamy.



Put twice fried, crispy chicken along with the peanuts and toss until each chicken piece is well coated in Honey-Butter-Garlic sauce. Serve with  Pickled daikon and enjoy with lots of beer, like Koreans do.




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