Monday, September 28, 2009

#183_Oven-Baked Pichi-Pichi

The process involved in making Pichi-Pichi
the traditional way is very tedious.
For instance, spooning the mixture into the molds,
placing them in a steamer,
then steaming them for 45 minutes, sometimes up to 1 hour.
The only easy part of the process is mixing the ingredients.
Even cleaning the molds after using them is quite a chore.

Let me quickly share with you, beloved readers and friends,
my serendipitous experience
as I was making Pichi-pichi yesterday.
(see previous post or click here).
After making 2 batches, I got impatient and got tired,
so I decided to put the mixing bowl
with the remaining mixture in it in the oven.

This is what that mixture looked like when
I remembered to check it after about 20 minutes or maybe longer.
I really don't exactly know how long it baked in the oven.
As you can see it was almost burnt because
I almost forgot all about it until I smelled something was burning.

I was nonchalant about it because, oh well, I wasn't really expecting
anything will come out of it.
It really didn't matter to me if it was burnt, after all,
there was only about 1 cup of the mixture that was going to waste.

Then when I started to scrape the unburnt part with a spoon,
I was so delighted to discover that it was so soft and tasted like
the kind of Pichi-pichi sold in the Philippines! yup, the real thing!

I scooped out the unburnt part and formed them into
little balls and coated them with the grated coconut.

I was so excited to discover that
I can now make Pichi-Pichi without all the traditional rituals.
No more using molds and no more steaming.
I can now make a big batch of it in a baking pan....
just scoop them up then form them into different shapes and sizes
and no more molds to wash.
And most important of all is that the taste
is a lot better than the steamed kind.
You know I will be making

this way from now on and I promise to give you
update on the baking time.


Update: 10-3-09

I didn't burn them this time!

I baked another batch today and I greased the baking pan before pouring
in the mixture and baked it for 30 minutes in a 350 degrees pre-heated oven
and the result was very satisfactory.

No burnt edges and the mixture didn't stick on the pan. It was perfect.
BTW, I did not use lye water on this batch. No not lying!!
Pareho rin ang labas. Try niyo!

here for the ingredients

Note from MaMely:
baking time depends on the size of pan used.
For 11"x 9" pan, it takes about 1 hour to bake @ 350 degreesF.

I ran out of grated coconut so I rolled the baked Pichi-Pichi in roasted sesame seeds which turned out looking like buchi. Well, I had deviated from the traditional method of making this dessert, so I might as well deviate all the way, right? Maybe we can call these picho-picho or maybe next time I will make them I will come up with a different shape so they won't be buchi-look-alike.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


(They might look like Palitaw, but I assure you these are
Pichi-Pichi in their natural color).

This Philippine kakanin is made with grated cassava (yucca) and
are usually eaten as desserts or as snacks.

If you're in the Philippines or a place where
fresh cassavas are accessible,
fresh grated cassava is used in making this dessert,
but because I don't have that luxury in my neck of the woods,
I used the frozen grated cassava
which is sold in most Asian stores.

Here's the recipe:
1 lb. grated cassava, thawed
1-1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 can coconut cream
1/2 tsp. lye water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
food color, optional (addendum, 9/30/09)

Combine every thing in a bowl then mix well.

Grease molds then fill with the mixture
and then steam for 45 minutes.

Take them out of the molds then coat Pichi2 with grated coconut.

Again, in the Philippines, because of the abundance of coconuts,
we use freshly grated coconut.
Here, I have to settle with this frozen grated coconut
found in most Asian stores.
Do not use dessicated coconut or coconut flakes...not a good idea.

Mag merienda na tayo!!

A note from MaMely:
While making these Pichi-pichi today,
I accidentally discovered another way to make them
without steaming. Isn't that wonderful?
Watch out for my next post!!

AN UPDATE: 9/30/09
A reader e-mailed me saying she thinks these are palitaw and not pichi-pichi. She is right, they sure look like palitaw, but I assure you, these are pichi-pichi in their natural color. I guess we can use some food coloring as they do with the commercial ones.

Click here for the oven-baked method.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

#181_Quick and Easy Mango Turnovers

Mango Turnovers

You must have figured out by now that I'm crazy about mangoes
as I had posted several recipes with mangoes in this blog.
Yup, I heart fresh mangoes and anything mangoes
as long as they aren't too sweet
like the commercial dried mangoes or mango jam.
It is my #1 favorite fruit, so I have been looking
around cyberspace for other recipes using mangoes.

I found this recipe from Dallas Examiner
which is real easy and quick to do and uses mango jam,
I'll let you go to the site,
(click here) to save me from writing the recipe.

The recipe calls for one pound or a box
of store-bought Puff Pastry and makes 18 turnovers.
It is quite expensive at a little less than 5 dollars a box,
which is okay if you just want to make a few,
but if you want to make this dessert for a crowd,
you might consider making your own puff pastry.
I found a quick and easy homemade recipe by cafenilson,
click here, if you're interested to make your own.

Unfold pastry and cut into 4-inch squares.

I used my homemade mango jam with a little bit of peach jam.

The recipe says, "before putting the fillings on the squares,
sprinkle cinnamon powder on the pastry dough".
I modified that part by sprinkling cinnamon-sugar on top instead.
Brush the top of pastry dough with melted butter first
so the cinnamon-sugar mixture will adhere.

I left some of the turnovers plain, just brushed the top with egg yolk.

Don't forget to pierce each turnover with tines of a fork like I did.
They were in the oven for a couple of minutes before
I remembered to do that,
so I took them out of the oven and made slits with a pair of scissors.

A Note from MaMely:
Puff Pastries are best eaten when freshly baked and warm.
They are not good the next day.

You can fill this pastry with any kind of fruit fillings (or maybe even meat fillings) you desire and call it any way you want.... I found a recipe using apple pie filling, thus, Apple Turnover, click here.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

#180_Savory Chicken Salad Submarine Sandwich

Are you hungry?
Hungry or not, this sandwich sure will tempt any appetite.

My husband who has been a Subway fan said that
this is far better than Subway sandwich.
Coming from a persnickety eater, that is a very nice compliment.
I believe him because he requested one every day for 4 days in a row
when I first created this sandwich and he hasn't got tired of it yet. (knock on wood!)
This has become his new favorite sandwich.

You need bread with a nice crust like ciabatta bread,
French bread or any kind of bread that is hefty enough
to hold up layers upon layers of good stuff...7 layers in all!
I used submarine roll for this sandwich which I enjoy...
and that's coming from a not-a-big-fan-of-sandwich girl.

For the chicken salad, I used my Chicken Salad recipe, post #145
click here, but made some modifications.
Here's some of the changes:
I used honey dijon mustard instead
of regular yellow mustard for the dressing, then
I combined some sliced marinated olives
and some marinated veggies
in the chicken salad which make the sandwich
so savory and bursting with flavors.
I left out the fresh celery, and green onions.

Savory Chicken Salad Recipe:

2 chicken breast, rotisserie chicken preferred
1/3 cup mayo
1/4 cup honey dijon mustard
1 cup marinated veggies, drained and chopped
10 pieces pemiento or garlic-stuffed olives, drained and sliced
1 cup Pecans or Walnuts, roasted and chopped
salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste


Cut chicken breast into small chunks.
In a bowl, mix the mayo and mustard and add the chicken
then toss in the rest of the ingredients.
Cover with plastic wrap and
put it in the fridge to chill for a few hours (or up to 2 days).
Good for 8-10 submarine sandwiches.

To assemble the sandwich:
Split a roll and layer the bottom of the roll with the following:
first layer: lettuce leaves,
second layer: chicken salad,
third layer: sliced tomatoes,
fourth layer: pepperoncini,
fifth layer: havarti cheese,
sixth layer: slices of cooked bacon and
seventh layer: slices of shaved smoked honey ham.
Replace the top slice of roll.
Secure sandwich with toothpick, if desired.

Once you tasted this sandwich,
you'll never go to Subway ever again!


Friday, September 18, 2009

#179_Peanut Butter Cookies: Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Chocolate Chip Cookies
without the chips!

In one way these are chocolate chip cookies
and in another way they are not.
I don't know if I'm making any sense,
but here's what I did...

I substituted Reese's Peanut Butter Clusters
and Hershey's chocolate bar
in place of chocolate chips called for in Mrs. Field's Cookie recipe.
The result?? OMG, melt-in-your-mouth goodness!

These cookies are so soft, moist and chewy
and are actually better than chocolate chips cookies
as long as you don't over bake them.
Better yet, they are so easy to make...
if you can boil water, you can make these cookies.
Just use any chocolate chip cookies recipe
that you might already have, leaving out the chips

then replace the chips with a bag of Reese's Clusters
and a king size Hershey's chocolate bar.
Chop them up and mix them in the cookie dough mixture.
(I just had to reduce the sugar called for in the recipe
as the clusters have plenty of sugar in them already).

A Caveat: very addicting!

Chocolate Chunks Cookie
Caramel oozing out from the clusters.

The taste-testers!
These are my little neighbor friends...
patiently and eagerly and xcited to try the cookies.

Jackson and Kennedy

Careful, the cookies are still very hot!

.....and their little sister, Reagan
Mmmmm!! Super Good!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

#178_Basic Sweet Dough Recipe (Bread Machine)

Sweet Dough
in its first rising in the bread machine pan (bucket).

This is actually the recipe for the
Reduced Eggs Ensaymada, post #114, click here
but, I thought it would be a good idea to post a
dough recipe that can be used in making
different varieties of bread.
I also had made some adjustments in the ingredients
and changed the procedure a little to make it
simpler and easier to follow and
not too complicated for a beginner.

With this dough recipe, you can make several kinds of bread,
such as Pani Popo, Dinner Rolls, Ensaymada, Brioche,
Cinnamon Rolls, Monkey Bread,
Braided loaf,
just to name a few.

Bread Machine Sweet Dough Recipe:
1-3/4 cups warm milk
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
6 cups bread flour
1 tbsp. instant yeast, (saf yeast)
1 tsp. dough enhancer (my secret ingredient)
1 tsp. vital wheat gluten(another secret ingredient)
1 tsp. salt
4 large eggs, slightly beaten

I like to place the slightly beaten eggs on one side on top of flour
and the yeast, dough enhancer, vital and salt on the other side
with a little levee in between them.
The reason for this is that my bread machine takes 10 minutes
to actually start after I push the start button,
and I'm afraid
that the dry ingredients I mentioned
will clump up when soaked with the eggs...
that's just me thinking and being cautious.

Here's the procedure:

1) Put everything in the bread machine pan in the order listed above starting with the milk.
2) Set the bread machine on dough cycle and let it do the mixing and kneading.
3) Let the dough rise in the bread machine pan.
4) When doubled in bulk, lightly punch down the dough then take it out onto a floured surface and form into desired shapes and varieties.
5) Let the shaped doughs rise until doubled in size. (second rising)
6) Bake in a pre-heated 350 degrees oven for 18-20 minutes
Baking time depends on the variety of bread.

Here are examples of different varieties of breads
you can make with the
Basic Sweet Dough Recipe:

Swedish Tea Ring

just came out of the oven.
post #114, click here

slathered with softened butter
and sprinkled with white sugar
post #114, click here

Swirled Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
a.k.a. Plain Ensaymada with frosting

Panipopo or Coconut Cream Buns
post #122, click here

Plain Ensaymada
post#114, click here

Monkey Bread
post #23, click here

Braided Loaves


Swedish Tea Ring, Braided Loaf, and White Bread Loaf...
made from one recipe,
or you can make 4 different varieties, but smaller sizes.
You might also want to check out the Pumpkin Dinner Rolls recipe #192, click here.


Important bread-making tips from KAF bakers
  • Don't bother heating the orange juice to lukewarm; you can use it straight out of the fridge. The orange juice won't add its own flavor to the bread, but will mellow any potential bitterness in the whole wheat.
  • If you're kneading bread by hand, it's tempting to keep adding flour till the dough is no longer sticky. Resist the temptation! The more flour you add while you're kneading, the heavier and drier your final loaf will be.
  • The amount of liquid you use to make the "perfect" dough will vary with the seasons. Flour is like a sponge; it absorbs water during the humid days of summer, and dries out during the winter. Your goal should be making the dough as it's described (e.g., cohesive, soft but not sticky), rather than sticking religiously to the amount of liquid.
  • When making yeast bread, let the dough rise to the point the recipe says it should, e.g., "Let the dough rise till it's doubled in bulk." Rising times are only a guide; there are so many variables in yeast baking (how you kneaded the dough; what kind of yeast you used) that it's impossible to say that bread dough will ALWAYS double in bulk in a specific amount of time.

Monday, September 14, 2009

#177_Ginataang Bayabas (Guavas in Coconut Milk)

Ohhhh, GUAVAS!!!!

That's exactly what I uttered upon entering the
newly opened Mexican store in my neighborhood the other day.
Actually the guavas did not look that great,
and in all honesty, most people in the Philippines
won't take a second look at these bruised,
over ripe, mushy guavas,
and I think it was nostalgia rather than appetite that made me
pay $3.99 per pound for fruits that were nearly rotten.
They brought back fun childhood memories....
climbing my grandparents' guava trees and my mother's
Ginataang Bayabas.
Ahhh, memories, how precious!!

Here's how to make Ginataang Bayabas:
(for 1.3 lbs)

Guavas must be ripe but firm.

1) Deseed, (optional) then peel and slice guavas.
2) Boil guavas in 4 cups water until tender, about 20 minutes, depending on how ripe the guavas are.
3) Add 1-1/2 cups white sugar and let it simmer (like making simple syrup, only with the guavas).
4) Add 1 can coconut milk, (I prefer to use Coconut cream) and continue to simmer for just a few minutes (about 2-3 minutes). Turn off the heat.

Serve warm or room temperature.

We used to eat this with fried tinapa or fried toyou and rice
during rainy days.
Guavas must be in season during rainy season
in the Philippines,
otherwise I would have seen some in January or February
when I went back for visits.

I forgot the salt...add just a teaspoon of salt while boiling guavas in water.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

#176_Green Onions

Wonder what to do with those white parts of green onions?
Please don't throw them away!

Instead, put them in a jar with water
and watch them burgeon with new shoots,
then plant them in a pot.
It's amazing!!!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

#175_Turning Garden Bounties into Garden Meals

Late Summer and early Fall is the busiest season for me. I have been busy lately cooking up and using up all the produce I get from my garden and from my friends' garden before they get old and rotten. Then I will be freezing some or share with Pinoy friends.

Chicken and Squash in Tomato Sauce
Butternut squash is from my garden

Marinated Shallots with Green & Red Peppers and Garlic
Shallots and peppers are from my garden

Ginisang Upo
Upo is from my friend, Erlinda's garden.
Click here to see my post on Upo.

Chicken Tinola with Pepper Leaves
Pepper leaves from my garden.

Dinengdeng or Gulay (Vegetable Casserole)
I used zucchini, squash, eggplant, okra, string beans
and squash and zucchini blossoms...
some of the veggies are from my own garden and some from friends.

More peaches to freeze and to make jams

Upo Vine.
I never can grow upo in my yard.

My friend, Erlinda is always sharing her upo harvest with everybody,

and her peaches...and everything else in her garden.

Will be making Upside Down Peach Cake!

How about Zucchini-Peach Bread?

Got alot to do....
next on my list! Tomato Salsa with Peaches
Have a nice Fall...oppps, please don't fall!
I meant "have a nice Autumn!!"