Saturday, June 06, 2009

Making Menudo!

...and not the 1970s/1980s Puerto Rican boy band!
I'm talkin' that classic Filipino dish. Dishes like Menudo, Caldereta, Afritada, Adobo and Sinigang remind me of my childhood and hanging out in my grandparents' kitchen while my grandparents cooked up traditional fare and told us stories about life in the Philippines. Outside of the family, I really had no connections to my Filipino heritage. Now that I'm older (and a wife and mother), I wish I had learned the language and I wish I had been involved in the Filipino heritage groups for youth back when I lived in Montreal.
I'm fortunate that my husband, a self-described WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) is adventurous when it comes to food. He'll try anything. Some of you may know this if you've been reading the blog for a while and read about Hubby's first Chinese Dim Sum experience.
Oh, Hubby now loves Filipino food. Among his favourites are Lumpia (spring rolls), Pancit (noodles) and Chicken Adobo.
Yesterday afternoon, I made our meals for the next four days. I'm not sure if this actually saves time, but I figure if I could make a whole batch of food for the next few days, I won't have to worry about cooking and I can get other things done.
The only thing with Filipino food is all the cutting and chopping! The prep work is sometimes a bit labour intensive, but well worth it!
Here it is! Menudo!
Spanish in origin and a standard fare in every day Filipino households. The original recipe calls for pork, but I didn't have any. Hubby's a beef farmer, so I thought I'd try the recipe with beef. Oh, the recipe also called for some lovely bell peppers, but I didn't have those either. I used green pepper instead. I guess this is an "Island" version of Menudo? I use what I have available!
Cooking oil
Chopped garlic
1 chopped onion
3 sliced tomatoes
1 sliced bell pepper
1 lb pork, cut into bite sizes
1 can liver spread (I don't like liver, but my Mom says Menudo has to have liver in it)
4 peeled and cut potatoes
2 peeled and cut carrots
soy sauce
In a pan, saut√© garlic, onions, tomatoes and bell pepper until it’s slightly cooked.
Add the pork and cover the pan to absorb the flavor. Let it simmer for about 2 minutes.
Afterward, put the potatoes and carrots inside the pan.
Now add the liver spread, and then season with soy sauce according to your taste.
Serves 6-7 people.
Up next, I made Chicken Adobo. One of Hubby's faves and a request from my Mom. I was going to make my baked salmon or Chicken Parmesan, but Mom wanted Adobo.
More cutting...

Surprisingly, one of the easiest recipes to make. Once you've attempted this recipe for the first time, you pretty much don't need to follow a recipe after that! Soooooooooo easy!
1 1/2 lb. chicken
1/3 c. vinegar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small bay leaf
Dash of pepper
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 c. water
2 tbsp. cooking oil
Combine all ingredients except cooking oil in a pot and let stand for at least 30 minutes.
Simmer covered for 1 hour or until meat is tender.
Drain and reserve sauce. Heat cooking oil in skillet. Brown meat on all sides. Transfer to a serving dish. Pour off all remaining oil from skillet. Add sauce and cook for a minute or two scraping all browned bits sticking to pan. Pour sauce over meat and serve. Sauce is ideal for steamed rice.
Truth be told, I sometimes cheat and just saute the onion and garlic, add the potatoes, and then the chicken, cover and let cook. Okay, I'll be totally honest. That's what I always do. It turns out just as yummy, but without the extra steps of browning the meat and then pouring the sauce over it.

Next up...
Not a Filipino dish, but an old standby in our house. Chili! I'd post the recipe, but I'm sure that everyone's got a chili recipe of their own since this is a "wifesaver" kind of dish! Easy, quick, simple, delicious.

As for spices, I used several different Watkins spices. You don't need a lot, because with Watkins spices, a little goes a long way. My secret ingredient? A dash of cinnamon!
If you're on the Island, you can buy your Watkins products from the WatkinsMan at the Fort Sheg Flea Market!
I also made meat loaf, which is another easy, fast dish. Hubby and The Student like meat loaf. Hopefully with all these meals cooked in advance, that gives me more time to do other CLEAN MY HOUSE! Seriously, my floors have not been mopped or vacuumed in two weeks! Amazing how much time Little One occupies :) I keep thinking that if my house is in this state now, imagine when I start teaching ESL again? Gah! I shudder to think of the state of our house when that time comes. Hubby keeps telling me, "You can do it. You're Super Woman!"
"Yeah, right!" I am soooooooo not Super Woman. I am struggling here. All I can say is that I need to try to let things go and not stress too much about the house needing to be immaculate. My baby is my priority. Thank you, Julie...for reminding me of that in one of your comments earlier.
Oh, is it normal (or okay) for a six month old (okay, almost seven months now) baby to sleep for twelve hours??? Little One went to bed at 9:30 last night and woke up at 9:15 this morning! I don't know if I should be relieved or worried! ;p


J at said...

Ack, she slept through the night! How awesome is that? Hey, as long as she seems healthy and alert in the morning, it's a GOOD thing. If she seems like she might be coming down with something, then it's a bummer.

All of that food looks GOOD. Many years ago I worked at a hotel with several Filipino guys. They would sometimes bring in treats, which were all good, but when Gary's mom came to visit from the Philippines, and she made chicken empanadas for him to bring in, we all practically died. They were the best empanadas on earth. Mmmmm. I've had many in the years since then, but none as good. Sigh.

J at said...

Oh, and regarding the household chores, I'm glad you're relaxing a bit. :) The thing is, there is no way to get it all done perfectly, especially on a farm, so you can choose to accept it, or you can beat yourself up over it. Which way makes for a happier you, a happier mom, a happier wife? I suspect the way where you accept that things won't be perfect. ;) Was it Erma Bombeck who said that no one could eat off of her floors, but then again, no one had asked to either? Floors aren't for eating off of.

Don't worry, the day will come when Little One will take so much less of your time. She'll be distracted by a toy for 1/2 hour at a time, or a book, or a movie, and you can get things done then. But you'll look back at these early days and miss them somehow, too.

Personally, I think the parents who say they get everything done perfectly are either lying, or have hired help. ;)

Palm Springs Savant said...

mmmmmm delish. one of my Philipino friends makes menudo very well. I need a dose of it again.

caninecologne said...

hi C!
great post!
I love menudo (without liver), afritada and chicken adobo. my other fave Filipino dishes are pinakbet, bulalo (beef shank soup), fresh lumpia (not fried), sinigang.

for my chicken adobo recipe, i used 3 lbs of chicken wings. also, i use a WHOLE HEAD of garlic!!! that's right! a few cloves are not going to cut it! Plus, if you add onions, it tastes sweeter.

cute cute cute pix of the baby!!!!

word ver:

also, no offense to palm springs savant, but it's FILIPINO, not PHILIPINO.

Jeanna said...

LO is getting sooo big. I think I'd eat a lot more chili if you made it!

C said...

She DID sleep for pretty much 12 hours and through the night! Pretty crazy! It's weird, but she looks BIGGER today!

Mmmmmmm...Empanadas! I LOVE empanadas!!! My grandfather used to make really good empanadas. He died about a decade ago though :( I tried to make empanadas once. It just wasn't the same as my grandfather's.

BTW, thank you sooooooooooo much for always being the voice of reason when it sometimes seems as though I'm struggling with this new mom/keeping house/keeping people fed/trying to get work done/delving into other work related projects and household projects thing. Sometimes I really do feel like I can't do it all. Not to sound melodramatic, but I can't keep up. Thanks again for always reminding me of things I deep down think I already know :) Love ya, J!

Word ver: caverap
That's too funny!

C said...

:) I love menudo too! I love it even more when someone else makes it for me!! Tee hee! ;)

C said...

WOW! A WHOLE head of garlic!!! Love it! This might sound weird, but I put garlic in practically everything I cook! LOL! I remember once, my youngest brother was telling me, "C, you don't have to put garlic in EVERYTHING you make, you know!" LOL! I sometimes think I like garlic more than onions. I use onions a lot in my cooking too.

I love fresh lumpia too! Can you make your own fresh lumpia wrappers? I've never even attempted. My aunt makes them. They remind me of really, really thin crepes! How do you make the sauce for the fresh lumpia? Do you know? If so, please tell me!!!

Hubby loves both the fried lumpia and the lumpia Shanghai. Actually, I think he may like lumpia Shanghai more. He's a meat person. Go figure! I always wondered why they call it lumpia "Shanghai" though. Do you know how to make the sauce for the fried lumpia? If so, can I get that recipe too? LOL!

BTW, I've always wondered why it's Filipino with an "F" and not "Ph". I know phonetically it would make sense to use an "ef" sound, but Filipinos don't even pronounce it with an "F". They say "Pilipino" or "Pinoy". ;)

C said...

I received the parcel you sent! It arrived a few days ago. I meant to e-mail you! Thank you very much!!

I'm going to e-mail you some newer pics of LO. She is getting so big! I swear, she weighs more than 10 lbs, 2 oz now! The girl can eat like you will not believe! She's a bottomless pit! I don't know where she puts all that milk!!!

Karen MEG said...

Not only is it normal for baby girl to sleep that long, it's a VERY VERY good thing. She's probably going through a growth spurt. My boy was the big sleeper..

You are making me so hungry with these posts LOL! And I'm laughing at your Menudo reference, you crack me up.

I've checked with the man about his summer schedule...will get back to you as a visit would be lovely and then some...

Uncivil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Uncivil said...

I've never heard of "menudo" before but it looks and sounds like it's road trip worthy!!!!
Save me a plate!

C said...

Oh!!! You don't know how happy this makes me!!! You know, the last time I saw you at Dani's house, Little G looked sooooooooo much smaller than she does now. Gah! She's grown so much! Would love it if you guys were able to make it for a visit! I know that Liamster and Little G will LOVE the beaches...and you will LOVE the Chocolate Works!!!

Can't wait! XO

Word ver: harkers

C said...

Tee hee! Well, you know that there will always be a place at the table set for you...and the girls! How are Ab & Em doing, btw?

Patti said...

Enjoy it!! Chances are it won't be a normal routine, however if it is, you're very lucky!! I'm sure she's just having a growth spurt or something.
Oh and your recipes look fantastic....and easy!! Now if I could get my hubby to try something new for a change. I might just try some of these recipes, they look delicious.
What is your chili recipe if you don't mind me asking. I don't have one.

PJ said...

Hi! Do you have a Sinigang recipe? :) How are you? And how's the family? Little One is so adorable! Better get used to the change in Little One's sleeping habits. It'll probably last for a month or so until the next 'sleeping habit' phase.

Deb said...

it all looks soooooo yummy! as usual of course.

and the captcha is...."dishmur"

Cherry said...

Ohh. looks yummy! I adore Chicken Adobo!
I've never heard of Filipino Menudo before... only Mexican Menudo with all sorts of organ meats and tripe and hominy. Its a popular hangover cure around these parts (but we probably have a few more people from the border south of your border (as my brother calls Mexico now that he lives in Canada)).

There are so few Filipino restaurants around anymore. We had a chain one by us and they didn't make it into the new year. And a great family style place by my work which just closed. Soooo many great places are closing down. Sooo Sad! We went to get Korean BBQ from our favorite place in town and it was all dark and empty.

mmmm food!

louann said...

LOL! Menudo! My cousin went gaga over that group when she was younger! I was too young to really understand her obsession. But I do love the menudo dish!

2 of my babies would sometimes sleep for that long and I was told that that is normal. =)

Maria said...

hmm you are making me hungry!!! Caleb my oldest slept for 12 hours at a time... so don't worry and it is impossible to get everything done! If I get half my house clean, a load of laundry and dinner cooked all in one day.. HUGE achievement!!

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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