Monthly Archives: May 2011

My Mama, Her Food and Me

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Tinumis. A native dish from Nueva Ecija, where my late Lolo hailed from. Definitely a must try.

Once, I was asked, “What’s your earliest memory of yourself?”.

The immediate image that got to me was my Mom cooking something one rainy morning.  What she cooked, quite understandably, escapes me now.

This leads me to believe that, just maybe, my love for cooking started right about that time. Yeah, even before I got a grip on my cooking ladle, I knew I already liked cooking!

Sopas for the soul!

What is vivid in my mind now were those episodes in my childhood when I would give a third hand to my mom in the kitchen in between commercial breaks of Sesame Street. I might have resented it in the beginning, but the long ‘haul’ turned into passion, overtime.  Needless to say, I started growing into the idea of learning, loving and experiencing serious cooking.

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Calandracas. Soup with beef, chorizos and macaroni. Two thumbs up!

Serious cooking it was for Mom.

Our kitchen was always  abuzz with all the activities she did. Back then, my Mom spent a great deal of time in the kitchen. And despite her tedious load in the office, she never failed to nourish her family with only the BEST meals.

And BEST would mean exceptionally great tasting and  well plated dishes. Yes, kinda like those that you’d be proud to serve to the Royal Family when they visit you at home.

My Dad would hover around the stove hoping to get his share of “tikim” of the food my Mom was cooking. Oh, how we always hankered for her great and well thought out meals. It perfectly went well with all the ‘growing up conversations’ my family and I shared during meal time.

Sinigang sa miso. Fish, sinigang broth and mustasa leaves-- this triumvirate just spells yumminess to the core.

Today, she is still the main moving force in the kitchen. She continues to dish out excellent meals that are loaded with love and passion.

Nueva Ecijano Afritada-- Pork made into adobo 1st before they were made into afritada. Total winner!

Buttered spareribs stew. Mom will never eat meat that's tough. This stew is something else!

Happy Mother’s Day, Ma! Please do know that everything I know in the kitchen is just a by-product of what you have taught me in the many years that you have trained me.

You are the BEST Mom!

Love you!

Garlic tapa. You can't have enough of garlic!

Recipes of Mom:

Tinumis

Calandracas

Chicken Adobo Flakes

Buttered Spareribs Stew

Garlic Tapa

Afritada Nueva Ecija Style

 

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Fish Fingers

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The thing I like about fish fingers is that it is very easy to make. No hard to find ingredients, salmonella free, rich in flavor and a universal favorite. Best served with garlic mayo (see recipe below) or plain ketchup, it is definitely a certified crowd pleaser.

This is actually my daughter Sam’s flagship food. Like most kids, she thrives in dishes that are big in crunchy texture and juicy-moist- soft filling. This dish has to make its way to your kitchen menu soon!

Fish Fingers

1/2 kilo whole dory fillets

3 cups Japanese breadcrumbs

1 pc lemon, wedged

3/4 cup parmesan cheese

3 tbsps dried basil

3/4 cup flour

1 beaten egg

Dried thyme for garnishing

salt and pepper to taste

In a mixing bowl, combine bread crumbs, basil leaves and parmesan cheese. Set aside.

Meantime, cut fish fillet in finger sizes. Season with salt and pepper.

Dredge  in flour lightly then dip in egg mixture.  Coat with the crumbs. The secret to a perfect coating is pressing it lightly as you coat and letting it stand for three minutes before frying it.

Deep fry until golden brown. Lay on a bed of napkins to blot excess oil.

Serve with garlic mayo dip (half cup mayo, 3 tbsps lemon juice, 3 minced garlic cloves, salt n pepper to taste—then mix everything together).

To have a thicker and crunchier coating, you might want to double coat by dipping in egg twice then breading the  chicken twice alternately before frying.