What Paolo Cooks: Tangigue Steak Ala Pobre

imageMy Lola Lita, for some reason, goes to the market a number of times a week. I’ve even known her to go twice during some days. Naa pa la’y loyalty card ang Tabo-an noh, or Frequent Shopper Rewards Program ang Carbon, daghan na siguro kaayo siya’g premyo. Sometimes, she goes with a list of things to buy, other times she just goes to get a single ingredient, like eggplant, for example, but still returns to the house with a kilo of maskara, two dozen eggs, a cooler of fish, a baby goat, and dragon eggs. I may have slightly exaggerated there, though, but still, this is the reason why her chillers and freezers are always full – so full, in fact, that the cold inside hardly has any space to circulate anymore.

From one of these frequent trips, she brought back tangigue steaks, which I decided to cook ala pobre. I hardly ever order seafood when eating out, but ala pobre is my go-to fish dish during the rare times that I do. It’s very simple to make, really, so why don’t you try it? Because as the saying goes, you’ll never know unless you try….. Hahahahaha.

Serves: 3-4 people
Time: 1 hour & 20 minutes (including marination)

Ingredients:

4 pieces tangigue steak; 1 inch thick
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 head garlic; diced
1 medium white onion; sliced vertically
8 pieces calamansi
1/8 cup liquid seasoning; (I used Knorr. Char)
salt and pepper

Season the tangigue steaks liberally (o diba big word) with salt and pepper, and add the calamansi juice and liquid seasoning.Let marinate for an hour.

While fish is marinating, in a pan, heat the oil over a low flame and sauté the garlic until golden brown, like my skin color. CHAROT! Make sure the garlic doesn’t get too brown because this just gives it a bitter taste, which we want to avoid. When garlic reaches the desired color, remove and set on a plate. Add sliced onion too pan and sauté until caramelized, about 8-10 minutes. When onions become translucent, remove and set on plate.

Increase heat to medium, and fry tangigue steaks, about 4-5 minutes per side. Serve topped with the caramelized onions and sautéed garlic bits.

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What Paolo Cooks: Kinilaw na Isda

photo(1)Let me start by bragging that the turquoise surface in the photo above was something I did myself – from the blending of colors to achieve the shade I wanted, to the painting itself. Diba char?

Okay, now that we’ve established that I like to boast… I initially wanted to start this post by saying that Kinilaw na Isda is the one dish that I can eat every single day. However, I then thought of siomai… and lechon baboy… and Mini Stop fried chicken… which are also types of food that I can consume daily. With that said, let’s now consider Kinilaw na Isda to be one of the few dishes that I can eat every single day.

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, Kinilaw na Isda is fish that’s “cooked” in vinegar and calamansi juice. Think of it as the Filipino version of ceviche. I’ve loved it my whole life, which is strange, really, as not a lot of children like the dish, but thinking back, I guess I was a peculiar child. Thank heavens I’ve grown into such a well-rounded and normal adult….. right? Right?

You can generally use fish from the mackerel and tuna family to make Kinilaw, but my favorite one is tangigue/tanigue. My grandmother likes malasugi the most, and makes it a point to bring some back whenever she visits her hometown Davao, because the malasugi there, she says, is white, and has a much better texture than the malasugi we find in Cebu, which is red. Others like to use lamon-lamon, another kind of fish, best, so all I can say is………….

everybody is different.

HAHAHA UNSA DAW? Abi ninyo unsa akong e ingon noh….

Serves: Well, I can honestly consume half a kilo of Kinilaw by myself… but that probably means that this recipe, which calls for a kilo of fish, can serve 5-6 people with normal Kinilaw-eating powers
Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 kilo tangigue; skinned, deboned, and sliced into cubes (or, in short, “cubed” haha)
1 cup coconut vinegar; divided into half cups
1 coconut; meat shredded
3 tablespoons ginger; minced
2 medium red onions; diced
4 medium tomatoes; seeded and diced
2 tablespoons green onion; sliced
2 tablespoons rock salt
8 pieces calamansi
1 small cucumber; peeled, seeded and cubed
*Bird’s eyes chilies if you like it spicy. If you don’t like, then don’t.

“Soak” the fish cubes in half a cup of the coconut vinegar, and leave for about 3 minutes. Rinse well. Add the other half of coconut vinegar to the shredded coconut meat, and squeeze out juice. Add the ginger, onions, tomatoes, green onion, rock salt, cucumber, and, if using, chilies to a bowl. Using a strainer, add calamansi juice and squeezed out coconut liquid to the bowl, and mix all together.

What Paolo Cooks: Seafood Marinara

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I’ve been meaning to start a recipe blog for quite some time now, and by “quite some time”, I mean almost 2 years. Because of the advanced levels of procrastination that I am capable of, it’s taken me that long to finally work on my first entry. With that said, I think you should be very proud to be reading something that has taken close to 24 months to come into fruition… or be appalled at how lazy I am. However, if it’s any consolation, it only took me 2 seconds (o diba?) to decide what I wanted to make – Seafood Marinara – which combines 2 (two na sad?!) of my favorite things – pasta and seafood.

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Serves: 3-4 people
Time: 30 minutes (including prep)

Ingredients:

250 grams uncooked linguine
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic, diced
1 medium white onion, diced
400 grams canned tomatoes
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
2 teaspoons oregano (I like my marinara sauce with lots of oregano, which is why I put more of it than the other herbs)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
200 grams squid, cleaned and cut into rings
200 grams shrimp, peeled, tail-on, deveined
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon parsley, chopped, for garnish

Procedure:

1. In a pot of boiling water, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon of salt. Add pasta and cook for 7-8 minutes, or until done. Remove and drain. The oil keeps the pasta from sticking together, while the salt gets absorbed for extra flavor.

2. As you’re waiting for the pasta to cook, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add garlic and onion, saute for 3 minutes (or until it starts to smell awesome, really), and be careful not to let them brown. Add canned tomatoes, the remaining herbs, brown sugar, and let simmer for about 5 minutes.

3. Add seafood and let cook until shrimp turn pink and squid rings become opaque. Turn off heat, add drained pasta to saucepan, season with salt and pepper, and mix well. Garnish with parsley leaves.