Category: RECIPE

Stir-up Sunday

A Christmas Pudding, sometimes cream or custard etc are added as a topping.

 

Stir-up Sunday is the last Sunday before Advent.  The custom comes from when families & relatives gathered together and stir the ingredients of a traditional British Christmas pudding before the first Sunday in Advent as observed by Anglican churches.

There is a Collect (prayer)

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.’  

Also, It allows time for the pudding to mature properly for the month before the Christmas Day meal. By tradition, each member of a family or participant is encouraged to make a wish as they stir.

The pudding mixture is stirred from East to West in honour and remembrance of the three wise men who visited the baby Jesus with their gifts.

In some households, silver coins are added to the pudding mix. It is believed that finding a coin brings good luck.

I remember as a child in the 1960s, my mother would traditionally put & stir ‘silver’ sixpence coins known colloquially as a tanner into the mixture. Later when the UK went decimal ‘other’ silver coins were added.

It is believed that like Christmas trees and Christmas decorations, Christmas puddings were introduced to the UK in the 1800s, by Prince Albert, who was the husband and consort to Queen Victoria.

There can be some variations of ingredients, traditional puddings mainly contain dried fruits, raisins etc. The mixture and cake are held together by egg and suet &  sometimes moistened by treacle or molasses. It is flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and or other spices. Measured alcohol is added, mainly brandy but dark beers or stout can be used.

Before the pudding is served during the Christmas meal, some households set light to the pudding as the alcohol content allows it to burn briefly as part of the serving tradition.

The pudding is usually aged for a month or more,[or even a year until the following Christmas Day; the high alcohol content of the pudding prevents it from spoiling during this time.

 

 

 

Chicken Karaage (Japanese Chicken popcorn Recipe)

Chciken Karaage, photo by JMorton

I saw a bit of GMA’s Mars on youtube and like the recipe of the Japanese version of a fried chicken. Thanks to Benjamin Alves, the guest celebrity cook, for making it looks so easy to make and yet so yummy. All the women in the show were all saying how good it was.

Chicken Karaage (Japanese Chicken popcorn Recipe)

Ingredients

  • 6-8 pieces of boneless, with skin on chicken thighs; each thigh, depending on the size, should be cut into two or three pieces.
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 – 1 cup cornstarch/cornflour
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • slices of lemon to garnish

Method of preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, season the chicken thighs with the salt and pepper. Set this aside.
  2. Make the marinade using a different container. Mix thoroughly the ginger, garlic and brown sugar with the soy sauce and sake.
  3. Pour this mixture onto the chicken thighs. Mix well to soak all the crevices of the chicken thighs.
  4. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.
  5. After an hour or so, heat the oil in large frying pan or wok for deep frying.
  6. Before frying, each of the chicken pieces, roll each one into the cornflour and then let it sizzle in the hot oil until done.
  7. Serve with your favourite sauce.

Itadakimasu

Ginisang Munggo with Talong (Mung Beans Stew with Aubergine)

Filipino Recipe

Mung Bean Stew. Photo by PH Morton

Ginisang Munggo with Talong (Mung Beans Stew with Aubergine)

This is a delicious recipe which is easy to make.  Very filling and will delight the whole family especially during winter time.

Below is the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mung beans (can be left to stand in lots of water to make the beans swell and would cut minutes of cooking time)
  • 1 medium size aubergine (eggplant), sliced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 100 g pork belly, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cube vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper

Method of Preparation:

    • In a medium size pan, cover the mung beans with enough water and bring to a boil.  Lower down the heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Carefully discard the water and some of the green bean husks that gather to the top.
    • Using a casserole pan, fry the garlic and onion until golden brown.
    • Stir in the pork slices and cook until brown all over.
    • Add the ginger, stir.
    • Add 4 cups of water, crush the vegetable bouillon over it.
    • Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
    • Add the mung beans, cover the pan and leave to simmer for 15 minutes more.
    • Pour in the fish sauce, give it a stir.
    • Add the aubergine and cover the casserole once again and allow to cook for five minutes.
    • Check the seasoning, add salt according to taste.  Give it a good measure of black pepper.
    • Enjoy with freshly boiled rice.

Yum, ang sarap

Ginataang Sitaw at Kalabasa (Green beans & Squash With Coconut Milk)

Ginataang sitaw at kalabasa with fried fish, photo by Mae Mercado-Sanguer

Ginataang Sitaw at Kalabasa (Green beans & Squash With Coconut Milk)

I am very partial to recipes that call for coconut milk.  It makes the dish creamy and rich tasting.  Just love it.

I urge you to try this recipe as it is really something.

This recipe uses meat.  Another recipe we have uses shrimps, which is equally good.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small or 1/2 a squash or pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cubed
  • 200g string beans (green beans), cut into about 1½ to 2 inches lengths.
  • 100 g pork, cut into bite-size pieces.
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped or minced finely
  • 1/4 cup shrimp paste (bagoong na alamang) or 1¼ tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1½tbsp vegetable oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Preparation:

  • Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan.
  • Sauté the garlic and onion.
  • Add the pork and stir-fry until golden all over.
  • Stir in the shrimp paste, if using.
  • Pour in the water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and leave to simmer until most of the liquid had evaporated and the meat had softened.
  • Drop in the squash and string beans.
  • If not using shrimp paste, then add the fish sauce.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and continue to stir well until it begins to boil.
  • Adjust the seasoning by adding salt and black pepper according to your taste.

Delicious served with freshly boiled rice and any leftover is fantastic as breakfast with some fried rice.

Chicken Adobo a la London

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I was happy how this recipe turned out. It was really good. Perfect for parties, bring it out in the garden for an additional summer barbecue fare.

Chicken Adobo a la London

Ingredients

2 lbs chicken pieces of thighs and legs
3 pieces dried bay leaves, I used those fresh from my garden
3 tbsp soy sauce
6 tbsp vinegar
3 -6 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 cup water
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp Demerara Sugar
1 tsp whole peppercorn
Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. In a little container,  mix together the soy sauce and garlic.
  2. In a separate large glass container, a lidded Pyrex glass, arrange the chicken pieces and then pour over them the soy sauce mix to marinate for at least three hours or overnight in the fridge.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
  4. Fry the marinated chicken pieces and garlic slivers in the oil.  Cook the  the chicken until golden brown on all sides.  Be careful with the frying as bazookas of hot oil and liquid sometimes will shoot out. 🙂 Ouch
  5. I transferred the cook chicken pieces into a casserole pan and then poured into it the remaining marinade, also adding the cup of water and vinegar. (My mother had told me never to stir the adobo before the vinegary sauce has started to boil. – No idea why!)
  6. Add the bay leaves and whole peppercorn, put the lid on the casserole and simmer for half an hour or until chicken is cooked.
  7. Sprinkle in the sugar.
  8. Check that the sauce is to your liking.  Add more vinegar if not rightly sour, add soy sauce if it is still bland and if preferred season with a dash of salt.
  9. Serve Immediately with freshly boiled rice.

Optional!  To make the Chicken Adobo that little bit more special:

From Step 8, continue cooking a little longer.

  • Minced a couple of garlic cloves
  • Heat a little oil and saute the garlic.
  • Take out the chicken pieces from the casserole, leaving the sauce to simmer until it reduces.
  • Fry the chicken pieces in the garlic until they start to sizzle.
  • Arrange neatly in a serving platter and pour sauce over the pieces.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Blackberries in Salt & Vinegar

Blackberries in vinegar, photo by JMorton

I am currently watching the semi-finals between England and Croatia.  England dominated the first half with a 1-nil to England.

As it is half-time, I suddenly craved something sour.  I spied at around lunchtime that the blackberries, growing wildly in our garden are now ripening.

Actually, I picked those which are not fully ripe yet.  They taste better in vinegar and they are crispier and crunchier with that burst of sour taste.

When the blackberries are fully ripe, I will be baking a blackberry and apple crumble.

If you want to try my sour blackberries, then half a cup to half a cup of firm ripening blackberries.  Wash thoroughly and drain.

Add to it a tablespoon of red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.  These vinegars have that spicy and wonderful smell about it, really sour.

Then sprinkle a little salt, give it a stir.

Ready to crunch,

Yum

Sadly a young, relatively inexperienced and talented England team lost 2-1 in extra time, but far exceeded expectations with hope for the future. I still enjoyed my snack 🙂

Blackberries in Salt & Vinegar

 

 

Classic Brownie Recipe

Brownie with Love, by Mae Mercado-Sanguer

Brownie is easily a favourite with everyone.  But then again, why ever not?!!!

I had a bit of a conundrum categorising this recipe.  Should it go under baked cakes or baked cookies?  I did a bit of research and found out that it should be classified as a cookie?

Why?

Apparently it has something to do with the manner it is eaten.  Brownie is a finger food, just like cookies and biscuits.  Cakes are eaten with a fork or even a desert spoon, if cake is rather runny.

So that’s it

Below is a recipe that is easy to follow for such a delicious treat.

Classic Brownie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 200 g butter or margarine
  • 165 g cocoa powder
  • 400 g  brown caster sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoons vanilla 
  • 125 g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g  walnuts or unsalted peanuts

Method of Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
  2. Line a brownie tin/tray or grease a 20 x 18 cm tin.
  3. Melt the butter and cocoa together in a saucepan, under a low heat.
  4. Add the sugar and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Remove from the heat and mix in the flour and half of the nuts then the eggs.
  6. Pour into the already prepared brownie tin.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or when press the top is soft and bounce back up.
  8. As soon as it comes out of the oven, tip in the rest of the nuts all over the top of the hot brownie.  Run a wooden spoon over the top to gently press in the nuts.
  9. Cool and cut into serving pieces.

 

Enjoy!  Sometimes I like my brownies still slightly warm and then served with a bit of ice-cream on the side.   Hmmm I think this is when brownies become a cake! 🙂

Ginisang Ampalaya at Baboy (Sauteed Bitter Gourd with Pork) Recipe

Ampalaya, photo by JMorton

Ginisang Ampalaya at Baboy (Sauteed Bitter Gourd with Pork) Recipe

This is another variation of Ginisang Ampalaya.  And it is as delicious especially if you are partial to strong tasting food.

Ampalaya or bitter gourd, is so called because of its bitter taste.  It might taste strangely at first but your palate does get used to it pretty quickly if you are open to adventurous savour.

Anyway the recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:

  • Two medium size ampalaya, cut in half and remove the seeds and pith. Then slice fairly thinly in half rings
  • 1 tsp salt + 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 kg pork belly, sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 vegetable bouillon dissolved in 3/4 cup of hot water

Method of Preparation:

  • Put the slices of ampalaya in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt.  Leave for five minutes.
  • Add to it the hot water and leave for 5 minutes.
  • Drain and squeeze the ampalaya slices to remove excess bitterness.
  • In a wok, add the sliced pork belly with a cup of water.  Bring to a boil and then simmer until the water has evaporated and the pork had softened.
  • Add the oil to the pork and stir until golden.
  • Stir in the garlic and onion, cook until fragrant.
  • Add the ampalaya and stir for a couple of minutes.
  • Pour in the cup of vegetable bouillon.
  • Bring to a boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the beaten egg and cook for another couple of minutes.
  • Serve immediately with boiled rice or fried rice.
  • Enjoy!
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