Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Featured Dish: SISIG from Central Luzon

Featured Dish: Sisig from Central luzon
Recipe created and prepared by Chef Ed Grajo, CFBE






Chef Ed Grajo works as Hospitality Consultant servicing various hotels and restaurants. He is a Chef Instructor at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, Kitchen Academy in Sacramento and Center of American Studies in Manila. He was also the Banquet Chef at Meritage Hotel and Resort for the last 5 years.

    Chef Ed graduated with a B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA. He also completed the Arts in Garde Manager program in Contra Costa College, French Culinary School in Sausalito, CA and Post Graduate Studies in Culinary Arts at Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, CA.
 

WHEN it comes to innovative cuisines that are distinctively Filipino, Pampanga ranks first among the provinces in the Philippines that make great tasting delicacies especially when it comes to animal meat like pork and beef.

Among its most sought after dishes is the sisig, which is a Kapampangan term that means “to snack on something sour.” Sisig usually pertains to unripe fruits that are naturally sour like mangoes, guavas, tamarinds that are dipped in vinegar like unripe papaya.

Sisig rose to popularity when Lucia Cunanan of Angeles City, Pampanga, reinvented it in 1974.  Lucia earned the moniker “Sisig Queen” because of her innovative technique of boiling the pork’s head parts together --- snout, brain, and ears as well as its liver--- first before chopping and seasoning it with vinegar, calamansi juice, chopped onions, and chicken liver. It is served on a sizzling plate seasoned with calamansi and chili peppers. Thus, coming up with the term “sizzling sisig.”

Lucia’s
sisig became so much of a sensation that her open-air eatery paved way for people from all walks of life to walk in and eat regardless of its modest ambience. Aling Lucing’s eatery also paved the way for the Department of Tourism to endorse and promote Angeles City as the “Sisig Capital of the Philippines. This then drove natives to hold an annual “Sisig Festival” every December, since it started holding one in 2004. Chefs from all over the country compete in this festival with their own take of the popular foods, especially sisig.

Today, local chefs have come up with their own version of sisig by replacing the pork with chicken, tofu, tuna, and squid. Other variations of this famous dish also include adding supplemental ingredients like eggs, mayonnaise, ox brains, and chicharon or pork cracklings. 

Sisig is usually served as an appetizer and paired with alcoholic beverages because of its sour taste and crunchy bits. It is also goes well with rice.

Enjoy your sisig!






Sisig

Ingredients:
2 lbs pork (face, ear, cheek, tongue)
2 lbs pork liempo
1/4 cup liver; broiled and cut in cubes
1 tablespoon garlic; minced
1 small onion; chopped
2 bay leaves
thyme
rosemarie
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon red bell pepper; chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 kalamansi; sliced
3 siling labuyo; chopped
Salt or fish sauce to taste

Method:
Boil all pork meat with thyme, rosemarie, bay leaves, salt and pepper, until tender “al dente”,  grill and then cut in small cubes.  Set aside
Sauté garlic, onion, red bell pepper. Add liver and pork. Season with salt, vinegar, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer until little sauce is left. Adjust seasoning according to taste.
Garnish with kalamansi, and siling labuyo on a sizzling plate. Squeeze the kalamansi and stir the chopped siling labuyo over the plate if desired.


Catch us again next week for another recipe that you'll surely love. Don’t miss it!

Isla Kulinarya lets you explore the islands, taste the food, relive the memories--- all made possible by Island Pacific Supermarket. Go and visit an Island Pacific near you with branches in Southern California located at Cerritos, Canoga Park, North and South Vernon in Los Angeles, Panorama City and West Covina; Union City and Vallejo in Northern California. Check out our website at www.islandpacificmarket.com. Stay connected with us--like us on Facebook (island pacific market), follow us on Twitter (islandpacificUS) and Blogger (island pacific market). For your comments, suggestions, and request for recipes that you want us to feature, please email info@islandpacificmarket.com. "Presyong Sulit...sa Island Pacific."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Featured Recipe: Hipon sa Gata (Shrimp in coconut milk)

Featured Recipe: Hipon sa Gata (Shrimp in coconut milk)
Prepared and created by Chef Reggie Torres








Chef Reggie Torres has a long and distinguished career in the culinary arts industry. He has lived in Paris, France for three years and has mastered the French menu interpretation along with preparation of classical French cuisine and advance French pastries.
He has traveled Europe learning and honing food design, Hors d'oeurves, theme buffet, tallow sculpture, meat and fish decorations. He has worked with Chinese instructor Kem Home, blending Eastern and Western influences and with Italian Chef Giovanni Leoni, mixing the northern and southern Italian cuisine.



Holy Week culminates the Lenten Season that started on Ash Wednesday. Holy Week begins on a Palm Sunday, which is the day that we remember the "triumphal entry" of Jesus into Jerusalem, exactly one week before His death and resurrection.

In remembrance of this event, Catholics all over the world celebrate Palm Sunday wherein palm leaves or palaspas of different designs are waved in the air and blessed by the priest before the beginning of each masses. This represent Jesus’ entrance in Jerusalem, wherein he was greeted with Palm leaves by the people. As the Bible reveals, when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds greeted him by waving and covering his path with palm branches. After the palm leaves are blessed, Pinoys hang the palaspas by their doors until the next Ash Wednesday as a sign of welcoming
Jesus into their homes. 

Aside from preparing to meditate somewhere faraway for the Holidays that falls
on a Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, some Filipino families usually hold the
Pabasa during Holy Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, wherein groups of readers
exchange reading verses about the Passion of Christ in a chant-like manner.
Because the reading of pabasa could take for days depending on the reading
tempo, several meatless dishes are served for the volunteer readers. Among the
popular table fare include dishes out of vegetables like the chopsuey or fish
like the rellenong bangus (deboned milkfish), or other seafood like the hipon sa
gata (shrimp in coconut milk).

When a food is cooked in “gata,” it is done with coconut milk. Aside from
shrimps, several main ingredients like squash, fish, sweet potato, mud crabs,
are also preferred; thus calling it ginataang + (whatever it is cooked with). In
the Philippines, Pinoys prefer serving the shrimp with its shell because they do
not mind eating with their bare hands (kamayan). Hipon sa gata is also a very
flexible dish, for squash or green chili peppers can also be added until the
flavor is perfect to taste.

Isla Kulinarya shares with you another meatless recipe that you can prepare this week-- Hipon sa Gata.

Hipon sa Gata (Shrimp in coconut milk)


HIPON SA GATA

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves 4

2 tbsp     ginger, sliced thinly
2 cups    coconut milk
1 cup      chicken stock
2 lbs       shrimps, large
1             sili (chilli), chopped
2 tbsp     patis (fish sauce)
1 tsp       sugar
1/2 cup   fresh cilantro leaves


1. In a deep pot, combine ginger, coconut milk, chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes
2. Add shrimp, add sili (chilli). Simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Add patis (fish sauce), sugar.
4. Serve with cilnatro


Next week, we continue on with our featured recipe from Region 3 or Central Luzon. Don't miss it!

Isla Kulinarya lets you explore the islands, taste the food, and relive the
memories--- all made possible by Island Pacific Supermarket. Go and visit an
Island Pacific near you with branches in Southern California located at
Cerritos, Canoga Park, North and South Vernon in Los Angeles, Panorama City and West Covina; Union City and Vallejo in Northern California. Check out our
website at www.islandpacificmarket.com. Stay connected with us--like us on
Facebook (island pacific market), follow us on Twitter (islandpacificUS) and
Blogger (island pacific market). Fro your comments, suggestions, and request for
recipes that you want us to feature, please email info@islandpacificmarket.com.
"Presyong Sulit...sa Isalnd Pacific."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lenten Recipe: Kinilaw or Kilawin na Tuna

Featured Recipe: Kinilaw or Kilawin na Tuna
Created and prepared by: Ramon Gumapac
Cook at Island Pacific Supermarket

The featured recipe was created and prepared by veteran and seasoned cook, Ramon Gumapac. Ramon, a native of Batangas, has been cooking Filipino dishes for more than 15 years now. He is one of the cooks whipping up sumptuous native Filipino dishes at Island Pacific Supermarket.

WHEN someone mentions about the foods in the Philippines, "odd" usually comes to mind. Such perception is brought about by having Pinoy foods like the world-famous balut (fetal duck egg), adidas (chicken feet), isaw (chicken intestines kebab),  Dinuguan (Pork Blood Stew), and Kinilaw na Isda (Raw Tuna Salad).

To cook in "kinilaw" means to make the meat edible by soaking it in vinegar and adding salt and other spices when the meat becomes opaque in color. The vinegar acts as a cooking agent in this process.

The oddity of Filipino dishes to a foreigner's eye was also observed even during the Spanish period, as published in the book called the Philippine Food and Life narrated by Gilda Cordero Fernando. The book narrated an account where an Ilokano group were sailing along with the English crew of the navigator Thomas Cavendish's ship and "right after the [English]  sailors threw all the intestines of goat into the sea, the Ilokano assistants dived into the sea for these goat intestines so that they could prepare for their kilawin--- dipped or cooked in bile sauce or broth. The chronicler, who was ignorant of what the Filipinos were preparing, described the dish as "a disgusting mess."

The absence of refrigerators back in the olden days also pushed Filipinos to come up with a variety of ways to preserve their food; thus, coming up with the idea to marinate the meat in a vinegar solution . This is where the adobo, paksiw, sinigang, and kinilaw and many other Pinoy foods that are cooked in vinegar solution came about.

 Pork and beef can be used in making kinilaw, but for this week's issue we are sharing with you a recipe on kinilaw na tuna. Aside from being an ideal meatless dish, many  are fond of the  kinilaw na tuna because it is very simple to make and requires no use of heat.

Here for the enjoyment of our kababayans is the Kinilaw na Tuna.


Kinilaw Na Tuna
Prep Time: 30 mins
Soaking Time: 50 mins
Serves 2

Ingredients:
1/4 kilo of yellow fin tuna fillets
a thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 jalapeño, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
1 c. of vinegar
salt and pepper

Method:
Wash the fillets and trim any remaining skin and bones. Cut into one-inch cubes. Place in a glass bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix well. Pour in the vinegar and mix well. Cover loosely and chill for about one hour.
Drain the fish. Add the kalamansi juice, chili peppers, bell pepper, ginger and onion. Mix well and chill for another 20 minutes. Mix well and serve cold.

Note: When eating kinilaw, remember to eat each piece of fish with a few pieces of onions as well. It makes the experience of eating kinilaw really memorable.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lenten Recipe: Pinangat na Pompano

Featured Recipe: Pinangat na Pompano
Created and prepared by Ramon Gumapac
Cook at Island Pacific Supermarket

The featured recipe was created and prepared by veteran and seasoned cook, Ramon Gumapac. Ramon, a native of Batangas, has been cooking Filipino dishes for more than 15 years now. He is one of the cooks whipping up sumptuous native Filipino dishes at Island Pacific Supermarket. 


Christians and Roman Catholics alike view this Lenten season as a time to reflect on their sins whether big or small. As a form of penance, followers of Christ observe fasting and abstinence from meat of mammals to remind themselves of how Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights in the desert before beginning his ministry. (Matthew 4:1-2)


Mostly Roman Catholics, Filipinos observe fasting by taking only one full meal for a day which can include meat, as long as it does not equal one large meal. No snacks between meals are allowed when fasting. Catholics 18 to 59  years old are expected to observe fasting as per the new Code of Canon Law.

Many confuse the two, but fasting is different from abstinence. Abstinence means refraining from eating meat, soup made from meat, or gravy made from meat. Other faithfuls, however, opt to do partial abstinence, wherein they eat meat, meat soup or gravy but only once a day. The revised Canon Law states that Catholics should start with abstinence at 14.

Catholics fast and abstain during Fridays, in memory of the day Jesus was crucified (Code of Canon Law 1983). Thus, Fridays are regarded as "Fish Fridays" as fish meat and vegetables can only be eaten during this day.

In observance of the Lenten Season, we bring you another fish recipe that you can whip up and enjoy this Friday--- Pinangat na Pompano. Pompanos are "deep-bodied, toothless fishes with small scales, narrow tail base, and a fork tail." Silver in color with a blue back, the pompano fish grows to a length of about 45cm (18 inches) and weigh of about 1kg (2 pounds). It is regarded to be very tasty fish and is favored in the American Atlantic and Gulf coasts. 

Pinangat, on the other hand, refers to the Filipino cooking method wherein meat or fish is poached in calamansi or lemon squeeze, kamias or tomatoes together with ginger and other spices.

The pinangat na pompano is a very delicious dish that one can easily make in less than 30 minutes. This dish is best consumed with steaming rice.

Here for the enjoyment of our kababayans is the Pinangat na Pompano:


Pinangat na Pampano
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 50 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 Golden Pampano Fish (approximately 1 1/2 lb)
2 medium-sized diced tomatoes
1 medium-sized diced onion
1 medium-sized ginger
1 tablespoon salt or fish sauce
1 tablespoon calamansi juice
salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Clean fish thoroughly, cut into 3 pices and rub with sea salt then set aside.
In a pot, bring 3 1/2 cups of water to a boil.
Add in tomatoes, onion, ginger and fish sauce (or salt) and pepper.
Let it boil for 15 to 20 minutes in low to medium heat until tomatoes are almost reduced to skin.
Add the calamansi juice and boil for another 5 minutes.
Add in the fish and cooked for 20 to 30 minutes.
(Optional) Add some vegetables like, jalapeño, tomato and onion simmer for 3 minutes. Serve while hot.

Enjoy your pinangat na pampano!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lenten Recipe:Sinigang na Bangus

Featured Recipe: Sinigang na Bangus
Created and prepared by: Ramon Gumapac
Cook at Island Pacific Supermarket

The featured recipe was created and prepared by veteran and seasoned cook, Ramon Gumapac. Ramon, a native of Batangas, has been cooking Filipino dishes for more than 15 years now. He is one of the cooks whipping up sumptuous native Filipino dishes at Island Pacific Supermarket. 




Last Week we featured binusog na pusit or stuffed squid as a recipe that can be included in many of Filipino Catholics' meatless diet. This week, we will feature another Pinoy favorite, the sinigang na bangus or milkfish in sour broth, which is not only served during the season of Lent, but all year round.



Bangus is one of the most popular table fare in the Philippines, as it is considered  to be one of the predominant fishes in the island. Albeit notoriously known for being bonier than the ordinary fish, the bangus still remains as one of the Pinoy favorites when it comes to fish meat because of its extraordinary taste.

Pinoys like deboning the bangus with their hands whilst eating. Others who would like to be spared from the hassles of manual deboning and buy the "boneless bangus" instead. Deboned or not,  Pinoys like to have bangus on their plate whether it may be pinirito (fried), inihaw (grilled), relyeno (stuffed), or sinigang (stewed in sour soup).


The sinigang's  sour taste has been traditionally associated with tamarind--which is now conveniently replaced with tamarind bouillon cubes or granules. Pinoys who prefer cooking it the old-fashioned way (especially those in the province), still prefer using tamarind or its alternate: guava, calamansi, bilimbi, or raw mango to achieve the sinigang's sour flavor.

Aside from fish, others also like to use pork, shrimp, or beef as the main ingredient of sinigang. This dish also have plenty of vegetable ingredients that include daikon or labanos, water spinach or kangkong, yardlong beans or sitaw, eggplant or talong, chili or sili, and taro corns or gabi--which can make for the soup's thickness.


Not only is it an ideal meatless dish for someone who is observing Lent, sinigang na bangus is also low on calories and rich in nutrients such as proteins and carbohydrates. Usually partnered with soy sauce or fish sauce(if one finds the soup too sour for his taste), sinigang na bangus is best served with steaming rice.



 
Sinigang na Bangus
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Serves 4


Ingredients:
1 piece large bangus, cleaned and sliced into serving pieces
5 cups water
1 small ginger, sliced
2 pieces tomatoes, quartered
1 medium onion, sliced
2 medium eggplants, cut into serving pieces
5 pieces string beans, cut into serving pieces
2 cups kangkong leaves
1 small pack tamarind powder
1 teaspoon salt


Method:
In a casserole, bring water to a boil together with the ginger.
Add the bangus, tomatoes, and onion and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the tamarind powder and salt to taste.
Add the eggplant and string beans and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, add the kangkong leaves, and let stand covered for 5 minutes.
You may also add or use fish sauce or patis to taste.
Serve hot with rice.




Happy eating!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lenten Recipe: Binusog na Pusit or Stuffed Squid

Prepared by: Chef Reggie Torres






Chef Reggie Torres has a long and distinguished career in the culinary arts industry. He has lived in Paris, France for three years and has mastered the French menu interpretation along with preparation of classical French cuisine and advance French pastries. He has traveled Europe learning and honing food design, Hors d'oeurves, theme buffet, tallow sculpture, meat and fish decorations. He has worked with Chinese instructor Kem Home, blending Eastern and Western influences and with Italian Chef Giovanni Leoni, mixing the northern and southern Italian cuisine.






Squid is one of the most favored seafood in the world not only because of its peculiar shape, but also because of the many dish one can make out of it.  Japan is known to consume the largest number of squids.  In the Mediterranean, squid is referred to by the Italian term "calamari" (singular calamaro), which was later on adopted by other parts of the world using calamari in any culinary dishes that include squids.

On November 2, 1978, the largest squid ever caught was in Thimble Tickle Bay, Newfoundland. It weighed two tons and was 55 feet long.


Known to have the advantage of being low in fat and calories but  rich in protein and minerals, squid is usually cooked fried (fried calamari), stewed, or be added as an ingredient in pastas and soups; its shape is also ideal for stuffing ham, rice, or cheese.

In the Philippines, stuffing the squid or pusit is also popular especially at present when many Filipinos are currently observing the season of Lent. They like stuffing pusit with with tomato and onions then brushing it with a soy sauce marinade and then grilling it; or elaborately filling it in with finely chopped vegetables, squid fat, and ground pork.

Since Lent calls for fasting or refraining from meat as a sign of repentance, Pinoys like to cook squid by having it stuffed with cheese instead, thus, calling it as binusog na pus it.  



Adopted from the stuffed squid of the Mediterranean, binusog na pusit is usually stuffed with white cheese or the kesong puti. Ricotta, parmesan, or any cheese of preference can also be used.

The pusit is prepared for cooking  by holding it with one hand and reaching inside its body with the other, pulling away the head along with its tentacles. The dark skin is peeled away leaving a transparent cartilage that resembles a plastic, which also has to be pulled away. The body is then rinsed with water.


After washing, the pusit is set aside while the cheese is briefly cooked together with garlic, bread crumbs, eggs, cheese, salt and pepper. The squid is then stuffed with the cheese mixture, sealed,  fried for a minute, and is simmered with a tomato mixture. After simmering for several minutes the binusog na pusit  is ready to serve.  


BINUSOG NA PUSIT
(Stuffed Squid)
Chef Reggie Torres copyright 2010
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Serves 4

½ lb roma tomatoes – diced
cooking oil
1 ½ cup yellow onion – finely chopped
6 cloves garlic – finely chopped
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 egg beaten
2 ½ oz ricotta cheese
2 ½ oz parmesan cheese
4 large squids – cleaned , remove the inners
½ cup green onion
Salt and Pepper

1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a non stick frying pan. Add 1 cup onion, cook until translucent.
2. Add ½ garlic, cook for 1 min. Add bread crumbs, eggs, cheese, salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
3. Fill the squid with cheese, stuffing but do not over stuff, secure end with toothpick.
4. In a clean frying pan,  heat 2 tbsp oil. Add squid, cook for 1 min. Remove.
5. Add ½ cup onion, cook.  Add 1/2 garlic cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomato.
6. Simmer for 5 minutes until thick. Return squid to the pan and cook. Cover
for 10 minutes. Serve.
Happy Eating!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lenten Recipe: Fish Escabeche






 Featured Recipe: Fish Escabeche
 Created and Prepared by: Chef Socrates Z. Inonog, CCE, ACE




Fasting is the most common form of sacrifice observed by Filipinos. When fasting, a person refrains from eating any animal meat and instead eats fish and vegetables--or even nothing at all. This is a form of reminder to denounce the selfish demands of flesh and follow the unselfish example of God through his son Jesus Christ who died in the cross for the salvation of mankind.

One Filipino favorite served during Lenten Season is the fish
escabeche, which is poached or fried fish marinated in an acidic mixture before serving. Usually served on special occasions, escabeche is usually cooked in the Philippines using maya-maya, tilapia,  talakitok fish, or any white-meat fish to make the yellow-orange color stand out.

The
escabeche is known for it's sweet and sour sauce. The sauce is cooked by first sauteing ginger, garlic, onion. Vegetables are then added and is stirred whilst adding pineapple syrup,tomato sauce, and sugar and salt to taste.

Escabeche is best served immediately after cooking to enjoy the crispiness of the fish, if fried.




  
                                        ESCABECHE
           (Gingered Sweet & Sour Fish)
               
Preparation Time:           45  minutes
Cooking Time    :               30 minutes

Yield: 4 portions

Ingredients:
1 pc                        Striped Bass , whole, 2 lbs, scaled, cleaned and washed
½ cup                    Dry  Sherry Wine
¼ tsp                     Black ground pepper
½ tsp                     Salt
2 oz                        Ginger, peeled, julienne
1 cup                     Cornstarch
3 cups                   Peanut Oil or Canola Oil
1 tbsp                    Fish base, Sysco or Fish Sauce (Patis)*
½ cup                    Pineapple Juice*
½ cup                    Sugar*
½ cup                    Tomato sauce*
1 pc                        Jalapeno, seeded, julienne*
1 tbsp                    Vegetable base, Sysco
½ oz                       Fresh ginger, peeled, julienne*
1 cup                     Scallion flowerets*
¼ pc                       Sweet yellow pepper, julienne*
¼ pc                       Sweet red pepper, julienne*
¼ pc                       Sweet green pepper, julienne*
½ pc                       Small carrot, peeled, julienne*
1 pc                        Medium Onion, julienne*
1 stalk                   Celery, julienne*
½ cup                    Dry Sherry wine*
1 tbsp                    Cornstarch
¼ cup                    Pineapple chunks*
¼ cup                    Vinegar, palm*
½ cup                    Water

*Sauce ingredients

Method:
1.       Scale and gut the fish. Wash over running water. Score on both sides.
2.       Combine wine, pepper and salt. Brush marinade on fish.
3.       Pick ginger and rub inside cavity and the scored sides of fish.
4.       Marinate fish for 15 minutes.
5.       Using a small brush, remove chopped ginger from the fish and dredge fish with cornstarch.
6.       Shake off excess cornstarch.
7.       Heat frying pan. Pour oil. In moderate heat, fry fish until golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes.
8.       Remove from pan. Keep warm.
9.       In a saucepan, combine fish base or patis, pineapple juice, sugar, vinegar and tomato sauce.
10.   Bring to a boil. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
11.   Add to sauce, the julienned ginger, pepper, carrots, onion and celery.
12.   Bring to a low boil. Simmer for 3 minutes
13.   Combine sherry wine and cornstarch. Mix well and pour into sauce.
14.   Bring to a low boil. Cook until sauce thickens.
15.   Add pineapple chunks.  Simmer for 2 minutes. Serve

Method of Serving:
Lay fish on platter. Pour sauce over. Garnish with floweret of scallion. Serve with timbales of steamed rice


Catch us again next week for another meatless recipe that you can include in your fasting diet. Don't  miss it!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Featured Region: Cagayan Valley, Region 2; Guinataang Puso ng Saging

Featured Recipe: Guinataang puso ng saging, baboy at hipon
(Banana Bud/ heart, pork and shrimp in coconut milk)
by Chef Socrates Z. Inonog, ACF, CCE


This week, we feature Isabela, the second largest province of the Philippines located in the Cagayan Valley Region or Region II. It is also reputed to be the rice and corn granary of Luzon.

Isabela's industry thrives on agriculture. With an aggregate land area of 10, 665 square kilometers that represents almost 40 percent of the regional territory, its natives typically harvest rice or corn from its wide arable fields; or catch fish in its bountiful river and ocean waters. Aside from agriculture, some potential investments opportunities are found in fisheries and tourism.

Isabela is the most populated province in Region II, with a total of 68.71 percent of its total household identifying themselves as Ilocanos. The rest of the population are comprised of the Ibanag and the Tagalog ethnic groups, among others.

Ilocanos are known for being spendthrift or frugal, preferring the practical over leisure. Ilocanos exemplify individuals who apply respect and modesty in their everyday lives.

Aside from their outstanding traits, Ilocanos are also known for their love of food. People even say that you can identify an Ilocano if his or her favorite expression is mangan tayon (let's eat)! Ilocanos diet boast of a healthy diet comprising mostly of boiled or steamed vegetable and freshwater fish. Among the Ilocano favorites are the pinakbet, a dish that include vegetables as ingredients partnered with shrimp paste or the bagoong.

Another favorite is the simple and healthy ginataang puso ng saging (banana flower heart or blossom in coconut milk). With its name derived from its heart-shaped appearance and reddish color, the puso ng saging resembles the flavor of an artichoke and is usually harvested after the banana fruits have formed. It is used as a spice when dried and is the main ingredient of ginataang puso ng saging.

Ginataang puso ng saging is as easy as its name suggests: with the blossom cooked in coconut milk with shrimps or dried fish flakes as optional ingredients. It is also rich in iodine, fiber, and other minerals that makes it a healthy dish.



Guinataang puso ng saging, baboy at hipon
(Banana Bud/ heart, pork and shrimp in coconut milk)

Yield : 6

Ingredients:
1 pc Banana Bud (puso ng saging), whole, julienne
2 tbsp salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 tbsp vegetable oil / canola
1 lb pork loin
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper, black, ground
3 cloves Garlic
1/2" Ginger, julienne
1 pc onion, medium, julienne
2 pcs tomato, medium, sliced 1/8"
2 cups water
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup Sake or Sherry wine
1 tbsp Shrimp Base (sysco)
1 lb shrimp, large,peeled and deveined
1 pc jalapeño pepper, seeded,julienne

Method

1) in a bowl,combine banana bud and salt. Let sit for 15 minutes,then squeeze moisture out of banana bud to remove the puckery taste. Wash well and drain as you squeeze and liquid out
2) in a wok or a deep braising pan, pour oil. Brown pork that has been dusted in flour sessoned with salt and pepper. Remove from the fire and set aside.
3) in the same vessel,sauté garlic, Ginger and onion. Cook until the garlic is lightly browned. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add tomatoes and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
4) add browned pork and water. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes until tender
5)add coconut milk and banana bud. Return to a boil and simmer for another 15 minutes. Stir gently while simmering.
6) add shrimp and jalapeño peppers. Simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Stir.

Catch us again next week for another Pinoy recipe that you'll surely love. Don't miss it!

Isla Kulinarya lets you explore the islands, taste the food, relive the memories--- all made possible by Island Pacific Supermarket. Go and visit an Island Pacific near you with branches in Southern California located at Cerritos, Canoga Park, North and South Vernon in Los Angeles, Panorama City and West Covina; Union City and Vallejo in Northern California. Check out our website at www.islandpacificmarket.com. Stay connected with us--like us on Facebook (island pacific market), follow us on Twitter (islandpacificUS) and Blogger (island pacific market). Fro your comments, suggestions, and request for recipes that you want us to feature, please email info@islandpacificmarket.com. "Presyong Sulit...sa Isalnd Pacific."


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Featured Region: Region 2, Cagayan Valley

   Featured Recipe: Sinigang na Banak
by Chef Socrates Z. Inong, AFC, CCE

Last week, we featured Batanes' Guinataang Alimasag, one of the sought-after delicacies enjoyed by the natives and tourists of Cagayan Valley or Region II. This time, Isla Kulinarya presents another recipe that highlights Cagayan's rare lobed river mullet, locally known as the banak or ludong as the main ingredient.

Highly regarded not only as the country's most expensive food fish, the banak was also dubbed as the "president's fish," as it was believed to be one of former president Ferdinand Marcos' favorite dish. Marcos, being a native of the northern Philippines himself, was known to always have a year-long supply of the fish stocked away.

The banak, which dwells in the headwaters of the Cagayan river, and Bantay-Santa of the Abra river system in the provinces of Ilocos Sur and Abra, only eats the filamentous algae that live on rocks and boulder and near river rapids. It can grow up to 32.5 centimetres (12.8 inches).

On days when banak can be consumed, however, a lot of people still wish to eat the fish (despite the high price) because of the good aroma it releases when cooked; more important, because of its exceptionally delicious taste.  One of the most popular way to serve the banak is cooking it as sinigang (a Filipino soup characterized by its sour flavor and is usually associated with tamarind).

Other version of the sinigang dish derive its sourness from guava, calamansi, raw mango, among others. Powdered soup base or bouillon cubes are also used as replacements of the natural fruits. The Sinigang na banak is usually eaten with rice similar to a main dish. 




Sinigang na Banak
(Lobed River Mullet in Sour Tamarind Soup)

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20minutes
Serving: 6

Ingredients:
-4 pieces tamarind
-6 cups rice washing
-1 small onion, sliced
-1/2 cup sliced tomatoes
-6 pieces fresh banak, cleaned
-1 cup sliced stringbeans
-1 tablespoon salt
-3 cups kamote cops

Procedures:
1. Boil tamarind in 1 cup rice washing. When soft, mash fruit.
2. Strain and add juice to the remaining rice washing.
3. Cover and bring to a boil.
4. Add onion, tomatoes and fish.
5.Cover and let it simmer for 3 minutes
6. Add eggplant, stringbeans, and cook for another 3 minutes
7. Season with salt
8. Add kamote tops and cook for 4 minutes longer.

To serve:
Serve hot with rice.


Isla Kulinarya lets you explore the islands, taste the food, relive the memories--- all made possible by Island Pacific Supermarket. Go and visit an Island Pacific near you with branches in Southern California located at Cerritos, Canoga Park, North and South Vernon in Los Angeles, Panorama City and West Covina; Union City and Vallejo in Northern California. Check out our website at www.islandpacificmarket.com. Stay connected with us--like us on Facebook (island pacific market), follow us on Twitter (islandpacificUS) and Blogger (island pacific market). Fro your comments, suggestions, and request for recipes that you want us to feature, please email info@islandpacificmarket.com. "Presyong Sulit...sa Isalnd Pacific."


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Featured Region: Region 2, Cagayan Valley

Featured Recipe: Guinataang Alimasag
(Crab in Coconut Milk)
by Chef Socrates Z. Inonog, ACF, CCE

This January, Isla Kulinarya takes you to the region of Cagayan Valley, a part of the country that not only takes pride in its historical treasures and unexplored locales, but also boasts of having picturesque deep caverns, wide arable lands, and the long, immense Cagayan river that is abundant of fresh water fish, crustaceans, and other seafoods.

The Cagayan Valley region, otherwise known as region II, is located at the northern tip of the Philippines and is composed of five provinces:  Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and Batanes. Its capital  is Tuguegarao City and is located at the northeastern part of the of Luzon. Cagayan, not to be mistaken from the city in Mindanao named Cagayan de Oro, also includes the Babuyan Islands to the north.

Among its many features, Region II is also known to be the country's tilapia capital (species of cichlid fishes from the tilapine cichlid tribe), as well as the country's rice and corn granary because of its  fertile lands.

People say that although the Cagayan might lack commercial sources, its people, known as the Ibanag, Ybanag, Ybanak ,Ibanak or simply the Cagayanos, will be able to survive through tough times not only because of the region's abundant resources, but because of the flair of its people for making delicious delicacies.

Delicacies mostly served in the Cagayan region include rice cakes, Pinakbet, Pansit Cabagan, Tapang Baka, Ginisa Nga Agurong, Tuguegarao Longganisa, Pancit Batil Patung, and the Guinataang Alimasag (crabs in coconut milk) of Batanes.

Guinataan, alternatively spelled as ginataan, is a Filipino term which refers to food cooked with gata or coconut milk. Thus, coming up with the word ginataan, or "done with coconut milk."

Aside from being cooked in coconut milk as its name suggests, Guinataang Alimasag is very easy to make because the dish does not require much other ingredients other than the basic garlic, onions,  spinach leaves (for garnishing) and of course, the crabs and the coconut milk.

Ivatans (people of Batanes) and tourists alike enjoy having the Guinataang Alimasag mainly because the usual size of the crab plated here is the largest living arthropod in the world and is a type of hermit crab that is known to have large pincers strong enough to crack coconuts and eat its contents. These crabs from Batanes are not only known for its unusually large size, but are also known for its creamy crab meat which has the aftertaste of a coconut when its sac is squeezed.

Aside from its fine and distinct flavor, the Guinataang Alimasag has been a Filipino family favorite because of its health benefits. The Guinataang Alimasag is rich in iodine and other minerals that makes it a nutritious dish.


Guinataang Alimasag
(Crab in Coconut Milk)

 Prep time: 5-10 minutes
 Cook time: 25 minutes
Serving: 6

Ingredients:
- 4lbs crabs
-8cups coconut milk
-1/8 cup cooking oil
-4 large cloves garlic, crushed
-3 tbs. ginger, julienned
-3 tbs white onions, minced
-3 pcs jalapeno pepper
-2 tbs rock salt
-  spinach leaves (optional)

1. Wash and clean crabs, discard carapace and claws then set aside
2. Saute garlic in oil until light brown
3. Add onions then crabs. Stir well until crabs change color.
4. Add coconut milk and jalapeno pepper.
5. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
6. Simmer for 15 minutes.
7. Season with salt.
8. Add malunggay/spinach and continue simmering for 1 minute.


To serve: Place crab on a platter then glaze over with gata and garnish with spinach. Serve with hot steamed rice.
 

Isla Kulinarya lets you explore the islands, taste the food, relive the memories--- all made possible by Island Pacific Supermarket. Go and visit an Island Pacific near you with branches in Southern California located at Cerritos, Canoga Park, North and South Vernon in Los Angeles, Panorama City and West Covina; Union City and Vallejo in Northern California. Check out our website at www.islandpacificmarket.com. Stay connected with us--like us on Facebook (island pacific market), follow us on Twitter (islandpacificUS) and Blogger (island pacific market). Fro your comments, suggestions, and request for recipes that you want us to feature, please email info@islandpacificmarket.com. "Presyong Sulit...sa Isalnd Pacific."


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Featured Recipe: Kare-Kare


By Aileen Suzara
Finalist, Amateur Division
Kulinarya : A Filipino Culinary Showdown 
This week , we are featuring the recipe of Aileen Suzara, one of the 3 finalists at the Amateur Division. The featured recipe was the dish that he prepared at the preliminary round of the competition which was held  last August 2010 at the Metreon.
Ingredients:
1 lb oxtail, cut into 2-inch pieces
5 tbsp coconut oil
1 large head garlic , minced
2 red onions, diced
6 plum tomatoes, cubed
3/4 cup freshly ground peanuts plus 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
2 tsp sea salt
2 small banana hearts
2 Filipino eggplants, cut into half-moons
20 long beans, cut into segments
2 tbsp achuete oil
Bagoong or shrimp paste to taste
Fresh cilantro

Instructions:
1.Cover the oxtails in water, and simmer about 90 minutes until tender.

2. Warm the oil in a large saucepan and cook the garlic, onions until translucent.

3. Add the tomatoes, peanut butter, broth from the oxtails, and tomatoes. Cook for 15 minutes or so, then add the oxtail.

4. Prepare the banana hearts; peel the tough outer layers, cut into halves, then shred. Add to a bowl of salted water and massage to remove the bitter sap. Rinse wel..


5. Add the banana hearts and cook for 5 minutes, until tender.

6. Serve topped with chopped peanuts, cilantro and bagoong to taste.



Join us again next week for another sumptuous regional cuisines, only from Isla Kulinarya.

Isla Kulinarya lets you explore the islands, taste the food, relive the memories -- all made possible by Island Pacific Supermarket. Go and visit an Island Pacifc near you with branches in Southern California located at Cerritos, Canoga Park, North and South Vermont in Los Angeles, Panorama City and West Covina;  Union City and Vallejo in Northern California.Check out our website at www.islandpacificmarket.com. Stay connected with us-- find us on Facebook @island pacific market, follow us on Twitter @islandpacificUS and  Blogger @island pacific market. For your comments, suggestions and request for recipes that you want us to feature, please email info@islandpacificmarket.com. Presyong Sulit... sa Island Pacific.
**Featured recipe and some notes were taken from the Kulinarya Event Magazine published by the Philippine Department of Tourism, San Francisco, December 2010.
**Special thanks to the Philippine Department of Tourism, San Francisco for allowing us to feature the recipes of the 6 finalists.
ABOUT AILEEN SUZARA


Aileen is a second generation Filipina American and traces her roots from Pangasinan and Bicol. She is an educator and environmental advocate. She loves to write and her articles can be read at Earth Island Journal, Eating Our Words, Growing Up Filipino II. She had recently launched her blog called Kitchen Kwento, www.kitchenkwento.com, which talks about food, place and identity

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Featured Recipe: Beef Caldereta

By Clemente Escopete
Finalist, Amateur Division
Kulinarya : A Filipino Culinary Showdown 

Happy New Year! Welcome back to Isla Kulinarya. In the last couple of weeks, we have been featuring the recipes of the 6 finalists to Kulinarya : A Filipino Culinary Showdown held at the Metreon in San Francisco last December 4, 2010. Organized by the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco along with the various government agencies, namely, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry, and the Philippine National Police with the goal of increasing the awareness and appreciation of Northern California residents on Filipino cuisine. 

This week , we are featuring the recipe of Clemente Escopete, one of the 3 finalists at the Amateur Division. The featured recipe was the dish that he prepared at the preliminary round of the competition which was held  last August 2010 at the Metreon.
Photo by Jun Belen taken from the Kulinarya blogsite
http://kulinarya2010.wordpress.com/
 
Ingredients:
2 1/2 lbs beef chuck steak cut into 1 1/2" squares
1 tbsp crushed garlic
1 medium onion
3 medium ripe tomatoes
3 medium potatoes, cut into 1" cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 bay leaves
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips
vegetable oil for deep frying
4-5 cups stock or water
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 of lemon juice
1/2 cup green olives
1/2 cup button mushroom
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions:
1. Cut chuck steak into 1 1/2" squares. Rub with salt and pepper and garlic. Pan fry, covered until brown and tender, allow to cool.

2. Saute garlic, onion, tomatoes in olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

3. Add the cubed beef, beef stock or water, tomato paste and lemon juice and bay leaves. Stir well, cover the pan with tight -fitting lid.


4. Lower the heat and cook slowly until beef is tender. Stir occasionally.

5. When beef is tender, add potatoes and olives.


6. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes or until potatoes are tender, add button mushrooms and red and green peppers. Mix well.

7. Cook for another 2 minutes. You can expect about 2 cups of sauce or gravy. 


Join us again next week as we share with you the recipe of Aileen Suzara, one of the finalists at the Amateur Division.


Isla Kulinarya lets you explore the islands, taste the food, relive the memories -- all made possible by Island Pacific Supermarket. Go and visit an Island Pacifc near you with branches in Southern California located at Cerritos, Canoga Park, North and South Vermont in Los Angeles, Panorama City and West Covina;  Union City and Vallejo in Northern California.Check out our website at www.islandpacificmarket.com. Stay connected with us-- find us on Facebook @island pacific market, follow us on Twitter @islandpacificUS and  Blogger @island pacific market. For your comments, suggestions and request for recipes that you want us to feature, please email info@islandpacificmarket.com. Presyong Sulit... sa Island Pacific.
**Featured recipe and some notes were taken from the Kulinarya Event Magazine published by the Philippine Department of Tourism, San Francisco, December 2010.
**Special thanks to the Philippine Department of Tourism, San Francisco for allowing us to feature the recipes of the 6 finalists.
ABOUT CLEMENTE ESCOPETE 
Clemente or Uncle Clem,  as he is fondly called, hails from Bicol region, known for its cuisines characterized by the use of chilies and coconut milk. Uncle Clem's cooking style does not only come from his Bicol roots but he also draws on influences from other parts of the Philippines, China and Spain. He is an architect by profession and has a burning passion for cooking.