The Newbie Cook
- 17,353 forkfuls since 16.Oct.10
Making everything for the first time
Sorry for the lack of dialogue. It’s 2:45 am, I’m feeling guilty for not posting a lot, and I’m tired from work and school. I also have my 8 am gym workout to look forward too. Ugh.
At least I have meatballs that cheer me up. 🙂
Kaldereta-style beef stew. This is a native Filipino dish that is usually served on special occasions. Or on a nice day when Mom is feeling generous enough to cook a dish that takes hours to make.
My husband, C, joined a Filipino Food group on Facebook. He would look at pics and recipes and try to read the names. (He sounds so cute and funny but I love it because he’s determined to learn. Or at least learn the names of foods.) I am not well-versed when it comes to cooking my native country’s dishes. I know, it’s a disgrace and there is no excuse for it. 😛 It’s just that my Mom, Dad and all my friends cook Filipino food so well. My (now ex) roommate, Jaja, is the world champion on kaldereta. So I decided to concentrate on Italian food. Now I regret not being as keen on learning to cook pagkaing Pinoy (Filipino food).
It took me more than two stressful hours to make it.
Kaldereta should be rich, hearty, and comforting. The sauce should be creamy, the beef must be tender. And, most of all, kaldereta should be flavorful. Perfect for a cold, January night.
This is one of my favorite dishes simply because it is sooooo yummy and simple. Mom makes it really well and it’s my brother, Jiko, who appreciates it the most. Whenever I’m at home in the Philippines, Mom would always cook a huge pot of it. After we eat lunch, all the girls (me, Mom and little Sofia) would leave and go to the mall. By the time we’ve returned, Jiko would already be back from school and there would be barely a serving left of the Cuban rice.
I made a couple of revisions to Ms. Garcia’s recipe. I added tomato sauce and changed the peas to carrots — the way my Mom does it. Why? Because I like carrots better than peas and you should always have your Omega 3.
Remember the pasta recipe where I used IKEA meatballs? Chris kind of made fun of me because I didn’t know how to make my own meatballs considering that they were (allegedly) easy to make. Dad told me that he wanted spaghetti but he was too sleepy and lazy to cook. (Don’t let this statement mislead you, Dad cooks way more often than I do.) Considering that I had a couple of hours before he wakes up, I decided to try making meatballs from scratch.
The first thing I thought was: “$h1*, I don’t have breadcrumbs! ” Google saved me again and informed me that oats would be a healthier substitute for breadcrumbs in meatballs.
For the sauce, I used a variation of Bitch&Bake’s Three Ingredient Tomato Sauce. I wondered if butter is considered unhealthy but when I thought of worse alternatives like hydrogenated oil, lard, and vegetable oil, I happily dropped in the little block of butter.
This is also the first time for me to eat romano cheese with pasta, at least at home and not in a restaurant. There are evil canisters of romano alternatives in the supermarket, which try to convince the buyers that they’re cheap and just as good. Until you notice that there’s a tub of perfectly genuine shredded romano (but made with cow’s milk not ewe’s) beside it that is ironically cheaper than the fake version. *rofl*
My verdict: For a first time effort, it’s not bad at all. I thought it was reeeaally yummy but then I’m horribly biased. Sure, it could probably be better but this isn’t exactly a perfect-product-after-100-tries blog.