Thursday, 30 July 2015

Kinilaw : Ox Face & Tongue



Kilawin or kinilaw for some, Ilocanos would call it dinakdakan sans the animal's brain.  My husband calls it Kilawin so that's how we are calling this dish.

For some people, kilawin or kinilaw would refer to any dish that uses uncooked or raw fish, any seafoods, pork, beef, or other meat that is mixed with an acidic solution composing of vinegar, lime, calamansi, or lemon or combinations of any of these. This acidic solution is said to "cook" the fish or meat. Kinilaw is often seasoned with ginger, garlic, onions, salt, and blackpepper. The use of raw meat for kinilaw, however, is only advisable if you use the part of the animal that is freshly butchered. On the safer side, my husband and I opted to cook the meat for our kinilaw.  For fish kinilaw, we usually have them raw.  For squids and other seafoods, unless they are still alive, we usually blanch them before having them seasoned, to remove harmful bacteria.

One reason why we usually cook the meat for our kinilaw is that, most of the time, my husband prefers the face and skin of the four legged mammal for his kinilaw, so they are needed to be cooked to tenderized them.

We don't want to call it dinakdakan, though, for some ilocanos, the dish would be called as it is because the meat were cooked.  One reason is that we use vinegar as seasoning where as,in dinakdakan a minimal amount of sour solution is added, some would even leave it. 

Whatever you want to call this dish, there's one thing we can assure you, it is delicious as an appetizer, or as a viand that melds well with plateful(s)  of rice, or as a pulutan or beer/alcoholic drink companion.

KINILAW :  OX FACE & TONGUE
(www.myfresha-licious.com)


Ingredients: 

Maskara ng Ox (Ox face)
Dila ng Ox (Ox Tongue)
Onions, chopped
Ginger, chopped
Green chilies, chopped
Black Pepper Powder
Low Sodium Salt to taste
Apple Cider Vinegar
Chili flakes - as desired

Cooking Procedure:

1.  Wash the ox face and remove any hairs visible. Wash the ox tongue.
2.  Place in a pressure cooker, add water enough to fully submerge the meat, and a tablespoon of salt and coarsely ground black peppercorn.  Bring to a boil.  Continue cooking under pressure for at least 20 minutes from the moment the pressure cooker starts to whistle
3.  Remove meat and cool them down.  Turn on your burner and pass the ox face on the open fire, do not grill. This method was used to ensure that there are no hair left on the meat and to give the meat an extra charred taste.  Slice and dice it to bits after
4.  For the ox tongue, remove the outer skin of the tongue.  Slice and dice it to bits after
5. Mix the onions, ginger, black pepper powder, chilies, salt, and vinegar  together and pour on the diced meat.
6.  Refrigerate to chill for about an hour before serving (if desired) or serve immediately :-)


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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Leche Flan


My siblings are my best friends for life. We may oftentimes have disagreements and quarrel over them, but we will always be there for each other no matter what.

Since my siblings #2 & #3 have their own families and kids, they've been trying out kid-friendly recipes just to satisfy their little rascals' big appetites. Most of the time, I find it difficult to think as to what to cook for the next meal, and that is, I'm only cooking for myself and my husband.  How much more if I am cooking for kids who are picky-eaters and only know adobo and tinola?

My sibling #3 I guess have figured it out so she's been whipping up desserts and kiddy-meals.  Like this one - leche flan which has become an instant hit with her kids.  When I asked my nephews how they rate their mama's leche flan they both said "delicious" and "nice" with big smiles on their faces.  



leche flan or what's left of it :-(

My sibling # 3's leche flan, according to my sibling #4 is smooth, not so sweet, and delicious.  I think that's the reason why she  always forgets to take a good picture of the leche flan every time my sibling #3 cooks one.  

By the way, leche flan is a Filipino custard dessert similar to the creme' caramel. Below is my sibling #3's recipe:

 LECHE FLAN 
(www.myfresha-licious.com)

Ingredients 

Egg Yolks from 16 eggs
Condensed milk - 1 1/2 can
Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup
Water - 1 tbsp

Cooking Procedure:
1.  Separate the egg yolk and the egg whites
2.  In a bowl, beat the egg yolks and the condensed milk together until fully incorporated
3.  In a double boiler, pour water and bring to a boil
4.  In a small pot, combine the brown sugar and the 1 tbsp of water, stir continuously until the sugar dissolves and begins to simmer.  Transfer the caramel to the leche flan molders 
5. When the caramelized sugar are cooled down, pour the egg-milk mixture in it.  
6. Cover the container with foil then steam for 20 minutes.

© myFresha-licious (29July2015)

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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Easy Cinnamon Roll


I really need a hair cut. I've had long hair for almost half my life and I'm thinking may be a shorter hair-do will be a good change.  The problem is, I cannot find any parlor here in Qatar that does haircut for women. If I let my husband cut my hair again, I will end up tying them just to hide the shabbiness just like what he did last time :-(  

I think I'm stressed, may be even depressed. And I believe it is not because of my frustration of having a shorter hair but because I am still grieving over personal loses.  

Last Saturday, July 25, was the end of the 9 days novena for our babang luksa, the supposed end of our mourning for the passing of our father. Thank you to our Catholic friends and families for organizing and leading the 9 days novena even though my father was not a Catholic. We are very grateful and happy to feel your love and respect for him and our Mama.  

It's just been more than 10 months, yet I still feel the pain of Papa's sudden passing.  It's like a nightmare from which I cannot awake. I was just thinking of buying him his favorite Chivas regal and whisky as our pasalubong only to realize that he's gone.   I still cannot believe that I will no longer see him when we go back home for vacation.  

I am sad. I am depressed. I am grieving. And I am still trying with all my strength to get up, to paint a smile on my face, to show that I am strong,  even if deep inside me, I am hurting and at the brink of giving up.  Because in less than 10 months, not only did we lose Papa, my family, specially I, had been through a lot. I had been through A LOT. I cry almost everyday specially when I am alone.  I cry over anything no matter how trivial they may seem.  I usually get overwhelmed by a feeling of mixture of emotions and thoughts that come rushing over me all at once and I don't know which one to handle first, and so I cry. I cry because I often feel helpless and hopeless. And as draft this blog, I cannot help but cry again.  

Before you say anything to me like "things happen for a reason", think again. First, you need to step on my shoe, feel my pain, understand where I am coming from, and then say those words to yourself.  And please do not start questioning my faith in God nor accuse me of not praying enough.  I don't need to tell anyone that I pray to Him many times in a day, that I talk to him even as I take a bath, as I cook, before I sleep, or whenever I feel alone, do I?  I have no obligation explaining my actions to anyone, for only my God knows me and for only my God has the right to judge me. And only my God knows that I believe that He will never fail and forsake me.

I closed my world for a while, hoping that by doing so I will heal and forget.  I'm not sure if it helped.  I think it did somehow.   I'm grateful to my husband for giving me the extra push I needed to get back on my feet. You see, I have my own ways of coping up too.  Baking and cooking are just a few of those coping methods I used to divert my attention.  So as you can see, I've been active in our kitchen for a while now after months of hiatus .

Here's one of the result of my "coping up", a good bread to enjoy- my easy cinnamon roll. This is my go to recipe for cinnamon roll if I want an easy and less complicated way of satisfying my cinnamon bread cravings. The resulting bread is yummy but I highly recommend that you eat this right after baking as it will only stay soft for a while.




The dough can be used right away or can be stored in the refrigerator for about 2days


EASY CINNAMON ROLL
(www.myfresha-licious.com)

Ingredients:

Dough :
All Purpose Flour - 4 cups 
Instant dry yeast (le saf) - 2 tsp (1 packet of 11g)
White Sugar -1/3 c
Water or milk- 3/4 cup
Vegetable oil - 1/4 cup
Egg, slightly beaten - 1 pc
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Baking Powder - 1 tsp

Egg for egg-wash
Butter for pan-greasing

Filling:
Cinnamon powder - 2 tsp
Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup
Butter, softened
Raisins (optional)
Nuts (optional)

Cooking Procedure:

1.  Mix all the ingredients for the dough except for the 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
2.  Cover and place in a warm place.  Leave the dough for about 1 1/2 hours to rise.
3.  Combine all the ingredients for the filling except for the butter and raisins. Set aside.
4.  Mix the remaining 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, baking powder,and salt.  Add the flour-baking powder mix along with the slightly beaten egg  to the dough.  Combine well.  The dough will be sticky.
5. Melt butter in the microwave. Set aside.
6. With a rolling pin, roll out dough into a floured working area to make a rectangular sheet.  Brush  dough sheet with the melted butter. Spread the cinnamon-sugar mixture on the dough. Sprinkle some raisins an/or nuts on top. 
7. Roll the dough sheet to form a cylinder shape.  Cut into small pieces
8. Put the cut dough in a greased baking pan and proof for 30 minutes or until the dough doubled in size.
9.  Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
10.  After proofing, brush the the dough with the egg wash.
11.   Bake the bread at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Switch off the oven but leave the cinnamon rolls in the oven for 5 more minutes



MOCHA FROSTING

Ingredients:

Powdered Sugar - 1cup
Milk - 1/4 cup
Butter - 2 tbsp
Instant coffee- 1 tsp dissolved in 1 tbsp of hot water

Cooking Procedure:
Mix all of the ingredients. The consistency must be a bit thick and pourable.

Pour on top of the baked cinnamon roll immediately after removing the bread from the oven.

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Monday, 27 July 2015

Slow-cooked Tinolang Manok with Tanglad (lemon grass)



Filipinos are composed of many ethnic groups that are spread geographically among the 7,100 islands in the archipelago.  In this post I would not like to use the words "ethnic groups" or minorities as these words connotes discrimination which is not my intention.  Let me rephrase my introduction this way then.  Filipinos can be grouped or culturally classified geographically.  Depending on where a Filipino come from, born and raised, he/she  brings along with him/her, his/her own cultural identity that is often times different from other Filipinos, may it be in the way he/she speaks or dresses, his/her own points of views, his/her traditions, and even in his/her own food preferences and cooking styles.

What I am saying is that, we Filipinos have our differences which is a result of culture, ethnicity, geographical background, family background, economic status, individual education and experiences, to name a few factors. These differences affects what we believe in, what we do, what we eat, and how we do things.  For instance, though my siblings and I came from and were nurtured by the same parents, and grew up in the same household, still, each one of us do things differently, think differently, perceive things differently.  Our food preferences and ways of cooking do differ too.  We cook adobo or tinola or even rice differently. Why is that? Because each of us are individuals who are very different from one another. My brain, for one, is wired differently from my siblings' brains and so are theirs to mine.   I have my way of doing things and they have their own.  My way of cooking may not be acceptable to them, while I am open minded :D 

Speaking of cooking, personally, I am always curious and interested on how other people cook.  So when a friend of ours from Samar mentioned that tanglad (lemongrass) is usually used in their tinola,  I got excited and cooked tinolang manok incorporating lemongrass.

Tinola is considered a traditional Filipino ginger soup.  Though tinola traditionally is cooked using chicken as main ingredient with wedges of papaya or sayote as vegetables, different version calls for different main ingredients.  Some use duck, fish, clams, pork, and other meat. Other kinds of vegetables like upo (bottle gourd), dahon ng sili (chili leaves), etc are also used.  You can find our different versions of tinola by clicking Tinola. .

Anyway, here's another version of tinolang manok,  I added tanglad (lemongrass)   for a changeThanks to Julep Infante Cabagtong for the tip :-).  My tinola as usual is a healthier version compared to the regular tinolang manok as I removed the skin of the chicken. And as I often do to my chicken tinola, I slow-cooked it for 1 hour and 30 minutes not only to ensure that the chicken are cooked through but also to enhance the taste of the soup.  With the addition of the tanglad (lemongrass) this tinolang manok is full of flavor :-) This is a must try  

SLOW-COOKED TINOLANG MANOK w/ TANGLAD
(www.myfresha-licious.com)


Ingredients:

Chicken Thighs, skin removed -500g (around 5 pcs)
Sayote - 2 medium
Garlic, crushed and diced - 5 cloves
Ginger, crushed and diced - 1 thumbsize
Onions, diced - 1 medium
Tanglad (Lemongrass), crushed - 2 stalks
Black pepper, cracked - 1/2 tsp
Rice Water - 500ml
Patis (Fish Sauce) - 2tbsp
Salt to taste
Olive Oil - 2 tsp


Cooking Procedure:

1.  In a non-stick pot, pour oil and throw in the lemongrass, black pepper, garlic, onions, and ginger.  Stir until aromatic

2.  Throw in the chicken and stir-fry until they render their own fat  but do not allow the chicken to turn brown.  
3.  Pour the rice water on it, cover the pot, and bring to a boil under high fire. 
4. Reduce the fire to medium-low and  season with the patis and salt.  Let the chicken soup simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours.  Stir occasionally.  Add water as needed
5.  Add the sayote and let the mixture simmer until the veggies are cooked.  Adjust taste as needed


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Saturday, 25 July 2015

Hot and Spicy Daing na Bangus (Marinated Milkfish)


It's almost 4am in my part of the world (Doha, Qatar) and my little rascal Ate Lazie Baby (our Persian Cat) is trying to catch my attention with her antics.  She wants us to go outdoors again and have some walk-time. I also just made an early breakfast and baon consisting of freshly squeezed lemon juice for the husband whose bound to work by 5am.  



It will be another long day ahead of me again.  Household chores are waiting to be done.  I need to catch up on some ZzzZzzZs too as I was only able to fell asleep at about 1am a while back. Now, Ate Lazie is demanding that I turn on the TV.  I am always awed by this feline's addiction to TV shows.  She likes watching birds and small animal as do most cats (national geographic and youtube is always on) .  She also likes watching action packed shows with cars and motorcycles and people running and moving about.  

Anyway, here is my husband's recipe for the marinated milkfish. Unlike others who slice the fish and open it butterfly-style, my husband just sliced them as you see in the picture

HOT & SPICY DAING NA BANGUS
(www.myfresha-licious.com)

Ingredients: 

Bangus (milk fish) - 2 whole fish (gutted and scales-removed)
Garlic, smashed and chopped - 10 cloves
Iodized salt
Patis (Fish sauce)
Black peppercorns,coursely ground
Chili flakes
Balsamic Vinegar

Cooking Procedure:

1.  Make sure that the fish is clean, gutted, and the scales were removed.  Cut the fish open and slice it into 2 inches thick.  Wash in running water, drain, and pat dry
2.  Rub each sliced fish with garlic, salt and black peppercorns.  Pour the fish sauce and chili flakes on the fish slices and let sit for about an hour.
3. Pour the balsamic vinegar on the fish slices then transfer in a plastic bag. Marinade for at least 24 hours. Keep in the freezer.

Cooking:
4.  Before cooking, make sure that you drain and pat-dry the fish slices
5.   You can either fry or bake them, whichever way you like it :-)

Serve this with Vinegar, garlic, salt, and onion mixture and Sinangag (Fried garlic rice)

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Friday, 24 July 2015

Banana Cinnamon Muffin with Chocolate Buttercream



Belated happy Eid day to all our Muslim brothers and sisters.  Eid Mubarak! 

July 17 marked the end of Ramadan in the Muslim world for this year 2015.  Ramadan was a month long celebration that started on June 17.  During the said one month, restaurants are closed during day time and only open after sunset.  At the moment, all offices, establishments, and restaurants are back to their regular shop/working hours.

I cooked this banana-cinnamon muffin during the Ramadan season when I realized that we have many over-ripe bananas on the fruit basket and I didn't want  to put them to waste.   So instead of throwing the over-ripe bananas in the garbage, I decided to make banana muffins. No wastage there :-) 

And since I usually don't eat what I bake, my husband brought most of my banana muffins to work, unfrosted though.

By the way, I used a lot of cinnamon powder here because the brand I am using is not of good quality.  If you have a good quality cinnamon powder, use only at most 1 tsp instead of the amount stated in my recipe. 

Muffins are usually not frosted but I want it frosted so I did.  You can find the recipe for the frosting after this post.  I know, I should have just piped the frosting, but I find it relaxing if I just sloppily smudge them on the muffin :-)

BANANA CINNAMON MUFFIN 
frosted with CHOCOLATE BUTTER CREAM
(www.myfresha-licious.com)


Makes 10 large muffins
Cooking time 20 min + 5 min on oven-off

Ingredients:

All-purpose flour-  2 cups 
muscovado sugar -1/3 cup + 1 tbsp (1/2 c)
Baking Powder - 2 to 2 1/2 tsp (depending on the brand)

Milk Powder (Anchor - full cream) - 2 tbsp 
Salt -1/2 teaspoon
Cinnamon powder - 
tsp or 1 tsp good cinnamon powder
banana (over-riped), mashed - 1 1⁄2 cups 
Water -1/2 cup 
Corn oil - 1⁄2 cup
Egg, slightly beaten - 1 medium-size

Baking Procedure:
 
1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
2. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. Add in remaining ingredients mix until fully incorporated. Do not over mix.  Let sit for at least 20min.
4. Grease your muffin tin or line them with a cupcake/muffin liners
5.  Spoon batter into muffin tins. The muffin tins should be 3/4 full to achieve the mushrooming effect
6.  Bake for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let muffins stay inside the oven for about 5 minutes more.

7. Remove from tins and serve warm or if you want to frost your muffins, cool it down first before frosting


Below is the chocolate buttercream frosting I used.  This is a yummy frosting recipe you can easily make. Use this to frost your cakes, cupcakes, muffins etc. It is also pipeable so it's great for cake decorations.

For this particular recipe I used the Wilton buttercream and just added dark callebaut chocolate.


CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
(www.myfresha-licious.com)

Ingredients:

Wilton Buttercream - 1/4 of the recipe  (see Wilton Buttercream Frosting)
Couverture chocolate (56% cocoa solids) - 50g

Procedure:

1.  Follow the procedure for the Wilton buttercream
2.  Melt the chocolate in a microwave or a double boiler.  Stir and cool for a few minutes
3.  Pour on the buttercream and mix well using a spatula

© myFresha-licious (24July2015)
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Thursday, 23 July 2015

Wilton Chocolate Buttercream Icing

I have posted earlier the recipe for the Wilton Buttercream icing.  Click Wilton Buttercream Icing to see the recipe. Here's the chocolate version of the said icing.


WILTON CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM ICING
(stiff consistency)
(www.myfresha-licious.com)

Makes about 2 1/4 cups of icing (600g)

Ingredients:

Solid vegetable shortening  (Crisco, transfat free) - 1 c / 190 g
Confectioners' Sugar - 4 c / 450 g
Cocoa Powder - 3/4c / 90g  OR unsweetened Chocolate - 1 oz
Wilton Meringue Powder - 1 tbsp / 15g
Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp
Milk or Water - 11 to 14 tsp
Pinch of salt dissolved in the recipe liquid (optional)

Procedure:

1. In large bowl, beat shortening  with electric mixer until light and fluffy. 
2. Beat in vanilla and milk/water.  Beat on medium speed
3. Mix the sugar and cocoa powder then gradually add in to the mixture continue beating under medium consistency  until the icing is creamy

if you opt to use unsweetened chocolate, melt the chocolate before adding it to the sugar-shortening mixture.

TO MAKE A MEDIUM CONSISTENCY ICING: add 1 tsp (5ml) liquid for each cup of stiff icing. Mix until well blended.

TO MAKE A THIN CONSISTENCY ICING: add 2 tsp (10ml) liquid for each cup of stiff icing. Mix until well blended.

© myFresha-licious (23July2015)

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Wilton Buttercream Icing

I attended a 4 day basic cake decoration class at Caramel in June.  My husband forced me too, but I admit, I enjoyed it a lot.   Cheska was our instructor. She is a self-taught Filipino cake decorator and owner of  KrazyKakes by Cheska ( https://www.facebook.com/KrazyKakesbyCheska?fref=ts ), a home-based -cake shop here in Qatar.

The method of instruction was Wilton base, so everything, from the recipe of the buttercream, to the icing of the cake, and piping decoration method are based on Wilton's standard method.  We were shown only once on how to make the buttercream. The rest of the class days, we brought our own buttercream which is still based on the Wilton recipe, cakes, and cupcakes. We did the piping decorations in class.  The 3-hour a day class is actually enough, I wish it was made longer so we can be taught more techniques

Here are some of the things I did during the class:




This cake was done on our last day.  The cake I baked was a Betty Crocker strawberry cake, 6 inches in diameter and 5 inches tall.  I had to add 50 grams of flour to the pre-mix since I was expecting the cake to turn out too sweet to our liking.  Good thing I did, the taste of the cake was acceptable after.




My initial concept for this was a basket of flowers, but the time was not enough to do the basket weave so I ended up with this chaotic design.




Though I used a stiff consistency for the roses, my buttercream were melting maybe because I have a "hot-hand".  

Below are the cupcakes we decorated on our third day.




By the way, according to the Wilton method, there are 3 types of buttercream consistency depending on the usage:

STIFF CONSISTENCY ICING:  it is used for three-dimensional decorations, such as flowers with upright petals like the rose.  Use this test to check the consistency:

- Place one cup of icing in a container/cup.  Insert a spatula in the center of the icing, all the way into the container. Lightly shake the container.  If the spatula will not move,  the icing is stiff

MEDIUM CONSISTENCY ICING:  it is used for two-dimensional decorations, such as stars, shells, boarders,rosettes, zigzags,and flowers with flat petals.  To check the consistency of the icing,follow the directions for stiff icing,  if the spatula moves slightly and starts to lean, the icing has a medium consistency.

THIN CONSISTENCY ICING:  it is used for icing cakes and for decorations, such as printing, writing, and leaves.  To check the consistency of the icing,follow the directions for stiff icing,  if the spatula falls over, the icing has a thin consistency.

Click this link for the Wilton Chocolate Buttercream Icing.


WILTON BUTTERCREAM ICING
(stiff consistency)
(www.myfresha-licious.com)

Makes about 2 1/4 cups of icing (600g)

Ingredients:

Solid vegetable shortening  (Crisco, transfat free) - 1 c / 190 g
Confectioners' Sugar - 4 c / 450 g
Wilton Meringue Powder - 1 tbsp / 15g
Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp
Milk or Water - 7 to 8 tsp
Pinch of salt dissolved in the recipe liquid (optional)

Procedure:

1. In large bowl, beat shortening  with electric mixer until light and fluffy. 
2. Beat in vanilla and milk/water.  Beat on medium speed
3. Gradually add in the sugar and continue beating under medium consistency  until the icing is creamy

TO MAKE A MEDIUM CONSISTENCY ICING: add 1 tsp (5ml) liquid for each cup of stiff icing. Mix until well blended.

TO MAKE A THIN CONSISTENCY ICING: add 2 tsp (10ml) liquid for each cup of stiff icing. Mix until well blended.

© myFresha-licious (23July2015)

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Wednesday, 22 July 2015

HOW TO PREVENT YOUR COOKED RICE FROM GETTING SPOILED EASILY




My husband and I are full blooded Filipinos and like many Filipinos and Asians, rice is a staple food.  Since there are only two of us in our household, that is as of today :-) I always find it difficult to cook anything just for 2 adults.  Our refrigerator are always packed with leftovers so I make it a point that I only cook thrice a week for viands same is true with our rice.

In Filipino, we call leftover rice bahaw, kilabban in the Ilocano dialect.  I used to put our bahaw/kilabban inside the fridge. There are times, however, that our fridge is already full to accommodate it or just that I forget them outside, and in this Qatar weather (48-50 degrees Celsius) anything left on the dining table or kitchen get spoiled easily.  So, I had to find ways in order to prevent our cooked rice from spoilage.

Here are some Tips to prevent / avoid  spoilage:
  1. Try to cook the right amount  of rice just enough for a meal.
  2. When the rice is cooked make sure to open the lid to remove excess moisture.
  3. Put any leftover rice inside the fridge (not the freezer) and just microwave them or reheat them the next meal
THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY IS THIS:  when your cooked rice get spoiled inside your rice pot/ kaldero , do these before cooking your next rice:

1. wash your pot well make sure to remove all the grimes that got stuck in it and rinse well
2.  fill your pot with water and add around 2 tbsp of vinegar (any vinegar available)
3.  Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Remove the solution and let dry before using it again
4.  THE NEXT TIME YOU COOK RICE, ADD A TEASPOON OF VINEGAR

For those curious about the taste and smell of the cooked rice after adding vinegar, well, the taste will be neutral, not sour.  The smell will still be not sour nor vinegary :-)  The vinegar will also not change the texture of the rice :-)

© myFresha-licious (22July2015)

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Porchetta ala Cebu Lechon



Whenever I tell a friend that I am trying to lose weight, my friend's reaction is always "kain ka naman kasi ng kain, paano ka papayat" (you eat a lot, how can you lose weight).  When I ask her why she assumes I eat a lot, she casually tells me "post ka ng post sa fb ng masasarap na luto mo eh".  (you often post delicious food you cook on your FB).

First of all, I'm flattered that my friends notice the dishes I post on my facebook page, and yes, those dishes do not only look delicious, they are truly delectable according to my husband hehehe.  Thank you, I'm grateful, even if the assumption is incorrect.

I may cook a lot and bake sometimes, but I don't eat much.  You don't believe me? Ask my husband :-).  Most of the time, I don't eat  what I bake (I'm not fond of sweets) and I don't eat what I cook, specially when pork, beef, or other red meat are involved.  Just like this porchetta, I cooked for my husband a while back, I only chewed the meat to taste its flavor, then spit it out just the same. I cannot, for the love of me, swallow it.  

My husband had been craving for porchetta ever since he saw a friend's belly-chon post on FB so I decided to cook one for him just to satisfy his pork-lechon cravings and of course for me to be able to try my new recipe.  I've been experimenting and trying to come up with a lechon recipe similar to that of the famous Cebu lechon for some time now.  I wanted to achieve a porchetta with a crispy and crunchy skin and with a juicy and tasty meat, that taste like that of the Cebu lechon.  This recipe almost came close (I tasted the meat - chewed and spit it out after), the meat was really moist and juicy, the flavor of the lemongrass, leeks, and the garlic are pronounced, and the skin was crunchy but not crunchy enough to my husband's liking.  My husband liked my porchetta so I'm keeping this recipe and will cook it again next time. Though, I need to adjust on some of the ingredient as per my husband's suggestions.  A longer cooking time is needed perhaps to achieve a crispier skin.  As to the flavor, I need a Cebuano to be the judge of it next time :-)




Anyway, while the husband devours the porchetta with gusto, I settled with a canned Spanish style sardines (Ligo brand).  I'd rather be contented with the sardines than eat pork and suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) for a week, thereafter. Yes folks, I don't eat much because of my IBS.  My food choices are often limited and my intake amount  of any food should always be minimal or I suffer the wrath of my gut.  I am not even suppose to eat the oily sardines, but I had no choice (or maybe I had).  Well, as long as I didn't pour the oil on my rice, I'm quite safe. Safer than eating even a tiny bit of the porchetta no matter how temptingly delicious they seem to look like :-)





     
      PORCHETTA ala Cebu Lechon
                     (www.myfresha-licious.com)



Ingredients:

Pork Slab - 1.5-2kg
Twine

Brining Solution:

lemon grass (dried & chopped) - 1c
Garlic, crushed - 15 cloves
Garlic Powder - 1 tsp
Onions, chopped - 1 medium
Onion Powder - 1 tsp
Black Peppercorns (coarsely ground) - 1tbsp
Bay leaves - pcs
Sea Salt - 1/2c
Brown Sugar -1/4c
Soy Sauce (Datu Puti) - 1/2 c
Water 2cups
Cold water enough to cover the meat


Stuffing: 
lemon grass (dried & chopped)  - 1/2 c
Garlic, crushed - 10 cloves
Onions, chopped - 1 medium
Leeks - 2 stalks
Bay leaves

Rub:
Black Peppercorns (coarsely ground)

for Brushing:
Soy sauce and lime/calamansi/lemon


Cooking Procedure:

1. Place all the ingredients for brining in a pot except for the cold water, stir and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved
2.  Add cold water (enough to cover the pork ) and allow to cool before putting the pork in.
3.  Poke holes on the pork slab then brine pork for at least 12 hours.
4.  After 12 hours or more, drain pork and pat dry. Air dry pork  for at least an hour. Make sure to fully drain the pork
5.  Prick the pork skin.  
6. Lay pork slab with skin down, brush the top part of the pork with the soy-lime mixture then sprinkle the black peppercorns on top .  
7. Arrange all the ingredients for the stuffing on top then roll the pork slab. With the twine, tie the rolled pork slab.
8.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Place pork slab on top of a grilling tray.  Pour water under it then cover the pork with aluminum foil.
9.  Bake for  2 hours at 180 degrees Celsius. Make sure that there is water under the pan. 10. After 2 hours, remove foil.  Brush the skin of the pork with the soy-lime mixture then continue cooking for another 30 minutes, brush again with the soy-lime mixture, and continue cooking and brushing until the skin is crispy.  If the skin is not yet crispy, increase oven temp to 220 deg Cel.

Serve and enjoy :-)

© myFresha-licious (21July2015)
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