Monday, February 12, 2007

Sunday Night Dinner - A Variatian on the Philippines

I am not intending for this blog to focus on food, but I had to write about my Sunday Night Dinner experience this past weekend. We had decided to have a Filipino Food Night where I would do the cooking. I, of course, had to borrow from my mother's heritage. She is not Filipino, mind you, but Samoan, and Samoans seem to have their own variation on many Filipino dishes. So these are my variations, rather my mother's variations. They are all approximations; my mother's dishes (and her mother's dishes, and so on) have never been created in measurements, but rather in taste. I chose two Filipino dishes: chicken adobo and pansit. Usually the chicken adobo has bay leaves. I did not. The pansit (also spelled pancit) usually calls for pork, sometimes chicken, and rice thread noodles. I opted for shrimp and bean curd noodles.

Chicken Adobo
1 cup of water
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3 green onions, trimmed and cut in 2 inch stalks
1/3 cup soy sauce (my mother uses La Choy)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
5 chicken drumsticks, with bones and skin
5 chicken thighs, with bones and skin
salt and pepper to taste

Cut each chicken piece in two. You will need a meat cleaver. I did not have one, so I used one of my heavier, less expensive knives and, armed with a small pan as a mallet, I was able to cut through the bone (make sure to wear an apron and wrap everything on the counter around your cutting board with cling wrap). Lightly salt and pepper the pieces, and steam them in the water in a large pot on medium high for about 10 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Mix until the sugar thickens the sauce (it will never completely dissolve). Add the sauce and garlic to the chicken at the 10-minute mark, and stir well. Let the chicken continue to steam, every now and again mixing the chicken in the sauce, for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until done. Add the green onions and gently stir. Serve over white rice (I used Botan Calrose white rice in a rice cooker, 4 cups of rice to 5 cups of water, rinsing only once).

Shrimp Pansit
2 celery stalks, cut on a 2" bias
2 carrot sticks, cut on a 2" bias
4 ozs. mushrooms, sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
2 handles of baby bok choy, cleaned and cut in fours
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
4 green onions, cut on a 2" bias
3 T. oyster sauce
3 T. Canola oil
3 T. soy sauce
1 lb. peeled, raw shrimp
1 package bean curd noodles, vermicelli-sized

In a wok or large sauce pan, add 2 T. of the Canola oil, oyster sauce, and soy sauce each to medium heat. Saute the celery and carrots (I covered the pan to help speed up the cooking without burning them). Add the mushrooms and bell peppers when the celery and carrots and softened some. In another pan, saute the shrimp in the remaining T. each of the Canola oil, oyster sauce, and soy sauce, over medium to medium-high heat. To the vegetable pan, add the baby bok choy, garlic, and green onions. When the shrimp is no longer translucent, add to the vegetable saute pan.

For the noodles, pour hot water (almost boiling) in a heat-proof bowl. Soak the noodles in the bowl for 5 minutes. With kitchen shears, cut the noodles up a little so they're not so long. Then fork them out of the water, letting as much of the liquid drain off, and add them to the vegetable saute pan, and toss. Add more soy sauce or oyster sauce to taste and as needed.

1 comment:

poopycat said...

Hey Sonya,

Thanks for your post on my blog. This recipe is intriguing . . . .a Samoan take on Filipino food!

Hungry Cat