It’s been three weeks since the Luzon-wide lockdown and while some restaurants and home-based businesses deliver relief in the form of takeout dishes, some families have been challenged with producing economical yet satisfying everyday meals. Given the pending crisis, it becomes extra hard as we need to make the most of our limited grocery supplies.
In our household, my mother Cynthia has a set of foolproof recipes she brings out when time isn’t exactly on her side. It is actually the inspiration behind my fourth cookbook under Marshall-Cavendish, “Fuss-Free Filipino Food: Quick and Easy Dishes for Everyday Cooking,” which contains easy-to-do and familiar Filipino items anyone can make with limited ingredients. There’s sinigang, adobo, lumpia and kinilaw, which any amateur home cook can do.
One that I personally like and have relied on many times since I’ve lived on my own is my mom’s picadillo. I grew up eating this, generously poured over heaps of rice. It starts off with the traditional gisa—a saute of chopped garlic, onion and tomatoes. Then uncooked corn kernels sliced off the cob are thrown in. After a few minutes of mixing, ground beef is added, followed by water. Once all components are cooked, it is seasoned with either salt or fish sauce. It’s a dish that takes minimal effort to cook but delivers high on satisfaction, as the rest of my family would agree.
With the help of friends in the industry, I’ve gathered five more delicious recipes with a maximum of seven ingredients and which you can prep, cook and enjoy at home. Enjoy!
Egg and Mushroom Fried Rice by Mikel Zaguirre
Saute 4 tbsp chopped spring onions and 1 small can shiitake mushroom (drained) in a pan with oil. Add 3 cups day-old rice. Mix. Add 2 beaten eggs and 4 tbsp soy sauce. Mix until egg is cooked. Season. Drizzle 2 tbsp sesame oil. Toss. Serve.
Royal Butter Prawns by Kalel Chan
Simmer 1 kg shrimp in a pot with 1-inch peeled ginger slices, 3 cups orange-flavored soda and 1 tbsp sugar until half cooked. Remove shrimp from pot and set aside. Meanwhile, reduce liquid to 25 percent. In a pan, sauté 1/4 cup slivered garlic in oil. Switch to high heat and add reserved shrimp. Pour orange sauce and add 4 tbsp butter. Season and toss. Serve.
Spaghetti with Fresh Tomatoes, Garlic and Basil by Aileen Anastacio
In a bowl, combine 5 tomatoes that have been seeded and chopped, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/3 cup chopped basil leaves and 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil. Season. Marinate for 10 minutes. Cook 450 g spaghetti noodles according to package directions. Toss al dente noodles in bowl with tomatoes. Top with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve.
Spam Musubi Chahan by Patrick Go
Slice half a can of Spam or luncheon meat into half-inch small cubes. Place in a bowl with 1/2 cup soy sauce and 2 tablespoons sugar. Let marinade for a few minutes. In a non-stick pan or wok, heat up oil and add chopped Spam, setting aside the marinade. Sauté until caramelized. Add chopped small onion and small carrot that’s been peeled and diced. Pour reserved marinade. Mix. Add 2 cups day-old brown rice. Season. Finish with chopped spring onion. Serve.
Adobo sa Puti Lechon Kawali by Kalel Chan
Simmer 1 kg pork belly in a pot with 1 cup white vinegar, 4 cloves crushed garlic, 3 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon whole peppercorn, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 liters water for an hour. Take pork out of pot and leave to air dry overnight. Deep fry until golden brown. Transfer to paper towel to drain excess oil. Serve. —CONTRIBUTED