Thursday, December 22, 2016

cranberry-orange polvoron with white baking morsels

These are just photos and additional ingredients and instructions for the basic recipe.

To make a cranberry-orange polvoron with white baking chips, add zest of 1 whole orange, 1/2 cup dried cranberry (sweetened or not), finely chopped; and 1/2 cup white baking morsels to the basic polvoron mixture before molding into disks.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Filipino polvoron as holiday gifts. makes 60 large size polvorons disks

This recipe makes 60 large size polvoron disks with a diameter of 2 ¼ inches and a width of 1/2 inch. It is my mother's polvoron mold made of stainless steel. I also have the smaller size-half of the large one made of brass. I considered them both as antique hence I am thinking of buying the newer molds soon as I want to keep the 2 old ones.

If you do not have a polvoron mold or any kind of gadget that can be a substitute receptacle, use your hands and form them into truffle-size balls-pressing well. I don't know how much you will make out of this procedure as it depends how big you decide your polvoron balls would be.

The butter in the mixture will help make it bind together. Molded or not (as balls) it should be refrigerated immediately to harden and keep its shape.

Originally, Polvoron is a Spanish cookie made of the same ingredients as the Filipino version but usually their base fat is LARD-that's why they also call it 'mantecado' (from the word 'manteca' meaning oil or fat). In any Spanish polvoron/mantecado recipe, almond meal is always thrown in the mixture and some local spices like cinnamon. The 'polvo' (dust, powder) word in this cookies also mean the powdered sugar sprinkled on it.

The Spanish version's flour is baked in the oven to 'toast' (brown); the Filipino version way of toasting the flour is on the stove, in a large wok or pan-stirred constantly to prevent from burning. But the Spanish polvoron is thrown in the oven again to bake like a typical cookie-the Filipino polvoron never goes in the oven-at all.

Other than being baked and using lard, there's really not much of a difference other than the Filipino trademark version has full fat "powdered milk" in it. It is a poor Filipino man's interpretation of the Spanish/European shortbread cookies. When Spain introduced Polvoron in the Philippines in 16th century, most Filipinos didn't have makeshift ovens. So our ancestors improvised and thought not baking it should be enough to taste so good!

Makes 60 large size Polvoron disks.


6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 lb of butter
2 2/3 cups sugar
1 ½ t salt
2 cups full-fat powdered milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (you can use any extract flavoring you want)


In a medium sauce pan, on low heat, melt the butter. While butter is melting, toast the flour.

Using a large wok or saute pan (with 4" sides), carefully throw in the flour and toast on medium-high heat. To toast flour is to stir it constantly over heat to prevent from burning. 15 minutes or more.

It is toasted when:

it smells like a baked pastry crust,
it got a bit 'murkier' in color other than white (light beige).
It should 'feel' like talc/talcum powder.

Remove from heat but continue to stir and mix for 3 minutes then set aside. Cool for 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and powdered milk.

Remove melted butter from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Add the powdered milk-sugar mixture to the toasted flour; mix and stir well.

Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture and carefully pour the butter-vanilla mixture in it.

First use a wooden spatula or spoon to 'shovel' the dry mixture toward the butter-vanilla mixture, making sure you are 'covering' the liquid mixture. Then combine dry and liquid ingredients until liquid ingredients have been incorporated. Use your clean, dry hands to thoroughly mix it and prevent clumps. It should NOT feel gritty. Mold immediately when it is still warm.

Refrigerate for 1 hour before wrapping.

Ideas for wrapping:

Food-grade Japanese paper
mini-tart cups

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Centerpiece embutido: 18" long; traditional ingredients. NO photo.

Embutido is a Filipino rolled meatloaf. It is steamed first, then baked OR cut into 1 inch thick slices then pan fried before serving. But traditionally it's just steamed.

The procedure of this recipe has some grilling and freezing of ingredients. You also might want to get a commercial style roasting pan or hotel pan (at least 24" long). Otherwise, get 2 cheap tin roasting pans with the same size mentioned above then stack them together. This is a centerpiece main dish-hence the size. If not, make small logs (just like a regular embutido) to accommodate the size of your steaming pot.

The ingredients for this embutido recipe is my mother's but the procedure-being an arm-size meat loaf sausage is mine. This has no cheese, no pickle relish. My Ma does not care about adding Vienna sausages, hotdogs or ham. 

Makes one 1½ feet long (18") embutido.


5 hard-boiled eggs, cool to room temperature

1 very ripe plantain (Saba) banana, boiled and mashed well.

3 lbs ground pork, preferably 85% lean
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 of a large onion-finely chopped
1/4 cup coconut water vinegar or white wine or apple cider vinegar
3 T lard, room temperature (Any cooking oil is great too.)
3 eggs
1½ c stale Monay bread crumbs (like Hawaiian bread crumbs; panko or plain dry bread crumbs are okay.)

1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 T drained pimiento, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped

1/3 cup banana ketchup (Tomato ketchup or sauce is fine.)
2/3 c raisins
2/3 c green peas; thawed or drained if frozen or canned
3 T soy sauce
1½  t kosher or sea salt
1½ t cracked, black pepper

Special Equipment:

Large bowl
Tin foil
Large, deep roaster or hotel pan; 24" x 12" x 8"
1 clean, unscented and dry bath towel


IMPORTANT NOTE: everything should be cold; otherwise, you will have a hard time forming this into a large roll. Please do not let it sit for a long time outside the refrigerator if you can not form it  immediately into a roll.

1. Remove the shells and egg whites from the hard boiled egg and freeze the yolk on an oiled plate. If you want the egg whites in the embutido, then you don't need to remove egg whites.

2. Fill the roaster with 2 liters of tap water. Set aside.

3. Place all the ingredients-except the egg yolks-in a large, 2 gallon size bowl. Using your clean hands, mix altogether until well combined. Cover with the lid of the bowl or tin foil or plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

3. Roll out a tin foil 2 feet long. Place on a clean, dry work table.

4. Take out the frozen egg yolks. Using a very sharp knife, carefully slice the hard yolks into four wedges and mix with the cold embutido mixture.

5. With your hands-spread the meat loaf mixture on the tin foil to end 14" long and at least 4" width. Making sure you have space to roll the tin foil.

7. Roll out embutido towards the center. Form into a log and tightly wrap with the tin foil. If possible-roll out another 2' long of tin foil and double wrap the embutido. If you have a butcher's string, tie up the embutido 4-6 times crosswise. Set aside in the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 375° F.

8. Fold the bath towel into fours and slowly place in the roaster with water. It will soak up the water. Take out the embutido from the refrigerator and place in between the wet towel. Pour 1 more cup of water on the towel. Cover with the lid of the roaster pan or use a tin foil to let the steam in.

9. Place in the preheated oven to cook for 2 hours.

10. Take out from oven. Do not open for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

11. Remove steamed embutido from towel and roasting pan and let it rest on a chopping board or rack. You decide if you are serving it as is or want to brown it in the oven (without foil) for 20 minutes at 375° F.

Assembling and serving:

You have 2 options for the sauce: 2 cups of liver sauce or banana ketchup. 

Prepare your serving plate-at least slightly bigger/longer than the meatloaf. Spread 2 cups of warm liver sauce or cold banana ketchup on the serving plate. Remove embutido from the tin foil. It will be pinkish or light brown, like uncooked but trust me-it's cooked.

Carefully place the embutido on the bed of sauce. Use a very sharp knife to slice 1" thick or thinner, make sure they are still intact. Sprinkle with micro-greens and finely chopped tomatoes or drizzle with the sauces or both. Either way, you are going to have a lot of expressing how phenomenal it is while savoring each bite.

Best enjoyed with steamed white rice.

Please let me know how this recipe turned out with you. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

anthony bourdain's "candied sweet potato" turned into a cheesecake!

seafood fry (scallops and jumbo shrimp)

Serves 2-3 people.


2 cups scallops
2 cups jumbo shrimp
2 1/2 cups flour
1 t salt
1/2 t cracked black pepper
1/2 t smoked paprika (plain/regular is fine.)
2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 eggs beaten well
1/3 c milk
3-4 cups cooking oil (pref with high smoke point: corn, vegetable (soy based), peanut) 

Thaw (if frozen), drain and dry well the seafood on a clean, kitchen laid on a tray. Set aside.

Prepare your dry and wet  ingredients:

Mix flour, salt, pepper, paprika in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl-combine eggs and milk.

Pour bread crumbs in another large bowl.

Set aside, 2 clean/dry serving plates or 2 medium trays.

Arrange the bowls with respective ingredients and empty plates/trays as follows from left to right facing you:

1st - the seafood

2nd - flour
3rd - empty dry plate/tray
4th - eggs/milk mixture
5th - bread crumbs
6th - empty plate/tray

Dredge the seafood in the flour using fingers to act as strainer. 

Place each floured scallop and shrimp side by side to rest on the empty plate/tray.

Drop floured seafood in the egg/milk mixture 3-4 at a time. Remove from liquid using a fork making sure it is not dripping with the egg/milk mixture; drop on the bread crumbs.

Using your (dry hands and) fingers, coat with bread crumbs.

Set each breaded seafood on the last empty plate/tray.

Line a serving plate, large dining plate or medium tray with paper towel. Set aside. 

In a large saute pan or pot (heavy bottom; NOT non-stick), preheat oil until smoky or 'wavy-about 2-3 minutes. Have a slotted spoon or tong ready.

You will have to deep fry the shrimp first, then the scallops last.

Carefully drop 4 shrimps (if you used jumbo or extra large) at a time; deep fry until light brown or 30 seconds each side. Repeat until all shrimps are deep fried.

The scallops cooks less than 1 minute. Just make the outside light brown.

Enjoy with a squeeze of lime or lemon juice; dipped in your favorite cocktail/seafood sauce or tartar sauce.

filipino breakfast omelette



coconut oil
sea salt
cracked black pepper


cold, cooked rice
coconut oil
sea salt

Drizzle omelette with soy sauce when ready to eat.