This itself is an inspiration! I will most definitely try! I actually have a recipe in mind that I think you’d like :)
After watching an episode of Julia Child, I knew I had to try her techniques out. She taught me the essentials in making a great stew. With this knowledge in me, I was raring to try them out!
Step one to an awesome stew is to brown the meat. Like Julia, I went with some butter—only the best for Julia!—and they browned up very nicely.
The stock is a bottle of red wine. I probably used a good cup or two for the amount of beef that I had.
Into the pot with some herbs and garlic and onion—and of course the beef!—and into the oven for a slow (and I mean slow) cook at a low heat. After 2 hours, my stew was ready! A drain of the sauce and a bit of flour, I had a thick stew consistency for my tender beef.
I could have taken it a step further with some sauteed pearl onions, bacon, and mushroom—but I lacked all of those ingredients. So a pure beef stew was for dinner that night! It really packed a punch—so much concentrated flavor. I hope I made Julia Child proud that night.
Or “bitter melon” to you English-speaking folk. Imagine a very bitter eggplant—that’s what you get with this vegetable! There are different ways to cook it (my mom likes to sauté it with egg) but I fancied some them stuffed with tomatoes, onions, ginger & bagoong (ginamos in my household). That last bit is basically shrimp paste—my mom’s hometown near Bacolod makes the best of this, she brought it in jars back to Phoenix!
Now sometimes these buggers can be way too bitter—so you can just slice them and let them sit with a bunch of salt on top of them to let the bitter juices drain out. When you’re ready to cook, rinse the salt and cook away. The longer it stays out there, the more of that bitterness goes away.
To make this I just simply scoop out the flesh so it’s hollow for me to stuff ‘em.
- Diced tomatoes, sauté
- Diced onions, sauté
- Minced ginger, sauté
- Minced garlic, sauté
- Bagoong, a good 2 spoonfuls, sauté
- When done, put them on the ampalaya to stuff
- Optional: (If you have kitchen twine, you can tie them up and pan fry first to get a golden brown crust all around)
- In a 350 degree oven, cook for about 10-15 minutes.
- Serve with some rice!
Now the ampalaya will still have some bitter flavor there—it’s not a vegetable for everybody, but go ahead and try it if you dare! Have some vinegar with minced ginger on the side to dip (if you want to dilute that bitter bite). My parents LOVE ampalaya so they went crazy for this dish (and my mom was happy our bagoong was being used up!)
Photo: circa 2009 (when I still looked like a 12 year old… Wait, that’s still the case today…)
Last 12th of June marked the anniversary of the Independence of the Philippine Islands from the Spanish rule. So for my blog, I figured I’d post some of my favorite Filipino posts from the blog’s past to commemorate the glorious cuisine of the Filipino culture.
Did you ever think that even the simplest Choc-nut could bring love? It did for my parents :)
We also appreciate innovation—like maybe a new way of making lechon!
Filipinos value family just as much as their food, and to be honest these two are always together for the most part!
Just a little post declaring my love for the culture that has been so good to me. Wherever I’ll be, I’ll always be proud to be Pinoy!