Friday, February 10, 2012

Sweet and Tangy Filipino-Style Barbecue

Barbecue is a staple in most Filipino gatherings. Since we enjoy fairly fair weather all the time in the Philippines, we like to barbecue year in or year out.

There is something unique in Filipino style barbecue because of the use of calamansi or Philippine lime. Nothing tastes like it.

My family has used this recipe for decades but only recently have I sat down to come up with a standardized recipe. This marinade is quite versatile and can be used for pork rump, belly, country ribs, or chicken. Take your pick.

Note: When making barbecued meat on bamboo skewers, soak the skewers in water for 30 minutes prior to using so that they won't get charred from broiling.

Here's the recipe:

Sweet and Tangy Filipino-Style Barbecue

1 kilo meat, cut into thin 1 x 1 inch squares
1/2 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup refined sugar
1/4 cup tomato catsup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 head garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
juice of 5 pieces calamansi (Philippine lemon)

1. Mix together all marinade ingredients in a big bowl.
2. Add in pork and marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
3. Arrange pork slices on bamboo skewers.
4. Chargrill for about 15 to 20 minutes or until done.
5. Serve with java rice and atchara (pickled green papaya).

Photo courtesy of Eating Club Vancouver.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Creamy Squash and Carrot Soup

Feeling under the weather? Why don't you whip up this comforting soup to wash down that heaviness away? Or maybe ask someone who loves you to prepare this himself. You'll feel better instantly.

This creamy soup is one of my all-time favorite comfort food. I like my soup rich, robust and filling with just a tiny hint of spice. If you wish to go any chunkier, you can add sauteed scallops, shrimps or crab meat for an added layer of flavor and richness.

An added bonus? Hey, it's vegetables you can sneak into your kids' meal without them knowing. I know the kids here love it.

This creamy vegetable soup is a cinch to make. The leftover keeps well for a week in the fridge. So make extra for later. You'll be glad you did.

Creamy Squash and Carrot Soup

4 cups squash, peeled and sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, sliced
4 cups water
1 beef boullion
ground pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream, divided

1. Boil squash, carrots and onion in water till fork tender. Cool slightly.
2. Liquefy boiled vegetables in a blender or with an immersion blender.
3. Pour back soup into stock pot. Add beef boullion.
4. Bring to a boil. Add pepper and nutmeg.
5. Just before serving, blend in half of heavy cream.
6. Serve hot with a little dollop of cream on top.
7. Serve with breadsticks or garlic bread.

Photo courtesy of