Callos a la Madrileña

IMG_1748.JPGCallos is a stew common across Spain, and is considered traditional to Madrid where it is referred to as Callos a la Madrileña. It contains ox tripe and chickpeas, blood sausage and bell peppers. Chorizo sausage may also be used.

It is one of the Spanish dishes that have been adopted widely in the Philippines.

For my version of this recipe, I skipped the chickpeas because it is on the list of prohibited food for someone in our household.  Instead, I used unsalted peanuts.  Works as well for me!  I also added raisins to add a little sweetness to the dish.


1 lb ox tripe, cleaned

1 cup unsalted peanuts

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

1 pc chorizo de Bilbao, sliced

1 large bell pepper, sliced into bite-sized squares

1 medium onion, sliced

1 small carrot, cubed

1/2 tsp whole peppercorn

2 cups water

Salt and pepper to taste

3 pcs dried basil leaves

1/2 cup raisins

2 tbsps Olive oil


In a casserole, bring water to a boil.  Add onion, whole peppercorn, basil leaves and tripe.  Simmer until the tripe is tender.

Remove tripe from casserole and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing it into bite-sized strips.  Reserve stock.

In a large wok, heat Olive oil.  Add chorizos and cook for about 6-8 minutes.  Add tomato sauce and bring to a boil.  Add the tripe and 1 1/2 cups of the reserved stock.  Add salt and pepper to taste.Let simmer for 15 minutes.

Add carrots and bell pepper.  Simmer for 10 minutes. Add raisins and peanuts.

Remove from heat and serve warm.


Open-Faced Lumpia (Eggroll)

IMG_0274Say what? Open-faced, as opposed to rolled.

This is an unconventional take on the ground beef and bean sprout eggroll (lumpia) posted here previously.  The only difference is that instead of rolling the wrapper, you fry it flat and layer it, adding melted cheese.


Same as in our beef and bean sprout eggroll

Melted cheese


Follow directions in preparing and cooking the filling using ground beef, bean sprouts and shredded carrots.

Heat Olive oil in a large pan. Place two sheets of the eggroll wrapper into the pan and fry until lightl browned and crispy.  Reduce heat and place the filling over the wrappers, spreading it out evenly.  Place desired amount of melted cheese over the filling.  Place two more wrappers over the filling and cheese.  Carefully turn the whole thing over and cook until the bottom wrappers are browned and crispy.  Turn off heat and using a large spatula, transfer the open-faced eggroll into a plate lined with paper tower to drain excess oil.

Serve warm and garnish with extra shredded carrots, bean sprouts and green onions. Use a knife to slice into pieces and eat like a pizza.

Turn Your Leftover Beef Into Delicious Croquettes

IMG_9652It’s a lazy afternoon and dinner time is fast approaching.  Much as you would like to cook up a fresh meal from scratch, you open your refrigerator and there’s still a significant portion of the tasty beef strips you had the night before.  So you think of ways to prepare something, anything, that would make use of the leftover while enjoying a different “menu.”

So you scan your refrigerator once more to see what else you have.  There’s potatoes, eggs, onions and scallions.  Then you see you still have half a package of your Panko breadcrumbs.

The lightbulb in your head switches on, and you silently cry: Croquettes!


1 cup, cooked beef strips, chopped

3-4 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled then mashed

1/3 cup sliced scallions

1 small white onion, chopped

1 egg

3/4 cup flour

1 cup breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 tbsps Olive oil


In medium bowl, mix chopped beef strips and mashed potatoes. Add scallions and onions. Place half the egg into the bowl. Beat the other half and set aside. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle garlic powder over the mixture.

Place flour and breadcrumbs on separate plates.

Pick up about a fistful of the beef mixture and  form into a ball using clean hands.  Roll the meatball in the flour, then dip into the beaten egg before finally rolling it in the breadcrumbs. Flatten the meatball and place on a clean plate.  Repeat the process for the rest of the mixture.

Heat Olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat.  Place the meatballs in the pan, several at a time.  Cook on both sides until the meatballs turn brown and become crispy.  Remove from heat and place on a serving platter lined with paper towel to drain excess oil.

Serve warm with your favorite sauce or dip on the side (optional).

Bitter Melon Beef


Despite its nutritional benefits, not a lot of people incorporate bitter melon into their diet, except perhaps for the Chinese, Filipinos and others in Asia.  Sure, it is one of those “acquired tastes,” but there are ways to temper the bitter quality of this vegetable.  I, for one, hated bitter melon when I was growing up!

For this recipe, I simply cooked bitter melon with thinly-sliced beef strips, sautéed them in garlic, onions and tomatoes, added soy sauce, sugar and some spices, and … pineapple.

Of course, the pineapple is optional, but for those who are just now venturing into the taste of bitter melon, it might be a good compromise.


One large bitter melon fruit, seeded and sliced into crescents

1/2 lb, thinly-sliced beef strips, cut into bite-sized pieces

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 small onion, sliced

1 small tomato, chopped

1 cup pineapple chunks or tidbits

Salt and pepper to taste

2-3 tbsps soy sauce

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp Olive oil

Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)


Heat Olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and cook until golden brown. Add onions and cook until fragrant.  Add tomatoes and cook for another minute.  Add beef slices and cook until nicely browned. Add bitter melon and sauté until nicely green and tender.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add water and cook for three minutes. Reduce heat to low and add in soy sauce and sugar. Add in pineapple slices. Let simmer  for another three minutes. Remove from heat and serve warm with steamed rice.  Garnish with sesame seeds.

Ground Beef And Bean Sprout Lumpia (Eggroll)

img_9305It’s been awhile since I last had bean sprout, so when I came across a market vendor that had bags and bags of it, I grabbed the opportunity to pick me a bag, not knowing what to make of it.

When I got home, I scanned my refrigerator and noticed I still had an unopened bag of eggroll wrapper and about half a pound of ground beef from my last visit to the public market.

And so began yet another lumpia (eggroll) episode in my kitchen.

It was about lunch time, and my nephew next door saw my Facebook post of what I was about to cook.  He responded with a “wow.”

I got the hint.  So off went half of the cooked eggrolls to the dining table next door!


1/2 lb. lean ground beef

2 cups of bean sprouts

2 small carrots, peeled and shredded

1 package of eggroll wrappers

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 medium onion, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil for frying

Your favorite sauce (tomato or banana ketchup, sweet and sour saucer or spicy vinegar)


Place ground beef in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook until beef is nicely browned. Remove from heat set aside.

In the same pan, heat about a tablespoon of Olive oil.  Add garlic and cook until browned. Add onions and cook until fragrant.  Add shredded carrots and bean sprouts. Put back the ground beef. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool.

Place about a tablespoon of the mixture in the center of an eggroll wrapper. Fold and roll, moistening the ends of the wrapper to seal.  Repeat process for the rest of the eggrolls.

Heat Olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat.  Fry the eggrolls in batches until lightly browned and crisp. Remove from heat and place on a plate lined with paper towel to drain excess oil.

Serve warm with your favorite sauce.

Beef Kinigtot

img_7662Booo! I’m sure you have been taken by surprise many times before, perhaps even scared.  There’s a Filipino (Ilocano) word for that.  It’s “Kinigtot.”

It’s also the name of a dish, but I have no idea how the surprise element fits it.  Perhaps it is when you get surprised by the bitterness of this dish.

Kinigtot usually refers to a Pangasinan (province in Northern Philippines) version of the Ilocano dish called ‘Pinapaitan’ which is a stew of goat meat and innards simmered in spices and bile juice.  ‘Pait’ means bitter.

But a different version of ‘Pinapaitan’ is quite popular in Benguet province. Instead of goat meat, it uses thin slices of  beef simmered in spices and the same bitter bile.


1 lb  thinly-sliced beef

2 small onions, peeled and sliced

6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 thumb ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

1 tsp bile juice (from goat or cow)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp fish sauce

3 pcs green chili pepper

Juice from 2 pcs calamansi (or 1/2 lime)

2 cups water

1 tbsp Olive oil


Heat Olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and cook until golden brown.  Add onions and ginger and saute until fragrant.  Add water and bile juice.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add vinegar and fish sauce. Bring to a quick boil.  Reduce heat to low. Add beef and green peppers. Add in calamansi juice.  Continue to cook until beef slices are tender (do not overcook). Remove from heat and serve warm.


Beef Chayote Soup

IMG_6549.JPGYou don’t encounter a lot of recipes using chayote (sayote) fruit.  In the Philippines, it is most commonly used to prepare chicken tinola.  But chayote fruit can be quite versatile.  Sliced into tiny pieces, you can mix it with ground beef and other greens to make a hearty and filling soup dish.  In fact, if you’ve tried upo or bottle gourd, you will find that chayote fruit can have the same taste and texture.

For this recipe, I added some bok choy to the ground beef and chayote fruit mixture. With the right seasoning, it can make a delicious soup or even a main course.


1/2 lb lean ground beef

1 large chayote fruit, peeled, seeded and sliced into tiny cubes

1 bunch of bok choy

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 small white onion, sliced

1 small tomato, sliced

3 cups water

1 beef bouillon

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp Olive oil


Heat Olive oil in a soup pot. Add garlic and sauté till golden brown. Add onions and tomatoes and cook till fragrant. Add in ground beef and stir-fry till nicely browned. Add water and bring to a quick boil. Reduce heat and add beef bouillon to melt. Add chayote fruit slices and cook until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat and immediately add the bok choy leaves to let sit for a minute or two.  Serve warm.