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BISTEK a la FILIPINA 

This dish is one of my absolute favorites because of it’s versatility in terms of when one would eat it. Filipinos can eat this for breakfast with some eggs to have a hearty meal before work or for lunch or dinner. However, I do primarily enjoy this for breakfast because of the wonderful memories of waking up in the morning to a sunny day to find a sunny side up egg, a mound of rice, and a few pieces of bistek and onions on my plate. My mom or aunt would cook it so fresh that the oil would still crackle on the meat itself and undulating steam would rise from my plate. It was a SPECTACLE. To a 7 year old, this is what we call MAGIC ….

But let’s talk a little bit of background. For you language buffs, most of you would realize that “bistek” is quite similar to the spanish “bistec” meaning “steak.” Filipinos did borrow the word and it became very much incorporated into this fabulous dish. As with many dishes in the Philippines, you can definitely see a story of the cultural exchanges between the EAST and WEST …. Primarily speaking of the EASTERN WORLD, we utilize soy sauce as a major component of this dish while influences of the WEST can be seen through the use of onions, garlic, and olive oil. 

Again, like many filipino dishes, this is a QUICK and EASY dish to make. So now that you know a little about this dish, let’s get to cookin’ !!

The ingredients:

1 lb sliced, rib-eye or sirloin (or even a roast …. I work on a budget too !!)
medium sized cloves of garlic (add more or less depending on your love/disdain)
medium sized spanish onions (use vidalia or red onions if you want a little sweetness)
1 calamansi (this looks like a smaller version of a lemon, rounder, and green)
lemon
Soy Sauce (I would go against Kikkoman since I feel that it’s best used as a condiment)
White Vinegar (if you can get spiced, even better !! But only if you like a hint of spicy)
Olive Oil (as Rachael Says, “EVOO” :D ) 

The Tools:

- 1 Large pan
- Cutting board 
- a sharp knife
- a big bowl (needed for the sliced beef) 


The How To: (I posted some pictures up top so you can visually see the steps)

Step 1: Slice the beef to thin wide slices. Then place in the bowl.


Step 2: Mince the garlic and chop the onions such that you get pretty rings. Then add part of the minced garlic into the bowl with the beef.

Step 3: Lightly salt (I stress this ALOT) the beef and add pepper. Add soy sauce to the beef, just enough to cover all of it (DO NOT drown the meat in soy sauce). 
NOTE: The reason for lightly salting is the fact that if you look at a nutritional label for soy sauce, it already contains a lot of salt, unless you are a salt eating fiend … =)
After that, half the calamansi and lemon and squeeze the juice into the beef. 

Now the fun part, use your HANDS and MIX IT ALL TOGETHER !!

Step 4: Let it marinade for a good 30 mins. to and hour. As you get close to the end of marinating, heat up your pan with some olive oil and begin to sauté the rest of your minced garlic and the onions. 

Note: For better flavor, I would marinade over night but if you do not have the time, it can taste just as good in the span of an hour !! 

Step 5: as the onions begin to “sweat" and the minced garlic has been sizzling for a good 2-3 mins., add the beef into the pan. Try to evenly distribute the meat so that it cooks evenly throughout. Now, add your vinegar. I would start off with 3 table spoons of vinegar. Add more if you wish !! Finally, close the lid and let it cook until the meat is fork tender. I usually check after a good 30 mins. to see if the beef has tenderized.
The cooking should not take longer than 45mins to an hour. So check your beef periodically !!

As you near completion, please try the sauce and the beef. Depending on how much of the ingredients you added, you may need to place more.
REMEMBER, if you doubt the amount of a certain ingredient, just add a little of it. That way if you need more, that won’t be a problem. The other way around DOES NOT WORK !! (too much will ruin the dish)

Now the dish should be close to finish or it is done!! 
Last step, plate over a bed of steamy white rice, cook yourself an egg, and enjoy !! =D

 

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This tasty almond treat definitely takes one of the top 5 spots on my favorite desserts list. At first glance, it may seem like this delectable, moist, and down right sinful cookie is difficult to make but trust me when I say it is EASY and SIMPLE ….

Let’s get down to what you’ll need:

1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans (three sticks of butter)
2 cups flour, plus more for pans
1 cup sugar
1 12.5-oz. can almond pastry filling, such as Solo brand
4 eggs
12 drops green food coloring
12 drops red food coloring
1 12-oz. seedless raspberry jam
12 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted

TOOLS:

Hand mixer

1 HUGE BOWL (for mixing everything)

3 Medium sized bowls

three 9x13 rectangular pans
(or any size as long as they are the same so you can layer them)


Now that you got that down, I will take you through the step by step run down of how to make this awesome dessert !!

STEP 1: First thing to do is take the sugar and butter (softened) and mix it with the hand mixer for about 2 mins…Just until it is smooth. Use a LARGE BOWL !! This got extremely messy with batter flying EVERYWHERE …. you’ve been warned !

See the consistency ?? Smoooth right ? =)

STEP 2: Add the whole can of almond pastry filling and mix until smooth again. Then add each egg individually, making sure to blend in each previous egg before adding the next one …. Lastly, add the flour

It should end up looking like this ….

STEP 3: Evenly distribute the batter into 3 different bowls. Two of the three will be added food coloring (red and green). Tri-color cookies remember? =)

STEP 4: Rub butter and flour on the pans before adding the batter. This will prevent gross sticking and makes removing the cooked cookie EASIER ….
Pour batter into pans and cook at 350 degrees for 10 mins (about). Bake only until it begins to brown 

Step 5: As the cookies bake, there is no time to waste !! Whip out a sauce pan and heat up the raspberry jam. Stir while it heats to prevent over bubbling and jam burning !! Heat just for a few mins. (only until jam is smooth) …..

Step 6: So the cookies are done and you had let them cool. It is time to take the jam (which you let cool a little bit as well) and spread it over the green cookie layer. Then take the red cookie layer and place it on top of the green and add the rest of the jam. Lastly, place the final plain white layer !! Place in fridge to let the layers and jam cool !!

You will want the jam to cool so that it becomes a sort of “cement" to keep the cookie together … No one likes a cookie that’ll fall a part !!

WE ARE ALMOST DONE !!! :D :D

Step 7: As the cookie layers cool in the fridge, melt down some chocolate. Personally, I use a microwave at half the max power available on my machine. I melt it in increments of 30 seconds. Checking up on it and stirring until the chocolate has melted down completely….

Step 8: Cut the cookies into small squares (or whatever you like, it’s your version !!) and then pour the chocolate on top. Place back in the fridge to let the chocolate solidify ….

Take it out and EAT… ENJOY !!! =D

See? you did it !! And don’t worry if it does not look amazingly pretty. We must work with what we have in our kitchens and honestly, “abnormalities" add a lot of character because it was made BY YOU !! :)



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…School took over my life :(

but fear not, summer draws even closer !! :D

More food to come!! But for right now, LOOK

"Ice Cream Loti". (Singaporean)…FTW XD

POK-POK (Thai Ice Cream Sandwhich)

…..so pretty


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So this dish is called “Bicol Express.” It is a stew made from primarily HOT long chilies (siling mahaba in Tagalog) and coconut milk. The reason for it being called “Bicol” is due to its origins in the Bicol region of the Philippines (where my father is from). Bicolanos are known for their love of spicy foods and so it is only fitting that this dish is so called in honor of all my Bicolanos!


RECIPE:
- 1 Large Onion (Roughly chop to your liking)
- 6 Cloves of Garlic (mince it!!)
- Pork Roast (about 2 lbs)
- 2 Cans of Coconut Milk (I prefer Chaokoh Brand)
- 6 Tbl Spoon of Coconut Cream Powder (Any brand is good)
- 18 Long Hot Peppers
- 2 Habaneros (added for extra heat. optional!!)
- Salt and Pepper (adjust to taste)
- 1 lb Shrimp
- 1 lb Squid (optional) 



Directions:
1. Prep ALL INGREDIENTS BEFORE COOKING so that you don’t have to go back and forth with the cooking and prepping. TIMER SAVER!! =D  This means:
- Chop the Onions
- Mince the Garlic
- Cut the Peppers lengthwise 
- Chop the Pork Roast into rectangular shape pieces.
 - Open the Coconut milk Cans
*** If using squid, cut it now too and leave in the fridge for now.



2. Heat a LARGE POT ( I mean it!! ) with vegetable oil under low-high heat ( make sense? lol ). Once hot enough, add the minced garlic and chopped onions. Stir once in awhile to make sure the garlic does NOT BURN.  Cook until the onions have sweated out.

3. Place the chopped pork into the pot and cook until the pork is semi-cooked. All pork pieces should look white and not pinkish on the outside.

4. Add the peppers into the pot and stir until the peppers and pork are well mixed. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. You should start to see liquid boiling at the bottom of the pot.

5. Add 2 cans of coconut milk. Mix all the ingredients in the pot. Close lid and let cook for another 15 minutes. Then add the 6 tablespoons of Coconut Powder and mix everything. Continue cooking until the peppers are thoroughly cooked. ***BECAREFUL TO NOT OVERCOOK PEPPERS! (I personally don’t like squishy peppers) XD

6. Once the peppers are cooked. The dish is essentially ALMOST FINISHED. Now, add the shrimp and squid (optional)…And continue cooking until the seafood is thoroughly cooked.


7. Serve hot and ENJOY!! =D

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Hey guys!

So I decided that I needed to really start a new blog which is solely devoted to a HUGE part of my life, which is FOOD… =D I love everything about it and not just in terms of taste. Food, itself, tells a tale of the people and the culture that make it. It recalls the history of world, speaks of of our traditions and customs. Much can be said about food BUT the most important thing about food is that it is DELICIOUS!!! 

With that said, anything and everything about food that I happen to come up with will be posted and I hope you all will enjoy feasting with your eyes !!

Bon Apetite!