Arroz a la Valenciana (Valencian Rice)

Arroz a la Valenciana (Valencian Rice)

Hello Everyone! Festive Filipino Foods Day 02 of 12 is here with a Latin American dish known as Arroz a la Valenciana, also considered as a part of Filipino cuisine, to share. Arroz a la Valenciana is quite commonly known as a poor man’s paella as the ingredients used to make this is is far less lavish than that of paella, where wine is used for a flavourful Spanish rice dish and a lot of seafood ingredients. The main ingredients in Arroz a la Valenciana consists of glutinous (sticky rice), regular rice, tomatoes, tomato paste, potatoes, carrots, capsicum, chicken, and chorizo – a complete meal, a one-dish meal of meat, rice, and vegetables. It is a great dish for Noche Buena, Christmas, Fiestas, weddings, birthdays, and family get-togethers.

Well, that’s pretty much all I can talk about for this dish, so let’s move on to the recipe shall we?

Arroz a la Valenciana (Valencian Rice) Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 30-45 MINS | SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups plain rice, half-cooked*
  • 1 cup glutinous rice, half-cooked**
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 12 pcs chicken wings, cut into 3 (drumette, mid-wing, and tip)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced diagonally
  • 1 chorizo sausage, sliced diagonally
  • 1 potato, cut into chunks
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 red, yellow, and green capsicum, sliced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp achuete powder
  • 1 tsp chicken stock powder
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

*/**Cook the rice together in a rice cooker; what I usually do for every one cup of rice, I add one cup of water. But in this instance, you want your rice to still be a bit tough and half-done because it will absorb the sauce from when you sauté your chicken.

METHOD

  1. Heat about 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high. Fry the chorizo slices, about a minute per side until slightly browned. Remove from the pot and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.
  2. In the same pot, sauté the garlic until fragrant and golden brown. Next add in the onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes altogether. Add in the tomatoes and then cook until soft, about a further 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken and season with chicken stock powder and ground black pepper. Give it a good mix and then leave your chicken to cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Dissolve the achuete powder in a cup of hot water, then add this into the chicken together with the other two cups of water. Stir in the tomato paste and let the chicken cook for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Add in the potatoes and carrots and allow to cook for a further 5 minutes. Once done, remove the chicken, potatoes, and carrots, leaving the sauce in the pot, and set aside.
  6. Add the half-cooked rice into the pot and give it a good mix until it is well coated in the sauce. Leave to cook further, until all the sauce has been absorbed.
  7. Lastly, add the raisins and capsicum and cook for a further 2 minutes. Turn the heat off and then return the chicken, potatoes, and carrots, together with the chorizo sausage sliced you fried earlier, to the pot and give it a good mix.
  8. Transfer to a serving dish; serve, share, and enjoy!

Arroz a la Valenciana (Valencian Rice)

Arroz a la Valenciana (Valencian Rice)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Filipino-style Chicken Macaroni Salad

Filipino-style Chicken Macaroni Salad

Hello Everyone! It’s been a while since my last post – but if you are a regular reader, you would’ve picked up from my last post that I’d be taking a short break. It’s not because I needed some time to recover from my mental exhaustion (because let’s face it, I’m still always mentally drained by the end of a long day), but more for the theme for this month’s recipes. From today onwards, you will be expecting a recipe every single day leading up to Christmas – you read that right! I will be sharing with you Festive Filipino Dishes that can be found on the tables of a Filipino family during Noche Buena, some of the recipes that I will be sharing have been influenced by Spanish cuisine. So let’s kick off Day 01 of 12 days to Christmas with a sweet (or savoury?) one: Filipino-style Chicken Macaroni Salad.

First off, for those of you who don’t know, Noche Buena is the Spanish word for the night of Christmas Eve. In Latin American cultures, including Spain and the Philippines, Noche Buena is an annual traditional family feast. The traditional dinner is celebrated at midnight after attending the late evening Mass known as Misa de Gallo. In the Philippines, a whole roasted pig known as lechón, is the centre of all dishes during the feast. It is believed that the tradition dates back to the 15th century when Caribbean colonists hunted down pigs and roasted them whole as the family gathered for Christmas Eve. However, a whole roasted pig isn’t always served in other cultures. For example, in Peru, a large juicy turkey is the star for Noche Buena while in Venezuela, hallacas are quite popular. Actually, I think I may have explained what Noche Buena is in a post last Christmas? I’m not sure. Oh well!

Tonight’s dish is one of the many that can be found on the table during Noche Buena, but it doesn’t stop there. This dish is also typically served during Filipino fiestas and also during family outings and picnics. It is actually a very simple dish that doesn’t require a lot of cooking and complicated steps. The main “cooking” is basically cooking the macaroni until tender, and the chicken to be boiled and shredded. When those core ingredients are ready, all you have to do next is toss all the ingredients together and voilà! Chill it in the fridge for a couple of hours and you’ve got a tasty chicken macaroni salad.

Filipino-style Chicken Macaroni Salad Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 10-12

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g macaroni*
  • 1 jar (400g) Nata de Coco, drained
  • 300ml dollop cream
  • 250g chicken breast
  • 100ml condensed milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, diced
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
  • 3/4 cup carrots, minced
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste

*Aside from macaroni, you can use other types of short cut pasta. Here are some examples: Mostaccioli, Penne, Rigatoni, Cellentani, Rotini, Cavatappi, Fideuà, and Maccheroncelli.

METHOD

  1. Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add in the chicken breasts and cook for about 15 minutes, or until cooked all the way through depending on the size of your breasts (yes I meant to say it that way *cheeky grin*). Once done, drain and set aside to completely cool down.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the condensed milk, cream, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Taste and adjust accordingly to your liking. Set aside.
  3. Then, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the macaroni and cook according to packet instructions (mine was about 10-11 minutes). Once done, drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl together with the dressing.
  4. When the chicken breasts have completely cooled down, shred the chicken meat and add it into the mixing bowl together with the macaroni.
  5. Add all the other remaining ingredients and toss thoroughly until well combined. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for about and hour or two before serving.
  6. Serve chilled and enjoy!

Filipino-style Chicken Macaroni Salad

Filipino-style Chicken Macaroni Salad

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

Hello Everyone! I apologise in advance for not posting yesterday as scheduled. Long story short, I didn’t write my post yesterday (I have my reasons) and I just wanted to go to bed when I got home from a work event yesterday. Anyway, if you read my last post on the Gingerbread Muffins, you would’ve know what tonight’s recipe will be about. I wanted to do something nice for my colleagues in the office for my last week before the Christmas/New Year holidays, so I decided to bake batches of Gingerbread Cookies. Actually these cookies inspired me to try out and bake Gingerbread Muffins on Monday to stick to the festive theme. I packed them into little plastic bags and tied them up with Christmas tags that I bought from the Christmas Markets at The Grounds of Alexandria.

Gingerbread Cookies

I think, if not all, most of them loved my cookies. My boss had the best reaction hands down when he saw his bag of goodies on his desk when he came into work; he let out what seemed like a squeal of excitement. I also managed to change my manager’s view on gingerbread – she normally doesn’t like gingerbread, but mine were an exception. I genuinely believe that she wasn’t just saying that because I was there; she apparently went on for about 5 minutes about the cookies to her sister. Also, one of the interns didn’t come in at all so he didn’t get his bag of goodies, so the other manager said that he was tempted to just open his bag for more. Towards the end of the day I saw the bag closer to his desk and opened. Yesterday I asked him if he ate all of the other intern’s cookies, and he said he gave some to his housemates!

Some of my cookies ended up on Instagram as well:

Gingerbread Cookies on Instagram

Like the little gingerbread men that was featured on Tuesday’s post, I made my own cookie cutter using aluminium foil, which meant that each time I pressed it on the rolled out dough, it would slightly deform. I would then reshape it, but that meant that I had men that differed in shape – some were fat, some skinny. Some had one leg longer than the other, one arm higher than the other, big heads, small heads, etc. but to quote Jialing (as well as from the previous post), “everyone is different in their own way and we don’t discriminate!” Also, a special thanks and shoutout to my main girl Jialing for decorating my cookies while I frantically tried to do some many things at once in the kitchen. They look absolutely stunning!

Before I move onto the recipe, please do visit the site where I originally got the recipe from: Food Network. As usual, I used slightly different ingredients only because some I didn’t have on me – or I wasn’t up for buying let’s say a bottle worth $30+ of orange liqueur when I only needed half a teaspoon of it. Making my own orange liqueur crossed my mind, but then I only thought of a week before making these cookies. I still wanted to add a hint of booze to my frosting though, so I ended up getting a tiny bottle of vodka for this. Again, I didn’t want to buy a big bottle of vodka because I don’t drink vodka. If you are making these for the little ones, just remember to exclude the vodka from the frosting!

Gingerbread Cookies Ingredients

Gingerbread Cookies Ingredients

PREP TIME 25 MINS | COOKING TIME 8-10 MINS | MAKES 3 DOZEN

INGREDIENTS

For the gingerbread dough

  • 4 cups plain flour (plus 1/2 cup additional for rolling, if needed)
  • 170g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1 large navel orange, zested
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 & 2/3 cups caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses (or honey in my case)
  • 1/4 cup milk*
  • 1 tablespoon ground dry ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

For the easy orange frosting

  • 1 cup soft icing sugar
  • 1 large orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 tsp vodka (optional)

*I don’t know what I did wrong but when I was rolling out my dough after I had chilled it in the fridge for about 15-20minutes, my dough it felt a bit dry and crumbly. I fixed it by adding some milk and putting it back into the fridge before rolling it out again. It seemed to have worked this way! I’m not sure if I did something wrong or just looking at the recipe, maybe the ratio between dry and wet was a bit out of proportion.

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Add the unsalted butter, sugar, and orange zest in a large bowl and beat using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle at medium-high speed until smooth; about 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, dry ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Whisk to blend and then set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, molasses (or honey), and lemon juice.
  3. When the butter and sugar mixture is smooth, lower the speed of the mixer and add the dry ingredients. Then add the egg mixture until well blended. At this point, if you feel your mixture is too dry or crumbly, add the milk in.
  4. Divide the cookie dough in half. Wrap each half with cling wrap and chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes. This step will make it easier to finish rolling out the dough when it has chilled. It will also mean you only have half of the dough getting warm as you roll it.
  5. Lightly flour a flat surface. Use a floured rolling pin to gently roll the first half of the dough about 1/2-inch thick. Lightly flour the cookie cutter(s) and cut the shapes, making as few scraps as possible. Got scraps? Form the scraps into a ball, press it flat and chill in the refrigerator. These cookies may be a little more “tough” because the dough will have been worked a little more than the others.
  6. Transfer the cut out cookies to a tray lined with baking paper. Leave room between the cookies as they can spread a little. You’ll end up having to bake them it batches depending on the size of your cookies and how many can fit into a single baking tray. Bake until brown around the edges; about 8 to 10 minutes. While your first half of your batch of dough is cut and baking/waiting to bake, work on your second half of cookie dough. Once your cookies are done, set them aside to cool down and get started on making your easy orange frosting.
  7. Easy Orange Frosting: In a medium bowl add all of the ingredients and whisk together to combine. If the consistency is too thick, add a touch more orange juice (or vodka if you prefer) to thin it out. Transfer the frosting into a party bag (or if you are like me and don’t have one, you can use a zip lock bag and cut a hold at the tip, OR even use a ketchup bottle as you will see in one of the photographs below).
  8. Work on and decorate the batch of cookies that went into the oven first as these would have had enough time to cool down before the others. The work your way through the batches of cookies.

I guess, if you want it to look more festive you can go with green/red decorations but our local Coles only had blue or pink. Of course, cookies are best served fresh but you can store these cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com