Kulawong Talong1

Kulawong Talong: grilled eggplant with burnt coconut cream

Let me share this unique recipe from Filipino food advocate, author and restaurateur Amy Besa at The Maya Kitchen cooking demo. Amy Besa relates the origins of Kulawong Talong.

Amy Besa of Purple Yam

“My first introduction to the concept of a kulawo was in 2003, when I visited Ugu Bigyan’s home and pottery studio in Tiaong, Quezon. Visitors could call ahead and arrange to have lunch in one of his beautiful gazebos, where they would savor his signature dish, the banana-heart kulawo.

In Laguna, a neighboring province north of Quezon, it is the kulawong talong that stirs many nostalgic food memories among the locals. Both versions are tart because vinegar, instead of water, is used to extract the milk from freshly grated coconut singed with a hot coal. Interestingly, if one travels further south, the Bicolanos’ burnt coconut cream is not vinegary at all, since water is used as the prime medium of extraction.

The use of burnt coconut cream has been one of my most treasured discoveries in Philippine cooking, and I have never stopped wondering why I never encountered this while growing up in Manila, which is just a two-hour drive from Laguna and Quezon.

We would like to thank Nicholetta Labellachitarra, a Filipino chef working in Boston, who shared her memory of this dish —grilled eggplant with burnt coconut cream—with Romy, inspiring him to create a version of his own.”

Kulawong Talong1

Try cooking Kulawong Talong:

Burnt Coconut Cream:

Makes 2 to 3 cups

Two 16-ounce packages frozen grated coconut
1 cup coconut sap or rice vinegar
2 cups canned coconut milk
5 cloves garlic, peeled
One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
2 shallots, peeled and sliced
2–3 bird’s-eye chiles (optional)

Grilled Chinese Eggplant:
8 Chinese eggplants
Sea salt, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Defrost the coconut and mix with the coconut sap or rice vinegar, kneading to extract as much cream from the coconut as possible. Wrap the coconut-vinegar mixture in cheesecloth and squeeze the coconut milk into a bowl until all the milk has been extracted (this should yield approximately 21/2 cups of liquid). Set the extracted coconut milk aside.

2. Spread the squeezed, grated coconut evenly on a baking sheet and bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until it is dark brown, about 50 minutes. Turn on the broiler, and place the baking sheet under it for another 5 to 10 minutes to slightly char the coconut—but be careful not to burn it too much.

3. In a saucepan, combine the extracted coconut milk, half of the pan of burnt coconut, the canned coconut milk, garlic, ginger, shallots, and chiles, if using. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes. Strain through a very fine-mesh sieve, using the back of a big spoon to squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Return the liquid to the saucepan and keep warm while grilling the eggplant.

4. Place the eggplants on a stovetop grill or under a broiler and cook until the skin is charred and the interior is soft. When just cool enough to handle, peel the eggplants and use a fork to spread and flatten the flesh a little. Season to taste with sea salt.

5. Arrange the eggplants on a dish and pour the warm burnt coconut cream over them.

S e r v e s 8

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Menudo Sulipena1

Menudo Sulipeña (Oxtail Stew)

Menudo Sulipena1

Ever heard of Menudo Sulipeña , a slow simmered dish of oxtail, ham and Chorizo Bilbao with a dash of brandy . Cooking menudo at home is just plain pork, potatos, carrots with a sprinkling of raisins. Yes, Menudo or “little stew” refers to a common, everyday dish of slow-simmered bits of a variety of meats. Some use tripe (in Mexican menudo), or ground or cubed pork mixed with potatoes. In Pampanga, common menudo is never complete without tidbits of liver or heart. Menudo Sulipeña however, is an oxtail stew or braise decadent enough to grace a banquet. The dish reflects the extravagance of that time though it carries the “humble” name, menudo.

Purchase the oxtail from a reputable dealer because strong, undesirable odors are often present in improperly cleaned or processed oxtails.

Chef Gene Gonzalez’ shares one of the culinary Gems from Old Pampanga at a recent demo at the Maya Kitchen.

~1 kilo oxtail cleaned and washed
~ 2 tablespoons butter
~ 3 tablespoons olive oil
~ 1 head garlic, chopped
~ 1 medium onion, chopped
~ 1 red pepper, seeded and roasted
~ 1 green pepper, seeded and roasted
~ Dash of paprika picante
~ ½ cup ham, cubed
~ ½ cup sliced chorizo Bilbao (Spanish sausage)
~ 1 cup tomato sauce
~ 1 tablespoon tomato paste
~ 1 tablespoon cooked garbanzos (chick peas)
~ 1 tablespoon Spanish brandy
~ Salt and pepper

1) Pressure cook oxtail 20-25 minutes or simmer with enough water to cover until tender. Debone and cut into ½- inch cubes. Set the stock aside.

2) In a casserole, heat butter and olive oil. Sauté garlic and onion, then add red and green peppers and paprika. Stir fry 2-3 minutes. Add oxtail, ham, chorizo, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Add stock and simmer over low fire about 10 minutes. Add garbanzos and brandy. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 6

For more information, log on to www.themayakitchen.com or e-mail [email protected]

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Adobo del Diablo or capampangan adobo

Capampangan Adobo or Adobo del Diablo

Chef Gene Gonzalez prepared Adobo del Diablo (Capampangan Adobo) at The Maya Kitchen Culinary Elite Series .

Adobo del Diablo or capampangan adobo

The Capampangan Adobo is produced by constant simmering and deglazing of the pan with stock when a crust is formed. This tasty caramelized stock is brought back to the meats to give the deep reddish brown hue.

Other areas would simply darken their adobo with soy sauce which is a crime in the Capampangan household. Uh-oh, this is what I often do. This tip from Chef Gonzales is such a revelation that I will soon shift to using caramelized stock. Imagine if I lived in Pampanga. In fact, the Sulipan barrio will talk and gossip about the bad homemaker that puts soy sauce in her adobo and pity the hardworking provider of the house.

Here is the recipe

~ 1 ½ cups pork, cut into 1” cubes
~ 1 ½ cups chicken, cut in 3” pieces
~ ½ cup chicken heart
~ ½ cup beef liver, cut into ¼” cubes
~ ½ cup pork kidney, cut into 1” cubes
~ ½ chicken giblets, cleaned
~ ¼ cup chicken blood, cut into 1” cubes
~ ½ cup vinegar
~ 2 tablespoons corn oil
~ 1/2 tablespoon cracked pepper
~ 2 tablespoons garlic
~ ¾ tablespoons salt
~ 6 tablespoons fish sauce
~ 3 tablespoons pork lard
~ 2 cups chicken stock

1) Sauté garlic in corn oil until slightly brown. Add pork cubes, chicken, chicken heart, beef liver, pork kidney, beef liver, chicken giblets and chicken blood.

2) Add vinegar, pepper then fish sauce.

3) Take-out chicken giblets and heart, beef liver and chicken blood. Continue braising. When brown crust forms and meat turn brown douse with a little stock and deglaze. Return brown colored liquid to the meat and continue until crust forms again. Repeat deglazing with stock about 3 our times.

4) Add all variety meats when chicken and pork are tender and sauce turns brown. When stock is added.

5) Simmer for 15 minutes or until dry then separate meats.

6) Deglaze pan with stock. Serve the sauce on the side and meats separately.

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march cooking classes

The Maya Kitchen’s March classes on basics of baking & cooking plus specialty courses

Even if I know how to bake and cook, it doesn’t stop me from learning new recipes. As a young mother, I learned how to ice and decorate cakes at the Maya Kitchen . With that training, I was able to prepare a customized birthday cakes for my kids. I can still remember their shrieks of delight whenever I brought out their cakes.

march cooking classes

Fast forward….many years later, my two girls decided to live independently. I thought they needed basic culinary courses even if they already knew some dishes.  I wanted them to know the basics of food preparation. I didn’t want them to buy food or get lazy because they didn’t know how to cook. Good thing, Maya Kitchen offered basic culinary courses. I am proud to say that my two girls are cooking delicious food in their own homes.

You might want to check out their latest courses for March

This March, The Maya Kitchen offers classes on the basics of baking and cooking plus specialty courses on pies, quiche and cupcakes.

Basic Baking is on March 1-4 and March 15-18, Tuesday to Friday, 9am-2pm for P7,000. The course focuses on Basic Baking Techniques applicable to small and commercial scale production of recipes and formulations of quick breads, pies, cookies, cakes and other bread varieties.

Basic Culinary is on March 8-11 and March 29-April 1, Tuesday to Friday, 9am-3pm for P8,000. The course includes Cooking Fundamentals and International Standard Techniques of meal preparation from soup, salad, pasta, main courses, sandwiches to desserts for Home and Institutional Scale Kitchens with workshop.

Cupcake Baking and Decorating with Fondant Toppers is on March 12, Saturday, 9am-1pm. Learn how to bake and decorate Green Tea Cupcakes, Sugar-Free Chocolate Cupcakes, Basic Vanilla Cupcakes and Calamansi Cupcakes for P1,750.

Who doesn’t love pies? Learn the basics of pie and quiche making in a hands-on class with group workshop on March 19, Saturday, 9am-1pm for P1,499 at The Maya Kitchen. Recipes include Apple Walnut Crumble, Egg Pie, Vegetable Quiche and Meat Lovers Quiche.

For more information on this and on other course offerings, log on to www.themayakitchen.com [email protected] or visit The Maya Kitchen Culinary Center every Tuesday to Saturday at 8F Liberty Building, 835 A. Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road), Makati City or call 8921185 / 892-5011 local 108 / Mobile No. +63929 679 6102. Call and reserve a slot now!

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Menudo Sulipena thumb

Menudo Sulipeña (Oxtail Stew)

I love that Maya Kitchen invites talented Chefs to generously share their recipes of their beloved dishes. It was Chef Gene Gonzalez’ turn at The Maya Kitchen Culinary Elite Series when he presented recipes near and dear to him. He shared this delicious dish, Menudo Sulipeña, a slow simmered dish of oxtail, ham and Chorizo Bilbao with a dash of brandy. Just reading the list of ingredients will make you realize that this dish is truly remarkable.

Menudo Sulipena thumb

Menudo or “little stew” refers to a common, everyday dish of slow-simmered bits of a variety of meats, such as tripe (in Mexican menudo), or ground or cubed pork mixed with potatoes. In Pampanga, common menudo is never complete without tidbits of liver or heart. Menudo Sulipeña however, is an oxtail stew or braise decadent enough to grace a banquet. The dish reflects the extravagance of that time though it carries the “humble” name, menudo.

One advice. Purchase the oxtail from a reputable dealer because strong, undesirable odors are often present in improperly cleaned or processed oxtails.

~1 kilo oxtail cleaned and washed
~ 2 tablespoons butter
~ 3 tablespoons olive oil
~ 1 head garlic, chopped
~ 1 medium onion, chopped
~ 1 red pepper, seeded and roasted
~ 1 green pepper, seeded and roasted
~ Dash of paprika picante
~ ½ cup ham, cubed
~ ½ cup sliced chorizo Bilbao (Spanish sausage)
~ 1 cup tomato sauce
~ 1 tablespoon tomato paste
~ 1 tablespoon cooked garbanzos (chick peas)
~ 1 tablespoon Spanish brandy
~ Salt and pepper

1) Pressure cook oxtail 20-25 minutes or simmer with enough water to cover until tender. Debone and cut into ½- inch cubes. Set the stock aside.

2) In a casserole, heat butter and olive oil. Sauté garlic and onion, then add red and green peppers and paprika. Stir fry 2-3 minutes.

3) Add oxtail, ham, chorizo, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Add stock and simmer over low fire about 10 minutes.

4) Add garbanzos and brandy. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 6

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Brazo de Mais small

Brazo de Mais

I am more familiar with Brazo de Mercedes which my mom often baked but Chef Sau del Rosario shared a different twist to this all time favorite dessert at a recent cooking demo for The Maya Kitchen’s Elite Culinary Series.

The “corn-like look” of the meringue is a delight but wait till you taste the filling. Try this recipe

Brazo de Mais small

Ingredients
For the Meringue:
8 egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
¾ cup sugar
3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar


For the Filling:

8 egg yolks
1 cup canned corn kernels, drained
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup condensed milk
1 tablespoon MAYA Cornstarch, dispersed in 1 tablespoon water

Procedure

For the Meringue:

Preheat the oven at 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and grease with butter. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Add sugars gradually while continuing to beat until the mixture stands in stiff peaks. Do not overbeat. Spread meringue evenly on prepared baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes or until top is medium brown. Allow to cool.

Tip: To give the meringue a “corn-like look”, use a piping bag and shape the meringue into strips, making small contours that would look like corn kernels when baked.

For the Filling:
In a sauce pan, mix the egg yolks, corn, vanilla, and condensed milk. Cook over low heat while stirring constantly. Thicken with cornstarch slurry.

To Assemble:
Sprinkle the meringue with confectioner’s sugar then top with wax paper. Flip the baking sheet and remove the wax paper lining. Spread the mais filling on top of the egg white, then roll.

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lechon sisig

Lechon Sisig

Remember the Lechon Sinigang from our lechon leftovers? Well, this time around, I prepared the Lechon Sisig from leftover lechon head. Please be aware that this dish is high in cholesterol.

lechon

My Lechon Sisig version is similar to the sisig of Trellis which I first tasted over 30 years ago. Trellis is known to be the first to develop Sisig in Manila.

lechon sisig

Here is my recipe:

Ingredients

500 grams lechon head, minced (You will get around 10 cups worth of minced skin, ears, snout, cheeks from the Lechon head,)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 large yellow onion (I prefer more )
1 tablespoon oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tbsps soy sauce
3 calamansi
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp hot sauce
2 siling labuyo (red and green), cut into pieces for garnishing

Procedure:
1. Heat oil. Saute garlic till brown then add onions and then cook for 2 minutes or until soft.
2, Add the minced lechon meat. Stir.
3. Add the soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir. Continue cooking for 5 more minutes.
4. Then sprinkle the siling labuyo. Stir .
5.. Transfer to a platter. Serve with calamansi.

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lechon sinigang

Sinigang na Lechon

lechon

Christmas lunch is not complete without a lechon. My husband orders the Lechon Paella from Lydia’s lechon. It is really yummy. Unfortunately , we cannot consume all of it. I normally love Paksiw lechon but this time around, I used the Lechon leftovers for Sinigang na Lechon. You can use your usual sinigang recipe or use the following recipe:

lechon sinigang

Ingredients:

2 cups rice washing
250 grams tamarind, boiled and juices extracted
3 pcs onions, quartered
4 pcs tomatoes, quartered
2 pcs gabi, quartered
1 kg lechon meat and skin cut into onw-inch pieces
2 pcs green long sili
1 pc radish, sliced
4 pcs okra
1/2 bundle sitaw, sliced
1/2 bundle kangkong, sliced

Procedure:

1. Bring to boil rice washing in a pot, and add the lechon portions.

2. Add onions, gabi, tomatoes, and reduce heat to simmer until lechon meat is tender.

2. Once gabi is tender, mash half of it to thicken the sauce.

3. Add sili, okra , radish, eggplant, and then let this simmer.

5. Add sitaw and kangkong. Stir well and let this simmer for a few more minutes

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Pinoy Cooking, Filipino Food and other Food Recipes