Monday, August 23, 2010

Chicken Curry for my Hubby

When my hubby first had my Chicken Curry, it quicky became his favorite. I was so glad that my mom taught me how to fix it. Which is amusing since she was taught by her friend who was Indian when we lived in Mindanao during the late '60s. So what I am actually fixing is authentic Indian Chicken Curry.

So let's start, shall we?

Chicken Curry

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
1 piece of ginger, about 2 fingers big, peeled and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 onion, sliced
2 tablespoon curry powder
1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 large potato (peeled and cut into quarters) or 1 dozen baby potatoes, unpeeled
1 coconut, shredded and milked or 1 can coconut cream
2 tablespoon of cooking oil

1. In a big wok, heat up the oil to a medium hot. Carefully lower the chicken pieces and let them brown in the oil but not fully cooked. When the skin is brown, take out the chicken and set them aside in a bowl.

2. In the same wok, add the potatoes and stir-fry them until they are half-cooked. Take them out as well and set them aside. Do the same with the bell pepper slices until the edges are brown and set them aside.

3. In the same wok, add the ginger slices. Saute them for 2 minutes.

4. Add the minced garlic and saute them until it becomes golden-brown. Add the onion and saute until they've become translucent.

5. Add the curry powder and saute for 1 minute. Add the chicken pieces along with the juices that pooled in the bowl. Stir-fry the whole pan until all the pieces are covered in curry powder.

6. Add the potatoes and the coconut milk. If you are using coconut powder, mix it first with a cup and a half of water.

7. Let the wok simmer for 20 minutes. Stir the pan every now and then to prevent the bottom from getting scorched.

6. Add the bell pepper slices and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes more. Or until the sauce has thickened up. Serve hot with rice or crusty bread.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Garlic Fried Rice (A Filipino Breakfast Staple)

A friend asked for the recipe of Garlic Fried Rice and I thought I had it posted here in my blog. Imagine my surprise that I had none! Good thing I blogged about this in a food forum and I just copied my recipe.

Garlic Fried Rice is a breakfast staple for many Filipinos. Usually it is paired with a cooked egg (fried, scrambled, etc) and a savory side dish (Fried Spam slices, fried dried fish, Filipino ham ~tocino~, Filipino sausage ~longganisa~, etc). I usually serve Garlic Fried Rice with my chicken adobo, grilled chicken inasal (chicken in vinegar & lemongrass marinade), and hubby's BBQ ribs. It has converted a lot of our friends who have tried it (and previously hated or didn't like eating rice).

You start by having minced garlic and cold leftover rice on hand. I use this pre-minced garlic here in Korea.

Garlic Fried Rice

2-3 tbsp minced garlic
4-5cups of cold cooked rice*
1 to 1 1/2 tbsp veg. oil

*Best to use leftover rice. Freshly cooked rice does not make good fried rice.

1. In a non-stick pan or wok add the veg. oil and turn the heat up to medium, add the minced garlic and cook over medium heat until golden brown.

2. Add the cold rice and stir, mash and mix in thoroughly with the garlic and oil. Keep folding the rice over the garlic, making sure it gets evenly mixed.

3. Continue stirring and mixing until the rice becomes a uniform golden brown color and the garlic has been thoroughly mixed uniformly throughout the pan.

4. Serve hot with bacon, ham, scrambled eggs, etc.

(PS. you can do this recipe even with just a cup of cold rice, just adjust the ingredients). Just a tip! (This is for you MissyKaye!)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Mighty Meatloaf

I love meatloafs! Why do you ask?

1. They can be made ahead and when you bake them, the house smells so good.
2. When your budget is tight, a pound of meat goes a long, long way.
3. When done right, meatloaf is juicy, tasty and great as leftovers.

That is why I love meatloaf. I used a recipe which I saw last night on Here's the LINK from Jana Laurene's blog. I've adapted it a bit to make it kid-friendly (her recipe had a lot of sauces which my kids don't like).

I must warn you though, you will have to do a lot of prep work for this recipe. But all the chopping and the mincing is worth it. Trust me.

Here's my Recipe:

1 pound of ground pork and beef (about a cup each)
1/2 carrot
2 ribs of celery
1/2 onion
1 1/2 cups of breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 egg
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup or tomato sauce + 1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

2 tablespoons oil
5-6 slices of bacon

1. First you need to mince the carrots, onion and celery into a finely diced mixture. Start with the carrots first, and then the onion and lastly the celery. Just put everything in one bowl.

2. In a pan, heat up the oil and dump everything that you minced into the pan. Saute and roast the minced veggies for about oh say 7, 10 minutes. When it's nice and done, dump the roasted veggies in a mixing bowl and let it cool off.

3. Once the vegetables have cooled off, add the rest of the ingredients into the mixing bowl (except the bacon). Mix everything well with your hands. Don't be afraid, it makes it taste better and besides, wouldn't you like the warm, squishy feeling between your fingers? :)

4. Shape into a long rectagular mound on a baking sheet, like this.

Now cover it entirely with bacon. The bacon will act as a moisture lock for the meatloaf and makes it nice and juicy inside. Plus the crunchy outer bacon shell adds the oomph to your meatloaf.

Now take that bacon-wrapped goodness and stick it into your oven. Bake at 350 degrees Farenheight for about 1 hour. To see if it is done, pierce it with a long skewer and if the juices run out are clear, the meatloaf is done.

This is how my meatloaf looked like when I sliced it. Look how nice and juicy it is? The kids agreed it was a great meatloaf.

To serve it, I usually cover it with Ketchup. Other sauces that would be great with this meatloaf are Barbeque sauce or A1 Steak sauce. Oh, be prepared for it to be a great leftover meat for sandwiches later. It rocks! :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Enjoying Stinky Socks Stew

Well not actually... I had Chongukjang today. Some foreigners find that the heady aroma of Chongukjang (or fermented soybean paste stew) comparable to the wonderful ripe odors of unwashed foot covers and rotten cabbage. But for those who like the stew (like me) it is like a delicious aroma at par with a ripe durian (which makes my mouth water while drives most sane people away).

Jane, a student at the Church where I volunteer teaching English, invited me to lunch today. She heard that I love Chonjukjang stew and took me to a renowned Korean restaurant which specializes in serving it. The name of the restaurant is Weh Halmoni Jip which literally translates into My Grandmother's House. I like this restaurant, it has a nice homey feel to it.

Coming into the place you will see a lot of antiques, old Korean furnishings, knickknacks, dust gatherers, what-nots... It covers the walls of the restaurant and adds a special turn of the century feel to the place.

There's old ceiling tiles accenting the top part of the wall. Old brushes for calligraphy on another. Even a Dali-esque wooden sculpture that doubles as a coat hanger.

There's various little ante-rooms that one can choose if they want private dining. But there are also sit-down areas with tables or little korean tables where one can eat korean-style (meaning cross-legged on the floor). And right in the middle of the main dining area is a huge kiln which is kept burning during the winter.

Before the food was served, I took a picture of my student Jane and her two adorable girls - Sunny and Anne. Sunny is a 4rth Grade student while Anne is 6th grade. Jane works at a local elementary school (Ogap Elementary School) and is a choir singer in our church. I like her cherry personality and zest for learning English.

And then they served our appetizer - Tofu with Fried Kimchi.

Next up was the Chongukjang stew. It is served in the customary stone bowl. This stew I loved. It was earthy, filled with chunks of zucchini, onion, chili peppers and a chockful of soybeans. It also had squares of soft tofu.

And they served my favorite part of the meal, the Banchan or the side dishes. Of course it contains various kimchi (cabbage, radish slices, and non-spicy radish). There was also braised spinach, mushrooms, hot chili peppers, salty fried anchovies and stewed beef with quail eggs in soy sauce (this was a little bowl of heaven!).

We had a great meal and it was time to go. The cashier/manager was a friendly guy who greeted all the restaurant patrons warmly like they were long-time customers. I think most of them are. We saw about a dozen groups that came in and out while we were dining. I snapped some more pics of the restaurant before we left.

And here is a happy picture of us, full and happy with our meal.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Baked Spaghetti

This is one of my sons' favorite dinners - Baked Spaghetti. The most important thing to have to fix this is an oven. I don't technically have an oven but I have a convection cooker, known popularly as a Turbo Broiler. Here's how to fix Baked Spaghetti (and avoid ordering ones from restaurants with crappy sauce and exorbitant prices).


1 pound (half a kilo) of lean ground beef
1 onion, minced
1 cup of whole tomatoes, peeled and diced or 1 can of peeled, whole tomatoes
1 can of tomato sauce
1 tablespoon of ground basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, minced
1 bay leaf, whole
salt & pepper

Pasta: Spaghetti, Angel Hair, Penne or any kind that you like.
Cheese: Mozarella and Parmesan

To cook:
1. In a large stockpot, dump the ground beef and minced onion. Turn the heat on moderate and brown the meat, stirring constantly.
2. Make sure that there is no water left behind, if there's some rendered oil, take it out with a spoon.
3. When the meat is browned, add the herbs (basil, oregano, fennel and bay leaf).
4. Dump the tomatoes and stir for 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and add about half a can of water (stirring the water in can to get the leftover sauce residue).
5. Cook the sauce for 20 to 30 minutes. Taste the sauce, if needed add more salt and pepper.

To assemble:
1. Cook your pasta according to your package directions. Whether you want it al dente or soft & soggy (like my hubby wants it), it's up to you. It doesn't matter really.
2. Drain the pasta and add it to a spaghetti boat or an oven-proof dish.
3. Ladle the sauce over the pasta and make sure you cover every inch.
4. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese and then cover it with shredded mozarella. Again, make sure you cover every inch of it.
5. Set your oven to 150 degree Celsius and cook your spaghetti for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is golden-brown.

Take it out and set it aside for a few minutes before serving. It's too hot to eat when it is fresh out of the oven.

Have you done the Loco-Moco?

When I first heard about the Loco-Moco, I was intrigued by the funny name. It turns out nothing to be Salisbury Steak on a mound of rice, topped with an egg and finished with brown gravy all over it. It's a homey food that originates in Hawaii and can be ordered from local mom and pop eateries on the island.

So here's the recipe for the Loco-Moco

Salisbury Steak ingredients:
1 pound (half a kilo) ground beef
1/2 finely minced onion
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 egg

Gravy ingredients:
1 1/2 cup of water*
2 tablespoons of flour
1 tablespoon of butter
1 chicken boullion*
salt & pepper

*(If you have good chicken broth, you can substitute this for water and chicken boullion).

*Cooked Rice
*Cooked Egg, preferably sunny-side

To make the Salisbury steak

1. Put in a mixing bowl all the ingredients.
2. Mix well and chill in the fridge for at least half an hour for the flavors to mix.
3. Shape into patties (This will make about 4-6 depending on the size of the patties that you form)

To make the gravy:

1. In a heavy bottom sauce pan, melt the butter and add the flour when it is fully melted.
2. Cook the flour until it is golden brown.
3. Add the water and chicken boullion or the chicken broth.
4. Continue stirring until the gravy thickens and comes together. Taste it to determine if you need to add more salt. But you definitely have to add pepper.

To assemble:

1. In a plate, add a mound of rice. To make it easier, put the rice into a small bowl, press down and turn upside-down on the plate. It makes the rice nice and pretty.
2. Cook one of the patties and put this on top of the rice.
3. Add the cooked egg ontop of the rice on the plate.
4. Drizzle the gravy around the rice.
5. Serve hot and enjoy.

You can also omit the sunny-side egg if you have a boy who doesn't like eggs. :)