Thursday, November 29, 2012


First described here:


Beef, onions, and mushrooms, slow-cooked in wine and stock.
With lardoons, carrot, and parsley.

Generously augment a little olive oil at the bottom of a stewpot by rendering the grease from a few chunks of bacon. Remove the bacon before it browns, set it aside. Brown beef chunks herein nicely, remove and set aside also. Gild sliced carrot and onion in the pan, pour off the excess grease, and add the beef and bacon, plus salt, pepper, and a dusting of flour. Toss to coat evenly, and agitate the ingredients over heat. Do this carefully, as you wish the flour to contribute good flavours when browned, rather than a burnt taste if blackened.
Add a smidge of tomato paste, then pour in equal measures of good red wine and beef stock to cover. Add a bay leaf and one or two cloves of garlic. Set it to simmer for two or three hours on very low heat. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching.

Meanwhile, sauté a number of small onions, rolling them about in the pan, till they are fairly golden evenly all around.
Take some of the liquid from the meat pot and add it to the onions to cover, with another bay leaf, and simmer on very low heat till the liquid has reduced down to zilch. Set the onions aside.
Now sauté a bunch of thick-sliced mushrooms barely golden.  And set aside.

When the meat is tender, add the small onions and thick-sliced mushrooms on top. If the stew is too liquid, decant much of the sauce to a saucepan and reduce it to velvety-glazy, then pour it back over. Let everything simmer a few minutes together, before strewing plenty of chopped parsley over and putting it on the table.

If you cannot manage crispy fries alongside, noodles or potatoes are also good accompaniments.
Plus a loaf of good bread.

You will note that I did not give precise quantities.
You know what you want: more meat than small onions, more onions than mushrooms, and more of all of that than the carrot. Just eyeball it. The key is careful sautéing, slow simmering, and a judicious layering of flavours, to achieve a dish of tender chunks with a rich and velvety sauce.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Recipe inspired by a piece about dining in the American Pacific territories, about which the less said the better.
Dated January 25, 2012.


Braised rabbit in tomato and coconut milk with garlic and ginger, black peppercorns, and a dash of palm wine vinegar.
Serve with boiled rice, and some cassava croquettes on the side.

One rabbit, cut into eight pieces.
One large onion, thinly sliced.
3 to 5 cloves garlic, crushed.
1 thumblength smashed ginger,
½ Tbs. whole Ponape pepper corns.
½ tsp. each: paprika, ground cumin.
4 Tbs. olive oil, plus one extra tablespoon.
1 can (14 ounces) plum tomatoes, drained and chopped.
1 cup chicken stock.
1 cup coconut milk.
2 Tbs. palm vinegar (sukang paombong, available at Philippino stores).
Salt to taste.

Rinse the rabbit well and pat the pieces dry. Combine the garlic, ginger, paprika, and cumin in a bowl, with one tablespoon of olive oil. Rub this mixture all over the meat, and leave to penetrate for an hour or overnight in the refrigerator.

Heat the four tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, add the onion slices, fry golden and translucent. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the rabbit to the pan and fry on low heat till lightly browned. Return the onion to the pan, add the pepper corns, stir in the tomato and stock, and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for forty five minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk and add the palm vinegar. Continue to simmer, uncovered, for a further fifteen minutes or so, until the rabbit is tender and the sauce has thickened.
Garnish with some fresh cilantro, and serve.


Recipe inspired by a piece about dining in the american Pacific Territories, about which the less said the better.
Dated January 25, 2012.


One rabbit, cut into eight pieces.
One onion, chopped.
Two rashers of bacon, chopped.
3 to 5 cloves garlic, crushed.
1 thumblength ginger, smashed.
2 cups chicken stock.
1 cup dry red wine.
1 tsp. brown sugar.
½ tsp. each: dried rosemary, dried thyme.
2 or 3 bay leaves.
Dash of Tabasco.
Salt and ground pepper.

Rinse the rabbit well and pat the pieces dry. Cook the bacon evenly brown in a large skillet. Drain on paper towels and reserve. Sprinkle the rabbit with salt and pepper, brown it in the rendered bacon fat. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Fry the onions, garlic, and ginger in the skillet for about 4 minutes, until tender. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Stir in wine and chicken stock. Raise to boil, then stir in sugar, rosemary and thyme, and add the bay leaves and the dash of Tabasco. Return both the rabbit and the bacon to skillet. When it boils, reduce the heat to low and let simmer about an hour or until the rabbit is tender.

With a slotted spoon remove the rabbit pieces from the skillet to a platter. Discard the bay leaves.

The cooking liquid can either be cooked down till velvety as a sauce, or two tablespoons light brown roux can be stirred in to make a gravy.

Serve over boiled rice, with a crisp green salad on the side.


Originally posted here:

Chicken and Abalone Rice Porridge.

One cup of rice.
One carrot, cut into three or four pieces.
One can of abalone.
Six chicken drumsticks.
Six dried scallops (conpoy).
Eight to ten cups water.
Pinches of ground white pepper.

Plus chopped cilantro, shredded ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

Set the dried scallops to soak in a little water with a pinch of sugar added.
After rinsing the rice cook it in half the water, simmer the chicken pieces and carrot in another pot in the remaining water.  Once the rice is fully cooked, remove from heat. Same with the chicken.  Drain the chicken liquid into the rice and while this cools, pull the chicken flesh from the bones and set aside.
Dump the carrot chunks into the pot with the rice.

[Traditionally the rice would be simmered for several hours with frequent stirring (to prevent scorching) till the grains start falling apart. But it saves a lot of time to simply put the rice and cooking liquids into the blender - which is why you should let it all cool down a bit first.
When the rice has been osterized, return it to the soup pot, and bring it back to boil.]

Carefully pull the re-moistened scallops apart, and add them and their soaking liquid to the pot.
Mix a little soy sauce and sesame oil with the chicken. Do not add too much, just enough to aromatize.
Slice the abalone, and add some of the abalone liquid into the rice porridge if you wish.
Add the sliced abalone only a minute or two before serving, while the soup pot is still on the burner. Abalone toughens up if cooked too long, so remove the pot from the heat shortly thereafter. Adjust taste with white pepper.
Divvy up into bowls, add the chicken meat, shredded ginger, and cilantro on top.

[Dried scallops (gon bui 乾 貝, gon yiu ju 乾瑤柱) are available in Chinatown. They look like amber-hued or honey-coloured disks.  Conpoy is not optional, as the dish will lack a certain distinction if it is left out.  You should buy high quality large conpoy which have a vibrant look and smell, and clean sharp edges. Abalone (bau yu 鮑魚) is seldom used fresh in Chinese cuisine, mostly dried or canned.  It likewise can be bought in C'town.  Abalone is considered healthy and easy to digest.  Which it is, if not rubberized by prolonged cooking.]

The quantity above is enough for four servings, or two large bowls.