LP20: Muruecos

Muruecos is the name of a common rice stick or suman as Filipinos call it. It was supposedly my grandmother’s favorite suman. I like it too and featuring it for Lasang Pinoy 20th Edition, Binalot made the effort certainly worthwhile.

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LP 20: Ginataang Tilapia

This is the first of a series for the Lasang Pinoy Edition 20: Binalot, All Wrapped Up! I’m hosting this month’s event and while I thought it might be interesting, I had no clue what I was in for! This was actually the easiest dish I made so I’m posting it first.
The dishes I had in mind were all rather complicated and required dexterity, which I unfortunately lack….big-time. Then there was the scrounging around for ingredients and recipes. Then there’s the fact that these are recipes I’ve never tried to do on my own before. I even attempted a recipe I’d only heard of, but never tasted or saw before. Despite all the hassles, I enjoyed myself but am glad I’m done with the cooking.

Here’s a photo of the Ginataang Tilapia. It’s a whole tilapia unwrapped from its white bok choy encasement after stewing in coconut cream, onion, garlic and ginger:

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Announcement! Lasang Pinoy Edition 20: Binalot, All Wrapped Up!

On behalf of Filipino food bloggers everywhere, we are proud to announce the start of Lasang Pinoy’s 20th Edition: “Binalot, All Wrapped Up!” for the month of August 2007.

There are a myriad ways of preparing Filipino foods and a favorite is wrapping in leaves. The dish is referred to as “binalot” and while it usually means picnic lunches, Philippine cuisine does have a thousand and one recipes that uses this technique of food preparation. It gives you a peek into the Filipino’s practical nature, ingenuity, creativity and propensity to have fun – wherever and whenever.

As in most Southeast Asian countries, the most commonly used leaf is the banana leaf. The banana leaf is huge and has this thin, waxy outer layer that makes it perfect for wrapping even the sauciest of dishes. Another commonly used leaf are coconut leaves, folded and woven into all kinds of shapes and sizes.

But Filipinos don’t stop at leaves. There’s fresh bamboo cylinders, then there’s crepes and wonton wrappers which are both an influence of the Chinese population in the Philippines. Whether the wraps are thrown on the grill over hot, live coals, or perhaps boiled or steamed, the wraps leaves its own distinct aromas and flavors to the dishes encased within. The experience of unwrapping while all the steamy goodness and aromas fill your nostrils is definitely half the fun.

The possibilities are just endless and instincts tell me there are more wraps out there being used for binalot recipes than we know of. It’s probably as many as the 7,100 islands of our modest archipelago in the South China Sea and the Pacific.

Perhaps you’d like to feature the technique of folding and wrapping, that will definitely be interesting to readers from all over. Or maybe you have the best recipe for lumpia wrappers or your very own Philippine-inspired wrapped concoction using your own wrapper idea, that’s certainly welcome.

Whichever you choose to write about in your blog or someone else’s blog (this one included), Lasang Pinoy only requires that you submit your entries to the current host or the Lasang Pinoy team with your name, blog name and the link to your entry. For quick identification, title your emails, LP20: Binalot, and please use the icon shown here on your blog entries. As always, our icon for this month was creatively designed by Iska Montero and Mike Mina – maraming, maraming salamat! Thanks to everyone at Lasang Pinoy for your support too!

For this August edition, entries will be accepted starting today through the 1st of August 2007. Unless the host gets all wrapped up in some unforeseen circumstances, we hope to release the round-up within the first week of August…then we’ll call it a wrap!

Let’s get rolling and wrapping!

Mrs. Johnson’s Beef BBQ ala Bessie

Okay, this dish really doesn’t have a name…Bessie, my mom, just called it “Mrs. Johnson” and the name stuck.  Mrs. Johnson is actually the former American first lady, Lady Bird Johnson.  My mom found this recipe in some American magazine in the 60’s and turned it into her own.  It has very few ingredients, is simple to make and kids always love it.  And so, it’s become one of the family’s favorite recipes….

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Sweets for the Sweet

These are some of the goodies I got at Eurobake in Guiguinto, Bulacan. They’re all old favorites, things you didn’t get on a regular basis because Eurobake used to be way out in the sticks. Then we moved to the same sticks but never really went around the province since all our activities were in the big city. The traffic made it an unpleasant trip too. But that has greatly improved with the upgrading of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).
The credit should go to Spouse though. I’ve been very lucky that I married Spouse, a non-Filipino. There’s always something new to learn about each other. I always meant to introduce him to various things about my country, even before we were married. Funny how one of the first things that came to mind was food. Food just brings up good memories and that’s what I want to share with this alien I married. Continue reading “Sweets for the Sweet”