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Living In: Mandaluyong City, National Capital Region, Philippines
Member Since: Dec. 2008
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Italian, Mediterranean, Quick & Easy, Gourmet
Hobbies: Sewing, Walking, Reading Books, Music
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About this Cook
Having been raised by a family of restaurateurs in the Philippines, I have been exposed to cooking for people for the most part of my life. Though cooking was not my part in the business (I was in management), I lorded over my personal kitchen cooking my family's daily meals on top of my career. My brood of five kids have since left the nest while I have retired and left to cooking only for our extended family's holiday meals.
My favorite things to cook
My favorite things to cook are those that take time to prepare. Perhaps it is because I have so much time on my hands now but I remember that even with my hectic schedule then I did not shy away from recipes that required much preparation. I found it therapeutic. It was my downtime. Chopping and preparing the ingredients, no matter how long they took, was a joy to me.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I still live in the Philippines, in Metro Manila, so our food has a rich Spanish tradition. We were a colony of Spain for over 300 years before the Americans came and stayed on for another 50 years. So the food influence is basically western though the Asian influence (from before the Spaniards)is found in a lot of our dishes too. Our holiday tables are filled to the brim with mostly Spanish influenced dishes, the best of which I will share here.
My cooking triumphs
When my family and guests gush over the food I lay out on the table, be it a simple dish or one that took me long hours to prepare.
My cooking tragedies
The only one that sticks in my mind (there were others, I'm sure) was when I was preparing a roux for a party we were having in an hour. I was not as experienced yet with the technique. I must have put in more flour than required for the amount of butter I used. I'm not sure now what I did wrong. It wasn't the first time I tried it. I had no problems before. All I can remember was the thick sweat pouring out of me in my panic. The guests were soon to arrive and I haven't even been able to take a bath. I was reeking of the heavy smell of food from having been in the kitchen all day. The roux simply was not cooperating. It was so lumpy! I used a strainer to try to smoothen it out. When that proved too laborious, I threw the whole batch out and started over. Fortunately I was able to do it right this time. I could here the doorbell ringing when I dashed out of the kitchen to my bathroom. That was such a close call that I now make sure I start my party cooking well ahead of time.
Recipe Reviews 2 reviews
Garlic Rice
This is a breakfast staple in the Philippines. It is usually eaten as you would have bread accompany your meals. It is normally served to accompany Filipino sausages (with as many varieties as there are regions in the country), thin slices of fried beef (called tapa) or sweet pork (tocino), or fried fish...even corned beef, luncheon meat, or chicken/pork adobo, for breakfast. Most times, slices of tomatoes and cucumber or pickled vegetables are served on the side while the fried meat or fish is dipped in vinegar and minced raw garlic, with salt and black pepper. The garlic rice, therefore, need no meats in them. It is not the basic "sinangag" (as it is called locally) Basic is the garlic. The best to use is day-old cooked rice. When the rice becomes hard in the fridge, just wet your hands and mash the rice to crumble when ready to cook. The finished product is not supposed to be wet but toasted. That is why it has to be "dried" for at least a day in the fridge. That is why it is really called Garlic Fried Rice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and/or enhance further with meat powder while cooking. Turn heat off only when you are satisfied with the consistency achieved. Basically though, except for the pork added, this is the way this dish is done by Filipinos.

54 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jan. 7, 2009
Filipino Pork Adobo
I was born, raised and still living in the Philippines. I know there are several regional versions of adobo here but I never heard of any with catsup in it. Some of your reviewers were right. It's also too salty. You may do away with the salt. The ratio of vinegar to soy should be 1/2 cup vinegar to 1/4 cup Filipino soy (the Silver Swan brand being the best, if you can get it Stateside). Also, I find the bay leaves too overpowering,1 or 2 would do. Whole peppercorns are usually used and adding pork liver (cut into 1 inch x 2 inch pices) provides a richer and thicker sauce. I usually add more garlic than suggested. Traditionally, adobo does not have vegetables added to the meat. Vegetables are side dishes to compliment it.

250 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jan. 2, 2009

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