His tall (6’4”), reed-like figure belies a passion for food: cooking, eating and writing about it.
It’s a passion that chef and food writer Angelo Comsti shares in his latest book “From Our Table to Yours: A Collection of Filipino Heirloom Recipes and Family Memories.”
With 135 pages of recipes, photographs, food narratives and cooking tips, the book has all the makings of a beloved keepsake, one that will be referred to over and over again, and perhaps passed on to future generations.
Published by Marshall Cavendish Asia Pte Ltd, “From Our Table” compiles recipe contributions from chefs, restaurateurs, caterers, home bakers and food enthusiasts, with Comsti contributing some of his own family’s beloved recipes. The dishes range from vegetables and noodles to seafood, meat and desserts, all of them with mouthwatering photographs taken by At Maculangan and styled by Comsti himself.
Apart from the commendable layout and pictures, the recipes promise home-cooked meals as they would be prepared by loving mothers and grandmothers. With such familiar, comforting names as pochero (from Buenaventura de la Fuente, shared by Dedet de la Fuente); nilagang Pasko (from Apung Bito, shared by Namee Jorolan); and Comsti’s own beef caldereta (from his grandmother Consolacion Fuentes), the recipes stir up warm feelings of hearth and home. Moreover, English translations of the recipes’ names make them inviting to non-Filipinos, too.
Like a well-planned meal, “From Our Table” ends with scrumptious desserts. In keeping up with the book’s Filipino theme, the desserts include such classics as leche flan, haleyang ube and suman.
Here’s a recipe for pork asado, featured on page 68 of the book, shared by chef Jorolan.
(Recipe of Apung Mameng, shared by chef Namee Jorolan.)
Cooking oil, as needed
1 k pork shoulder
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
250 g (¼ k) tomatoes
5 tbsp light soy sauce
½ c tomato sauce
4 c water
½ c freshly squeezed calamansi juice
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
In a pan, heat some oil and sear pork on all sides. If using a small pan, slice pork into smaller pieces to sear. Remove seared meat and discard excess oil. Set aside.
In the same pan, sauté onions, garlic and tomatoes over medium heat. Cook until tomatoes are soft. Add soy sauce and tomato sauce. Mix well.
Return meat to pan and cook for a few minutes in sauce. Add water and bring to a boil.
When water is boiling, lower heat to a simmer. Add calamansi juice. Cover and cook until liquid is almost evaporated and meat is tender.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Slice and serve.
Tasty tip: This dish is typically eaten with boiled potatoes.
“From Our Table to Yours” is available in Powerbooks and in all branches of National Book Store.
For more tips, recipes and stories, visit author’s blog at www.normachikiamco.com and www.facebook.com/normachikiamco. Follow on [email protected]
PHOTOS: AT MACULANGAN/ MARSHALL CAVENDISH ASIA PTE LTD