Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chicken Adobo

It's our 200th recipe! (Or at least the 200th post). Things have slowed down a bit since our family doesn't have as much free time at the moment, but I think that with the winter weather the blog posts will pick up again. Here's an easy, flavorful, and inexpensive recipe that deserves to be part of our family's canon.

This is Filipino dish based on soy- and vinegar- and garlic-marinated meat (not the Mexican seasoning blend also known as 'adobo'). You can use any meat you like and it works especially well with cheaper cuts, like chicken leg pieces or pork shoulder. You can also alter your technique for how much time and patience you have--it's kind of like choose-your-own-adventure.

3-4 lbs of meat (bone-in chicken or pork chunks work well)
1 c. light soy sauce
1/2-1 c. water
1/2 c. white vinegar
1 entire BULB garlic, chopped
3 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. salt

Combine all the ingredients in a shallow dish. If the marinade doesn't seem like enough to come up about half-way on the meat, increase the recipe. Cover and marinate the meat overnight, turning the meat from time to time so that it soaks up the marinade all over. You can actually skip the overnight marination if you're pressed for time and simply simmer the meat in the mixture, but it will turn out better if you marinate and then follow the next steps.
Skinless chicken legs marinating.

Place the meat in a pot or large saucepan and add all of the marinade, but strain out the garlic and reserve it for later use. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 25 minutes or until the meat is tender. Leave the pot uncovered so that it reduces some, but add water if it gets too low. You want to have at least 1 c. sauce. You can eat the meat at this point, or continue on for more deliciousness.

In a large frying pan or wok, heat 2-3 Tbsp of cooking oil. Add the garlic that you retained from the marinade and cook it, stirring, until it's lightly browned. Increase the heat and add the meat, cooking and turning it so that it gets browned and crisp on the edges. Add the remaining marinade to heat it through.

Serve with white rice and something green and zingy like a cucumber or papaya salad.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Baking Powder Dumplings

This is Mom's standard dumpling recipe, excellent with chicken soup. Drop them in, put the lid on, and enjoy.

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 scant cup milk or water

Mix the dry ingredients, stir in the milk or water gradually to make a soft dough. Drop by spoonful into boiling salted water or simmering stew. Cover tightly, cook 10-15 minutes before lifting cover. Test for doneness, drain. Serve at once. Well, once they cool off so you don't burn your tongue.

PS - This is post 199! Hope someone does something special for #200!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Harried Mom Style Chili

I recall making this very simple recipe many times as a young'un, when Mom was really busy working and herding us kids around. It was a bit of a standard, along with noodle kugel, that was easy enough for kids to make (and explains why it is not quite as complicated most of the recipes on this blog.) I just made it now, and remembered why it was great - you can go from zero to dinner in about half an hour.

It's a bit of an operation ice box recipe - you use more or less the cans you have around, and you can replace some of the ingredients. I'm just giving a basic idea below. It always turns out deliciously, but I'm sure you could do some other things to make it even more delicious (add pork products, beer, etc).


1 onion
1 green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 pound ground beef (optional for vegetarian style)
2 cans stewed tomatoes (not drained of liquid)
2 cans beans (one should be chili beans, but you could have black beans as well) (don't drain these)
1 can corn or hominy (drained of liquid - optional)
1 can black olives (optional - drained of liquid)
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1-2 tsp cumin
1-2 tsp coriander
shake or two of Worcester or fish sauce

Sautee onions and garlic in oil, then once onions become partially transparent add green pepper. When both are somewhat soft, add meat, brown. Add spices.

Add all of the cans - tomatoes and beans should be added WITH their liquid, i.e. not drained. This provides the soupy part of the chili. Cook to combine (10-15 minutes), adjusting spices.

Serve with cheese on top if that's your thing, preferably with corn bread on the side.