Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Hors d' Oeuvres for everyone

Well friends, this might be my last post for this year depending on what kind of internet connection I will be getting in the Philippines.

I hope the prosciutto, smoked salmon and sushi(not to mention the wasabi) will all keep you inspired to keep cooking this season.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. It's been a great year coming to know you all guys

Have a great one everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Lasang Pinoy 4: Sotanghon--my all time soul food

I have been under a lot of stress lately, a family crisis (not in my family but in my clan); preparing for our trip to the Philippines; hubby undergoing minor surgery; and finishing up a big project at work. The family's food for the past 3 weeks were nothing but food bought from KFC, McDonald's, Wendy's and A & W. There were days I just had to give my son money to buy lunch from school. Yes, it was that bad. Didn't you notice it in my blog? Some did anyway.

This post is but an evidence of what I've gone through. Very timely indeed. I got through one crisis last Thursday and I told my hubby I needed a warm, home-cooked meal (aside from the warm hug I've been looking forward to). I wasn't keen on having rice. I wasn't keen on having soup either. I wanted to cook something that reminded me of home. Afterall, I was closely in contact with my aunts in the Philippines almost every hour that time. I tell you, the time difference was really killing me. Every hour counted.

Out of nowhere, I went to the Filipino store. Browsing, I could have bought stuff easy to cook..hmm like daing na bangus, canned corned beef..haha. But then, I missed my aunt and everytime I remembered her, she reminded me of her sotanghon. When I was young, sotanghon was always part of her "handa". When we had a reunion in New Jersey, she again cooked her sotanghon. When I was talking to her over the phone, she reminded me that when I go home, Christmas Day celebration was going to be at her house because it's been a tradition. At that point, the picture of her sotanghon recipe just flashed in my mind and I guess this is what drove me to go to the Filipino store.

Hibe and Tenga ng Daga was what made her sotanghon different from sotanghon recipes I've tasted. I had to go to another Filipino store to find hibe. Hubby asked me nonchalantly "I thought you don't want to cook?". Well, to cut the chase, I cut the vegetables on my own which I normally ask my kids to do for me on ordinary days. I cooked the sotanghon without any complaint. I ate at my own pace, my own time. Everyone was sensitive to one another's feelings. In my heart and mind, I knew my family was relieved..they had warm home-cooked meal and home felt home again.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Bulong Unas

My mother called this "bulong unas" (sugar cane leaf) because the fish resembles that of a sugar cane leaf. In Sto Tomas, La Union, they dry this fish like they normally would with all other fishes suited for drying. Once dried, you normally deep fry this to make it crunchy. It's so good especially if dipped in vinegar.

I like mine fresh though and I cook it the way I cook adobo. I add a little oil to prevent it fron sticking to the bottom of the pan. Soy Sauce, Vinegar, Black Pepper, Onions, a little bit of sugar (no water, please!) . Let it simmer on slow heat for about 15 minutes until it gets dry. Keep in the fridge overnight and eat it for lunch the next day. Now that's what I call a perfect meal.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


One familiar recipe from almost any part of the Philippines. However, I believe that you have to have the right mixture of everything to get the right taste. I never tried to cook this until my family went to visit my brother in New Jersey. He's married to a Kapampangan but from what I gathered, my sister-in-law is not really good in cooking. He was counting on me to cook this with all the ingredients ready. He was quite surprised to find out I didn't know how to cook it so he had to cook it himself.

From our visit, my husband urged me to learn how to cook it. What was even well "insulting" was he wanted me to cook it the way his mom cooked it. I tried and I succeded!


1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 lb of pork, thinly sliced
200 gms of kidney, thinly sliced
200 gms of liver, thinly sliced
200 gms of lungs
1 large potato, julienned
1/2 red pepper, julienned
1 small carrots, julienned
1/4 cup green peas
1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
5 tbsp of vinegar
soy sauce and salt to taste

Saute onion in a saucepan until onion becomes translucent. Add pork and simmer for about 10 minutes on medium heat. Add potato. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add carrots, pepper and raisins or cranberries adding only a small amount of water if necessary. Add kidney, liver and lungs vinegar and cover pan. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add green peas and cook for another 5 minutes.