Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year Noche Buena

I love to cook. And I love to create and re-create dishes. I started cooking at 9, the right age -- my Mama believed -- to train girls' household stuff. That included going to the market and picking the right ingredients for the day's meals to making the house squeaky clean and of course, cooking.

Since my mother was Ilongga, most of the dishes had Ilonggo influence but the Cebuano part of the family also had its fair share. I've always had in my mind to blog about the dishes that I cook but never got down to it. And so finally, here I am trying to journal some of my favorite dishes.

For tonight's Noche Buena dishes, I've recreated some old time favorites to cut down on cholesterol and transfat contents. (A better way to start the new year with healthy eating. Haha!).

I'm a very practical person and I don't like tedious processes so I simplify my cooking, without necessarily sacrificing the taste. Tonight, I cooked three dishes -- chicken, lasagna and fried shrimp -- and one dessert, a re-created version of old time favorite Maja Blanca. The rest, we grabbed from Goldilocks, Red Ribbon and Andoks.

Here are my creations for tonight:

Tuna Lasagna


For the sauce
2 cans Century Tuna in Water (drain)
1/2 cup basil, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 clove onion, minced
1 560 gram Del Monte Spaghetti sauce
salt, to taste
sugar, to taste
black pepper, to taste

Procedure: Sautee the tuna with garlic and onion. Add the chopped basil. Add Del Monte Spaghetti sauce. When cooked, set aside to cool.

For the Cream
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 cups water
1 big can evaporated milk
pinch of salt

Procedure: Mix flour in water. When all the lumps disappear, pour mixture in a pan. (Medium heat.) Stir in milk slowly. Bring to boil but make sure to keep on stirring until it mixture becomes creamy. Set aside.

Since I don't have an oven, I just cooked the lasagna like the way I cook spaghetti (boil enough water and then add salt & oil). You can cook the pasta while doing either the sauce or cream.

Once the sauce, cream and pasta are cooked, lay down the lasagna on a microwable container. Add sauce, then put another layer of lasagna. Put cream. Another layer of lasagna, then sauce again. Up to six layers of lasagna would be okey. Microwave on medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes.

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New Year's Eve grilled chicken

1 kilo de-boned chicken
1 cup vinegar
1 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar (or mascuvado)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 stalks of lemon grass (pound)
1/2 cup basil leaves (pound)
5 cloves of garlic (pound)

Mixed all ingredients well and marinate chicken for two hours. Grill or cook in greased frying pan under low heat.

(Since I don't like the smoke of the grill, I just cooked mine using a skillet.)

Here's the finished product:

o O o

Hipon a'la Andrea

For lack of better name, just indulge with me. LOL. Nothing extra-ordinary with the shrimp. It's cooked like Nilasing na Hipon but without any alcohol. (See recipe here) Here's mine:

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Lastly, for the dessert, I made an easier to prepare Maja Blanca:


1 big can evap milk
1 big can sweet corn kernels
2 cups water
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup grated cheese
1/2 cup peanuts (pound)

pinch of salt


In a container, dissolve cornstarch and brown sugar in the 2 cups of water. Make sure to mix well. Pour in a pan under medium heat flame. Bring to a boil but constantly stirring. Slowly mix in milk, corn kernels and grated cheese. (Make sure to leave some corn kernels to put on top of the finished product.) Once the mixture is creamy, set aside. Let it cool down before transferring to a disposable container to a greased/buttered glass dish. Once the mixture has hardened, put the remaining corn kernels on top. Sprinkle enough pounded peanuts. You may put inside the ref first before serving. In 30 minutes or so, you can serve your yummy Maja Blanca.

See, wasn't that a breeze!

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