Friday, November 9, 2007

Filipino Food night

When I decided to participate in the Apples and Thyme event that celebrated mothers, grandmothers, and others who inspired us somehow in our kitchens, I knew I'd want to make lumpia. Lumpia, however, is a party food, so that meant I'd have to have a Filipino Food party. Hooray!

Filipino dinner
My plate of food, starting from the bottom and moving clockwise, fried rice, lumpia (Filipino egg rolls), chicken adobo, sinigang bangus (milkfish tamarind soup).

groceries
Filipino dinner
The groceries I bought to prepare for the meal. I like to buy whole chickens because I get white and dark meat--a mix for less money. Note the moon cakes in the front right corner. Not Filipino--just a treat for me since I missed out during the Moon Festival. =)

Filipino dinner
Prior night's prep: baked bibingka, fabricated chicken, and cooked rice. The previous two, I made ahead of time to save time. The rice, however, makes a better fried rice if it's prepared the day before and refrigerated. It lets the outside of the rice firm up again after cooking, so when you cook it again, it doesn't get all mushy.

Filipino dinner
Bibingka--Filipino rice flour cake. I used Manang's recipe. "Manang" is like a sister figure, or a very cool blog, or both. They looked so bright and pretty!

Filipino dinner
It's soft, sweet, and moist--denser than Westernized cakes, but with a pleasant sweetness from the coconut milk. Funnily enough, I worried that my friends wouldn't like the texture. It can be a bit chewy, and sometimes threatens to cling to the top of your mouth. However, it was the first thing departing guests asked to take home in the doggie bags I made up for them!

Filipino dinner
The night before, make the rice for the fried rice. This is the tried-and-true method that Mom taught me for measuring how much water to add to the rice--water up to the first knuckle of my middle finger.

Filipino dinner
Simple fried rice--cooked rice fried in just a little oil, seasoned with garlic powder and garlic sauce, and just a little salt because you'll also add soy sauce for color and flavor. Then you add some veggies--I just use the frozen mixed veggies, since they're easy to keep on hand and contain all the veggies I like in fried rice--carrots, green beans, and corn. Some scrambled egg is also nice if it's on hand, and ham or chicken are tasty additions, too. Every family, and even every family member, has their own fried rice recipe!

Filipino dinner
I made Raymond Sokolov's chicken adobo again, since it was so tasty the last time. Again, the only real difference between his recipe and my mom's is that he uses white wine vinegar instead of plain white wine vinegar.

Filipino dinner
Sinigang Bangus.

Lumpia and fried rice are two of my standards when introducing friends to Filipino food for the first time, but I wanted to push their limits. Bibingka was one way, and after seeing Marvin's sinigang, I knew I wanted to try making this soup, which my parents often had on our table. I used the traditional bangus--milkfish. I called my mom for tips, and I could hear my dad's warning in the background over the phone: "Careful! It's a bonefish!" My mom told me that I should've chosen another fish, but I was hoping all the bones would be gone. They weren't. I thought about just putting the fish in without portioning it, just using it to flavor the soup, but then I decided to just warn my friends about the bones, and they braved it. I was so proud of them! Seeing as how no one came away coughing and hacking like a cat with a hairball, I guess they successfully evaded all the bones! I just used spinach for the veggies that accompanied the fish.

Filipino Food night
Have your friends come over to wrap and fry your lumpia for you .

Overall, my friends and I had a great night, and everyone had food they'd never tried before. They braved the dishes and enjoyed the dishes I thought they'd have the most trouble with. My mom, who always shamelessly served these dishes to my friends when they'd come over for dinner, will be proud when I report the results to her!

16 comments:

Kribha said...

Everthing looks so good. You made me hungry and I want some right now. Beautiful pics.

Julie said...

Thank you, Kribha! I'm happy with how well everything turned out. I wish I had some, myself! =)

Bev and Ollie "O" said...

oooh I feel hungry now, and I just ate x

Julie said...

Thank you! You should digest a little more, then come back for seconds!

Julius said...

Everytime I hop on to your blog, you trigger serious cravings for Flip food! =)

Julie said...

Julius, the funny thing is I don't cook Filipino food as much as my blog seems to suggest! I think it's mostly been since I started this version of my food blog. I've got one more Filipino dish coming up, and then I think that will be it for awhile unless I cook a bibingka cake for my mom before my Thanksgiving visit with them.

Elisabeth said...

What a good looking meal. Thanks for the tip for measuring rice. Handy.

I think your friends are probably quite glad they have a friend like you that enjoys cooking - even if it is different!

Julie said...

Elisabeth, you're welcome! The measuring method has always worked for me. I hope it works for you, too! I love cooking for my friends, and they seem to appreciate it, even when it doesn't turn out. ;)

Marvin said...

Everything looks so good. You're much braver than I to host a dinner party. I'm always so nervous I'd screw something up.

Julie said...

Marvin, just throw the party. You know you can make rice and lumpia, and everyone will be ridiculous happy. The rest, the harder dishes, will just be bonus if they turn out. Do it! DO IT!!! And take photos for Burnt Lumpia!

raissa said...

that is tried and tested way to measure rice. Even when using a rice cooker with its lines and all I still use my fingers to measure the water, works all the time

Julie said...

Raissa, it was one of the first things my mom taught me how to do in the kitchen. When I took the French Cuisine course at school, I was so pleased when my chef-instructor taught us how to cook rice on a large scale using the same method! It's universal!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE YOU COOKING DO YOU HAVE YOUR REIPE FOR THE RICE CAKES ON YOUR PAGE?

Julie said...

Anonymous--hi, and thanks! Which rice cake do you mean--the bibingka here on this page (it's linked in the text and can be found here), or the suman, wrapped in banana leaves, that appears later? There is a recipe for that here. I hope that helps!

Koekkener said...

Nice try, your the best cooked I've ever seen in this blog. Because many people tried filipino dishes but they did not succeed to do it. Your amazing, keep up the good work.

Julie said...

Thanks, Koekkener! I had good training, thanks to my Mom. =)