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Sinigang na Baboy (Tamarind Soup with Pork)

22 Mar

I grew up with my Momma’s cooking, and of all of those dishes her Sinigang has always been my favorite.  She moved to Indiana from the Philippines when she was in her mid-twenties because my Lolo (grandfather) had moved there to continue his medical practice.  She grew up with cooks and maids who handled the usual housework, and she barely knew how to make rice.  But, with their new life in a new country, she had to take on the role of cook and maid for my Lolo and her brother.  It was a crash course in domestic life for a fine arts major who was more at home with watercolors and canvases.

Luckily, by the time that I was old enough to enjoy her cooking, she had mastered the Filipino classics.  I’ve been asking her for her recipes ever since I had moved out, but I never had enough courage to make the attempts and I also never wrote down the actual recipes because she would just rattle them off from memory and I thought that I might be capable of the same.  Last week, while hanging out at their place, I got her to slow down and give me the coveted Sinigang recipe while I entered it into my iPhone.

So without further ado, behold my Momma’s recipe:

MOMMA’S SINIGANG NA BABOY (TAMARIND SOUP WITH PORK)

Ingredients:


  • 3 lbs-pork (shoulder, picnic, spareribs or country strips)
  • 2-roma tomatoes
  • 1-medium onion
  • 1-bunch spinach (add more if you want more roughage)
  • 1-packet Sinigang soup mix (you can find this at your local Filipino market)
  • patis (fish sauce) to taste (also found at any Filipino/Asian market)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 cups jasmine rice (more if you’re feeding a house full of Asians)

Directions:

  • Cut pork into uniform cubes.  If using spareribs, separate ribs.  If you’ve chosen a bone-in cut, throw that bone in there for flavor!
  • Dice tomatoes and onion
  • Combine pork, tomatoes, onion, salt, pepper and patis in large pot.  Simmer on medium heat until tomatoes begin to break down and pork starts to brown (approx. 15 minutes)
  • Prepare rice according to package directions.  When you rinse the rice, save the water from the 2nd rinse and put in a bowl
  • When pork is brown and the tomatoes have broken down, add the rice water and additional water (if necessary) to cover the pork and vegetable mix 
  • Add entire packet of sinigang mix to the pot
  • Continue to simmer over medium heat approx 1 1/2 hours or until pork is tender
  • Add spinach and banana peppers and continue to cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until spinach has wilted (I do not have anymore step by steps photos of this because guests had started to arrive and I had already started drinking)
  • Serve over rice and enjoy!

Sinigang can use almost any meat that you’d like.  My second favorite is shrimp sinigang, but some people use fish and even beef.  Just adjust the cooking times according the meat of your choice.

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Fear of the Broiler…Conquered

8 Mar

I finally fired up the broiler to make these pork chops.  I have always been slightly afraid of the broiler mainly because I am accident prone and an open flame would surely lead to my inevitable doom.  After walking away from this cooking experience with both eyebrows intact and no burnt flesh, I can now say that my fear of the broiler has ended.

I foresee a lot more broiling in my future.

Chicken Saltimbocca

7 Mar

My first attempt at cooking with wine! (…and not consuming the entire bottle before the actual cooking)

Chicken Saltimbocca was delicious!  I’m still on the fence about the taste that the sage added to the dish, but the husband really enjoyed it and packed the leftovers to take to work.

My First Two Meal Day!

5 Mar

The first Saturday of this 50’s housewife project prompted the first two meal day.  The Creme Brulee French Toast had to soak overnight, so I prepared on Friday night.  Fridays evenings used to be spent swigging booze and chain-smoking, but as we get older it seems like every now and then a quieter, tamer Friday evening gets to sneak in more often.  I’ve decided that those Fridays will be followed by delicious breakfast Saturdays!

Behold, the glory of Creme Brulee French Toast:

I am not usually a morning person, but when I started this new project, something bizarre happened.  I’ve started waking up earlier.  I suppose this will come in very handy as soon as school is officially back in session.

Now onto the second meal of the day.  Dinner was Garlic Seafood (I used a seafood mix that had shrimp, scallops and squid instead of the plain shrimp that the recipe called for) and Jalapeno Rice.  The rice was inspired by the Scallion Cilantro Rice with Habaneros featured on SkinnyTaste.  It was the first time that my husband, who is not very food adventurous actually willingly ate squid.  So far, this is my most favorite meal.  It was easy to make, the actual seafood dish took less than 10 minutes to make and I made the rice ahead of time with my trusty ultra fancy rice cooker.

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

4 Mar

After a fun-filled, beer-soaked Disney Thursday, it was back to the kitchen for Friday’s dinner.  I used the Skinny Taste site again, which I will be doing for the next few days.  The recipes are easy, tasty and excellent for watching points/counting calories.  This time, I tried making the Spinach Lasagna Rolls and they were really good.  This is only my 2nd meal on this whole Apron-Donning Adventure and I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with myself.

An awesome website that I have come across has really helped with this cooking adventure: Kitchen Monki allows you to input your own recipes, recipes that you have come across (my database is currently full of Skinny Taste recipes that I’m waiting to try) or you can browse the recipes that other users have posted.  The site allows you to plan the meals for the week and even creates a shopping list for you based on the week’s menu.  It’s great and helpful, but I’m still tempted to create my very own index card filled recipe box.

Day 1: Cooking-Baked Chicken Parmesan

3 Mar

Last night, I embarked upon my first recipe following journey.  Prior cooking experiments were basically just me guessing at ingredients based on a fun game of “What Would Taste Good?”  I followed this recipe from SkinnyTaste, which is an excellent Weight Watchers friendly site that my friend Inthia (who is celebrating her birthday today) introduced me to.  The meal was low in calories and pretty tasty.  In a supreme housewife-esque move, I made enough to pack some leftovers for the husband to take to work and enjoy as the today’s lunch.

Now, off to Disneyland to celebrate Ms. Inthia’s birthday!