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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sisig Recipe


The ultimate Pulutan companion for beer. Around bars and restaurants, the many varieties of this Sisig dish are a best seller.  Either to go along with your favorite drink or to be chowed down with hot steamed rice.I had it at a friends house a couple days ago. It was the spicy part of a Filipino Feast enjoyed by half our food and beverage dept. Rey Amarilla (one of my fellow cooks at work) gave me the recipe for all to enjoy!!
Originally, Sisig was made from chopped parts of a pig’s head — ears, snout, the brain, etc. Over the years it was reinvented into simple minced meat served on a sizzling platter with chili, liver, onion and seasoned with Calamansi and Vinaegar.
Sometimes topped with a fried Egg for Breakfast...a favorite among Men in Manilla.  

Friday, January 29, 2010

Carimanola's Recipe for MamaSita


This recipe is for Dave (aka: MamaSita). Carimanola's are fried Yucca wrapped around a savory filling. A favorite carnival food in Panama. You might also be lucky enough to find them as appetizers or breakfast food at local restaurants.

Yucca is a starchy root crop, not unlike potatoes.
  • 3 lbs Yucca
  • salt to taste
  • 1 lb ground meat (Iguana, Gatosolo, Vaca, Puerco....since were in Canada well go with Chicken or Pork.)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped Parsley
  • 1 large Onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 clove Garlic pressed
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vinegar
  • 3 or 4 Capers
Boil Yucca with salt but do not allow to get too soft.  
Grind with fine blade in grinder and knead with salt.  
Form balls, flatten in the palm of the hand and fill with stuffing forming into an oval shape. 
Pinch to close ends. 
Fry in very hot oil until golden.
To Make Filling:
Season ground meat with salt, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, capers, onion, sugar, garlic and parsley. 

Brown in very small amount of hot oil and add tomato paste.  

Simmer until quite dry.
If you want to freeze the Carimonolas, dust with a little flour after they are formed and place on a cookie sheet in the freezer until firm and then place in sealed ziplock bags.  

To fry, take from freezer to hot oil at one time as they may fall apart. 

Do one or two at a time only.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Cooks Tool Box!!

So a lot of restaurants don’t require a cook to provide his own tools ... such is the case with our hotel. They rent a few sets of knives. Which are re-sharpened  once every few months. I call these the crap knives. They pass thru so many hands that don’t really care about them ... that inevitably they are crap within a few weeks of being re-sharpened. I have always been of the view that you care for something that you paid for. A cook should own his own tools!!
 Now I have went thru four tool boxes since I became a cook. Currently my wife and I own 4 tool boxes. Two at for each of us. Then two spares at home that contain the things we don’t use that often. Now if you wanna start a fight between just have to catch someone going into your toolbox without asking. Some Chefs just refuse to let anyone use anything of theirs...I am not this long as you can borrow it. I try to keep anything that will make my life easier in my box at work. I also try to keep anything that work will not have...or is a heavy use item and starting to wear out. Sharpness is key in this industry...and a hard lesson for a lot of cooks to learn.

  So let’s delve into my box!! It is like a “Tickle Trunk” of wounds and cuts!!  Not everything in my box has a knife guard on it...which keeps prying hands out of it. Let’s start with the box itself. I use a mechanics red steel box. I actually prefer the two or three drawer type...but I was too cheap at the time to spend the extra twenty bucks...and now I suffer as I pull out stuff looking for that one lil thing I need. So if your just starting out...spend the extra twenty!! A note to most cooks-Clean the f@ckin thing once in awhile please!! Your knife may be clean...but once you put it into that treasure chest of food scraps it is no longer sanitized.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pig Bellies

Today I am off and just lounging ... which inevitably leads to craving something!! So I am going to venture off to the Butcher and try and get some Pork Bellies. In these parts they are not common...and hard to come by...slab bacon just isn't the same. So hopefully I score!

Pork belly is the meat derived from the belly of a pig. In Canada, bacon is made most often from pork bellies.