Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tortiglioni alla Puttanesca Ai "Dilis"

This is a pasta recipe I've been longing to do since time immemorial.  I am however compelled so, because of the one ingredient I'm not sure how to handle and don't know where I can buy one that's good - it is anchovy.
And if ever you are wondering what Tortiglioni is, it's only a variety of pasta, classified under tubes.  I, however used the bigger sized rigatoni, just make sure that is well-cooked, al dente typed rigatoni is not really that likable to munch on, so timing and patience are essential in dealing with this kind of pasta.
I've dealt with different types of pasta from the smallest (minestre) to the largest (tubi or lasagna).  And believe me there is a whole new world to discover in the pasta genre.  
Going back to the anchovy thingy, I found an alternative, and it is our humble Philippine dilis.  Rich in protien than a glass of milk has , is often bought only as a last resort by families who cannot afford the more popular and expensive protein sources: dairy products, meat and classy fish varieties.
In this recipe I used the dried ones, and those that are smaller in sizes and lighter in color.  So why dilis?
Weeks ago we were invited for lunch at Hyphy's at Robinson's Galleria.   It was at the Veranda alongside many other restos.   It was owned and operated by Chef Bruce Lim.   He was there that time and he offered us their best-seller, Calamansi Tuyo Spaghetti.    With that dish is a well-loved story by chef.   And let me tell you, how I was swept off by that pasta.   The salty blend of tuyo and the sourness of the calamansi juice complemented each other.   Needless did I know that it would work well as an accompaniment to spaghetti.   Do read my blog about his Hyphy's and Chef's Table restaurant at GastronomyByJoy.com.
I'm not sure if you do know what Puttanesca means.  It came from the Italian word "puttana" means whore and this is the pasta dish she would use to seduce her clients.   While I can not guarantee its success as an aphrodisiac, I can at least say that your partner will enjoy this, because mine did and so did my kids.
Here are what you need:
 For 500 g pasta.
100 ml, extra virgin olive oil
1 cup dilis
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups tinned tomatoes, coarsely chopped w/ their juice
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup capers, or 3 TBSP
salt and pepper
To do it:
1.  Cook pasta according to package direction.  Set aside, first.
2.  Heat olive oil in the pan, and saute garlic, then the dilis.
3.  Once dilis is cooked and tender but not head falling off, add the tomatoes and put stove in medium fire.  Let it simmer.
4.   Put the olives and capers.  Let it stand on heat for 5 more minutes, slowly mixing, then season with salt and pepper.
5.   If you are using a big saute or fry pan, that's good, so you can toss you pasta here.  Or you may want to transfer to a bigger pan to accomodate half a kilo of cooked pasta.
Option: You may put parmesan cheese, but in my case I didn't cause he dilis is salty already.   Also, be careful putting salt, taste the sauce first before seasoning it.  But you will find this to be a little tangy with the capers in it and very savoury.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Chicken in Tamarind Soup or "Sinampalukang Manok"

   I've been kind of debating with my self whether I'd post this or not, this might explain why this post is late.    When I first read about the announcement for July's Kulinarya theme, I got excited.   Sinigang has always been a comfort food in our dining table.   My kids would hurry coming home, knowing that we will have Sinigang for lunch or dinner.   Okay I'll be honest, I don't cook Sinigang at home, we'll I had though for quite a number of times, but it is my husband who does my kids favorite Sinigang.   Pork Sinigang or Sinigang sa Miso, would definitely not be missed in our weekly menu.   According to my husband,  he got inspired when he saw my father cooked the dish about 15 years ago or so, even when he had tried it.   He never cooked then, and when I let him into our family's secret, we thought himself how to do his own thing in the kitchen.   The "secret," it was my Papa who cooked for us, from breakfast, lunch to dinner, even our packed lunch for school.   He would be the one to prepare the dishes that goes into to our stomach.   Even though we'd have help in the house, he still was the manager in the kitchen, and that is also the reason, why me and my husband cooks for our own children ourselves.
My kids grew up eating their Dad's Sinigang, and they know if it would be prepared by others, including me.   So this is quite a challenge for me.   So I thought of  something that is easy to do, a bit different form the ordinary and something I could share with friends who loves to fuss cooking like me.   My choice, "Sinampalukang Manok,"   The original recipe asks for tamarind leaves, but hard as may seem to find in Manila, I'm sure it would be more a hassle to other Kulinarya friends abroad.  May be harder to pronounce but way easier to prepare.

1/2 K Chicken in serving pieces
1 TBSP vegetable oil, just for sauteing
2 thumb-size ginger, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
medium shallot, minced or quartered
1 sachet of Knorr Sinigang sa Sampalok
a cup of sliced sitaw
a cup of Kangkong leaves
salt and pepper

Here is how to cook Sinampalukang Manok:
1.   Saute, ginger.   Once it darkens in color, and smelling the ginger, put the garlic, then the onions.
2    Once the onions are a bit transparent, without having the garlic and ginger being burned, put in the chicken and cook a bit.   Season with salt or patis (fish sauce).
3.   Put 3 cups of water and allow to simmer.    Put in the sinigang flavoring and pepper.
4.   Once the meat is cooked, put in the sitaw and cover in low fire.
5.  If the sitaw are cooked but still a bit hard, put the kangkong leaves and turn off the fire, and the cover put back on.
6.   Serve once the leaves are cooked, without having the veggies softened.

So is that easy or what?

Happy Kulinarya Cooking!