Pistachio ‘kare-kare,’ ‘prichon kawali’ with ‘aligue,’ steamed salmon this Christmas
It has always brought me great joy to cook dishes that are familiar yet executed a different way.
I am very pleased with how the recipes of my Balikbayan Gourmet class turned out recently. The menu was inspired by Sunday lunches when my mom, Amparing, would gather the family to partake of sumptuous meals.
She prepared simple yet delectable comfort food: kare-kare, steamed fish with homemade mayonnaise (a dish colorfully capped with chopped eggs, pickle relish, minced carrots and bell peppers) and talangka (that mom bought in sacks before salting them and, from the female crabs, extracting bright-orange aligue), and crisp but moist lechon kawali.
In class, I recreated the menu—spruced up to make them Christmas-table worthy.
Pistachio Kare-Kare with Dried Fruit Bagoong
To prepare the kare-kare:
2 k oxtail, skin on
Boil in water for 45 minutes. Throw water away. Repeat this process two more times.
On the third water change, boil until tender with carrots, celery onion, sea salt. When tender, set aside.
2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, sliced
¼ c chopped garlic
1 c pistachio puree
5-6 c oxtail and/or beef stock
2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste.
Pea green food color, optional
Carrots, Brussels sprouts, eggplant and French beans, blanched in salt water
Heat oil and butter. Sauté onion and garlic. Add oxtail stock. Add pistachio puree. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil and simmer until lightly thickened. Check seasoning. Add food color if desired.
Add oxtail, simmer until mixture has thickened. Serve with vegetables and bagoong.
1 ½ c pistachios
¼ c Wesson oil
1 c beef stock
3 tbsp sugar
4 heaping tbsp of Callebaut Pistachio paste, available at Chef’s Nook (tel. 7245812)
Toast pistachios in a dry pan. Put nuts in a blender and puree with the rest of the ingredients.
Bagoong with dried fruits:
¾ c vegetable oil
½ c liempo, skin on, boneless, cut into fine strips
½ c chopped onions
1/3 c pounded garlic
½ k alamang, washed 2-3 times until clean and drained
½ c assorted dried fruits chopped fine (apricots, figs, raisins, etc.)
¼ c brown sugar
Thai chili, sliced, +/-
Oil if needed
1 tsp salt
¼ c water
2 tsp patis
Pinch of pepper
2 tbsp calamansi juice
Heat oil and brown liempo. Add onion and garlic then sauté. Add alamang and dried fruits. Add sugar and chili. If it looks dry, add a little more oil. Add ¼ cup water.
Simmer until reduced and desired consistency of bagoong is achieved. Season with salt, patis and pepper, to taste.
Add calamansi juice last. Turn off heat.
Prichon Kawali (Chopped Fried Lechon de Leche) with Aligue Sauce and Seafood Rice
1 lechon de leche, about 4 kg
4 tsp sea salt
Water to cover
Chop lechon into 2-inch chunks. Put pork in a pot with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 20 minutes and throw water away.
Bring a fresh pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add chopped lechon pieces and cook for 45 minutes or until meat is slightly tender.
Let cool submerged in broth. Before serving, fry until golden and crisp.
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp garlic, pounded
¼ c chopped onion
¾ c or more of aligue or bottled aligue ng talangka
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ +/- c water
2 tbsp calamansi juice
Heat oil and sauté garlic and onion. Add aligue ng talangka. Thin with a little water, and season.
Turn off heat and add calamansi juice.
4 tbsp oil
1/3 c chopped onion
2 tsp garlic, pounded
½ k clams
½ k mussels
2 pcs squid, cleaned and cut into rings
½ k white shrimps, medium, peeled
1 tbsp ginger juice
1 tbsp turmeric
1 k Arborio rice
4 female crabs, cleaned and chopped into 4
8 c seafood or chicken stock
1 c coconut milk
Salt to taste
Green onion, chopped, to finish
Cilantro, chopped, to finish
In a large paellera (18 inches), heat oil and sauté onions and garlic. Add clams, mussels, squid, shrimps and ginger juice. Add turmeric and stir well.
Add rice and toast 1 minute. Add crabs. Pour in chicken stock. Add gata.
Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until rice is cooked.
Arrange prichon over rice. Drizzle with aligue sauce. Garnish with green onions and cilantro.
Steamed Salmon with Mayonnaise
1 k salmon fillet, center cut, skin on, scales removed
Season flesh side of the salmon with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Steam over high heat for 12 minutes.
2 eggs cooked 1 minute
2 c vegetable oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add eggs and time for 1 minute.
Crack eggs into a mason jar (whole eggs). Beat with a stab blender, adding the oil gradually, in a thin stream until the mixture has emulsified.
To the mayonnaise, add Dijon mustard, sugar, salt and lemon juice.
Curly lettuce to make a lettuce bed
4 eggs, hard boiled, white and yellow separated and chopped
¼ c each: pickle relish; carrots, chopped and blanched; asparagus, blanched and chopped; ripe mangoes, chopped; red onion, chopped; white onion, chopped; red bell pepper, roasted and chopped or use canned pimiento
On a serving platter, make a bed of lettuce. Put salmon, flesh side up, over lettuce bed. Spread mayonnaise generously over salmon.
Decorate salmon with the different toppings.
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