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Showing posts with label filipino. Show all posts
Showing posts with label filipino. Show all posts

Friday, August 27, 2021

Egg Drop Curry, Filipino Style


This will not be your traditionally authentic "Broken Egg" curry that you may find in Mumbai. Actually, I'd never even heard of "Broken Egg" or "Egg Drop" curry until my friend Sneha told me about it. If you're looking for something of a more South Asian flavor, may I offer you this wonderful recipe from My Ginger Garlic Kitchen? It's delicious, has gorgeous photos, and will guide you - step-by-step - on how to do it. This is a Filipino style curry...or should I say "kare"?

Please allow me to explain: If you're of Filipino descent or if you are familiar with Filipino cuisine, you've likely heard of the dish "kare-kare" which is an extremely delicious peanut and oxtail stew that has green beans and eggplant in it. My mom reports that her maids took four days of preparation to make it in the big house in Pampanga. I don't have four days of mental planning available to me at this time, so I'm going to do a quick version. My own Kare-kare is not nearly as extravagant as how they would prepare it in the Philippines, but I daresay it is quite tasty in its own right. Why is this important?

"Kare" is derived from "curry" as the Philippines has been a huge trade hub in the Southeast Asian seas since before the beginning of colonization. It is said that it's nearly impossible to say what is purely Filipino food because it's just so naturally diverse and has evolved to be the world's first-ever fusion cuisine. I thought it would be fun to try a "kare" version of this curry, and it turned out to be quite tasty. Here we go!

Egg Drop "Kare"

  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 c raw peanuts
  • 1 Tbsp dried coriander
  • 1 /2 tsp dried cloves
  • 1/2 tsp dried cumin
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 10 leaves basil
  • 2 Tbsp garam masala powder
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 c water
  • 1 c fresh beans, chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 small or 1 large bell pepper, sliced
  • 6 eggs
  • Lots of Parsley or fresh coriander, chopped
  • Garlic rice, as needed, to serve
The day before*
Chop the tomatoes and add to a casserole dish with the chopped leek, garlic, and a generous glug of oil with some salt and pepper. Cover and roast for at least an hour and a half at 300 degrees F. You can also stick this in a crock pot at your lowest setting and leave it all day to stew. Allow it to cool in the fridge before using, ideally overnight, but will be fine if you do it early in the morning and let it cool all day in the fridge. 

The day of*
To a large Dutch oven or any thick-bottomed stewing pot with a lid, add a healthy glug of either coconut or canola oil and heat on a medium flame. Add all of your dried spices, along with your peanuts, and toast on medium-low until quite fragrant. This shouldn't take more than two or three minutes. After that, lower the heat and add the garam masala and basil, along with the stewed tomato mixture from earlier. Allow this to stew on low for about 5 minutes, stirring every so often. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil before turning off the heat. 

Add your mixture to the pitcher of a blender and blend on low for 1 minute. Turn the blender up to medium and blend for a full 2 minutes, or until absolutely everything has been pulverized. Add the lovely orange-red mixture back into the pot and rinse out the blender with two cups of warm water to get the extra goodies off the sides before adding that all together. 

Add your chopped beans - I had green beans and long beans from the farmers market and CSA, so I used those. I also had some gorgeous bell peppers and fresh onions, and these are classic flavors in kare kare, which is the meaty Filipino stew that usually has beans and eggplant in it. Since we're only going for a nod to kare kare as well as traditional masala curry, we'll be sticking to the beans alone. Either way, now is the time to add your fresh vegetables and stir in to coat.

You can now turn off the heat at this point and let this mixture hang out until you're ready to serve it. This is an excellent make-ahead meal that you can even make in large quantities and freeze in bags for later! If you'd like to continue making it, please read on. 

Prepare any rice you plan on serving with. If you'd like to add an extra protein to this dish, you may add chopped chicken thighs, seitan, tofu, etc., but I don't believe it's necessary. This is a wonderful vegetarian dish that's high in folate and protein from the peanuts and eggs!

When you're ready to serve, simply bring your curry mixture to a gentle simmer over a low flame until it is hot. Taste for salt at this point and ready your eggs. You can crack an egg and pop it directly in to the simmering broth, but I like to be a little gentle with mine by cracking each egg into a small bowl or cup individually to ensure that I don't get any bits of shell inside. 

As the name suggests, drop the egg in and let the curry broth accept it into its embrace. The trick is to drop the egg from about four inches above the surface of the curry so that it creates a hole for itself, lest it just sit on top. Repeat this in a clockwise motion until you've used all the eggs you want to use. Cover and set a timer for 5 minutes. When the timer is up, simply turn off the heat and let sit for another 2 minutes before serving over rice and garnishing with lots and lots of parsley.

I love this dish because it is creamy, nutty, and somehow bright, but it is an excellent 'end of summer' dish to use up all of those seemingly random vegetables that you may not know what to do with. Even better, the peanuts are high in folic acid, which I - as a human that is currently growing a human - very much need. Peppers, tomatoes, and green beans? Not a usual combo for the average American - at least not as far as I've seen - but I think they go great together with this dish. Surprisingly, my husband loved it too, even though it was a vegetarian meal.

Thank you so much for spending a piece of your day with me. I hope you have a wonderful morning, evening, or night. Happy cooking and happy eating!

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Sausage Pizza Lumpia

With apologies to the FilAm community...

We did something kind of crazy this Thanksgiving. We realized that we didn't have to do anything that we didn't feel like doing, as far as food goes, and decided to get away from the social constructs of what you have to cook. Instead, I made a big list of every food I'm truly thankful for, had my husband do the same, and we cross-referenced it. 

Among many dishes, we both had "pizza" in some form on our lists, but I didn't want to make a whole pizza. We were both grateful for dumplings in every way, shape, and form, so of course, my mind jumped to this: what if we made lumpia...only filled with PIZZA???

Note: a lumpia is a cigar-like roll that's deep-fried and full of meat and seasonings, with almost no vegetables other than aromatics. I love lumpias! I love eating them much more than I love making them, as making them is a bit of a process. You can find a traditional recipe here, from an AWESOME writer! If you'd like to know how I made this abomination, please read on...

Sausage Pizza Lumpia

  • 1 lb Italian sausage (pork or beef is just fine!)
  • 3 oz carrots, shredded fine
  • 6 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 c shredded mozzarella (I used the vegan version by VioLife!) 
  • 3 Tbsp shredded parmesan(still the vegan kind!) or nutritional yeast
  • 1 oz mushrooms, minced
  • 2 sprigs each thyme, rosemary, and sage, chopped fine
  • 1 egg
  • Pizza sauce, as needed
  • Egg roll or lumpia wrappers, as needed
  • Shortening or oil for deep-frying, as needed
This could not be easier to pull together. Simply combine the sausage with all ingredients except the sauce, wrappers, and shortening and let sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes. While this step isn't exactly necessary, it's going to help everything mesh. You can also use this time to set up your rolling station. I recommend doing this with a beloved partner, a friend you've been plodding with, or your children, like how my mom did it with me.

I set up this station with my husband. This is:
  • Wrappers
  • A small bowl of water
  • A personal paper towel (for wiping fingers)
  • The pizza sauce
  • A plate to put the finished lumpia on
  • (Unseen) The bowl of filling
Simply smear the pizza sauce on the wrapper, spoon some filling on (about 2 oz) in a log-shape, and roll up, using a wet finger to seal like an envelope. Immediately get these into the freezer, once all finished, and let hang out until you're ready to deep-fry. It is much better to fry these from a frozen state if you can at all help it. I've noticed that you can get crispier skin without darkening while cooking everything all the way through this way, but I don't exactly know why.

I like to use shortening for deep-frying purposes. Hydrogenated lard will do just fine in almost any purpose, and will last you several deep-frying sessions before you need to get rid of it. I also prefer it because it solidifies at room temperature, which means cleanup is a little easier than if it were a liquid. All you do is scoop it into the trash bag instead of having to find a vessel to pour oil in! 

Heat your oil to 350 degrees F and be sure to use a candy thermometer! I like the glass kind that sticks straight in the pot with clear lines. They're quite easy to clean and durable to boot! All you do now is deep fry the lumpia in batches of 3 or 4 until cooked through and golden-brown, which takes about five minutes. Be sure to not add too many to the hot oil all at once, otherwise, the temperature of the oil will go down too drastically and the lumpia will get greasy as a result.

Serve with a warmed marinara sauce for dipping, and you've got a winner!

The taste is so similar to a sausage-filled pizza! I invite you to try it with your own favorite pizza toppings, like bell peppers, anchovies, fresh basil leaves, chicken, chopped pepperoni, or more! The best part about this, like pizza, is that it's so easy to personalize. I do recommend making a lot all at once and freezing ahead, if you can at all help it.

Thanks so much for coming on this journey with me! I hope you all had a fun and safe Thanksgiving that was quiet and happy. I know I enjoyed the quiet celebration that I had with just my husband. There was no stress, no family fighting, no awful kale and corn salad that some body bought at the grocery store just before the feast... Just him, me, and more food than we'll ever eat in one go.

Happy cooking, and happy eating!