Sunday, December 18, 2011

Baka Tim or Beef Pata Tim (Beef in Sweet-Savory Sauce) for December Kulinarya Challenge

For foodies and people who love food, cooking, eating and everything in between (you are right, the one after eating is usually not well loved :)), one Christmas tradition that excites me the most is the Noche Buena. The customary dinner or feast shared by and between the whole family on Christmas Eve …… usually right after attending the midnight or late evening Christmas Eve Mass called Misa De Gallo.

Keeping up with that tradition, Joy of Gastronomy by Joy and She of SeƱorita Sisa’s Blog of the Kulinarya Cooking Club (KCC) chose the theme Noche Buena (of course) for our December Challenge where participating members will prepare one dish of their choice. Something that they intend to become part of their family’s Noche Buena come Christmas Night.

Since I decided to dwell on the centerpiece of the Noche Buena which is usually accorded to the magnificent ham or the all-time Filipino favorite fried or roast whole chicken or the pricey roast pig, I decided to make a new dish that could be placed at the center table with all pride and glory comparable to that of the three mentioned main dishes but characterize by a fresh idea, easy preparation and relative affordability. Here comes my version of “pata tim” prepared using a slab of beef instead of the usual pork knuckle – the “baka tim”. :-)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Apple Loaded Fruit Salad

Just when you thought you are so tired or actually lazy to make an awesome dessert, try this fruit salad. It’s so good you will impress yourself and boost your morale. This is the perfect dessert for a lazy weekend. We have them for three (yes that’s 3) consecutive weekends already and we don’t think we’ll experience a taste fatigue any sooner. Okay, the analogy about lazy and having it on several weekends does not seem to favor me. I admit I have been so sluggish to hit the kitchen lately but it’s due to the work overload at the office. I intentionally included the word “office” for I believe it is the magic word …… to at least make it a valid reason for not being able to post anything for quite some time now …… to lessen the feeling …… of guilt that is. :-)

Featuring this simple and easy version of the well loved Filipino dessert is just in time for the holiday season ……… in particular the “Paskong Pilipino”. This salad is among the top favorites Filipino table fares during such special family occasions where only the grandest foods are served.

Different regions have different preparations of fruit salads. The variation is dictated by the use on the types of fruit as well the kinds of sauce. Generally though, fruit salad is a dish consisting of numerous kinds of fruit, served in a liquid, either in syrup or simply in their own juices. While fruit salad or “buko salad” in the Philippines is typically made with condensed milk, cream, canned fruit cocktail or fresh fruit specially young or tender coconut and relatively sweet the other countries’ fruit salads can be savory with the use of sour cream or yogurt or mustard and spicy with the inclusion of peanut and shrimp paste.


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