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While mangoes are plentiful and cheap this time of the year, I decided to make the most popular and overly hyped dessert - MANGO FLOAT. But while preparing, a sudden idea struck me as I came up with this weird upside side down mango float that eventually become an ice cream... sort of.

Here's a simple recipe for my Homemade Mango Float Ice Cream


Ingredients
  • Mango slices, use a big spoon or glass to scoop it out as whole or as big as possible
  • Graham crackers, coarsely crushed
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Condensed Milk
  • Cream
  • Vanilla, few drops
  • "Extract" from leftover mangoes used above

How to make Mango Con Hielo
  1. Line up the mango slices at the bottom of your container leaving no space if possible. Metal pans would work well so it can solidify the mangoes better.
  2. In a bowl, create your desired cream mixture using the evaporated and condensed milk with cream, vanilla and mango extracts. 
  3. When desired sweetness and consistency is achieved, seset aside 1/3 to 1/4 of the mix.
  4. Add crushed Grahams to the remaining 2/3 or 3/4 of the mix and blend.
  5. Place the blend on top of the mangoes.
  6. Finally, place the pure mix (no Grahams) on top for a clean finish.
  7. Freeze and serve when it has already set.

Note that there are no measurements for this dessert recipe since it will dependent on your container and availability of the ingredients. This recipe is just a guide as you can follow your own favorite mango float recipe ingredients then just "arrange" it upside down.

I like the way how the mangoes froze at the bottom layer giving it a sort of ice cream like consistency that goes well with the crema and Graham toppings. You can also just mix the all cream and Grahams then place on top of the mangoes - no need for a pure cream 3rd layer. The secret is how sweet your mangoes are and at this time, they are are their sweetest! Enjoy...

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I love kutsinta! The stickier the consistency the better. As among the most popular native delicacies or kakanin, the are so many variations to its recipe. Some are not as sticky as the others yet still having that signature taste. Others also are visually different having colors like yellow or even green from the original dark orange-brown hue. But nonetheless, its still our own preference that would tell apart a delicious kutsinta.

Here's a simple Kutsinta recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 and 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp achuete (annatto) powder
  • 1 cup  white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lye water 
  • 2 and 1/2 cups water
How to make Kutsinta
  1. Sift flour and sugar. Do it twice to be sure.
  2. Mix the sifted dry ingredients with water.
  3. Dissolve achuete poweder in 1 tablespoon hot water then mix with the flour and sugar mix. Adjust color tone to your liking, add more achuete powder if you want it darker.
  4. Finally add 1 teaspoon to mixture.  Make sure there are no lumps in the final mixture. Use a strainer if needed.
  5. Pour into a mold (little round molds or even small plastic cups can be used) and steamed for 20-30 minutes or so depending on the mold size. 
  6. Insert a toothpick at the center, if it comes out clean, then it is cooked
  7. Remove from steamer and allow it to cool.
  8. Serve with grated mature coconut meat.
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Just like it's namesake (well, almost) lechon, this crunchy pork belly dish needs no introduction. The mere mention of lechon kawali brings to the senses the crunch, the crispness, the aroma and the taste of this well-loved Pinoy favorite. Now, it's time to make one and enjoy all the goodness! 
Here's the basic recipe for Lechon Kawali


Ingredients
  • 2 kilos Pork Belly
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 medium-size onion
  • 1 thumb-size ginger
  • 3-4 pcs bay leaves (laurel) 
  • 2 tablespoons salt 
  • 2 tablespoons whole pepper corn
  • Water, enough for boiling
  • Oil for deep frying
    How to cook Lechon Kawali
    1. In a big pot, place pork belly  with garlic, onion, ginger, bay leaves, peppercorn and salt. Place enough water to cover everything.
    2. Bring to a boil then continue to simmer for around an hour or until the skin/pork is tender. Remove impurities that may arise. Add more water if necessary.
    3. Remove pork belly from the pot. Let it cool and/or refrigerate over night.
    4. To make crunchy lechon kawali, deep fry pork belly until golden brown and to the crispness you want. 
    5. When done, cut into serving size. and serve with your favorite dip.
    Pinoys are fond of soy sauce and vinegar with onions and chilies as dip. Others just settle for ketchup and Mang Tomas sarsa. I usually make a banana ketchup, calamansi and chili dip and it always screams "Extra Rice, please" 

    Lechon kawali has also evolved that just being the "plain" deep fried pork belly as in some restaurants they are part of something of another taste dimension. Fancy Sinigang na Lechon Kawali
    Sinigang na Lechon Kawali
    How about Binago-ongang Lechon Kawali or better yet Lechon Kawali de Pinakbet? 
    Pinakbet with Lechon Kawali
    Or maybe make some "kinilaw" na lechon kawali though this is just mixing chopped lechon kawali with vinegar and spices.


    Now what other recipes, lechon kawali can become? Let your gastronomic imagination fly...

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    Adapted from the Filipinized version of beef steak, pork chops can be made ala bistek. The recipe simply calls for the use of pork chops instead of slices of beef. It's the savory combination of marinade that eventually becomes the sauce that makes the dish a rice magnet. The mix of flavors of the onion, soy sauce and calamansi creates is simply too tempting to resist.

    Here's a simple and adapted recipe for Pork Chop Steak



    Ingredients

    • 1/2 kg pork chop
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 1/4 cup calamansi juice for marinade
    • 1/4 cup calamansi juice for cooking
    • 8 garlic heads, crushed 
    • 2 medium onions, sliced into rings
    • pepper, according to taste
    • cooking oil
    • 1/4 cup water


    How to cook Pork Chop Steak


    1. Marinate pork chop with soy sauce, calamansi juice, garlic and pepper. Around 30 minutes or even overnight 
    2. In a pan, place the pork chop and the marinade and bring to a boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes or until pork chops are tender.
    3. Remove from heat and transfer to a container then set aside.
    4. Stir fry onions in the pan. Set aside when cooked
    5. In the same pan, fry pork chops until brown.
    6. When all pork chops have been fried, put them all back into the pan.
    7. Add in prepared onion and the reserve marinade. 
    8. Add water if necessary and more calamansi juice. 
    9. Bring to a boil and make final taste adjustments. (I like it more on the sour side and with lots of onions)
    10. Serve with rice, unli-rice to be exact!

    The measurements are just guides for usually I just base my flavoring on the amount of meat. This is slighty different from the usual method of making bistek but still gives the same result. To balance the soy sauce and calamansi, in case you place more than enough, just add a little sugar to counter act the taste. I love my bistek to have a "fresh" flavor of calamansi rather than cooked one, so that's why I add a fresh batch at the end. But as I always say, taste what you are cooking so that you can make adjustments until it suits your tastebuds. Enjoy!


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    Tired of the usual adobo and grilled stuffed squid? Try this easy to cook and delightfully good Baby Squid in Olive Oil recipe. It could be your next specialty in the making!

    Here's a very simple recipe for Baby Squid in Olive Oil


    Ingredients:
    • 1/2 kilo Baby Squid
    • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced 
    • Calamansi juice from 4-5 fruits
    • 1 tsp. chopped ginger
    • Olive oil
    • Bay leaf/laurel
    • Soy sauce
    • Ground black pepper
    • Paprika/Chili Powder
    • Salt 
    Procedure:
    1. Clean the squid by removing the "plastic" portion and the ink sac. Just set aside the squid ink for your adobong pusit recipe. 
    2. Wash the squid thoroughly and let drain. If you could "sun-dry" the squid for an hour, much better
    3. Over a low-heated pan, add the olive oil then saute the garlic and ginger.
    4. Add squid and laurel bay leaf then stir fry for about two minutes making sure even cooking. Add more olive oil if necessary.
    5. Season with salt, soy sauce, black pepper, and paprika/chili powder. 
    6. Add calamansi juice one teaspoon at a time, tasting the flavor after and the adjust it more or less.
    7. When flavor is to your liking, add more olive oil and then cook for a minute or two.
    8. Garnish with fried garlic and greens.

    If baby squid is not available, one can use regular sized squid cut into rings. Just adjust the proportion of the ingredients. You can also adapt this recipe when making the Adobong Pusit recipe by adding lot of olive at the final stage of the cooking. Nami gid!
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    Whether it's a special occasion or just when you feel like eating it, afritada is an easy dish to make. While pork afritada is the more popular one, the chicken variant is also a favorite. Using poultry makes this dish a lot healthier than red meat at the same time cooking time is faster.
    Here's a simple recipe for Chicken Afritada

    Ingredients
    • 3/4 kilo chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
    • 1 cup red and green bell peppers, sliced
    • 1 pc potato, cubed
    • 1 pc carrot, sliced 
    • 1 cup chicken broth (or use bouillon cubes dissolved in water) 
    • 1/4 cup green peas
    • 1 cup tomato sauce (or 1/3 cup tomato paste)
    • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 2 pcs onions, quartered
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Cooking oil
    Procedure
    1. Saute garlic and onion.
    2. Add the chicken and stir fry for 5 minutes.
    3. Mix-in tomato sauce and chicken broth.
    4. Bring to a boil then simmer until the chicken is tender and almost cooked.
    5. Add carrots and potatoes then simmer until cooked.
    6. Finally add green peas, and bell peppers and simmer for another 3 minutes.
    7. Season with salt and pepper.


    The measurements are just guides and you can adjust according to your taste. At times, I add a tablespoon of hot sauce or sriracha sauce to give my afritada a kick in every bite. Also add some cheese to make it creamier. Enjoy!
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    Create a visually appetizing and delicious fruit salad using fruits and sago. The ingredients are conveniently available and the recipe can be tweaked to its availability at the same time to your personal taste. Just let your imagination be part of the procedure in creating your very own Fruit and Sago Salad.

    Here's a simple Fruit and Sago Salad recipe


    Ingredients
    • Cooked Sago (tapioca pearls), small
    • Evaporated Milk
    • Condensed Milk
    • Vanilla
    • Fruit cocktail, drained
    • Fresh fruits (bananas, avocado, etc), sliced
    Procedure
    1. In a bowl, place the sago and fruits. You can add more fresh fruits
    2. Add evaporated milk and a few drops of vanilla
    3. Sweeten the mix using condensed milk. Also adjust the thickness of the mix using the latter milk.
    4. Refrigerate before serving.
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    This simple sauteed dish consisting of these two vegetables plus shrimps and pork is one of the favorites as the taste of the two veggies collide at the same time mix in a good way. Kalubay is what Ilonggos call upo or bottle gourd and tawgi sounds like togue which are monggo sprouts. 

    Here's a simple recipe for Ginisang Upo at Togue
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup tawgi (togue/mung bean sprouts), wash and cleaned
    • 1 cup kalubay (upo), sliced
    • 3/4 cup Pork slices
    • 1/2 Shrimps, with "shells"
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 medium onion, sliced
    • 1 tomato, sliced
    • Salt and Pepper (or pork bouillon cubes)
    • 1 cup water
      How to cook Ginisang Upo at Togue
      1. In a heated pan, put pork slices and fry it in its own oil.
      2. Saute in garlic, onion and tomatoes then add kalubay and togue.
      3. Add water and season with salt and pepper (or broth cubes.). 
      4. Boil and simmer until the pork and vegetables are cooked.
      5. Add shrimps and boil for 2-3 minutes or until it turns orange
      6. Remove from heat and serve.
      When everything's done, just enjoy every spoonful of this simple and delicious dish. Extra rice, please!
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      I'm not not really fond of having goat meat as part of my gastronomy. But if it is kilawin made with goat skin, bring it on! The taste and texture combination creates an exciting burst of flavour - grilled tender yet crunchy-chewy mixed with the spicy and tangy dressing makes it a perfect appetizer or a beet match!
      Here's a simple recipe for Goat Skin Kilawin


      Ingredients
      • 1/2 kilo balat ng Kambing (Goat skin), cleaned and grilled
      • 1 medium red onion, sliced
      • 1 thumb size ginger, chopped
      • 2-3 pieces chili, chopped
      • 1-2 tablespoons vinegar (adjustable)
      • 2-3 tablespoons calamansi juice (adjustable)
      • Salt and pepper (to taste)
      How to make Goat Skin Kilawin
      1. In a pot, boil goat skin it until tender
      2. Slice into desired  size.
      3. Mix-in ginger, onion, vinegar and calamansi juice.
      4. Season with salt and pepper.
      5. Add the chillies. Make final taste adjustments if needed.
      6. Serve or store in the fridge. 
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      A treat that brings back the taste memories at the same time satisfy one's craving with a sweet and delightful bite - Bitsukoy / Bichocoy is an all-time favorite snack! While one can find them in most bakeshops or being peddled when it's meryenda time, making one is just simple.

      As simple as it may seem (it's just sugar-rolled deep-fried dough), it's a delicious snack or even dessert as it could be the local version of a doughnut. While appearance may differ - some as twisted and others are really doughnut shaped, it basically tastes the same.

      Here's a simple recipe for Bichocoy / Bitsukoy

      Ingredients

      • 2 cups flour
      • 1 egg
      • 1 teaspoon yeast 
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 1/4 cup sugar
      • 1/4 cup butter – cold/solid cubed 
      • 1/2 cup water, lukewarm
      • Sugar, for coating
      • Oil
      How to make Bitsukoy
      1. In a bowl, combine flour, butter, salt, sugar and yeast. Mix well.
      2. Crack the egg into the mixture then add lukewarm water.Mix well.
      3. Knead the dough in a clean and floured surface until smooth and elastic. Let is rise for 1-2 hours.
      4. Divide the dough into 10-12 pieces or depending on the size you want. Let it rise for another 30 minutes. 
      5. Pour enough oil in a pan or deep-fryer.
      6. Fry the dough 2-3 minutes or until it turns golden brown. Set aside to let it cool. 
      7. Roll the cooked dough in sugar until all the surface is covered.

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