Sep 30, 2007

Quail Egg Surprise

Once back in highschool we were grouped into teams and were asked to come up with extraordinary recipes in Home Economics class. The other teams came up with pretty interesting dishes; the most remarkable, Banana Cake made from banana peels. That tasted okay, up until I imagined where the banana peels could have come from, and gagged.*

Anyways, our group's recipe wasn't extraordinary (supplied at the last minute by the mom of one of my mates who rescued us from impending non-submission). 'Twas called Meatball Surprise, just a meatball with a quail egg inside.

I made this to reconcile two different requests - Kwek-kwek for Gambel and Meatballs for Jam.
(I've made kwek-kwek/tokneneng before, here.) I was on the phone with Claire while rounding the balls and wasn't paying attention to how centered/uncentered the eggs were. Sowee. :)


What's In It?

12 quail eggs, hardboiled and peeled
1/2 kilo ground pork
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated (or diced, if you like)
1 small red bell pepper, diced finely
1 medium onion, peeled and diced finely
1/2 teaspoon iodized salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup flour or bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup flour (for coating the eggs)
1 1/2 cups cooking oil (for frying)

Kitchen Conjugations:

Heat cooking oil in a deep fryer or wok over low fire. While waiting, work on the meatball mixture.

In a bowl combine ground pork, carrots, bell peppers and onions. Season with salt and black pepper. Mix thoroughly, then add in flour or bread crumbs. Mix a few more strokes, then pour in beaten egg. Mix to ensure the egg wets and combines with the mixture. (I use my hands to mix, for a better feel.)

Roll quail eggs in flour to coat. Then take a tablespoon of the mixture and line each flour-coated egg with it, shaping into balls as you go. Carefully drop the meatballs into the waiting oil. Deep fry for 3 minutes or until brown and golden.

Serve with sweet and sour sauce or sweet chili sauce.


By the way, you can do this using chicken eggs, and end up making what is called Scotch Eggs.

*Of course I trust my classmates have been very careful, but I do have a very active imagination. :P

Sep 29, 2007

St. Dalfour Wild Blueberry Spread

My mother is just sooo thoughtful. And sooo organized.

Miles away in the Gold Coast, she remembers to send her three bears here (us) a box of stuff she thought we'd want/enjoy. She sent three of everything, those in jars carefully, individually wrapped in newspaper and arranged and packed neatly in the box. I had wanted to take a picture so that I can show you how neat it was but excitement took over and I had to redistribute the stash...

My favorite of them all is the St. Dalfour spread which came all the way from France. The wild blueberries were fresh and whole, the syrup in just the right level of sweetness. C'est ciel dans une fiole! Heaven in a jar!

But heaven was gone too soon! 284 grams of goodness lasted only a few breakfasts, topping toasted and buttered wheat bread or pancakes, or sometimes licked right out of the teaspoon. I can't get enough of the goodness, and it seems like the rest of the household felt the same way. The spread barely lasted two days from the day it was opened..

And here's probably why:

St. Dalfour ‘Rhapsodie de Fruits’ are made in the heart of the French countryside to an old recipe from the Loire Valley. They are pure fruit. No sugar is added. Only the natural sweetness of concentrated grape juice is used. This natural sweetness produces a taste which is much fresher and more delicious than the heavy taste of sugar. -St. Dalfour website
Speaking of heaven, writing this post made me curious about St. Dalfour. Who was he and how did he live? Why was this piece of culinary heaven named after him? Was he a cook so good, his concoctions merited him a place in heaven? If that's the case then there's hope for me! Hahaha! Not to toot my horn and say I am a good cook, but to say I can work on making great dishes ala St. Dalfour and maybe have a place in heaven. :)

Sep 25, 2007

Sweet-Spicy Inihaw na Pusit

What I love about South Supermarket is its wide assortment of fresh food that makes it easy to cook up a party. To me it's a one stop shop-- from ox tongue to New Zealand Mussels, to sago (tapioca), squid rings, even pre-skewered chicken for yakitori, I find my party stuff there.

One of our treasured finds are the frozen squid heads that come for P150.00 per 1-kilo pack. They're great battered and deep fried or skewered and grilled like I did here.

I wrapped and tied up the squid tentacles with tanglad (lemon grass). Apart from imparting a unique flavor and tantalizing aroma, the tanglad kept the tentacles from falling into the grill slats.
Be sure to tie them tightly as the squid will shrink as it cooks.

And a cheat: you don't have to make marinade from scratch. Here I used bottled marinades. :)


What's in it?

1 pack (1 kilo) squid (heads only or whole squid, cleaned)
1 bottle Mother's Best barbecue marinade
1/4 cup chili/tabasco sauce
10-12 stalks tanglad (optional)

Kitchen Conjugations:

Combine barbecue marinade and chili sauce in a deep bowl. Stir to mix well. Add in squid and marinate for 20 minutes to half an hour.

Skewer in pre-soaked barbecue sticks and tie with tanglad, if using. Make sure grill is hot and ready before putting squids. Grill over flaming hot charcoal for 3 minutes each side.

Sep 13, 2007

Sinuglaw na Bariles

Among Cebuanos, tuna is referred to as bariles, the vernacular for water drum. Bariles because the body of one adult tuna is so huge, the diameter could be as round and large as a water drum. Could be as heavy, too. The average bariles weighs about 50 kilos!

And now, a short narration from my husband, who was born and bred in North Cotabato:

"Ang GenSan (Gen. Santos City, South Cotabato), highway ng tuna. Doon dumadaan ang tuna papuntang Pacific Ocean. Sa dami ng tuna na dumadaan, puedeng magtago ka na lang sa bato, pagdaan ng tuna, sapakin mo sa panga!"

Hahahahaha! Maybe that's where Manny Pacquiao trained early on. :)

Anyway, the tuna used in this recipe is from GenSan, one of his pasalubongs from his latest homecoming. Usually sinuglaw uses tilapia, but since we had frozen tuna belly we used that instead.


What's In It?

  • 500g tuna belly, sliced diagonally into 4-5 large chunks
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 knob ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 3 to 5 pieces siling labuyo
  • 2 bunches pechay, washed and bottoms removed
  • 1 cup tap water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tsp black pepper corns, ground coarsely
  • 1 cup coconut cream (kakang-gata)

Kitchen Conjugations:

Line a deep pan or sauce pot with the onions, garlic, ginger slices and sili. Top with the tuna belly chunks. Pour in water, fish sauce and vinegar. Sprinkle with black pepper corns. Cook over moderate heat. DO NOT STIR until the mixture boils.

Add in coconut cream and stir a little to allow the ingredients to meld. Turn down heat and let the mixture simmer for 3 minutes or until the sauce gets reduced a little. Top the mixture with the pechay leaves, cover and let simmer for one minute, or until the leaves sweat. Remember to keep the leaves crisp and green.

Serve hot with steamed rice, and some fried tuna belly if desired:

Sep 5, 2007

Spicy New Zealand Mussels

With the rains coming after a long dry spell we may be having a Red Tide soon. The red tide, as you probably know, is the "reddening" of sea water due to the emergence of planktons that feed on wastes washed away to the sea by rain. The red tide poisons marine life, and people have actually died from eating fish and seafood tainted by the red tide.

Mussels, being sedentary creatures are perennial victims of the red tide. When the rains come, even without a red tide alert, we usually avoid buying mussels at the market, to be on the safe side.

Fortunately, supermarkets now carry imported and local mussels, some of them totally removed from the shell, some of them in the half shell, ready for baking. We were so happy to find New Zealand mussels in the frozen seafood section of the South Supermarket in Alabang. A box of about 500g. cost P310.00 on the average, and considering they were amazingly large (2 1/2" long), fleshy and fresh (not to mention being from the much cleaner waters of NZ), I'd say it was a good buy.

The mussels came in the half-shell and parboiled, making them ideal for baking but we were hankering for something spicy and so came Spicy Mussels.


What's In It?

500g. NZ mussels, thawed
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
5-6 tablespoons Lee Kum Kee chili garlic sauce*
5-6 tablespoons reduced-sodium oyster sauce*
2 stalks leeks, cut into 1/2" strips
5-6 stalks green onions, cut into 1/2" strips
3 tablespoons cooking oil

Kitchen Conjugations:

Heat cooking oil in a wok. Add in chili garlic sauce, stir fry for 30 seconds then add in onions. Saute for another 30 minutes.

Add in mussels and oyster sauce, stir and toss to coat for one minute. (If you're using raw mussels, this part should take 2 to 2 1/2 minutes or until the shells open.) Stir in leeks and cook for another minute. Add in 1/4 cup water if a little sauce is desired. Top with green onion slices and serve.

Great with white wine. :)

1. Lee Kum Kee Chili Garlic Sauce is available in most supermarkets, some in sachets good for one dish, costing P20.00 (or less). If unavailable, substitute with diced chili, a little sugar, salt and diced garlic.

2. I use reduced-sodium oyster sauce because we need to watch our sodium levels. (Doc's orders.) This results to a less-salty dish that might be bland to some. Of course you can always use regular/classic oyster sauce instead.