Saturday, May 26, 2007

Nilagang Baka (Beef with Brussels Sprouts and other green vegetables)

My husband was craving for "Nilagang Baka" and so when I went to buy our groceries I made sure that the beef short ribs is on the top of my list and the other ingredients needed to make the "nilagang baka".
I always try having a list of things to buy whenever I go to the grocery store and I always try sticking to it. If I dont have a list I'll definitely be tempted to buy some other extra stuff thats not really needed but hey sometimes can't help especially if I wanted to cook something different for my family...well once in awhile is better than all the time. So a grocery list is always good to have to see how much self control you have...hahaha goodluck to that.

Anyway found some goodlooking pechay or bokchoy,green beans,napa cabbage and brussels sprouts. Actually brussels sprouts are optional for nilagang baka but my husband and I just simply love brussels sprouts in our "nilagang baka" ( my son is still on the trial basis when it comes to brussels sprouts. He would taste just a leaf and will say maybe next time mom).

So to cook nilagang baka I use beef short ribs, potatoes or sweet potatoes,onion,2 cloves of garlic, salt and pepper to taste and all the vegetable above. I normally boil the short ribs night before then I would put it in the fridge and then, the next day I would scoop out all the frozen fats. If I dont have time to do it night before, I would boil it then throw away the first soup stock and then I would boil it again till it is tender with garlic,onion,bayleaf. When almost done I would add the potatoes salt and pepper to taste. Last, I would add all the vegetables and I would cook it half cooked. When done I always serve it on "our meza" steaming hot with hot steamed rice.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Chicken Afritada

Last time we went to Bay Area to visit my family, my mom have prepared some chicken afritada for us. I've had it before so many times but for some reason I've never really cooked it when I've started my own family. And so when my husband and son tried it for the first time they really like it and asked me to make it at home. Few weeks have passed before I made it.

For this dish ,the key ingredients are fresh tomatoes, plenty of them. Well the version that we had in the Bay Area were just perfect but we wished there were more sauce because just the sauce is a dish by it self already and we love sauce in our dish.

When it was my turn to cook it at home, I've asked my mom ofcourse for the recipe of chicken afritada. In my moms recipe, she have used tomatoes and tomato sauce combine to give it a rich red color and it taste just perfect.
First time I've tried to make it or to cook it, I've followed my mom's recipe as is. And the result, it was a hit with my husband and son. My husband brought it to work as his "baon" or lunch and my son asked for it again when he got home after school.
But this time, second time I've cooked it I've added some and I've taken out some to really make it my own. This time I didnt use a tomato sauce but instead I've used some "atswete" or anato seeds for the color and to give it a nutty or tangy taste which I think is perfect with the sweet plum tomatoes that I've just bought. I've used twice as much tomatoes as my first try to cook it . Result? I believe it is as good as the first one because I've got same reaction, they both asked for it again. The difference only is that it is a bit nutty because of the "atswete" which it made it taste authentic and it is just perfect. So if you want a nutty taste use atswete but if you want all tomatoes use tomato sauce and either way, you could never go wrong.

Chicken cut into desired size
Tomotoes 5 to 6 pieces seeded
potato quartered
red bell pepper sliced
aswete ( if powdered aswete just dissolve in lukewarm water but if using anato seeds, soak anato seeds in a cup of lukewarm water,strained and throw away the seeds)
tablespoon of soy sauce
1 bay leaf
salt to taste
Brown chicken and potato. Set aside.
Saute garlic,onion and tomatoes. Add chicken, soy sauce, tomato sauce or the aswete let it simmer. When almost done add the bell pepper, bay leaf and potato. Salt to taste. When done serve hot with steamed rice. And so this is what we have on "our meza" for dinner. Easy to cook. It is a simple dish with lots of flavor.