You Don’t Know Jack

Well, at least we didn’t, until this week. I’m talking about this interesting little fruit we learned about while exploring Filipino recipes, the jackfruit – but more on that in a minute. We wanted something sweet to go along with our baked tahong and after Kay over at Pure Complex posted her Friday recipes last week, we knew a meal of appetizers was going to fit the bill. That’s when we came across the recipe for Turon Saba, a sweet banana (plantain) and jackfruit (or langka) spring roll, often served as a street snack in the Philippines.

The recipe seemed easy enough. We just needed plantains, jackfruit, brown sugar and spring roll wrappers. Miss A and I were really excited when we found the jackfruit at the grocery store. We had no idea that this even existed before this week, and yet here it was right on our grocery store’s shelves. And what was even better, the spring roll wrappers were right next to the jackfruit. So with all of our ingredients on hand, we started by peeling and slicing the plantains and laying out the jackfruit. 

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Mussel Mania

After our delicious foray into all things seasonal and pumpkin-y, we’re back to wrap up our cooking adventure in the Philippines. As our starting point we again turned to Raymund’s site, Ang Sarap, for reference and that’s where we came upon his recipe for Baked Tahong, or baked mussels.  Given how much all four of us love mussels, our recipe selection was a no-brainer.

Before we dove in, we did a bit of further exploring on other Filipino recipe sites and then put together our own take on the dish. However, we knew to make the mussels as authentically as possible, one thing was certain, we needed to find green mussels. Fortunately we found a box of frozen New Zealand green mussels on the half shell after only one other grocery stop – given that sometimes we go to five different stores to find the more exotic ingredients, this was a big win. Continue reading

May I Have Seconds…Make That Thirds Please

I’m assuming from the title you can guess this is a meal that we enjoyed. We chose another Filipino recipe, Pork Estofado. Raymund at Ang Sarap has been a wonderful inspiration for our Filipino food selections. He made a version of this back in September and I was completely intrigued by cooking bananas in a pork dish.

It’s been a hectic week and we’re all fighting off colds, so no one is really running at full steam. We also wanted something that was going to be easy for a weeknight full of the kids’ activities. That’s why we opted to make a few adaptations to this dish, one of which was to make use of the slow cooker.

We started by bundling our spices and seasonings, including bay leaves, peppercorn, minced garlic and star anise in a cheesecloth.  Continue reading

Livin’ on Island Time

I mentioned in our last post that Mr. N is studying landforms in school. This weekend he had to put together a model of his chosen landform. Knowing that most of the kids would likely choose a volcano, Mr. N did the next best thing, an island – with a volcano.

And with islands on his mind, he also knew that he wanted to pick a “piece of land with water on all sides” for his next international cooking selection. Now when Mike and I think islands we think of the Bahamas, Hawaii, French Polynesia… Mr. N however surprised us with a country that’s not just one island, but one that’s home to 94 million people and comprised of 7,107 islands – the Philippines.

A quick search of Filipino cuisine and it was clear that Chicken Adobo is a popular recipe and was going to be our first selection. Raymund at Ang Sarap has a great explanation/history of Adobo here as well as a number of other delicious Filipino recipes. You can bet we’ll be reading up on several of his recipes these next few weeks.

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