Got Green Mangoes? Will Have Pickle And Salad

IMG_1785I could eat sweet, ripe mangoes anytime. What is there not to like about them?  But I know that some folks are not as keen on earning unripe green mangoes, especially if they don’t have a clue on what to do with them.

Green mangoes are quite popular in the Philippines. They’re available almost everywhere, including from sidewalk vendors who well them peeled, sliced and partnered with baboon (fermented fish sauce).

In homes and specialty restaurants, green mangoes are served as appetizers or salad, especially as a companion to fried or barbecued fish and meat.

I recently received  about half a dozen green mangoes as a gift so I decided to make two things out of them: a pickled appetizer and a fresh salad.  As for the rest of the mangoes, maybe, just maybe, I’ll leave alone to ripen.

Pickled

INGREDIENTS

Two green, unripe mangoes, peeled and julienned

4 tsps brown sugar

1 1/2 tsps salt

1 Thai chilly

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, combine mangoes, sugar and salt and toss.  Place them in a jar along with the Thai chilly.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (Liquid will form from sugar and mangoes.)

Salad

INGREDIENTS

Two green, unripe mangoes, grated (with liquid squeezed out and discarded)

1 large onion, sliced

1 large tomato, cubed

1 Thai chilly, chopped

1 tbsp bagoong (fermented fish sauce)

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and toss well.  Cover and let chill in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, transfer to a small plate or saucer and top with the bagoong.

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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.

INGREDIENTS

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

DIRECTIONS

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.

 

Fern Friday Salad

IMG_1683.JPGDon’t be misled. The only reason I named this recipe as such is because where I currently am in Baguio City, Philippines, Fiddlehead ferns are only available in the public market on Fridays.

But this is simply a fresh fiddlehead fern salad, known locally as pako.

This is not the same as just fiddlehead, the curly top of the fern plant which is a delicacy in countries like Canada.

This salad uses more of the leaves rather than the fiddleheads.

I’ve been craving for this salad since I first tasted it at a gourmet restaurant in Manila.  Since then, I promised myself to make it in my kitchen, if I could find a source for the fresh ingredient.

Well, I did find a source.  You can bet I’ll be having this every Friday!

INGREDIENTS

One bunch, Fiddlehead fern leaves

1 medium onion, sliced

2 tomatoes, sliced

1/2 cup white vinegar

1 tsp Olive oil

1 tbsp brown sugar

A dash of ground black pepper

1 red, salted egg, sliced in half

DIRECTIONS

Separate the fern leaves and fiddleheads from the stem.  Discard the stems. Thoroughly wash the fern leaves.  Blanch and drain.

In a small bowl, mix vinegar, sugar and black pepper and set aside.

In a serving bowl, combine fern leaves, onion, tomatoes and Olive oil. Toss.

Pour the vinegar dressing over the salad mixture.  Toss one more time.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

When ready to serve, top with the salted egg slices.

Rosemary Gizzards And Potatoes

IMG_1580.JPGIf you like chicken gizzards and are not bothered by their texture, there are several great ways to enjoy them. You can cook them — adobo-style — along with chicken liver.  You can also fry them breaded as done Southern style.

Lately, I’ve been enjoying fried or baked Rosemary chicken, so I thought I’d try cooking the gizzards in a similar way.  And while at it, why not add some baby potatoes?

INGREDIENTS

1 lb chicken gizzards, cleaned and thoroughly washed

1 cup baby potatoes, scrubbed and thoroughly washed

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 tbsp dried Rosemary

2 tbsps fish sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup sliced green onions

1/4 cup cheese melt

3 pcs dried basil leaves

Water for boiling

DIRECTIONS

Place chicken gizzards in a pot and pour water up to fully submerge them. Add basil leaves and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil and continue cooking until the gizzards are tender (about 60 minutes.)  Add fish sauce during the last 15 minutes of cooking.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In the same pot, boil the baby potatoes until half-cooked.  Remove from heat, and slice them in half.

In large pan, heat butter or margarine. Add boiled gizzards and dried Rosemary.  Stir-fry until the gizzards turn light brown. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add in the potatoes and fry until nicely browned and tender. Remove from heat.

To serve, place the gizzards and potatoes over a bed of blanched spinach or your favorite greens. Top with green onions and cheese melt while still warm.

A Soupy, Spicy Spinach Laing

IMG_1389

When one thinks of laing, what immediately comes to mind is that spicy, coconutty delicacy from the Philippines’ Bicol region. It’s basically a stew of gabi (taro) leaves cooked in coconut milk, shrimp paste and other spices.  It usually includes pork slices.

But when taro is not available, one can always use similar leaves like kangkong (water spinach) or alugbati (Malabar spinach) which is what I did for this recipe.

Because I love coconut milk, I made my spinach laing soupy which is a departure from the usually drier recipe.

INGREDIENTS

3 cups kangkong leaves, washed

3 cups alugbati, washed

1 can, coconut milk

1/2 cup, cubed pork belly

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 small red onion, peeled and sliced

1 thumb, ginger, peeled and chopped

3 pcs. Thai chillies, thinly sliced

1 tbsp shrimp paste

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp Olive oil

DIRECTIONS

In a large pan, heat Olive oil. Add garlic, ginger and onion and cook for two minutes. Add pork belly and stir-fry until nicely browned. Add coconut milk and bring to a quick boil. Reduce heat and add shrimp paste and Thai chillies. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add kangkong and alugbati leaves and cook until wilted.  Remove from heat and serve warm with steamed rice.

 

 

 

Sisig Potatoes

 

IMG_1442Sisig is a very popular appetizer in the Philippines, usually consisting of chopped pig ears, snout and tongue, pork belly and liver, grilled then cooked in vinegar, soy sauce and spices and enhanced with either pig’s brain or mayonnaise. It is best served sizzling.

This dish is a two-step process, unless you already have some leftover sisig.  First you have to cook the sisig, then complete the process by cooking the potatoes before mixing them together. It is similar to sisig (French) fries sold at many fastfood restaurants, or the Canadian poutine.

I chose to use halved baby potatoes instead of the usual French fries.

SISIG

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb. pig ears

1/2 lb. pig snout

1/2 lb. pork belly

1 large onion, minced

1 thumb fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

3 pcs. Thai chillies, chopped

3 pcs. dried basil

3 tbps soy sauce

2 tbsps vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

6 cups water

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2 cup butter or margarine

DIRECTIONS

Boil the water in a large pan, adding salt, pepper and dried basil.  Add pig’s ears, snout and pork belly and simmer for an hour or until the meat is tender. Remove the boiled ingredients from the pan and drain. Grill the boiled pig ears, snout and pork belly until done.

Chop the meat into tiny squares.

In a wide pan, melt the butter . Add onions and cook until soft. the onions. Add ginger and cook for about a minute. Add the chopped meat and cook for 15 minutes. Add soy sauce, vinegar and chillies.  Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add mayonnaise and mix well.

Remove from heat and set aside.

POTATOES

INGREDIENTS

10-15 baby potatoes (skin on) scrubbed and washed thoroughly, cut into halves

1 cup fresh basil, sliced into thin ribbons

1 tsp. , dried rosemary

Olive oil for frying

Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Heat oil and add potatoes.  Add half the basil. Add rosemary. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Continue to cook until the potatoes are tender.  When potatoes are done, add the remaining basil.  Turn off heat.

FINAL PREP

In a serving bowl or platter, place the cooked potatoes.  Top the potatoes with sisig and garnish with green onions.

The Perfect Grilled Pork Belly

IMG_1269Of course, “perfect” is relative, but we all have our own ideas of what constitutes a perfect meal, a perfect menu, or a perfectly-grilled pork belly.

My idea of a perfectly-grilled pork belly is the right combination of meat and fat, the right mixture of marinade, and a cross between medium cooked and a little burnt.

INGREDIENTS

1 lb pork belly, sliced pork chop style

1/3 cup soy sauce

4-5 pcs. calamansi (or one medium lime), juiced

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, marinate the pork belly in the soy sauce, calamansi juice, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Fire the grill. Cook the marinated pork belly in batches, constantly turning them over to make sure they’re evenly grilled.  Allow grill fire to direcly touch parts of the pork, especially the skin and fat. Cook until desired tenderness of the meat with edges a little burnt.

Remove from heat and cut two or three slits on one side of the grilled pork belly.

If desired, sprinkle some extra calamansi juice of the the cooked meat.