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FEATURING HER 'TIMPLA'T TIKIM' (Manila Bulletin)
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

CHRISTMAS EVE @ SOL's KITCHEN
HOLIDAY LEFTOVERS: LOVELIER THE SECOND TIME AROUND


DECEMBER 24 -A festive buffet table spells a dozen yummy possibilities the next day One of the biggest headaches during this season of feasting is what to do with leftovers: adobo, fried chicken, lechon, beef kaldereta, fish fillet, menudo, and potatoes. This should not be a problem, but a blessing.
Grandma’s first kitchen lesson was a secret shared by many cooks: Many dishes taste better the next day. Properly refrigerated, they improve with age. Add a little ingenuity and voila!—three entirely different meals produced from a bowl of holiday leftovers. KALDERETA/MENUDO MEATLOAF Drain all sauce, set aside. Cut all vegetables and meats (including liver) into small dice. Mix in Japanese Panko bread crumbs, beaten eggs, and a little flour to hold the mixture together. At this point, mix in some grated cheese, if available. Season with salt and pepper. Mixture should resemble runny dough or very thick lumpy batter. Pour mixture into greased small loaf pans, muffin tins, or cake pans. Tap pans all over to get rid of air pockets. Bake or steam until done. Leave to cool and then refrigerate before slicing to serving pieces. If desired, dip each slice in beaten egg and fry. Serve with gravy made from reserved sauce simmered with cream of mushroom soup thinned to desired consistency. Perfect with mashed potatoes, rice, or buttered pasta. READ MORE...

ALSO: Fun and frugal – Christmas kakanin made at home


Native merienda such as Bibingka, Puto Bumbong, and Maja Blanca can now be made easily in every Filipino home for the holidays. (Photo from www.greenteadesign.com)
Native merienda such as Bibingka, Puto Bumbong, and Maja Blanca can now be made easily in every Filipino home for the holidays. (Photo from www.greenteadesign.com) There were neither supermarkets nor malls while I was growing up in the 1950s. Everything we needed had to be either raised or caught by us; the rest were bought from neighbors or the public market in the next town. Las Piñas was so poor it had no market; we all had to cross a bridge to the Kabilang Zapote in adjoining Bacoor town. There was no TV, no internet, no phones, no malls. Our town had neither public park nor playground, yet we never got bored. We played in the fields and streams, chased quail in the rice fields after harvest, flew kites in the summer, gathered oysters and clams from the sea. When rainy season began, there were snails and hibernating mudfish to dig up from the rice paddies’ raised embankments. LEARNING FROM MASTERS – We also visited each other’s homes, often sharing meals and learning how everyone lived, worked, ate and cooked. That early, food had started fascinating my curious young mind. I spent hours hanging around neighborhood chefs – old women who made native rice cakes like kutsinta, putong puti, maja blanca, sapin-sapin and biko. The Christmas school vacation was my favorite season; the kusineras could barely keep up with the demand for kakanin, not just to sell to Simbang Gabi goers, but as gifts and snacks for neighbors’ visiting relatives and friends. TEDIOUS HERITAGE RECIPES – It was hard work as there were no instant mixes; everything was made from scratch. To make Bibingka, newly harvested rice was soaked in water overnight, mixed with some day-old cooked rice, and ground up in a hand-cranked stone mill. A little baking powder was thoroughly mixed in with the batter to help the fermentation along and make the Bibingka fluffier. Neither food coloring nor artificial flavor was added. For Puto Bumbong, malagkit or sticky rice and a small portion of purple rice called pirurutong were soaked overnight in plain water. Some day-old leftover rice was incorporated before the soaked rice was stone ground. The resulting thick batter was poured into a cheesecloth (Katsa) sack and hung up to drip. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Holiday leftovers: Lovelier the Second Time Around


A festive buffet table spells a dozen yummy possibilities the next day

MANILA, DECEMBER 28, 2015 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Sol Vanzi December 24, 2015 - One of the biggest headaches during this season of feasting is what to do with leftovers: adobo, fried chicken, lechon, beef kaldereta, fish fillet, menudo, and potatoes. This should not be a problem, but a blessing.

Grandma’s first kitchen lesson was a secret shared by many cooks: Many dishes taste better the next day. Properly refrigerated, they improve with age. Add a little ingenuity and voila!—three entirely different meals produced from a bowl of holiday leftovers.

KALDERETA/MENUDO MEATLOAF


Meatloaf

Drain all sauce, set aside. Cut all vegetables and meats (including liver) into small dice. Mix in Japanese Panko bread crumbs, beaten eggs, and a little flour to hold the mixture together. At this point, mix in some grated cheese, if available. Season with salt and pepper. Mixture should resemble runny dough or very thick lumpy batter.

Pour mixture into greased small loaf pans, muffin tins, or cake pans. Tap pans all over to get rid of air pockets.

Bake or steam until done. Leave to cool and then refrigerate before slicing to serving pieces. If desired, dip each slice in beaten egg and fry. Serve with gravy made from reserved sauce simmered with cream of mushroom soup thinned to desired consistency. Perfect with mashed potatoes, rice, or buttered pasta.

READ MORE...


Fish fillet

ORIENTAL FISH FILLET

Deep-fried fish fillet easily convert to gourmet dishes when covered with black bean sauce (tausi), oyster sauce, or sweet and sour sauce.

Simply stir-fry garlic, onions, and sliced ginger. Add either one of the following: mashed tausi, oyster sauce, or banana ketchup depending on the sauce desired. Stir in sliced hot peppers to taste. Add cornstarch dissolved in water to create sauce. Season to taste with soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and pepper. Serve sprinkled with sliced green onions, parsley, or kinchay.

This recipe also works well with leftover lechon, fried chicken, and sliced pork chops.


Roast chicken

ADOBO

Drain all sauce, set aside. Pull meat off bones into flakes. Fry flakes until crisp and sprinkle over fried rice and salads, or stuff into pandesal and French bread with fresh salad vegetables.

Adobo sauce is also used to flavor fried rice and as ready-made sauce for adobong sitaw and kangkong. I have even used the drained sauce for making adobong tawilis and tulingan adobo sa gata, simmered over a very low fire until almost dry.

ALA KING AND STROGANOFF

Lechon, steaks, roast beef, and roast chicken all easily convert into luxurious fare with a few simple steps and a couple of ingredients.

For ala king sauce, sauté sliced onions until light brown, add sliced mushrooms, and stir-fry for two minutes. Stir in two tablespoons of flour and stir until lumps disappear. Pour in some broth (or water with a bouillon cube) and simmer, stirring well to remove lumps. Some chefs add wine, some prefer beer. Add sliced leftover meat and heat through. Spoon over toast, pasta, mashed potatoes, or rice.

To make stroganoff, follow the ala king recipe but make sure the flour is browned to achieve the right color for the gravy. Just before serving, stir in some sour cream (or cream soured with lemon or calamansi juice). Also matches potatoes, rice, and pasta.


FLASHBACK BY SOL VANZI

Fun and frugal – Christmas kakanin made at home by Sol Vanzi December 19, 2013 Share101 Tweet13 Share0 Email0 Share116


Native merienda such as Bibingka, Puto Bumbong, and Maja Blanca can now be made easily in every Filipino home for the holidays. (Photo from www.greenteadesign.com)

There were neither supermarkets nor malls while I was growing up in the 1950s. Everything we needed had to be either raised or caught by us; the rest were bought from neighbors or the public market in the next town. Las Piñas was so poor it had no market; we all had to cross a bridge to the Kabilang Zapote in adjoining Bacoor town.

There was no TV, no internet, no phones, no malls. Our town had neither public park nor playground, yet we never got bored. We played in the fields and streams, chased quail in the rice fields after harvest, flew kites in the summer, gathered oysters and clams from the sea. When rainy season began, there were snails and hibernating mudfish to dig up from the rice paddies’ raised embankments.

LEARNING FROM MASTERS – We also visited each other’s homes, often sharing meals and learning how everyone lived, worked, ate and cooked. That early, food had started fascinating my curious young mind. I spent hours hanging around neighborhood chefs – old women who made native rice cakes like kutsinta, putong puti, maja blanca, sapin-sapin and biko.

The Christmas school vacation was my favorite season; the kusineras could barely keep up with the demand for kakanin, not just to sell to Simbang Gabi goers, but as gifts and snacks for neighbors’ visiting relatives and friends.

TEDIOUS HERITAGE RECIPES – It was hard work as there were no instant mixes; everything was made from scratch. To make Bibingka, newly harvested rice was soaked in water overnight, mixed with some day-old cooked rice, and ground up in a hand-cranked stone mill. A little baking powder was thoroughly mixed in with the batter to help the fermentation along and make the Bibingka fluffier. Neither food coloring nor artificial flavor was added.

For Puto Bumbong, malagkit or sticky rice and a small portion of purple rice called pirurutong were soaked overnight in plain water. Some day-old leftover rice was incorporated before the soaked rice was stone ground. The resulting thick batter was poured into a cheesecloth (Katsa) sack and hung up to drip.

READ MORE...

Once solid like a damp brick, the purple dough was grated using a loosely woven flat bamboo tray called lastay; the process produces a coarse grain-like crumble that’s ready to steam in bamboo tubes.


Bibingka (vivafilipinastumblr.com)

MODERN BIBINGKA MAGIC – These days, the traditional Pilipino holiday snacks no longer take a day and a night to make, what with instant mixes aplenty not just in supermarkets but also in public markets and sari-sari stores. Most readily available are Bibingka mixes in boxes.

My advice is to purchase a traditional clay Bibingka baking pot from the public market. A good alternative is a clay pan intended to catch dripping water from plant pots; they’re sold in garden supply stores. For authentic appearance and taste, cook the bibingka in a banana leaf-lined clay over a stove (gas or electric), and simultaneously cook the top under a metal sheet or baking pan filled with blazing charcoal.

Have on hand the following traditional and modern toppings: brown sugar, Star margarine, cheddar cheese, keso de bola, sliced salted eggs, chocolate chips. For authenticity, serve the Bibingka on banana leaves.

PUTO BUMBONG MADE EASY – One does not need to buy the custom-made metal steamer that costs around P500 in public markets, or the bamboo steamer tubes that will set you back about P100 for the pair. All you need is the steamer pan that comes with each brand new electric rice cooker.

Mix a 250-gram pack of sticky rice powder with a pinch of violet food color and enough water to form a sticky dough. Cover in a bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rest for a couple of hours. Grate the hardened dough coarsely, using the same implement one uses for cheese and green papaya.

Form the grated purple grains into longanisa-like puto-bumbong by rolling and pressing between your palms. Steam in single layer on a banana leaf-lined pan, covered, for 5 minutes. Serve rolled in grated mature coconuts with a sprinkling of coarse panutsa (muscovado sugar) and either ground peanuts or toasted sesame seeds.

50 SHADES OF MAJA BLANCA – Maja blanca used to be made from corn meal, which these days is impossible to find in the Philippines. This easy version uses corn starch, the ingredient used by home cooks and commercial manufacturers.

Whisk together 1 cup cornstarch and a tall can of evaporated milk until no lumps remain, then add 1 cup white sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring to keep the mixture smooth. Before it thickens, add 1 cup coconut milk (second pressing) and 1 can cream-style corn. Continue stirring until thick then pour into an 8” by 8” baking dish or individual fancy glasses or bowls. Chill in the ref or freezer before serving.

Maja Blanca, white or yellow, is now sold in all sizes and shapes, and with various toppings: small marshmallows, M&Ms, shaved dark chocolate, crumbled Oreos, cheese, bacon, and any other items that catch one’s fancy.

For feedback and comments, email to: solvanzi2000@yahoo.com 


Maja Blanca with mais (www.pinoychow.com)


SOL JOSE VANZI's PHNO PAGE


Photo from Kyle Victor Jose's iPAD
Lifestyle/Food and Arts & Culture columnist of the Manila Daily Bulletin.
Signature title "Timpla't Tikim"
http://www.mb.com.ph/lifestyle/


Sol in 1997 Photo: PHNO Editor/Travel & Leisure page
http://www.newsflash.org/staff/solvanzi.htm


Photo of Sol and young Kyle Victor Jose in March 2005 at PHNO/QCNet
office in Levitown, Paranaque. Photoshot by Leo Q. Carolino.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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