Recipe #30: CHICKEN ARROZ CALDO

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:

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Recipe #29: FILIPINO STYLE SPAGHETTI

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.

Filipino Style Spaghetti

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. 🙂

Filipino Style Spaghetti

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Recipe #28: HOMEMADE MANGO ICE CREAM

I tried something new yesterday. I made an experiment to check if I could make a homemade ice cream without using any special equipment, such as an ice cream maker. Guess what? I never thought it would be this easy.

My mother buys fruits every now and then. This weekend, we had mangoes…lots of it. And avocados. I love mangoes and I’m sure my family does too. However, there are some instances that for some reason, we fail to consume all of them, hence, they are just put to waste. So I decided to make something out of it — a homemade mango ice cream.

Like what I said, we don’t have an ice cream maker at home. However, you can always do it manually. Mango meat is soft and none of the ingredients are hard, so it’s really easy to incorporate everything.

Mango Ice Cream

You may also want to top the ice cream with your favorite fruits. Just make sure that they’re in season. Or you may want to add caramel syrup (perfect with mangoes) just to add some extra sweetness and flavor.

Nutritious and full of yum, this homemade ice cream is surely an awesome and inexpensive way to stay healthy without sacrificing good taste. I hope you’d enjoy this recipe!

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