Monday, August 27, 2012

Pochero Pinoy by Chef Soc Inonog

Having a multicultural society, brought about by the different countries which ruled the Philippines, is one of the things the country is known for. But, albeit numerous nations that colonized the country, it was Spain which greatly influenced most of the cultural aspects of the Philippines, having ruled the country for 333 years.

The undeniable influence of the Spaniards on the Filipino culture and society is apparent even until today. Starting with the Filipino Spanish last names (all Filipino families were required to adopt a Spanish surname during Spanish colonial rule), Roman Catholicism, thousands of loan Spanish words, the numerous community feasts that also inevitably includes some cuisines greatly influenced by Spain. 

Drinking, dining, and merry-making in any social gatherings are also among the many traditions the Filipinos have acquired from the Spaniards. Spanish culinary specialties like menudo, mechado, caldereta, and relleno were among the most favored dishes served in any special Pinoy celebrations then, until today. 
The influence of Spain in the Filipino cuisine has adapted countless versions over the years, with the preparation and ingredients of the dish varying by region. One example of such dish is the pochero or stew pot which has two popular versions in the country---one, which is tomato sauce based, and the other which is similar to that of the bulalo, or the oxtail soup and stew. 

Puchero or Pochero, was originally a peasant food from Andalusia, Spain which was traditionally cooked and expected to last for several days. 

In the Philippines, pochero is usually cooked with either beef, pork, or chicken in tomato sauce with chorizo, saba banana, cabbage, green beans and pechay. Garbanzos or baked beans can also be added. 

The Pochero is  considered a nutritious meal with balanced ingredients comprising of meat, beans, and leafy vegetables. It is best served with steaming rice.

(Pork or Beef Stew)
Preparation Time:   1 hour and 13 minutes
Cooking Time    :    1 hr and 35 minutes

Yield: 8


2 tbsp        Vegetable oil
2 lbs          Pork Stew or Beef
2 lbs          Chicken Thigh, cut bite size
3 cloves     Garlic, chopped
1 tsp          Ginger, chopped fine
1 pc           Onion, chopped
2 pcs          Tomatoes, chopped
2 pcs          Bay leaves
1 tbsp         Thyme
2 cups         Water
1 tsp           Pepper, black , ground
1 tbsp         Fish sauce (Patis)
1 tbsp         Chicken Base (Knorr)
2 pcs           Chorizo de Bilbao, sliced across 1/8” thick
½ cup         Sake (Japanese dry wine) or Mirin  (Japanese sweet wine)
¼ bunch      String Beans,  long (Sitaw), cut 1 ½” long
1 lb             Potatoes,  sweet (Camote), peeled, diced, 1”
3 pcs           Plantain (Saba banana), 2 skin peeled, sliced 1” thick; 1 mashed
1 pc            Bok Choy (Pechay) cut up  1 1/2 “ length

1.       In a wok, pour oil. Turn fire to high. Brown all the meats and put aside. Note: Lightly brown chicken last
2.       In the same wok, add garlic, ginger and onion. Saute until onion is translucent. 
3.       Add tomatoes. Saute for 3 minutes. Add Bay leaves and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes. 
4.       Add pork or beef.  Saute and cook for 20 minutes. Add chicken. Cook for another 10 minutes. Add chorizo. Mix and cook for 15 minutes. 
5.       Add water and chicken base. Mix. Bring to a boil for 15 minutes. 
6.       Add patis. Mix. Simmer for 5 minutes.
7.       Add string beans and sweet potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes. 
8.       Add plantain, cook for another 10 minutes, add mashed plantain (saba) 
9.       Add bok choy. Cook for 5 minutes. 
10.   Serve hot with steam rice on the side.

Chef Soc Inonog

Dean and Director Emeritus, Culinary Arts College and Development
International Students Departments, Johnson & Wales University Providence, R.I.
The First Certified Culinary Educator by the American Culinary Federation (ACF)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tortang Dulong by Chef Soc Inonog

This week, Isla Kulinarya takes you to the province located in the southernmost part of Cagayan Valley or Region II and the gateway to the world famous Banaue Rice Terraces—Nueva Vizcaya.

Also known as lowland Baguio because of its cold and pleasing climate, Nueva Vizcaya features a terrain of mountains, forests, plains, valleys. It also has several principal rivers such as the Magat, Matuno, Marang, Sta. Fe, and Sta. Cruz which leads to the Magat River that flows into the Cagayan River.

As a result of the Spanish rule during the early days, Nueva Vizcaya's named after the Spanish province, Vizcaya located in the Basque Country. Since then,it has become home to many ethnic groups such as the Ilongots (Bugkalot), Isinays, Gaddangs, Igorots, Ifugaos, as well as migrants from neighboring provinces like the Ilocanos—which make up for the majority of the people living in the Nueva Vizcaya, thus making Ilocano as the major dialect spoken among others. Majority of its people can also converse in English.

Like its neighboring provinces, Nueva Vizcaya is also blessed with a fertile soil and abundant rivers that make its natives survive through farming; raising farm animals such as cattle and swine; as well as fishing.

A fan of the healthy and simple foods, Nueva Vizcaya residents—especially the Ilocanos, boasts of delicacies such as the pinakbet--a vegetable dish defined by the distinct taste of the shrimp paste or the bagoong, and the dinengdeng—a vegetable dish with fish as the highlight ingredient and bagoong as its soup base.

Given a big gusto for fish delicacies, the natives of Nueva Vizcaya also enjoy having the tortang dulong or the silverfish omelet. It is favored by many because it requires only a few ingredients as well as simple cooking procedures.

Dulongs are caught at sea with fine nets because of its very small size. Aside from being tiny, dulongs are also identified by their small beady eyes and transparent white appearance.

To cook something in omelete or torta is to make a dish from beaten eggs quickly cooked in a pan with fillings—which, in this case, include the dulong among others.

The tortang dulong goes along with tomato ketchup very well and does not need salt because of the natural saltiness of the fish. 

Dulong Torta
( Dulong Omelette)

Yield : 8
prep : 30 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes

5 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1/2 " Ginger, chopped fine
1 pc onion, small, chopped
1 pc tomato, chopped1 pc potato, grated
1/4 bell pepper, green, diced 1/2
1/4 bell pepper,red, diced 1/2
1 tsp chicken base (sysco)
6 pcs eggs, beaten
8 oz Dulong, washed and drained well

1) in a sauté pan,pour 3 tbsp oil. Add garlic and Ginger,sauté for 2 minutes
2) add onion and sauté until translucent. Add tomato and cook for 3  minutes
3) add bell peppers and cook for 3 minutes.
4) In a mixing bowl, place the chicken base and eggs. Beat well with a whisk. Add sauteed items in the eggs mixture.
5) add the Dulong mix slightly
6) in a frying pan, pour 1/2 cup of the Dulong mixture and fry 2 minutes on each side.
7) continue the process until all the mixture has been cooked.

Dean and Director Emeritus, Culinary Arts College and Development
International Students Departments, Johnson & Wales University Providence, R.I.
The First Certified Culinary Educator by the American Culinary Federation (ACF)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Baked Pork Belly Tocino in Milk by Chef Ron Bilaro

Pork is one of the largely consumed meat in America. Its tenderness and versatility had also made it as a favorite food staple.

Pork contains more protein than other meat, with 20.9 percent of it made up of protein.

Experts also say that pork contains less saturated fat, so there are lesser risks of clogging arteries. It also contains linoleic acid, which helps block out bad cholesterol.

Pork is also widely consumed by the Filipinos for the same practical reasons that the Americans do.

Aside from the lechon and the pork adobo, the sweet pork tocino another Pinoy pork recipe is very famous in the country.

Traditionally served for breakfast in the Philippines, “tocino” is derived from the Spanish word that means ‘bacon’ or ‘cured’ meat. To achieve its distinct caramelized texture, various methods and ingredients have been used in making the ideal tocino.

This week, Chef Ron Bilaro, a successful private chef and event organizer in Chicago, will teach you how to make a different kind of tocino—the Baked Pork Belly Tocino in Milk.

Baked Pork Belly Tocino in Milk
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 to 3 ½ hours for baking
INACTIVE time: 8 hours for soaking/marinate
• 3 pounds pork belly, cleaned and cut into desired portion sizes
• 1 quart whole milk
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 2 cups brown sugar
• ½ cup annatto powder or achuete
• 10 cloves garlic, minced
• 5 bay leaves
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  1. Place pork belly into a flameproof casserole. Combine milk, lemon juice, annatto powder, garlic, sugar and pour it over the pork. Cover with foil and keep in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the casserole from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. Adjust oven rack to center of the oven and pre heat to 350 F.
  3. Add bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Cover and bake for about 3 hours or until pork is tender.
  4. Check the casserole every 30 minutes to make sure the milk with the sugar does not burn.
  5. Add more milk if necessary.
  6. Remove pork from the liquid. Skim the fat form the milk mixture.
  7. Using a chinois or cheese cloth, strain milk sauce. Discard solid.
  8. Place milk marinade in a sauce pan, cook and reduce to about half, this may take 10 minutes. Taste the sauce. The sauce should be sweet and should be an red- orange color. Feel free to add more brown sugar and annatto powder to attain this consistency.
  9. Meanwhile, combine cornstarch with about half cup of the milk sauce in a small bowl. Whisk well until cornstarch is completely dissolved.
  10. Slowly whisk in to the simmering milk sauce on the stove. Continue to whisk until sauce becomes thick. This may take about 2 minutes. Turn off stove. Set sauce aside.
  11. Meanwhile, adjust oven to broil (450 F) adjusting the oven rack to about 8 inches from the top.
  12. Place pork belly pieces on a baking tray.
  13. Brush top of pork belly with milk sauce and broil for about 2 minutes until brown on top.
  14. Drizzle milk sauce on top before serving.

Chef Ron Bilaro

Chef Ron Bilaro is a graduate of the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu program at The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago. He is a chef known to many prominent families and corporations in the Windy City and the West Coast. Chef Ron even gained more publicity as Sous Chef to Art Smith, personal chef of Miss Oprah Winfrey. Chef Ron was recently launched at the One Go event and is now a certified Kapamilya. He is set to have a new show in TFC that involves a lot of traveling as well as finding great Pinoy eats all over  the world. For Chef Ron, having a cooking show is a dream come true. He said he is “excited” in “bringing my simple dishes to the show so people can make it at home.” A professional feature writer for Chicago Tribune as well as a regular contributor to
Baltimore Sun of Maryland and Sun Sentinel of Florida, Chef Ron is also currently working on his second book that is due to be released soon.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Pinoy Street Food - Adidas© (Chicken Feet Black)

Street foods are delectable, convenient, practical and best of all economical. There is a street food to match almost anyone’s budget.

In the Philippines, selling street foods has become a huge industry. It is one of the most viable means of livelihood among the common people as it does not require big capital investment. A few hundred pesos and a little knowledge of cooking are all that is required.

Street food reveals the inventive character of the Filipinos. The poor, after all, are forced to be resourceful. Thus we manage to cook, sell, and eat stuff normally junked as waste. For example, animal blood is usually thrown away after butchering, but we use it for the well-liked dinuguan or betamax (roasted coagulated pig or cow blood). 

Most street food is sold as barbecue, fried, boiled or steamed etc. These are usually finger food, snack, fast food or even fruits and drinks. They are most often exotic but they are also an adaptation of western food or any foreign food.
Pinoy street food names have been evolving thru the times and base on locality they are mostly coined after a similar food item or similar things around us.

One of the more colorful names and certainly a favorite of Pinoys is Adidas.

Adidas is barbecued chicken feet in bamboo skewer. Chicken feet are pre-cooked adobo-style. The name originates from a popular branded athletic shoe “Adidas”.

(Chicken Feet Black)

2 lbs Chicken feet (Pre-prepared:  Method of preparation noted below)
2 cups Oil (Corn)
2 tbsp Sesame Oil
1 cup   Marsala  Wine
1 cup   Sherry Wine
3 pcs  Star Anise (whole)
2 tbsp  Five Spice Powder
1 tbsp  Ginger, fresh, chopped fine
2 tbsp Garlic, chopped fine
4 tbsp  Honey (or  Maltose Sugar)
1 tbsp  Red pepper flakes
1 tbsp  Lemon Juice
1 tbsp   Lemon Rind, grated
1 tbsp  Soy Sauce
1 tbsp  Oyster Sauce

  1. Pre-preparation of chicken feet: Wash chicken feet thoroughly over running water.
  2. Chop off toenails. Remove any trace of scaly yellow skin. Cut into thirds.
  3. In a pot, pour enough water and boil chicken feet for 5 minutes. Remove from fire and rinse well. Dry well with paper towel.
  4. In a wok with cover, over high heat, pour oil. 
  5. Fry chicken feet until brown (cover to avoid splashing). Remove from fire.
  6. Place in the marinade for 1 hour (or preferably overnight, refrigerate).
  7. In a thick bottom pot, pour marinade and chicken feet.
  8. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour (reduce marinade liquid almost completely)
  9. Pour sesame oil before serving.

CHEF SOCRATES ZALDIVAR INONOG, AAC, CCEThe First Certified Culinary Educator by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Dean and Director Emeritus, Culinary Arts College and Development.International Students Departments, Johnson & Wales University Providence, R.I.