Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hickory Barbecue Pork Baby Back Ribs

2 whole baby back ribs (cleaned and membrane inside rib is removed)
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup hickory barbecue sauce


Set oven to 225 degrees until heated.
Fill a rectangular pan with hot water and place on the lower rack of the oven. Wash the whole baby back ribs well and pat dry. Marinate the ribs in apple cider vinegar for about 5 minutes. Mix all the spices and salt to make into a rub (you can use your own favorite spices). Lay the 2 whole baby back ribs on a metal tray or container ( I used a cookie tray lined with foil) and rub the fleshy side of the ribs and the underside with the pork rub you made. Drizzle with olive oil. Cook in the oven for 4 hours.Brush generously with the hickory barbecue sauce and cover all sides. Cook for another 5 minutes. Brush generously with the barbecue sauce again and warm for 2 minutes.

*2 whole ribs will serve 4 to 6 people

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pig's Leg Stew with White Beans, Cabbage and Green Beans

This recipe came from an aunt (40 years ago), who used to share with us some of her delicious culinary secrets. I remember, she used to have menus for her household prepared weeks ahead. She was very organized and her house was squeaky clean. She had two wonderful children and in spite of her busy schedule, as a stay-home mom, she managed to cook delicious and well prepared meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

This is a perfect dish to cook on a cold rainy weather.


1 whole Pork leg, cleaned, and cut to 2 serving pieces
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
3 tablespoons cooking oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 big can tomato sauce
4 cooking banana (Saba or Plantain), cut to two pieces diagonally
2 bay leaves
2 cups cooked Cannelini beans 
1/2 cabbage, cut to 1/4ths vertically
16 greens beans, cut to two pieces


Boil the whole pork leg with salt and black peppercorns and just enough water to cover the pork leg in a pot for about 1 hour or until tender.  

In a big pan or casserole, brown the garlic in oil. Add the onions until transparent, then scoop the meat and bones from the simmering pork leg and add to the pan. Cook for a few minutes, then add the tomato sauce. Pour in the remaining liquid where pork leg was boiled.  Add the bananas, throw in the bay leaves, and cook  until bananas are tender or for 8 minutes. Add the white beans, cabbage, and green beans. 

Adjust seasoning according to your taste. Turn heat off, put lid on,  and let rest for about 5 to 10 minutes until veggies  are crisply cooked and not mushy. 

*Serve hot with steamed Jazmine rice or sour dough bread.

Moroccan Leg of Lamb (Bone-in)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Birria ( Mexican Stew)

I researched about this Mexican stew online and I found out that you can use a variety of meats like beef, pork, and lamb. For some reason, chicken is not popular to use in making this stew. The common spices to marinate the meat with are cumin, thyme, Mexican oregano, and some dried Chilis which at the time I made the stew, was not available in my kitchen. So, I improvised by using fresh red pepper and added some spices like Spanish paprika, which actually turned out well. I also added some red potatoes which most stews are made of

2 pounds beef sirloin, cut into 1 1/2" cubes
2 medium-sized red pepper, cut into strips
3 medium-sized potatoes, cut to pieces
10 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon thyme powder
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon Mexican Chile powder
1 beef Boullion cube
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves, break into two
1 can tomato sauce
2 cups water

Rub the minced garlic, cumin, Mexican oregano, paprika, thyme, Chile powder, vinegar, and ground pepper to the meat. Marinate for 30 minutes to one hour. In a casserole, add the oil and brown the sliced onion until transparent. Add the meat and mix well to brown all sides. Add the red pepper and mix well for 1 or 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, bay leaves, and beef Bouilion cube. Mix well. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cook on medium heat or in the oven for 1 hour until tender. Add potatoes and cook for another 30 minutes. Mix well.  Serve in a serving bowl and garnish with chopped yellow onions, cilantro, lime, and salsa.. Eat with corn tortillas, Spanish rice, and black beans.  Make salsa made of tomatoes, chilies, cilantro, and lime pureed in a food processor. Adding roasted eggplant will enhance the flavor of the salsa.

Sweet N Spicy Chicken Wings

This is not my recipe but my son's. He made this delicious recipe by watching Alton Brown's cooking show on television. It was actually pretty good and I find worth posting in my blog. I innovated by using other sauces.

3 pounds chicken wings - cut each chicken wing into 3 parts on the joints.  Discard the 3rd part (or save for soup the outermost part with the tip)
salt and pepper
1 cup or more sweet chili Thai sauce 


Wash chicken well and dash with salt & pepper. Steam for 10 minutes. Let cool. 
Set oven to 400 degrees. Lay each chicken wing 1 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet for 25 minutes or golden brown. 

Meantime, prepare a big bowl with the sweet chili sauce. When chicken wings done, coat with the sauce. Serve on a platter. You can actually use any sauce to coat the crispy chicken wings. 

Here's some suggestions: barbecue, honey-mustard, sweet & sour, sour cream & onion, melted cheese with chopped cilantro, or any of your favorite sauce.

Crispy Fried Golden Pompano

1 golden pompano fish (clean and make a slanted slit on each side of the fish)
1/4 cup flour (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt - optional (the sauce you are going to make is already packed with sodium)
dash of freshly ground pepper (to reduce the fishy smell)
1/2 cup or more of canola oil for pan/wok frying.

Put salt, pepper, and dredge your fish with flour if you prefer (optional). Heat your pan/wok on high and pour your oil. Wait until oil gets hot before you fry your fish. Slowly lay down your fish on the pan/wok with oil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy. Reduce heat to medium and fry for another 1 or 2 minutes on both sides. Remove from pan/wok and let rest on a flat sieve or colander with paper towels to drain excess oil for about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve on a plate and eat with steaming hot plain Jazmine rice.  Slice some garlic and mix with dark soy, or you can make any sauce you want to go with the fish. You can also put lime or lemon, or some hot chili sauce, vinegar with garlic, Catsup, Worcestershire sauce, and any of your favorite sauce. This is a simple dish, easy to make, nutritious, and can satisfy your cravings for simple good food

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bottle Gourd with Shrimps

5 to 6 cups of diced Bottle gourd (remove the tough seeds)
15 medium-sized pieces shrimps, cleaned, shelled, and devein
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 1/2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons fish sauce, Thai or Vietnamese
3 tablespoon vegetable oil
dash of freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup water

In a pan, brown the garlic in oil on medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the shrimps and mix well to cook until they turn pink. Add the gourd and cook for 2 minutes. Add the fish sauce.  Add a dash of pepper and the water. Mix well until gourd is cooked (about 3 to 4 minutes). Serve immediately with steaming hot rice.

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