Since finding my way back into the kitchen recently, our regular luncheon board meetings have been something to look forward to every week. It is because of the interesting agenda that we are presented with and of course, the FOOD, no less!
Today, in addition to the other dishes Chef Rosie prepared, I experimented on two (a main course and a dessert) recipes lifted from an old food magazine Michelle handed me over the weekend. The magazine is really old that its covers were already gone. I also found out that it was one of the current yayasâ€™ magazines given by her former employer. The magazine has interesting familiar dishes prepared (?) by some of the country’s well-known chefs.
The main course, Baked Adobo Rice a la Paella, was adapted from a recipe of one of the magazineâ€™s advertisers and was a take on the Spanish dish paella — using adobo as the base. While reviewing the recipe two nights ago, I thought that the adobo was â€˜bastardizedâ€™ with modifications and the introduction of ingredients that were kinda . . . uh, never mind . . . Even yaya SisterVi and chef Rosie, soft-spoken as they are, had strong opinions about how the recipe was writtten . . . tee hee!
So, I decided to just SIMPLIFY the dish by mixing rice and regular adobo together. Not fried rice with dry adobo on the side or as a topping, but one with having the rice taste of the adobo sauce.
Yesterday, armed with all the ingredients, I proceeded to cook the adobo (chicken and pork) the way we love it: pepper-and-chili-spicy with a hint of sweetness from the kecap manis (sweet thick soy sauce) that Iâ€™ve been so used to (while still in
Brunei) adding to the regular salty dark soy sauce.
I cooked the adobo â€“ with more of the boneless chicken thigh (about a kilo, cubed) and about half-a-kilo of sliced pork liempo (belly), until the meats were just slightly tender in a thin broth. I left the adobo to cure overnight in cool room temperature.
This morning, I continued by draining the adobo off its sauce, and then placed the broth in a freezer for the lard to solidify. While waiting for the lard to solidify, I fried about half-a-kilo of chicken liver that has been marinating in crushed garlic, salt and pepper. After frying, I roughly mashed the liver and set aside.
Now, back to the adobo broth. As soon as the lard solidified (approximately half-an-hourâ€™s time), I started preparing the broth â€“ a mixture of 3 cups of rice wash (water from 4th washing of long grain jasmine rice) and strained adobo broth. You may adjust the taste by adding salt and pepper.
In a large non-stick pan, I reheated the adobo in a spoonful of the solidified lard (from the adobo broth) and added in 2 cups of the washed jasmine rice and half the roughly mashed chicken liver. I sauteed the mixture for about 10 minutes, stirring every now and then until the rice turned opaque.
Then I prepped a medium-sized paellera by brushing it with another spoonful of lard and transferred the sauteed adobo-rice mixture into the paellera. I then poured the adobo broth and made sure that the mixture was evenly distributed in the pan. The broth should just be enough to cover the rice and adobo mixture. After covering the paellera with foil I placed it in the oven and baked until the rice was cooked through. Before serving, I sprinkled the remaining mashed chicken liver as topping.
The result was indeed interesting with the flavours and colours of the adobo blending well with the rice. When Michelle removed the foil cover, the wonderful aroma wafted throughout the room and it made her want to dive into the paellera. She was once again in adobo heaven . . .
It also had the consistency of paella â€“ with the rice having just the right amount of moisture and sticking together like malagkit (glutinous rice). And as MamaNO says, it’s guaranteed to break one’s diet!
YayaVi’s fresh mango relish with tomatoes was a perfect accompaniment to cleanse the palate before going for a second, third, and fourth servings . . . :-) Yum! I’m having the leftovers for tomorrow’s breakfast!
Bonx, hurry up or you’ll be left with just the tutong . . . tee hee!
Now, the dessert, which was also lifted from the same food magazine, is another story for the books . . . :-)