Saturday, February 27, 2010

#226_Giniling or Picadillo

Giniling or Picadillo

Giniling which literally means ground is a dish made of ground meat. In the Philippines, it is an all time favorite dish to serve specially during fiestas and on special occasions because of the vegetables used such as potatoes, peas, carrots etc., which serve as fillers or extenders, one can can easily double or triple the volume of the dish and therefore can feed an army or the whole neighborhood.
In other countries like Mexico or Cuba they call this dish Picadillo and of course they have their own version of preparing it, but very similar to this Filipino version.

This is one of the dishes that uses tomato base or the holy trinity of Filipino sauteing: garlic, onion and tomatoes. I usually have this frozen and ready to use, click here to check out my entry on tomatoes. If I ran out of my frozen tomatoes, then I'd use the canned whole tomatoes because those are pre-cooked and will cut down my cooking time.

Here's the recipe as dictated to me by my mother when I called her one time and asked her for the recipe. Back home she used the canned peas and fresh carrots.

3 tbsp canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 can whole tomatoes, or very ripe fresh tomatoes, chopped
3 lbs ground pork (or ground beef)
2 pieces bay leaves
2 tbsp annatto oil (recipe here)
6 medium potatoes, diced
freshly cracked pepper
1 bag (1 lb.) frozen mixed vegetables, do not thaw
1 cup raisins
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced long

If you don't have the tomatoes ready, we'll have to start from scratch.

Sauteing the tomatoes:
In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat some
canola oil then saute the garlic until it is slightly browned. Add onions and continue to saute until they are wilted and translucent, then add the chopped tomatoes. Continue to saute until tomatoes are soft. If using fresh tomatoes this takes a little while.

Meat mixture:
Add the ground pork and the bay leaves. Turn down heat to medium and saute really well. This is important procedure because if not sauteed "really well", you'll have that oink, oink taste and won't be very appetizing.

Here's how to saute it really well:
Keep sauteing the meat mixture until meat is no longer pink. Turn down the heat to medium low and continue to saute, stirring occasionally until the meat renders its own juice or fat. Now, there's going to be liquid in the mixture and it needs to be cooked down. (at this point you can transfer this mixture to crock pot)

Season it with salt (about 1 tbsp) and stir in the annatto oil. Put lid on and keep it covered for about about 20 minutes, stirring once in a while.
Turn down the heat a notch keeping lid on and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender and the liquid is cooked down.

Add the potatoes and the cracked peppers then return the lid on. Turn up the heat to medium and continue to simmer until potatoes are almost tender then add the raisins and frozen vegetables (peas and carrots) and the red bell pepper.
Cook until potatoes are fork tender.
Serve hot over rice.

I usually use the Peas & Carrots combination,
but this is what I had this time which worked good as well.
You can use your favorite vegetable combination.

Crock Pot Method

The mixture in a crock pot

After the meat rendered its own juice or fat,
transfer it to a crock pot, add salt and stir in the annato oil
to the mixture,
then mix in the rest of ingredients
and let it cook on low f
or about 6 hours...
....then go shopping

When you come home from shopping,
this is what you'll have!


Friday, February 26, 2010

#225_ Lumpiang Bangus (Bangus Egg Rolls)

Fried Bangus Lumpia or Egg Rolls
with home made dipping sauce

Bangus, or milk fish is considered the Philippines national fish
and it is known for its milky flavor, thus milk fish.

Bangus...fried then flaked

A FB friend, Shirley, gave me the idea to make egg rolls with bangus fillings. I've never heard of such a thing before, even though I came from a city where Bangus not only abound but also a city where you can find the best Bangus in the country. (you're welcome to read an article about it here).

Egg Roll Fillings:

For the fillings, I used some boneless bangus which are now available in Filipino and Asian stores, but because they are so expensive I combined some ground pork with the fillings to serve as an extender.

Saute garlic in a little canola oil over medium heat, then add the onions and the ground pork. Saute until the pork is no longer pink. Season with salt or patis (fish sauce) and freshly cracked pepper. Cover and let simmer until meat is tender. Add the cooked and flaked fish then saute for a few minutes.

Turn off the heat then add the carrots, celery, raisins. Mix well.
Drain the mixture in a colander and let it cool completely before wrapping.
To see the steps in wrapping egg rolls, click here.

To avoid sogginess, fried lumpias or egg rolls must
be stacked upright on paper towels to drain the oil.
Serve warm with dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce Recipe:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
2 tbsp patis ( fish sauce)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. chili garlic sauce*
1/3 cup grated carrots

Combine water, sugar and vinegar in a sauce pan. Bring up to a boil over medium heat. Turn the heat down to medium low then let it simmer until the mixture becomes syrupy. Turn off the heat and add the patis (fish sauce), garlic, Chili Garlic Sauce and grated carrots. Stir to blend all ingredients together.
This dipping sauce can be made ahead of time. Place the sauce in a jar then refrigerate until ready to use.

Note from MaMely:

*Chili Garlic Sauce is a very concentrated sauce. If you're not into spicy stuff, start with even less than 1/8 tsp. then add more as you desire.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

#223_Boiled Peanuts (Nilagang Mani)

Boiled Peanuts
are healthier snacks than roasted ones.

Although boiled peanuts are my childhood snack, I've never boiled them myself. When I googled to find out how, I found out now only how to boil them but also found out that boiling peanuts is a tradition in the southeastern part of the United States.

It took me 4 hours to boil these! amazing!

Click the link below to check out the steps in boiling raw peanuts:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

#222_Missisippi Mud Pie

Here's another heavenly dessert that's really easy to make,
but it takes some time to prepare.
Test your patience.

I used 2 flavors of ice cream: French vanilla and Tagalongs Girl Scout cookies ice cream which has a fantastic combination of peanut butter and vanilla with swirls of fudge. Of course you can use any combination of ice cream you want or just use one flavor. This might look scrumptious but very forgiving kind of dessert.

1) Soften the ice cream in the fridge for about 3o minutes.
2) Lay a piece of plastic wrap or aluminum foil into the bowl allowing excess plastic to overhang around the sides of bowl.
3) If using 2 flavors of ice cream, spoon the first flavor of softened ice cream halfway into the bowl then freeze for about 2 hours, then fill the rest of the bowl with your second flavor leaving a room for crust, about 1/4 of an inch.
4) Freeze for another 2 hours.

In a food processor, crush about 15 pieces Oreo Chocolate cookies with 1/2 stick melted butter.

Press the cookie crumbs on top of the frozen ice cream,
then freeze again for at least another 5 hours or over night.

When ready to serve, take it out of the freezer and dip the
bottom of bowl in warm water or run warm water from the faucet
for a few seconds
so the ice cream will easily slide out.

Invert the ice cream onto a plate with a pool of chocolate fudge.
Peel off the plastic wrap.
Drizzle some hot fudge on top and sprinkle with chopped nuts.

You can use home made hot fudge recipe below or just simply use store-bought kind.

Here's the recipe for the home made
Chocolate Hot Fudge:
1 cup powder sugar
1 cup Semi sweet chocolate chip morsels
1/2 stick butter, cut up
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts, divided
whipped cream, optional

1) heat sugar, chocolate morsels, butter, cream, and corn syrup in a small heavy-duty saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until butter is melted and mixture is smooth.
2) remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
3) cool sightly until warm.
4) drizzle over ice cream


Sunday, February 21, 2010

#221_Stained Glass Gelatin Dessert

Stained Glass Gelatin Dessert

This dessert is a combination of different Jello-O gelatin flavors which make it so colorful. It is very easy to make, but the preparation takes time.

It has so many different names. Sometimes it is called "Broken Glass Dessert", or "Broken Window Glass Pudding", "Prism", "Rainbow Pudding," "Cathedral Window" , but I think "Stained Glass" sounds better, so I will call it that.

The recipe was given to me by a good friend who says every time she brings it to a pot luck, it is always a big hit. I will post her original recipe exactly the way she wrote it down for me and also my modified version.

She calls it PRISM SALAD.

1 of each. 3 oz. Jello: Raspberry, Lime and Orange. Dissolve separately in 8 or 9 inch square pans using 1 cup boiling water and 1/2 cup cold water for each flavor. Set in fridge until firm.

Lemon Jello Mixture:
1 package Lemon Jello (3oz.) dissolved in 1 cup boiling water. Add 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup pineapple juice. Chill until slightly thickened.

Prepare 1 pt. whipping cream (whip until thick) and blend with the Lemon Jello Mix.

Cut firm gelatin into 1/2 " cubes...

.....then fold Lemon Jello Mix into the cubed gelatin.

Let this mixture chill in a 9x13 pan for at least 5 hours or overnight
before cutting into squares.
Serves 20

Here's my modified version:
I followed everything on her recipe except for the Lemon Jello Mixture. I didn't have the whipping cream when I was making this dessert so I used 1 can condensed milk with the Lemon Jello dissolved in 1-1/2 cups water, eliminated the sugar and pineapple juice.

and this is how it turned out...delish but bubbly.

For Christmas you can use any red and green Jello gelatin or come up with your favorite combination for any occasion and have FUN!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

#220_ Birthday Cake in a Jiffy

G'daughter Aurionna

I made this cake for our g'daughter, Auri for her 10th birthday
after running errands almost all day and running out of time to make a cake.
Super simple and super easy to do.

The cake is milk chocolate iced with Cream Cheese Frosting,
lady fingers cookies around sides and topped with Cake Balls.

You can put this cake together in 30 minutes... or maybe even less.
No kidding! I know it, because I did it.
That is excluding the baking time and cooling the cake,
and of course the Cake Balls have been made ahead of time.

Cake out of the box
Thanks to my aunt Betty (Crocker), she is a life-saver.

Frost top and sides of cake.
The frosting doesn't have to be perfectly smooth.
In fact I call this a sloppy frosting.
(click here for the Cream Cheese Frosting recipe)

Line lady finger cookies around the side of cake
or you can use chocolate bars.
My sisters who have been decorating cakes this way,
make slabs of chocolate, then cut them to sizes.
Click here to see pictures of their awesome cakes.

Layer whatever you have or whatever you want on top
such as shaved chocolate, M&M's candies,
chopped candy bars and whatnot.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

#219_Santol, A Philippine Fruit

A friend and a nice neighbor of mine, Stella Davis,
brought me this huge santol from Las Vegas the other day.
She said she got it from Seafood City.
It was huge and frozen. I have never seen santol this huge!

These pictures sparked some exciting interactions among the fans
when I posted it on my Face Book page, which was a lot fun!
To some, this made them nostalgic about Pinas,
and to some just simply miss eating the fruit itself.

the first skin is peeled off......
I didn't really need the salt

gotta chop open this baby

tada!!! pulpy seeds revealed

This fruit is like sweet and sour...
the second skin is sour but the pulps are so sweet.
nakakalaway ba? It is a salivary glands activator!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

#218_ Chicken Sandwich, Pinoy Style

Here's a chicken sandwich that most Filipinos love,
the recipe of which was shared by a "fan"
of PinoyAmericanFavoriteRecipes on Face Book, Nida King.

What makes this a Pinoy-style chicken sandwich?
As you know most Filipinos have sweet tooth. We put sugar in most of our dishes, including spaghetti sauce or even in adobong isda (fish adobo).

The chicken filling for this sandwich has some sugar and some other ingredients that makes it not only a Filipino favorite but also very tropical. If you want to see the recipe she posted, just go to my face book page, then follow the thread on sandwich. See you there!

Addendum 2-10-10
I wasn't going to reveal the ingredients, but there's a lot of readers of this blog who have been asking me for the recipe. I'm sure Nida wouldn't mind if I post the recipe here.
So, here's Nida's recipe for the Chicken Sandwich filling:

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
dash salt
2 tbsp.w
hite sugar
1 can crushed pineapple, well drained
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup broken nut pieces, pecans or walnuts
Cooked bacon, crumbled (optional, but I highly recommend)

In a bowl, mix first 5 ingredients well then add the pineapple and raisins. Mix until everything is well blended together.

To assemble sandwich:
If using sandwich bread, place a piece of lettuce on a bread then top with the chicken fillings. Garnish with nuts.
Place another slice of bread on top of the fillings.

If you don't want your sandwich too sweet, just omit sugar. The raisins and pineapple have plenty of sugar in them already.

Here's a link to another chicken sandwich recipe,
it's a Chicken Salad Sandwich :

Note from MaMely:
I used rotisserie chicken, but If you need to cook the chicken yourself here's how to prepare it:
Put chicken in a pot and cover with water then add crushed garlic, 2 bay leaves and sliced onion. Cook over medium heat. Skim off fat (discard the fat that's floating) before bringing it up to a boil. When there's no more of that gunk floating turn down heat then simmer. Season with salt and continue to simmer until chicken is tender.


Nida also shared her recipe for "chicharong manok". Just follow the thread on "chicharon".


Here's an idea you can do with the Chicken Sandwich filling

Use the chicken fillings on Ritz Crackers
For more recipe ideas go to:

Another fan, Virgie, shared a recipe for "Pepalukluk Manuk" or "Pinaupong Manok". Follow the thread on BBQ Chicken Or "Inasal na Manok"

Ok. Here's the Pepalukluk Manuk recipe: (Pinaupong Manok)

1 whole chicken
5 cloves garlic (mashed)
sea salt or any coarse salt
1 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
More canola oil for frying later

Rinse chicken and pat it dry. Rub with salt inside and out.
Heat oil in Dutch oven or any pot that is deep enough to put a whole chicken. Add garlic and salt to hot oil. Add chicken. Cover the pot and put temperature to low. Cook until chicken is tender (about 45 minutes) but not falling off the bone. Take out from the pot and cut up the chicken. Fry in hot canola oil. Serve with steamed Jasmine rice or brown rice if you are health conscious.

Virginia Ganzon Rodriguez wrote
at 6:33pm on February 7th, 2010
Ms. Mely, I have recipes at
if you want to check out some of my recipes.