Noche Buena Meal – Morcon

16 Feb

Like all things, my post is mega-delayed (hmmm…)

I came back from my “extended” Christmas holidays in Manila, wishing it was longer and regretting that I haven’t eaten some chicken inasal *sigh*.

Something that I look forward to is the end of the year; since I moved to Australia, I’ve spent six of my seven Christmases in Manila. Nothing (and I mean nothing) compares to a Filipino Christmas – you can feel it everywhere you go; Christmas and it’s undeniable presence! From the traditional Simbang Gabi, to the extended mall hours (bad for the budget!), to the foodie markets and tiangges and of course, my favourite Puto Bumbong and Bibingka (there’s no way I’m going to miss out on any of these!) More importantly, my family are all based in Manila and Christmas won’t be the same if my Christmas Eve dinner wasn’t spent with them.

Well, this month Kulinarya’s theme (which I’m co-hosting! *slaps wrist* – bad host!) is Noche Buena – more specifically a Noche Buena menu.

Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture and it’s colourful cuisine.  Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes.  By sharing these recipes we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino food as we do.

I have been thinking about my mom’s morcon a few months before Christmas, coincidentally my brother has been as well! So I nagged (and guilted) my mom into making one for us. Morcon was always a Christmas food for me, it was one of those things that only pop up during this season, along with embutido actually.. but for a long time, we haven’t had any for Christmas. I think the last one that I had was way back in College, and that was 11 years ago (man I’m old!).

So here’s my mom’s morcon recipe, (I don’t have measurements, sorry coz as you know these things are made by “feel”):

First off is to marinade the beef (like a long flat one so it can be rolled after, dunno what the cut is, should have asked) in soy sauce, vinegar and pepper. Afterwhich, you layer on raisins, pickle relish, cheddar cheese, hotdogs, boiled eggs, ham, chorizo de bilbao on the beef and then roll everything in. You then secure everything with a string (believe me this takes patience). Once it’s ready you brown it on a pan, remove and on the same pan saute garlic, onion and lots of tomatoes – which you then bring to a boil until the tomatoes turn into a sauce. Place the morcon roll into the sauce and simmer until tender.

Looks easy huh? Well, apart from the string issues, everything is actually quite easy to do. Like most things, this tastes better a day or two after cooking. Of course, you remove the string and then slice them up (in my case chopped) before serving.

Now, as the challenge actually calls for a whole menu and not just a dish, what would I pair this with? For selfish reasons, I asked for this challenge as I’m not good with food pairing and thought I could get some ideas from other Kulinarya members. I, however, know what I want to eat so.. my ideal Christmas menu would be : first off my mom’s morcon, my tito’s (famous) crispy pata, roasted chicken, crabs in garlic and oyster sauce that my mom also makes and Max’s pancit canton (oh I love it, even more than the chicken itself!) and of course, leche flan – lots and lots of it! I know my ideal menu can also cause a mild heart attack a few hours after consuming but what the heck? It’s Christmas and what better way to go than to have all these delicious dishes beforehand?



24 Nov

Lugaw or rice porridge is my ultimate comfort food… there’s no other dish that even comes close. Lagnat (fever), sipon (colds) and just plain may sakit (sick)… lugaw is the only food I crave. Actually, I don’t need to be sick to enjoy my lugaw. I love it in sickness and in health!

I have a lot of “lugaw memories”.. When I was younger we used to live in Angono and on our way home, often we’ll stop by (not sure if this is the right name) “Lugawan sa Halamanan” and we would eat lugaw (which incidentally is also my dad’s fave) and they always have large old ketchup bottles full of kalamansi sans the pips. I wonder if that place is still open? When we moved permanently to Mandaluyong, I also remember everytime my mom goes to market – in Kalentong – I would always ask her to buy me lugaw. She gets them from this carinderia in the middle of the market and it’s the tastiest, yummiest lugaw I ever had. During highschool, we always go to this small canteen in front of our school after our class and eat pisong (one peso) lugaw – don’t think you can find that anywhere now! (I think I just showed my age with that last memory). Moving to Melbourne, lugaw is also one of the best dishes to eat during the cold winters. My husband who doesn’t love soupy dishes (except Sinigang) has learnt to enjoy it now.

Well, this month Kulinarya’s theme is LUGAW.

Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture and it’s colourful cuisine.  Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes.  By sharing these recipes we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino food as we do.

Although it’s already starting to get warm (and then cold again – Melbourne weather is as unpredictable as ever!) I was happy to find a good excuse to make and eat my favourite dish.

I decided to just make the lugaw that I enjoy.. with tuwalya (beef offal), chicken drumsticks and hard boiled eggs. Topped with lots of spring onion and fried chopped garlic.

I started with sauteing diced onions and when it started to soften, adding chopped garlic and ginger. I then added the chicken drumstick and browned them a bit. Next comes the uncooked rice and then the broth.

While this is happening, I have cleaned and pressure cooked the offal. Sliced it and then dropped in my lugaw mixture.

On my trip to the Pinoy store I came upon a packet of “suahe” or Philippine saffron. I remember my mom using this on her lugaw to give it a bit more flavour and that nice yellow colouring. So I added some to my lugaw as well.

One thing that I did different was to cook the lugaw using my pressure cooker. You see I have a bad habit of watching TV.. hmmm.. and then coming back and having crust at the bottom of the pan (which can be easily salvaged, but still..) and guess what? It worked perfectly. Although I got scared at first coz it looked like “sinaing” but when I mixed it, it was soft and soupy. Perfectly cooked!

Lugaw like Batman, although good on it’s own is even better with Robin. Or in this case.. tokwa’t baboy. Although I go to an Asian market, for some unknown reason there were a lot of Caucasians that day and the all looked at me weirdly when I bought pigs ears for my tokwa’t baboy. Hehe!

Tokwa’t baboy is easy peasy.. Boil the pigs ears (or cut of your choice) I then cut it into bite size pieces and deep fried in hot oil. Same goes for the tokwa, I like them crispy, so I cubed them and then deep fried. I then mixed them in with vinegar, garlic, soysauce and chopped chili. Yum yum!


Happy Halloween

1 Nov

Happy Halloween

We don’t celebrate Halloween in Australia, but here in Melbourne it’s still a holiday because of Melbourne Cup (Horse Racing.. ). How I wish we Halloween is big here, any excuse to put my daughter in a costume! haha!
Although I must say that I was surprised to find trick or treaters on our front door last night!
Anyhoo… I made some mummy cuppies to celebrate this holiday!

tsk.. tsk..

17 Oct

Shame! Shame! Shame!

I’ve been very busy this past few days and thus my blogging duties have been pushed aside (not forgotten.. just pushed aside!)

So what’s been happening so far?

My bub is now 1! *sob* *sob*.. so my monthly cake making schedule is now officially done. Actually, she turned 13 months yesterday and I couldn’t resist baking some brownies.. *eherm..*

What else?

Work sucks!

What else?!

I’m also busy planning and researching about our annual family Christmas holiday overseas! *yay!*

And that’s it…

Will try to post more stuff soon =)


12 Sep

…. of delicious sinful aligue! hay!


8 Sep

Time has indeed flown…

I was just thinking about putting up a photo of my daughter’s 11 month cake.. and now we’ve already celebrated her first birthday. Well, she isn’t one yet but we had the party early as unfortunately hubs has a tradeshow to attend to for work the day of her birthday.

So here’s a photo of her 11 month birthday cake. I made a white mud chocolate cake with white chocolate frosting. On top is a “practice” bear and flowers.

And then just a few weeks later, we’re already celebrating her first birthday party! It was a whirlwind of pink… pink streamers… pink balloons… pink plates… pink everything. I never thought I could get pinked out!

I never really thought I could pull it off… as I don’t have my family here in Melbourne. I had to do everything on my own (with hubs help of course!) good thing my aunt decided to fly out from interstate to help with the cooking and preparations – otherwise, our guests would have walked out due to starvation.

So after a few weeks of driving around Melbourne collecting pink everything… here’s the finished product : My daughter’s pink dessert table.

And here’s the cake that I made on her actual birthday…

It’s my first week back at work…

31 Aug

which explains my absence as I was running around doing last minute things i.e chores and cleaning, preparing for my daughter’s first birthday party *exciting* and spending as much time with her as I can – going for walks, playing in the park and singing & dancing at home.

I do miss being a fulltime mum and homemaker *sigh* but life must go on.

Hopefully we win the lotto this weekend! haha! But for now I should really go back to doing work.