Sunday, August 05, 2007

on the menu

The hubby was fiending for some Asian home cooking so off to Ranch we go:

-Sinigang with salmon heads and bok choy
-Beef tendon and daikon, carrots with hoison sauce

As with most Asian dishes we got a few ideas for the recipes and then winged it with a couple of flavor packets. We called up my mom on speaker phone as we stared at the pair of salmon heads staring back at us as she described the kitchen scissor techniques on how to quarter its head. We recommend getting kitchen gloves for this tactic. The hubby commented that it seemed so much easier when he was thinking about cooking it than when actually cooking it. We omitted the tomato (as that's very gout inducing). Our Filipino cookbook said 20 minutes, while America's test kitchen said 5-8 minutes for poached fish. We went with America's Test Kitchen, betting that Filipinos would undoubtedly overcook the fish. After 7 minutes, we took it off heat and added the bok choy so we'd get a crisp taste in the veggies. While the hubby took out the trash, I was left to adjust the patis ratio. The packet gave it a tangy sour, a bit sharp, so I added a half serving spoon of patis which left the sour, but cut down on the sour hit giving a bit more savory flavoring. Mental note patis cuts sour, in the similar fashion that sugar enhances salt. The hubby came back to try it and gave the thumbs up! yay!

I've come to learn in cooking the few Filipino dishes I've tried out thus far that many of the dishes are a balance of sour, sweet, and salt, in varying combinations and controlling the relative levels of these flavors makes all the difference. And if you can learn what to add to back pedal from overshooting, then you'll be a pro.

This is our first time cooking beef tendon as well. We had to guess how long it takes to pressure cook beef tendon as there wasn't a whole lot on the net about how to cook just beef tendon. We'll see how it goes. And we'll see how well they go with the Mouton Cadet, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, the 2002 Bordeaux we opened yesterday.

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