Saturday, September 18, 2010

In pursuit of the perfect PIE

We were invited to a potluck for a 13th birthday party of a friend's son(happy birthday Rocket!!). The lists consisted of different food items and "pie" is one of them. My friend said that Rocket loves pie!!!
To reinforce this pie idea, Mr. Flips absolutely adores pies and he has been asking me to make pie for him but I never had a chance to do so. So I decided to search and make "the pie".
I never made a pie and I'm not very fond of them really. However, it's in my wish list to perfect the "Buko Pie" to include in my menu but I'm not doing that unless I perfected the recipe.
I started to search for a recipe and I have decided to use this from Canadian Living. I decided to follow it exactly and see how it turns out. That's normally how I start my exactly what it says and tweak until I reach the ala tita flips version.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Kafta, Eggplants and Figs

It's almost 10pm and I'm here sipping my Nicaraguan coffee with a shot of Amaretto writing what we had for dinner. One thing I can tell you... it was amazing! It was something entirely out of being resourceful and innovative that i created something out of ordinary and just plain leftovers.
You see, I made this Spicy Eggplant with Dried Pepper Corns and Coriander the other night. It was very tasty and I absolutely loved it however it was too spicy! I just can't afford tossing it in the garbage and I just have to give justice to it.
So tonight, out of the whim, I chopped the leftover into small pieces then added some leftover eggwhites with some salsa... And viola! i had this amazing creamy scrambled eggplant... just yum.
While I was cooking the eggplant, Mr. Flips was also defrosting some ground beef and he said he wanted something Mediterranean... so I decided Kafta it is!!!I seasoned the beef with Mediterranean spices, coriander and mint... and there goes my kafta version of the night!
And finally, there were still fresh figs in the fridge so i told Mr. Flips to caramelize some onions and fig with a bit of balsamic glaze topped with some goat cheese.
Now i think you are getting the picture here... It's kind of crazy but incorporating everything in my mouth, it was just totally a different flavor and just melts in my mouth.

In summary, the menu consisted of:
Pan seared kafta in bed of creamy scrambled eggplant with figs and caramelized onions topped with herbed goat cheese and a splash of balsamic glaze. 

That was awesome!!! Now, I have to get back to my coffee and concentrate on this Top Chef show. So long...and expect this course to be on the Tita Flips future menu.


From Wikipedia:

Chicharrón is a dish made of fried pork rinds. It is sometimes made from chicken, mutton, or beef.
Chicharrón is popular in AndaluciaSpain, and in Latin America is part of the traditional cuisines of Spain, Argentina, BoliviaBrazil(where it is called torresmo), ColombiaCubaDominican RepublicGuatemalaHondurasEl SalvadorMexicoNicaraguaPanama,PeruPhilippinesPuerto RicoVenezuela, and others. The singular form, chicharrón, is also used as a mass noun, especially in the Philippines where words do not have a pluralized form. They are usually made with different cuts of pork, but sometimes made withmutton, or with beef in Argentina. In Costa Rica, they are usually made from pork ribs or similar cuts; rinds are rarely used.
The pork rind type is the skin of the pork after it has been seasoned and deep fried. In Mexico they are eaten in a taco or gordita withsalsa verde. In Latin America they are eaten alone as a snack, with cachapas, as a stuffing in arepas or pupusas, or as the meat portion of various stews and soups.
 Venezuela - In central Venezuela, chicharrones are commonly sold alongside main highways as snacks. The recipe usually produces crispy sizeable portions of pork skin with the underlying meat.
 Peru - chicharrones can be eaten as an appetizer or snack, and the chicken variant can taste like fried chicken found in the United States. Sides include a kind of red onion relish, fried yuca, and other regional variants. Chicharrones can also be done with fish.
The cueritos type are also made with pork skin and marinated in vinegar instead of deep fried. They are eaten as a snack.
 Mexico - snack-food company Barcel has commercialized a vegetarian version with chile and lime flavorings since the 1980s. Chicharrón de Puerco and chicharrón de cerdo are distributed by many salty snack companies in Mexico.
 Puerto Rico - chicharrones are also made with chicken. There are two well known preparations to making chicken chicharrón in Puerto Rico. One way is to marinade the chicken in dark rumlemon juice or zest, salt, and cracked fresh garlic over night. When ready to fry the chicken is pat dry and tossed in flour that has been seasoned with adobo seco and paprika. The second way to prepare chicken chicharrón is to dip the chicken in an egg and Tabasco mix then in to seasoned flour with adobo seco, paprika, and maybecayenne pepper. Pork chicharrón is usually mashed and stuffed into mofongo.
 Philippines - chicharon, as it is spelled in Filipino (a derivative of the Spanish word chicharrón). This dish is usually bought from balut vendors as pulutan. It is prepared by deep frying the dried pork rind with a little salt. It is sometimes eaten with vinegar, chopped chillies in vinegar or with bagoonglechon liver sauce, or pickled papaya called atcharaChicharong manok, which is made from chicken skin, and chicharong bulaklak, which is deep fried pig intestines, are also popular.
 Bolivia - chicharrón is made out of pork ribs seasoned with garlic, oregano and lemon. It is boiled then cooked in its own fat, adding beer or chicha to the pot for more flavor. Pork chicharrón is normally served only on Sundays and is eaten with llajwa, a tomato salsa, and mote, a type of corn. There are other variations of chicharrón made with chicken and fish.
 Dominican Republic - chicharrones, specially chicken chicharrón (also known as pica-pollo), are usually eaten with tostones. The way to prepare it is by washing and drying chicken and cutting it into small pieces, which are seasoned with a mix of lemon juice, soy sauce and salt. The batter is made from flour, pepper, paprika and salt in plastic bag, in which the seasoned meat is then placed and shaken. Pieces are deep-fried (without removing excess flour) until crisp and golden.
 United States - Chicharrón are usually made from pig skin. They are usually sold in plastic bags as a snack food item and generically referred to as "pork rinds." They are made in a two-step process: the pork skin is first rendered and dried, and then fried and puffed.[1]
In New Mexico, the term is often taken to mean just fried pork fat, sometimes with incidental bits of lean meat.

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