california cheeses

10 ways to prepare noche buena dishes with California Cheese

california cheese platter

Will you be using cheese for your Christmas dinner? I will be preparing Chicken Cannelloni and fondue for our dinner and lunch menu. If you want ideas for a noche buena with cheese as an ingredient, here are some of my recipes. Click on each link.

1. Filipino style spaghetti
2. Cheezy beef patatas
3. A Raclette dinner
4. Lasagna with Bechamel Sauce
5. Chicken Cannelloni
6. Malunngay and cheese dip
7. Macaroni and Cheese overload
8. Cheese Fondue
9. Blinis Shrimp Torte Canapés and Cheesecake crunch bites
10. Chicken Cordon Bleu

When you shop in any leading supermarkets, you will discover that there are different Califorina Cheeses to give you more flavor to your Pinoy holiday dishes this year. California Cheese, served on a platter and paired with your favorite wine is great for  conversation.  My family and I often use a variety of cheeses in our noche buena table not just Queso de bola.  Incorporate California Cheese in your favorite Christmas dish and it can warm your family’s heart with its comforting creaminess.

california cheeses from california milk advisory board

 

While shopping today, I discovered South Supermarket Pasig displayed California Cheeses.

california cheese at south supermarket

Just what is the secret of California Cheese? The answer: California milk produced by happy cows. “The climate of California and the specialized care given by farmers to their cows allow their milk to attain its premium quality,” said Ms. Reji Retugal-Onal, USPB Country Representative.

 

California is the largest farming state and leading milk producer in the US, leading the nation in the production of fluid milk, butter, ice cream and non-fat dry milk. Of all the state’s milk and milk product categories, California Cheese is the largest and fastest growing category. California has been producing cheese for as long as it has been making wine – more than 200 years and is the 2nd largest cheese and yogurt maker in the US.

How do you know find the California Cheese that is right for your needs? Here is a guide.

california cheese mozzarella

  • Fresh: these lovely cheeses have not been aged or ripened, retaining much of the mild flavor of fresh milk. Cottage cheese, Mascarpone, Mozzarella (water-packed) and Ricotta are some of the more familiar examples. I use mozzarella cheese to top lasagana and Cannelloni.

califorina cheese cheddar

  • Semi-Hard: the broadest range of varieties and style, these cheeses include many of what we commonly refer to as “table cheeses.” They can be anywhere from soft and creamy, having been aged only a few weeks, to moderately firm, aged a month or more. Their flavors also vary, giving you a wide array to choose from. Examples include Cheddar, Feta and Gouda.

california cheddar cheese

  • Soft & Soft-Ripened: delicate and delicious, these cheeses are typically mild when young and develop a fuller flavor with age, often becoming softer and creamier in the process. Brie is an example of this type. Most of its varieties are mild and rich, although Oaxaca and Schloss can have strong flavors.

 

  • Very Hard: Beauty often comes with age and aged cheeses are no exception. These are the cheeses that are hard enough to grate or crumble. While the Dry Jack and the Enchilado Anejo can be mild, the Asiago, Cotija and Romano can have sharp or strong flavors.

 

  • Hispanic Style: a broad family of cheeses that reflect the cheesemaking styles and traditions brought to California from Mexico, Central and South America and Spain. You can find varieties that are mild and mellow, as well as ones that are strong and pungent.

califorina monterrey jack

  • Spiced & Flavored: packed with flavor, these are natural cheeses to which a cheesemaker has added natural spices, herbs, and/or vegetable for flavor. You can find flavored versions of Brie, Cheddar, Feta, Gouda, Havarti, Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Panela and Provolone.

california cheeses

No matter which variety you choose, you can be assured that it is Real California Cheese made with California Milk if it carries the Real California Milk seal. It is a certification mark that assures consumers they are purchasing natural cheese, made in California exclusively with California milk.

I love that there is an ample supply at the grocery since cheese will always be a primary ingredient not only on Christmas dinners but in most special occasion dishes.

Check out facebook.com/RealCaliforniaMilk , follow them on twitter at @RealCalifMilk and instagram at instagram.com/RealCalifMilk

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Free Range Chicken Galantina Roulade thumbnail

Free-range Chicken Galantina Roulade

It was generous of Chef Sau del Rosario to share the recipe of Free-range Chicken Galantina Roulade. We are all familiar with the Chicken Galantina for noche buena but Chef Sau shares something a bit different , the Free-range Chicken Galantina Roulade. It is a festive delight for your dinner table.

Free Range Chicken Galantina Roulade thumbnail

Here is the recipe
Ingredients:

1 kilogram breast or thigh fillet, ground or chopped
¼ kilogram ham, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
½ cup frozen green peas
1 Chorizo de Bilbao, skinned and chopped
1 small can Vienna sausage, chopped
1 cup raisins
½ cup pickle relish
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 large eggs
1 cup cubed bread, trimmed
½ cup diced cheddar cheese
½ cup milk
½ cup all-purpose cream
½ cup soft butter
¼ cup capers
¼ cup chopped olives
Bacon slabs/strips for lining the loaf pan
Assorted salad greens to serve as beddings.

Procedure:

Preheat the oven at 350°F. Mix all the ingredients and set aside for 30 minutes.

Line big loaf pans with bacon and pour the mixture into the pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Let cool and invert on a bed of salad greens.

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paksiw-na-pata

Paksiw na Pata (Braised Pork)

Paksiw na Pata is a simple Pinoy dish that my husband loves to eat on a regular basis. I add saba to the mixture aside from banana blossoms to add more color to the dull brown colors of the Paksiw.

Here is the Paksiw na Pata recipe:

Ingredients

1 large pata or pig’s feet (around 1 kilo)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 head garlic, crushed
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar (reduce if white sugar)
1/2 cup dried banana blossoms soaked in water
1 bay leaf
4 saba bananas, fried

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chicken-lemongrass

Chicken Lemon Grass

chicken-lemongrass

My batchmates at BS Food Technology UP Diliman class 1978 often meet up for mini-reunions. It took quite some time for them to find me and I am glad they did. One of my classmates, Imelda shared this recipe to me. I am just crazy over anything Lemon grass be it Lemon grass lotion, shampoo and especially when added to food! This Chicken Lemon Grass is not necessarily a Filipino dish but tastes very Asian. The sweetness level will actually depend on your taste so just do the necessary adjustment.

The Ingredients:

1/3 cup olive oil

2 cups thinly sliced shallots (sibuyas tagalog)

1 cups sliced lemon grass bulb

2 long chili (or siling mahaba) or siling pangsigang (chili for sinigang), sometimes called finger chili

½ c chopped garlic

1 kg chicken thigh/leg, cut into bite size pieces

2 Tablespoon fish sauce (patis)

4 Tablespoons sugar

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Everyday-Menudo

Two Delectable Ways with Menudo

Menudo has been a mainstay in any Filipino dinner table. This rich dish of cubed pork, liver, potatoes, with a tomato base comes in as many variations as there are ingredients available to the adventurous cook. I am sure each of us have different way of cooking menudo. Chef Jill Sandique shares two exceptional versions of Menudo, by using with my favorite sauce Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce to add more zest to these Menudo dishes.

So here are two versions, the Everyday Menudo and Fiesta Menudo. The Fiesta Menudo is ideal to cook for parties when you want to prepare something more elaborate. Get ready to prepare a bunch of ingredients for Fiesta Menudo.

Everyday Menudo

Everyday Menudo

INGREDIENTS:

500 grams pork kasim or pigue, washed and drained
250 grams pork liver, washed and drained
1½ teaspoons Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
1½ teaspoons calamansi juice
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, diced
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon patis, optional
2 ½ cups water
2 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 small can green peas, drained (about 155 grams)
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
sugar, optional

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Pistu kapampangan dish1

Pistu, a traditional Pampango special occasion dish for breakfast

Have you heard of Pistu? I only heard of this Pampango dish when Chef Claude Tayag gave a cooking demo at the Maya Kitchen. I am sure you are familiar with Picadillo or Arroz a la cubana . They are all similar to the Pistu but with a variation. Chef Tayag best describes Pitsu as a traditional Pampango morning special occasion dish. You can also call it an “over the top Picadillo”. The difference with the Pitsu is that beaten eggs are added to the “picadillo” mixture and then added with chorizo and parmesan cheese. Chef Tayag explained that Pampanga was know for its imported (Px) stores . The Kapampangan found Parmesan cheese and soon added it to their cuisine.

I am very happy to learn this recipe and will soon add this to my breakfast fare. Remember you can replace pork with chicken or tofu. This is such a flexible dish.

Pistu kapampangan dish1

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons oil or use lard from Chorizo
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 kilo lean ground pork
1 can chorizo, sliced into 1/4 inches coins
2 pieces medium potatoes, cubes
2 pieces red bell pepper, pitted and chopped
1 cup green peas (Use frozen peas not the canned)
1/2 cup butter
4 large eggs, beaten
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle pan de sal

Procedure

1. Heat pan and add oil. Saute garlic and onion , add ground pork and continue to cook for 10 minutes.

2. Add chorizo and potatoes. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes.

3. Then add bell pepper and green peas.

4. Add butter when melted. dd the beaten eggs and mix well.

5. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese just before serving.

6.  Serve with pan de sal.

Pistu dish

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'Cuick' Clam Chowder

‘Cuick’ Clam Chowder

“Anything tastes better with bacon!” How true, I often add bacon to pastas and soups. TV Chef Sharwin Tee shares his Clam Chowder recipe during his cooking demonstration for The Maya Kitchen’s Culinary Elite Series. My family loves Clam Chowder and it is perfect for those cold rainy days. There are so many variants of Clam Chowder. I like thick soup. In the United States, “New England-style” clam chowder is often characterized as being thicker and more creamy, even though traditionally it is rather thin (with many late 19th and early 20th century recipes using condensed milk as the base). This Clam Chowder does not use a lot of milk and instead uses sour cream with the flour to thicken.

Chef Sharwin stars on “Curiosity Got the Chef” which is now on its 5th season on the Lifestyle Network. He shared culinary tips and tricks always pointing out that cooking should be a fun and interesting experience.

'Cuick' Clam Chowder

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 cloves garlic minced
1 kg clams
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup white wine
4 strips bacon, chopped
40g (1/4 cup) MAYA All Purpose Flour
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 L (4 cups) fish stock
1 cup cubed potatoes
1 cup cubed carrots
1/2 cup cubed red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream to taste
chopped parsley

Directions:
1. In a pot, sauté garlic and clams in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for one minute. Pour in white wine and let clams steam until they open.
2. Remove meat from clams and save the liquid.
3. In a new pot, sauté the bacon in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil until fragrant but not crispy. Add in flour, herbs and cook until a paste is formed.
4. Pour in cooking liquid from clams and fish stock and stir well to break up any lumps.
5. Simmer for 30 minutes.
6. Add in the cubed vegetable and simmer until cooked. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Serve the soup with clam meat and sour cream as garnish. Top with chopped parsley as well.

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

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suman sa ibus

Suman sa Ibus- Sticky Rice in Coconut Leaves

Preparing Suman sa Ibus is so easy. It’s the wrapping of the rice mixture which takes so much time. Yet it is all worth it. How I love the mild flavor of the suman. The delightful combination with ripe yellow mangoes and hot tsokolate is heavenly.

Ingredients

4 cups sticky rice or malagkit
3 cups thick coconut cream (here’s how to prepare Thick Coconut Cream)
1 Tablespoon salt

Tube-like containers made of young coconut leaves shaped into cylinders about 3 centimeters in diameter and 10 centimeters long. I can’t explain how to prepare the ibus for the suman but here is how to prepare .

1. Fold the end of the buri leaf by 1 ½ inches.
2. Fold the bottom edge into a triangle.
3. Start rolling up the buri leaf in an
overlapping manner.
4. Roll up the buri to make a tube.

How to prepare the Suman

1. Mix the malagkit or sticky rice, thick coconut cream and salt all together.

2. Fill the prepared ibus with the mixture from number 1.

3. Close the end of tube with a toothpick which you can take from the midrib of the coconut leaf.

4. Tie with buri strips.

5. Arrange in a large saucepan and cover with water.

6. Boil until cooked for about two to two and a half hours.

7. Untie and Unwrap.

suman sa ibus

Best served with coco jam , hot tsokolate and ripe mangoes.

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beef-morcon

Beef Morcon

beef-morcon

Morcon involves a lot of labor of love that it is usually prepared for family gatherings, special occasions like noche buena, New Year festivities or even Christening. Filipino Morcon is actually “stuffed beef roulade with filling of food mixtures such as cheese, sausage, ham, and other food mixtures to achieve a delicious meal.” Looks complicated, right? I added a video demo below the instructions so you can have an overview before cooking. It is best to prepare all the ingredients a day before so that on the actual day of cooking, all you do is mix the ingredients.

Ingredients

for the beef roll filling

1 kilo beef flank, (have the butcher slice 1/4 inch and divided evenly into 3 square slices)
Kalamansi and 2 tablespoons soy sauce to marinate the beef

5 pieces of sausage (substitute with chorizo de bilbao)
1/4 kilo of minced beef liver (leave some for the sauce)
200 grams bacon
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
2 sweet pickles, cut into half, diagonally
1 medium carrot, sliced lengthwise in 4 slices
100 grams queso de bola (or cheddar cheese) in strips
Thread for tying
flour for dredging rolled beef

For the casserole/sauce:

olive oil for frying
bacon fat for added flavor
3 cloves of garlic
1 onion chopped
2 cups of tomato sauce
1 cup of water
1/2 cup grated cheddar or 1/4 cup queso de bola cheese
5 bay leaf (laurel)
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
parsely and olives for decoration

Procedure

If you have no idea how morcon is prepared, see the embedded video below.

1. Prepare the 3 beef slices in your working area at the kitchen .You can flatten by hitting it gently with the aid of a rolling pin.

2. Marinate the beef slices with kalamansi juice and soy sauce overnight. Prepare the rest of the ingredients so it is easy to cook the next day.

3. Lay out filling on the sliced beef: cheese strips, sliced eggs, bacon, carrot, pickles, sausage and some of the ground liver (leave some for the sauce). Arrange evenly.

4. Gently roll the beef making sure all fillings are intact.

5. Tie with a string (see video demo below) Set aside.

6. In a casserole, saute garlic and onions using bacon fat for added flavor.

7. Lightly dredge the rolled beef with flour.

8. Fry the rolled beef until brown in all sides. Remove when done and Transfer to a bigger casserole where you are going to simmer the beef with sauce.

9. When rolled beef are in casserole, add tomato sauce, remaining liver, grated cheese, water, pepper, soy sauce and bay leaf. (If you use chorizo bilbao and queso de bola, the sauce may tend to be salty so adjust )

10. Braise over low heat until the beef becomes tender (estimated 2 hours ) and sauce has reduced. Beef will remain moist if one braise it long under slow fire. Cool. Remove strings when cool.

11. Slice into half an inch slices. Serve on a platter with the sauce cooked in the casserole. Garnish with parsley and olives.


Video on how to prepare morcon

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