Saturday, November 14, 2009

Filipino Dishes I Wish I Was Cooking

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I love Ms. Connie's site. She is a great food photographer & cook. Although we don't eat as much Filipino food at home, it will always be my mother taste. The problem is that I don't know how to cook most of the dishes & have long since resigned myself to the excuse that ingredients are hard to find. But, they're not. Most Asian stores carry Filipino (or like) spices & condiments. Since I cried for days every time I looked at a Filipino dish on her blog, my avoidance is all due to homesickness.

I remember clearly when we moved out of my grandparent's house to our own place. My mom had to cook for us for the first time. Good thing that take-out was readily available. Better than any fast food, she always served us good meat & veggie dishes from these cafeteria-style cantinas. Even school lunches were like the comfort food served at home. My mom did become a real great cook. But her love for simpler dishes (she grew up in the country) steered most meals away from the meat-heavy Filipino favorites. So I never really knew how to cook these meals my heart longs for.

Soon, I got over my homesickness, cured mostly by visiting my mom this summer & eating tons of corned beef and potatoes (not the Irish version, but the Filipino kind, using canned corned beef from Australia of all places). I frequent this blog & imagine my mouth agreeing with my imagination of how scrumptious the taste that can only be Filipino.

One of these days, sooner than later, I hope to try these dishes:
Apritada (chicken stew with chorizo sausage)
Molo Soup (like wonton soup)
Rellenong Manok (deboned and stuffed chicken)
Nilagang Baka (boiled beef with veggies)
Bistek (fast and easy beef dish)

These recipes all look great & simple enough. I've made a few versions from my own cookbook (shockingly Americanized for convenience). They didn't taste quite as good as I recall growing up. Thankfully, my mom did pass along her chicken adobo recipe, which must be wired in every Filipinos' DNA, & I can make a mean version my family loves.

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