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 #27: PORK GINILING

I was home alone most of the day today. I decided to prepare Pork Giniling because the only food I found in the fridge were a kilo of ground pork and a bag of potatoes. I thawed the meat, chopped the potatoes, onions, and tomatoes. I turned the stove on and placed my favorite skillet on top. I then added some oil and started frying the potatoes. I went back to my laptop to check my e-mail and the rest of the Internet.

Then it started to rain.

I love rain. It’s an oasis in the Manila heat. It bathes the entire city while cooling down the air it breathes. I looked outside the window and noticed that there were clothes hanging on the clothesline. I hurriedly ran outside to bring them inside the house. After saving the last piece of clothing from the rain, I smelled a pungent odor coming from the kitchen. My potatoes were burning!

To make the story short, I was able to salvage at least half of the potatoes. The rest were pure charcoal. Good thing I did not chop all the potatoes. But this time, I decided not to leave the kitchen anymore while frying them.

So that’s the most exciting part of my day so far. Anyway, going back to the recipe, Pork Giniling is very important to learn. This is because it is part of the procedure of some other recipes, such as Tortang Talong (Eggplant Omelette), Empanada (stuffed bread), and as a palaman (filling) for your sandwiches. Giniling in English translates to “ground,” as in ground pork.

The directions to prepare Pork Giniling is similar to our Pork Menudo recipe. But this one is much simpler and easier to make. Check out the recipe below.

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Recipe #14: PAKSIW NA PATA (Pork Stew in Vinegar)

This is another favorite of mine. I remember when I was younger, I always requested my lola to prepare Paksiw na Pata or Pork Stew in Vinegar every Sunday morning for lunch. Like its cousin Adobo, its base ingredient is vinegar. It is very easy to prepare. Just dump everything in and it will do its own magic.

Pork pata (leg) may take some time to cook. Turning the gas up will not make it cook faster! Simmering the pata, or any kind of meat for that matter, over low heat will make it more tender. In addition, just like what my lola‘s advice, adding a metal spoon and fork in the broth while it’s simmering may also help in making the meat tender. But trust me, it pays to be patient!

Also, some people like it sweet, some like it sour. Personally, I like it sour just like my lola‘s Paksiw na Pata. If you like it sour, remove the sugar from the list of ingredients; if you like it sweet, then don’t. In short, it’s all up to you.

Anyway, here’s the recipe for Paksiw na Pata:

Paksiw na Pata

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