Category: Postulant Cook Does …

Pako (Fern) Salad

Pako Salad, Photo by Ruben Ortega

Pako (Fern) Salad

Back when we were little children in Marag, Philippines, pako became a staple diet.  It was in our dinner table at least once a week.  We ate a lot of it so much that we kids 🙂 should have grown into goats 🙂 or hated it after a while. But I have always a vibrant and positive memory of pako.

Gathering pako is an adventure for us youngster.  We had to roam a dense growth of greens at the mouth of a forest and try to pick the young furling sprouts of pako.  Thank goodness they grow profusely together and therefore picking them one by one was not much of a chore.

Pako can be prepared in plenty of ways, it can be blanched and made into a salad, it can be left fresh as it is as a salad as well or cook and added into various kind of inabraw, an Ilocano way of cooking.

Below is another pako salad recipe.

Ingredients

 

  • 1 large bunch pako (fern)
  • 2 salted eggs or hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp patis (fish sauce)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • sprinkling of salt to taste

 Method of Preparation:

 

  1. prepare the pako by removing any tough stalk.
  2. Bring a large pot of boiling water. Blanch the pako by quickly dipping them into the hot water.  Leave for a minute and drain.
  3. Arranged the pako on a serving platter.
  4. Put the tomatoes and onion on top then garnish with the slices of salted eggs.
  5. Make a typical Filipino dressing by mixing the vinegar, fish sauce, black pepper, sugar and a very little salt.  Stir it in thoroughly for the granules to dissolve.
  6.  Pour the dressing all over the pako.
  7. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 

Roast Fennel Recipe

Fennel by PH Morton

 

Sliced fennel, photo by PH Morton

Roast Fennel Recipe

This fennel recipe is really delicioous.  It bings out the natural sweetness of this aromatic bulb.

Ingredients

 

  • 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced.
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

 

 Method of Preparation:

 

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 180ºC.
  2. Arrange the sliced fennel into a baking sheet, which is lined with aluminium foil.
  3. Generously drizzle the olive oil into the slices.
  4. Follow it up with the balsamic vinegar, which will bring out the fennel’s natural sweetness.
  5. Put in the middle shelf of the oven and roast for 40 minutes or until the edges start to caramelise.
  6. Serve immediately as a side dish.

 

Mussels with Malunggay and Potato Viand

mussels, photo by Ruben Ortega

Mussels with Malunggay and Potato Viand

This recipe is perfect for all kinds of weather but more so during the colder times.  It is healthy as well.  It is rich in minerals and vitamins.

Malunggay is fast becoming a superfood which contains a lot of nutrients good for the repair and maintenance of body tissues.

Ingredients

 

  • 1-2 lbs. mussels, cleaned of all grits and scum
  • 2 inches ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 6-8 pieces each.
  • 1 large bunch of malunggay leaves, hard stalks trimmed off and discarded
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 6 cups water
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

 

 Method of Preparation:

 

  1. In a large casserole pan, bring the water to a boil.
  2. Drop in the onions and ginger.   Cover the casserole pan and leave to simmer for 8 minutes.
  3. Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the mussels and gently simmer for 5 minutes
  5. Sprinkle salt and ground black pepper.
  6. Add the malunggay leaves and cook for 5 minutes without covering the casserole.
  7. Quickly check the seasoning.  Add a little bit more salt and black pepper if needed.
  8. Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy with freshly boiled rice and some side dishes.

Super, super yummy.

 

Beef with Onions & Pineapple Recipe

Beef with onions & Pineapple, photo by Ruben Ortega

Beef with Onions & Pineapple Recipe

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ttsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp cornflour, (cornstarch) mixed with 1 tbsp  water
  • 500g beef steak, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 head of garlic,  peeled and chopped finely
  • 2 small onions, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded then chopped
  • 4 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 (425g) tin pineapple slices, drained and chopped (ensure to keep 3 tbsp of the syrup as it will be needed for the recipe)

 

 

 Method of Preparation:

  1. First of, in a large bowl mix in the sugar, salt, soy sauce with the cornflour to make a marinade.
  2. Stir in the beef, ensure that it is covered with the marinade and leave to marinate for 15 to 30 minutes.
  3. Over a medium heat, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil into a large frying pan or better yet, a wok.
  4. Add half of the chopped garlic into the pan and stir until golden brown, do not burn to prevent bitter taste.
  5. Stir in the beef and cook until starting to brown.  Transfer the beef into a plate and set aside.
  6. Heat the rest of the oil using the same  frying pan or wok.
  7. Stir-fry the remaining garlic until golden and fragrant.
  8. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Stir until translucent.
  9. Tip in the red pepper; stir for 1-2 minutes.
  10. Return the beef into the pan and to it add the oyster sauce and pineapple syrup.
  11. Stir for 4-5 minutes.
  12. On the last minute, add the sliced pineapple.
  13. Serve immediately with freshly boiled rice.

Enjoy

Lemon Chicken Recipe

Lemon Chicken, Photo by JMorton

Lemon Chicken Recipe

This recipe is perfect for not too formal dinner party or just a treat for the family.

Ingredients

Method of Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 180º centigrade.
  • Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Saute the garlic for just 1 minute, ensure not to burn the garlic to prevent a bitter taste.
  • Turn down the heat to low and then add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 tsp of salt. Stir well then  pour into a large ceramic oven-proof
  • Wash the chicken and drain and dry with kitchen paper towels.
  • Put the chicken pieces into the ceramic dish and spoon into them the oil and lemon mixture.
  • Sprinkle with salt and a liberal amount of freshly ground black pepper.
  • Cover the ceramic dish with an aluminium foil and bake for 40 minutes, Then remove the cover, baste the chicken pieces with the juices and return into the oven and cook for a further half an hour or until the chicken is done.
  • Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes.  Just perfect timing to prepare all the trimmings and setting the table.
  • Enjoy!

Roasted Sweet Apples Recipe

Bowl of apples from our garden
Photo by JMorton

Roasted Sweet Apples Recipe

This recipe is ideal served with roast pork and roast turkey.  Perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration.

You can cook the apples separately with the roast pork or turkey but it would be better and tastier cooked around the meat of preference.  They would then soak up juices as the apples cook.

Ingredients:

  • 6 sweet apples
  • 50 g butter
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Method of Preparation:

  • Peel the apples, leaving them whole.  Remove the cores, easier using an apple corer.
  • Drizzle the lemon juice all over the apples, to prevent them browning even before they start cooking. 🙂
  • Insert a pat of butter into the middle of the apples, sprinkle with salt, cinnamon and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
  • Put them around the roast 20 minutes before the meat is cooked.
  • Or put them on a baking sheet and cook separately on a preheated oven at 190ºC for 25 minutes.
  • Serve around the baked apples with the roasts.
  • Enjoy!

 

Mongolian Noodles Recipe

Mongolian Noodles, by Bless Mercado

Another noodle recipe to try at a Mongolian restaurant near you or better yet at home. 🙂

Mongolian Noodles Recipe

Ingredients

  • 300 g udon noodles, 
  • ¹⁄3 cup water
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated finely
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped finely 
  • 1 large onion, sliced finely
  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced thinly
  • 100 g bean sprouts
  • 1cup soy sauce
  • 1tsp chili paste
  • 1 bar firm silken tofu, cut into cubes
  • 2 bok choy, sliced, 

 

Method of Preparation:

  • First of, bring a large pan of salty water in to a boil.
  • Add the udon noodles and cook until just tender (Follow the packet’s instruction)
  • When cooked, drain the noodles and then set aside.
  • Heat a large wok over a medium to high heat.
  • Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Mix until fragrant.
  • Stir in the chicken breasts and cook until golden brown.
  • Add the bean sprouts and bok choy, stir.
  • Pour in 1/3 cup water.
  • Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  • Add the soy sauce, and chili paste. Continue stirring.
  • Add the tofu cook for 2 minutes.
  • Finally add the udon noodles and stir for a minutes.
  • Add chopped flat parsley if you want.
  • Serve immediately.
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