Aah, rainy days. It’s Saturday morning. No work. Too lazy to get up. You just nonchalantly decide to spend your entire day under the warmth of your blanket. Or perhaps, you just sit carelessly on your couch, watch your favorite old movie on DVD or maybe read that book you haven’t touched since you bought it from the thrift shop last year. What else could be more pleasant than these?
A cup of coffee?
A hefty serving of sopas?
What about a nice warm bowl of tasty and gratifying Chicken Arroz Caldo, no? Now we’re talking.
Arroz Caldo is a Spanish phrase which literally translates to “rice broth.” It has many names: rice porridge, congee, lugaw…the list goes on. It’s a common merienda/minandal (snack) in the Philippines which can be served both in the morning or mid-afternoon. I’m almost sure there’s always a gotohan (a casual restaurant; an eatery that serves a variety of meals especially rice congee) within your neighborhood that serves this.
Since Chicken Arroz Caldo includes meat and rice (which is a staple in many Asian countries), it is a complete meal by itself which can actually be served any time of the day.
The recipe below is a plain Chicken Arroz Caldo dish. There are a number of side dishes that you can serve this with. You can enjoy Chicken Arroz Caldo with hard-boiled egg, lumpia (or sumpia as we call it in Malabon which is commonly known as Spring Roll), tokwa’t baboy (fried tofu and pork), etc., and your common condiments would be patis (fish sauce), pepper, calamansi, soy sauce with vinegar, garlic, and onion.
Hey, you want it, right? Then get up and start cooking! Here’s the recipe for Chicken Arroz Caldo:
I once mentioned in my introduction that I won’t be using canned sauces in my recipes. Everything would be traditionally prepared as much as possible, which means no shortcuts. But, no, I cannot apply that rule in this recipe.
The reason is Filipino Style Spaghetti is always prepared with canned and bottled sauces. If I use fresh tomatoes alone (which I do sometimes with olive oil –> yum!), it won’t be Filipino style anymore. Tomatoes are not naturally sweet, at least that’s not how we acquired the taste; it may be too sour for the Filipino palate. Hence, we add sugar and banana catsup to balance the flavors. Why? Because that’s how we like it! Filipino Style Spaghetti is like Spaghetti Bolognese, but sweeter.
So my brother cooked Filipino Style Spaghetti yesterday, Sunday. I took some pictures, but it’s pretty much my own recipe inspired by my Tita‘s. My Lola was not a huge fan of spaghetti. She would rather eat Chinese noodles. Some credits also go to Joe, a college friend, who told me to add milk to the sauce to make it creamier. And, yes, it’s just so much better!
If you have kids, I’m sure they will love this dish. It will give Jollibee a run for its money any day. 🙂
I know a lot of people who cannot fry an egg. For instance, a perfect sunny-side up: how do you make one without burning the edges or breaking the yolk. So here’s what I’ve been thinking — what if I create a few series devoted to our favorite ingredient, no?
I love eggs whichever way they’re prepared. I have to say that they’re one of the most versatile and most important ingredients in cooking and baking. Let me know what you think.
Below is a basic egg salad sandwich recipe. Some people prefer to add onions or pickles or lettuce. Include them on the list of ingredients if you wish. Spice it up with some chili powder or chili flakes. Spread it on any type bread or crackers. It’s all up to you! But I like mine simple.
Check out the recipe below: