Friday, June 18, 2010

The Filipino Table Setting

Every culture has a different table setting. Unlike many asians that use chopsticks, Filipino's utilize the fork and spoon. The plate setting begins with a main plate for white rice and a bowl for some sort of stew. This photo contains a picture of my mom's peanut stew, Kare Kare (Kahh-ray kahh-ray) and a popular indigenous condiment, Bagoong (bah-gah-uhng), which is fertilized shrimp - in pink. Filipino food is characterized by bold sweet, sour, and salty flavors. The Bagoong lends a salty flavor that cuts through the rich and sweet peanut butter sauce.

Mama Lulu's Kare-Kare

serves 3

Garlic Cloves, smashed, Small dice 4 each
Onion medium sized, Large Dice 1 each
Oxtail or Short Ribs (some sort of stew meat) - 3 Lbs
Fish Sauce (Patis) 3 Tablespoons
Peanut Butter or ground peanuts 3 Tablespoons / quart of water
Long Green Beans (Sitaw) cut in 1/3 1 Cup
Kurobota Squash, Large dice 1 Cup
Asian Eggplant, Large dice 1 Cup
Chinese Cabbage (Pechay), cut Large Dice 1/2 each
Green Chile 2 each

1. In a Large pot, heat till glowing and add oil. Saute Garlic till brown. Add Onions and sweat or translucent.
2. Add beef to brown. Fill pot with water till 1/2 inch above protein. Skim the top as fat and impurities will rise to the top of the broth.
3. Bring liquid to a low boil and cover for 30 minutes to 40 minutes till meat is tender. Skim and whisk in peanut butter. The sauce should be able to coat the back of a spoon and still be thin enough to ladle.
4. Once meat is tender add vegetables. Submerge Sitaw for 1 minute. Add kurubota squash, Eggplant, Pechay and Green chiles.
5. Serve in a bowl with steamed white rice. Enjoy.