Filipino Menudo

This Menudo recipe is a Filipino dish that makes it’s appearance on everyday lunch and dinner tables to fiestas and special occasions. It is tomato based and has a little sauce that make it perfect with white steamed rice, and LOTS of it!

You can use cubed chicken breasts or pork meat in this dish. I have not tried nor heard of a beef version though. Please let me know if you know of a Filipino menudo recipe made with beef!

When I was a kid, I remember this dish having *chopped liver when served, but I do not really like liver nor is it easy to find where I live now, so I left it out. If you want to add it, of course feel free to. I’m sure it will taste closer to the authentic version my aunts used to cook!

I usually add *sliced hotdogs to this dish too. My son loves hotdogs (I mean, all kids do right?!) so if I have it, it definitely goes in the recipe too. I just didn’t have any on hand this time.

Ingredients:

5 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 pound pork or chicken breasts, cubed

3 potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 carrots, peeled and diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 Onion, diced

1/2 cup Tomato sauce

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons soy sauce

*1 cup chopped liver, optional

*1 cup sliced hotdogs, optional

1 bell pepper, sliced

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup raisins

Salt and pepper

Procedure:

1. Season cubed chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. In a wok or saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and let cook until lightly browned about 4-5 minutes, without stirring. You want that caramelization as it adds so much flavor to the dish. Give it a quick stir and let sit again until most of it is lightly browned.

3. Remove chicken pieces to a plate and set aside.

4. Add another 2 tablespoons oil to the pan and heat up. Pan fry the potatoes and carrots until lightly browned. Remove to a plate and set aside. *You can skip this step but my Tita Saning who showed me this recipe did it this way, so I am sharing this step too. Kind of like honoring her memory. I miss those times. ❤️

5. Heat up the last tablespoon of oil and saute the garlic until fragrant. Add the onions and saute for about 3-5 minutes, until golden.

6. Add in the tomato sauce, chicken broth, and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Add the chicken pieces, potatoes, and carrots. *If using liver and hot dogs, add them too*

7. Let simmer over medium-low heat until meat and potatoes are done, about 20-25 minutes. Taste, taste!

8. Add the bell peppers, peas, and raisins and simmer until heated through, about 5-10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

9. Serve hot over freshly cooked rice. Fish sauce on the side is optional, but highly recommended! 😋

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Electric Lunchbox #59: Arroz Caldo (Rice Porridge with Chicken)

It’s has gotten a bit cooler the past week here so I started making soups and other cold weather recipes for the ELB. All of a sudden this week is HOT! Oh well! I’ll still be sharing this Filipino recipe with you anyway, to have if, and when, you need it.

Arroz Caldo literally means “hot rice”. It’s the Philippine version of rice porridge, okayu, juk, congee…it is the food we eat when we’re sick, when you do not WANT to but HAVE to eat, when your stomach isn’t happy, or just when it’s cold outside and you want something to warm your hands and tummy.

The most basic ingredients are rice and water, with salt or fish sauce to taste. This version is cooked with garlic, ginger, onions, and chicken, dressed up before serving with boiled eggs, fried garlic, and spring onions. A squeeze of “calamansi” – Philippine lemon, completes the flavor profile of this dish. Yummy!!

Calamansi in my garden.

Feel free to use less rice if you want a more soupy Arroz Caldo. Or simply add some hot water to thin it out if it is already cooked and is too thick for your taste.

Hope you’ll try this comforting food soon as the weather turns cooler, fingers crossed!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1 to 1 1/2 ELB cup white glutinous rice (“malagkit”)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ginger powder

1 teaspoon dried minced onion

175 grams diced chicken breasts

1 teaspoon fish sauce, plus more to taste

Dash of ground pepper

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1-2 raw eggs

Chopped green onions and fried garlic, for topping

Lemon juice, or calamansi, to serve

This is the store bought fried garlic that I use. And the glutinous rice called “malagkit” in the Philippines.

Procedure:

1. Place the rice, garlic, ginger, onion, chicken, fish sauce, pepper, and chicken broth in the big ELB bowl.

2. Place the bowl in the ELB base, add 3 ELB cups water in the base.

3. Place the raw eggs in the little nesting bowl (or the middle layer egg holder for the Jumbo).

4. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 1 hour.

5. Open the lunchbox carefully and check if chicken and rice are done. Adjust the consistency by adding some broth or water if needed. Adjust seasonings to taste too.

6. Top with the boiled egg, fried garlic, and green onions. Serve with lemon slices or calamansi.

7. Enjoy

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Electric Lunchbox #56: Chicken with Green Beans

Chicken with green beans – this is an ELB version of a stir fry that our family loves. I believe that the original version uses shrimps but allergies made me switch it to chicken. It’s still really good! And if you do want to try it with shrimps, just replace the chicken with the same amount of shrimps.

I use garlic powder and minced dried onions because I find the flavor is more pronounced than using fresh, when steaming is the method used for cooking. If you don’t keep those in your panty, feel free to use fresh.

Of course, as with all my cooking (not really baking though!) recipes, feel free to add or remove ingredients and use this mainly as a guide. Make it your own! And I hope you enjoy the end product of your efforts! ❤️

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

100 grams diced chicken breasts

10-12 pieces green beans, trimmed, and cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion, or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped onions

1 teaspoon oyster sauce

1 teaspoon soy sauce

3 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons cornstarch

Dash of ground black pepper

Rice (optional):

2 ELB cups rice

2 ELB cups water

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon Knorr chicken and tomato bouillon powder

Procedure:

1. Place chicken, green beans, garlic, onion, oyster sauce, soy sauce, water, cornstarch, and pepper in the big ELB bowl.

2. Mix until cornstarch dissolves. Place bowl on the ELB base.

3. If cooking rice, place rinsed and drained rice in the small nesting bowl, add water, turmeric, and bouillon powder. Stir. Place bowl on top of the bigger bowl. Add 3 ELB cups water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 55 minutes.

4. Carefully open the ELB, remove the bowls and check chicken and rice for doneness. Serve hot, over rice, if cooked together.

5. Enjoy!

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Pollo ala Brasa drumsticks

Oh the famous Pollo ala Brasa of Peru! This is something that tastes mighty close, but if you got a chance to try the real ones in Peru – go for it!

It’s a fragrant, spiced, roasted chicken that rotates in the rotisserie and tastes totally amazing! Don’t forget the sauces and fried potatoes that accompany it. It completes the meal!

We usually would go to Nory’s Peruvian Restaurant in Lake Forest, CA to get our Peruvian meals when I don’t want to cook, and they have really good food and service! However, because of Covid-19, I tried this recipe that a coworker gave me. It’s easy to make and very tasty so I’m sharing it here hoping one day you will try it!

You can definitely use whole chickens like they traditionally do, but since I do not have a rotisserie barbecue, I opted for the easier to grill drumsticks. I use a Ninja grill indoors as it is easier to use than an outdoor charcoal grill but you can grill this too if you prefer that.

Sorry I forgot to take pictures of the sauces! 😞

1 package chicken drumsticks (2.5-3 lbs)

Spice rub:

3 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons lime juice
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Mix everything for the rub together and massage all over the the chicken, rubbing some underneath the skin. Refrigerate for a few hours, or even overnight.

Green sauce:

5 jalapenos, seeds and veins removed
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 yellow onion
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup queso fresco
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/3 cup canola oil
kosher salt to taste

Place everything in a blender and whirl until smooth. Transfer to a clean, covered bowl and set aside.

Yellow sauce:

1 yellow onion
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup ají amarillo paste
1/2 teaspoon huacatay paste
1/3 cup queso fresco
1/4 cup canola oil
kosher salt to taste

Place everything in a blender and whirl until smooth. Transfer to a clean, covered bowl and set aside.

Fried Potatoes:

6 potatoes, peeled and cut into French fries sized sticks

Oil

Salt and pepper

Toss potatoes with 2 tablespoons oil and salt and pepper to taste. Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a pan for a few minutes, add the potatoes and cook until golden. Turn on the other side and cook that until browned and crispy. Place on paper towel lined plate.

Meanwhile cook chicken in an air fryer at 390F, 20-25 minutes, until cooked through. Chicken is done if when pierced by a fork, the juices run clear.

Serve with yellow and green sauce.

Enjoy with garlic rice and fried potatoes.

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Baking a whole chicken in the #SunOven! 9/18/21

Electric Lunchbox #37: Adobo (Philippine soy sauce vinegar stew)

Adobo.

This is the all time favorite Filipino dish that you probably have heard of or even tried already. It is a constant at family gatherings and lunch boxes. Every family has their own recipe for this dish that is basically meat or vegetables simmered in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, pepper corns. Some add boiled eggs, potatoes, sugar, fish sauce, bayleaves. The meat can be chicken, or pork, or a combination of both. The only vegetable version of adobo that I had was Adobong Kangkong (water spinach), but I’m sure there are other versions all over.

I remember when I was young, we would always have this dish with a huge pot of rice, a big Igloo/Coleman water dispenser, and fruits, when we go “picnic”. Picnic is a term used by my aunts/uncles when we go to the pool/resort or beach for the day. It was a lot of fun to just be kids while the adults played card games, dominoes, and talk.

This keeps well at room temperature because of the vinegar, however I refrigerate it as soon as I can and won’t leave it out too long. It does taste better the next day, that’s for sure!

*My stovetop version almost always has the boiled eggs and potatoes, as I like having extras in my food. The version I grew up with though, had only bone in chicken with skin and pork meat with some fat, which when simmered for a long time, becomes rich, flavorful and truly delicious, something you will remember for a long time.*

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*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

Adobo:

220 grams pork or chicken, cut into small cubes

1 small potato, peeled and cubed

20 ml soy sauce

20 ml vinegar

1/2 teaspoon peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (optional, but highly recommended)

2 bayleaves

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Rice/Garlic rice:

2 ELB cups rice

2 ELB cups water

Toasted garlic, 1 teaspoon oil, and a sprinkle of salt, optional for garlic rice

3 itaki cups water in base

1. Place the meat, potatoes, soysauce, vinegar, pepper corns, fish sauce, bay leaves, garlic and garlic powder in the big bowl of the ELB. Mix and place on the base.

2. Place rice in the small nesting bowl, rinse well and drain. Add in the 2 ELB cups of water and toasted garlic, oil, and a sprinkle of salt, if using. Place on top of the big bowl.

3. Pour 3 ELB cups of water in the base. Cover the lunchbox snd let steam until done, about 55 minutes. Check meat and rice for doneness, adding more water to steam longer if needed.

4. Serve hot. Enjoy!

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Red Curry Chicken

Dinner is always a “what to cook” problem for me. If I am craving something then the battle is half won, as I would have to only make sure I have all (at least most) of the ingredients on hand so that I do not have to make a last minute dash to the grocery stores. The time I get out of work is a bad time to swing by the stores as a lot of people are there too, looking for what to serve for dinner.

So I usually keep a bottle or two of this curry paste and a can of coconut milk handy. That way, if I have chicken or pork and some vegetables, I can serve curry in half an hour or so.

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tbsp chopped garlic

1 onion, chopped

1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cut into cubes

1 cup water

3 potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 carrots, peeled and cubed

2 zucchinis, sliced in half and into half moons

1 package (8oz) mushrooms, sliced

1/2 c frozen peas

1 can (13.5oz) coconut milk

1/3 – 1/2 cup thai red curry paste (to taste)

2 teaspoons chicken bouillon (optional)

Chopped cilantro, for serving

Rice and/or flatbread, for serving

Heat oil in a wok or deep saucepan. Add garlic and cook until light brown. Add onions and cook until soft and browned.

Add chicken pieces. When chicken turns golden brown, add water and stir well. Add potatoes and carrots and stir. Cover and let simmer until potatoes are half done.

Add zucchini, mushrooms, peas, coconut milk, and red curry paste. Start with 1/3 cup and add more towards the end if you want it spicier. Add chicken bouillon if using. Cover and simmer until chicken and vegetables are done.

Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve with cooked rice, or flatbread.

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Electric Lunchbox #36: Mama Tuca’s Lentils

My mother-in-law is a wonderful cook! Lucky for me, she is always more than happy to teach me how to prepare Peruvian food whether in her kitchen in Lima, or mine in Orange County. She is very kind and gentle but strong and determined. She likes to go out on her own, fearless, and discover places. I grew up more sheltered, more scared, careful of the outside world. I remember once when she was vacationing here in the US, my husband and I came home from work and she was gone…we had to go and drive our cars to look for her all over our city. I found her walking by Trader Joe’s, arms full of grocery bags with treasures she found to make a meal. She is good at substituting and making a new dishes.

When we were in Peru, breakfast is usually turkey, cheese, ham sandwich, with fruit juice and my essential, coffee. Lunch is the biggest meal, and she would always prepare a salad to go with it. Everything tasted really good. This is one of those recipes. Healthy and easy to make, it quickly became a staple as both my husband and my son likes it.

I adapted it to the ELB, substituting garlic and onion powder for the real thing as we will not be sautéing it. If you have a red bell pepper and aji amarillo, please use that instead of the paprika and turmeric I used. I just used those as it is something we are all familiar with and probably have in our pantry already. When mama Tuca made this, she used pork, but I had used beef, and chicken when I’m too lazy to go to the store.

Please remember to soak the lentils for about couple of hours. We are using raw lentils and they do cook faster than regular beans, but soaking helps it along.

I hope you like this recipe. I’m sure my family does!

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*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*

1/2 cup lentils, soaked at least 1 hour, up to overnight

1 cup water, for cooking

1 teaspoon oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/4 teaspoon paprika powder (or 1/4 red bell pepper, pureed)

50 – 60 grams cubed pork or chicken, or ground beef

1 small potato, peeled and cubed

120 ml water (for steaming)

Drain the lentils after soaking. Transfer to the big bottom bowl of the ELB. Add all ingredients and stir to mix. Place in the ELB base.

Add the water for steaming to the base. Cover the ELB snd let steam until done, about an hour. Check lentils and meat for doneness , adding more water to the base and steaming longer, if necessary.

Serve hot, over rice (can make some in the little nesting bowl at the same time!).

My husband usually asks for a fried egg on top of the lentils. I like it this way too so I happily fry some eggs to serve with this dish.

If you have a jumbo, make lentils in the bottom bowl, poached egg in the small nesting bowl, and rice in the top medium bowl! Perfect meal!

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Electric Lunchbox #32: Chicken Parmesan with Egg Noodles

Chicken Parmesan with egg noodles in the electric lunchbox – another comfort food made easy!

My family loves pasta (so much for me trying to follow a low carb lifestyle!), so we usually have a pasta dish at least once two every weeks. But this recipe totally changes it. I can make one to two servings – depending on how willing someone is to share – very easily. My 11 year old son can even get this ready and cooked as there is no open fire to worry about.

I hope you guys try it and let me know how it was. 😊

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*

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1/2 boneless, skinless chicken breast

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

salt & pepper to taste

2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

1/3 cup marinara sauce

80 grams wide egg noodles

1 teaspoon olive oil

Water

2 tablespoons mozzarella cheese, shredded

parsley, chopped

1. Cube the chicken breasts and sprinkle with garlic powder, italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix to distribute the spices evenly. Place in the small top bowl. Top with the parmesan cheese and marinara sauce. Set bowl aside.

2. In the big bottom bowl, place the egg noodles, the olive oil, and enough water to barely cover the noodles. Place this bowl in the electric lunchbox base. Place the bowl with chicken on top and cover with foil.

3. Place 3 Itaki cups water in the base, cover and steam until it shuts off, about 55 minutes.
Check chicken and pasta for doneness, adding water to the base as necessary.

4. When done, carefully open the lunchbox. Drain the pasta if any water remains in the bowl. Mix chicken and marinara sauce, adjust seasoning to taste and pour over pasta.

5. Top with mozzarella cheese and serve hot.