Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spicy Chicken Tacos

I made tacos for the first time. I have always liked tacos, but since most places serve it with beef, which I don't eat,  I would always ask that they leave out the beef, just veggies, taco sauce and cheese.  I have gotten a lot of "what???" reaction with my request.  I've been meaning to make tacos myself for quite some time but have not really gotten around to doing it.  A couple of weeks ago I was glancing over some old issues of Yummy and found this recipe for chicken tacos so I had to make it.  The taco feast that I prepared had gotten such excellent feedback from the whole family, I think from now on we will be having tacos often at our house. 

Prepping and cooking this dish took quite a while but when I took that first bite two things popped in my head. The first was this is so delicious, why did I not make this before, and the second was when can I make this again, would tomorrow be too soon? 

The Little Ones had a fun time assembling their tacos, they made quite a mess with taco sauce all over their faces and fingers.  Our first taco fiesta was a great time, we hope to have another one soon. 

Here is the recipe:
Spicy Chicken 
1/2 kilo boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets cut into strips (if you prefer beef use 1/2 kilo lean ground beef)
1 medium white onion, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tbsp chili powder
3/4 tsp cayenne powder
2 tbsps vegetable oil
2 tbsps tomato paste
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, saute onion with cumin, chili powder and cayenne pepper in 2 tbsps vegetable oil for 2 minutes.
2. Stir in the chicken and cook until the meant just turns opaque.
3. Add tomato paste and water and give the mixture a good stir.  Lower flame to medium-low and let simmer an additional 4 to 5 minutes, until the meat is cooked through.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Taco Sauce Recipe
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium white onion, minced
1 tsp cumin
3 tbsps chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup water
1 250-gram pack tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a medium pot over medium-low heat, saute onion and garlic with cumin, chili powder and cayenne pepper in oil until the onion is translucent.  Add the tomato sauce and water; bring to a simmer.
2. Let simmer for 6 to 8 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Then layer the ingredients in the taco shell.  Usually you start with the lettuce, then the meat, some salsa if you like, then cheese and taco sauce.  But I do mine with some chicken first then lots of lettuce and salsa, then a little cheese topped with some taco sauce.  Do it any way you want, that's the fun of doing this dish at home, you can have fun with it. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

BC Bloggers

I would like to connect with other bloggers so I decided to join the group BC Bloggers.  I discovered this group through Jenn of Tara Let's Eat, a blog that I enjoy reading.  Joining looks like it would be a fun, I am hoping to meet a lot more bloggers to share different ideas and stories with.  Can't wait to start :) 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Spicy Stir-Fried Adobong Pusit

We have some left-over adobong pusit that no one was interested in eating anymore.  I guess that is what becomes to a good dish after the first day it is served, people lose their appetite for it on the second day.  But I did not want it to go to waste so I decided to reinvent and serve it for dinner.  I simply drained some of the black sauce.  Then in a pan I heated up some oil, added the adobong pusit, stir-fried it for about a minute. I added in some crushed pepper flakes, then seasoned the dish with a little brown sugar and some cayenne pepper. 

The result was a wonderful dish that still retained that beautiful adobo flavor but with a kick from the crushed peppers. So the next time there's an old dish sitting in the fridge I am going to think of  ways how I can  spruce it up. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Chicken Katsu

Early this year I learned how to make tonkatsu (Japanese breaded port cutlet), and the whole family got addicted to it.  We loved the dish so much that I was asked to cook it every week for months.  But eventually we got over our tonkatsu addiction, and I decided to take a break from making it.  

As I was leafing through the October 2011 issue of Yummy magazine I was inspired to bring katsu back to our dinner table.  But this time instead of pork cutlets I used chicken fillets.  I loved how the chicken katsu turned out the breading was crisp while the meat inside remained tender to the bite.

Here is the link to the tonkatsu recipe, just substitute the pork with chicken or better make them both and go katsu crazy :) 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Crispy Sweet And Sour Shrimps

This is another recipe from Yummy Magazine that was a surprise hit with the Little Girl.  She prefers eating squid over shrimps, but this dish may have swayed her to liking shrimps a little more. I guess the crispy coating really made this dish extra special. The shrimps were coated with cornstarch and then deep-fried which made their shells edible and the meat inside cooked just right.  The addition of  the sweet-sour sauce with bits of pineapple made this dish perfection.  

Here's the recipe:

For the shrimp
350 grams medium shrimp
salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 cups cooking oil

For the vegetables
2 tbsps corn oil
1 onion, sliced
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 stalk leek, sliced into 1-inch rings
5 slices of carrots
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup canned pineapple chunks, reserve syrup for sweet-sour sauce

For the sweet-sour sauce
2 tbsps cane vinegar
1/2 cup pineapple syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup tomato ketchup
1 bay leaf
2 tbsps sweet chili sauce
1 cup water
1 tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 1 1/2 tbsp water

1. Prepare the shrimp. Cut off the legs then slice the back halfway through, making sure the shell, head and tail are still attached.  Season with salt and pepper.

2. Dip the shrimp in egg then coat with cornstarch.  Heat oil in wok then deep-fry shrimp just until color turns pink and the coating becomes golden and crisp.  Drain on paper towels.

3. Cook the vegetables.  Heat oil and stir-fry onions and garlic until fragrant.  Add the rest of the vegetables except for pineapple chunks.  Saute until tender, about 1 minute.  Add pineapple chunks and mix well; set aside.

4. Make the sweet-sour sauce.  In a saucepan mix all the ingredients (except for the cornstarch mixture) and simmer over medium heat until reduced in half.  Strain and let cool.  Place 1 cup of the sauce in a wok and bring to a boil.  Thicken with the cornstarch and water mixture.  Once thickened, toss in the fried shrimps and vegetables.  Transfer to platter and garnish with sliced leeks. Serve immediately

* If there is excess unused sauce, you can use it as dipping sauce for fried dishes.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pansit Palabok

Of all the different kinds of pansit that we have palabok is my favorite.  There was a week not so long ago that I had this for 5 straight days.   It has everything I love to eat - crab fat, shrimps, squid, noodles, boiled eggs and crushed chicaron bits. I believe palabok is a truly authentic Pinoy noodle dish, unlike most of the other pansit dishes which are more Chinese in origin.

I can't exactly recall how old I was when I first had palabok.  But I can vividly remember how happy my taste buds were exploding with flavor, loving the richness of the crab sauce and the different textures of the ingredients.  I was in food heaven at that time.  I try to relieve this utopia every time I take that first forkful bite, hhmmmm heaven indeed.

When I have gathered enough cooking confidence I will cook this dish, but for now I respect this dish too much to try to attempt to make it.  
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