Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Seafood Sunday

Sunday really is the best day for our family. It is the one day of the week where everyone troop to our favorite 2nd home, LP and stuff ourselves silly. No guilt, no diets and certainly no calorie counting allowed.

My mom prepared a huge seafood buffet. She only planned to make two dishes initially but saw some fresh items in the market that she couldn't resist making.

For this sumptuous feast, my mom made:

Buttered prawns with asparagus tips, the prawns were so fresh and sweet an buttery, everyone had at least ate five large ones each (at least). I think I ate seven pieces. Hubby had probably more.

Mussels in ginger and garlic broth
. This is a staple seafood dish in most Filipino homes. Here's how to make it:

1 head garlic, chopped
1 large white onion, chopped
1 large ginger, julienned
3 kilos mussels, cleaned
3 bunches chili leaves

In a huge stockpot, saute garlic, onions and ginger in oil.
Add the water and let boil.
Drop the cleaned mussels to the pot. As soon as the mussels open, turn off the heat and add the chili leaves.
Serve piping hot.

Another hit with the family is the Kuhol (escargot) in Spicy Coconut Cream sauce. There's a funny story attached to this one. My mom was in the market that morning to buy some mussels (as originally planned), she saw some kuhol being sold in one of the stalls and they were very fresh (aka, alive and jumping up and down in their containers), so she bought some and decided to cook it at our family gathering. Upon coming home, she started preparing the kuhol, they jumped right out of their bag and started crawling all very the kitchen floor. My four year old nephew JayJay managed to catch two of them and decided to keep them as "pets".

The kuhol was a huge hit since we rarely have it and my mom made an excellent dish. It's a little fussy to make, but if you have the time and patience, here's how:

1 kilo kuhol (escargot)
2 mature coconuts, grated OR 1 can coconut milk AND 1 coconut cream
2-3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 thumb-sized ginger, smashed
1 small white onion, finely chopped
Bird's eye chilis
1 bunch kangkong (swamp cabbage)
Salt to taste

To clean the kuhol:
1. Wash them in running water.
2. Soak them in tap water, fully covered for 30 minutes. Drain and repeat 3 more times. (Total of 2 hours soaking time). This is to remove the sand, lodged inside the kuhol.
3. Snip off the "tails" or the pointed eds found the the rear end of the kuhol.
4. Wash the kuhol, one by one under running water.

Now, you're finally ready to cook, here's how.
1. Extract cream from the grated mature coconut by squeezing them between your hands, the firs extraction is the COCONUT CREAM.
2. With the same coconuts, add about 1 cup of water and do a second extraction, this is the COCONUT MILK.
3. In a large wok or medium stockpot, boil onion, garlic and ginger in COCONUT MILK (2nd extraction), when boiling, add the kuhol. Boil for 3 minutes.
4. Add the COCONUT CREAM (1st extraction) and boil for another 2 minutes.
5. Add the kangkong and chilis. Season to taste and boil for another minute or until the kangkong is slightly wilted.
6. Serve hot.

Use a toothpick to fish out the meat from the shell. Enjoy!

For the meat lovers in the group, my mom made her own concoction of beef stew, inspired by an Amish dish that she had when she visited an Amish community in Lancaster. It was such a huge huge hit and would taste even better the following day. Sorry, this recipe is for family only :-)

For dessert, I just baked some vanilla cupcakes with butter cream icing. Oh, icing decoration and piping, it's the downfall of my cupcake career :-)

The kids and adults had a fun time trying out Tita Socky's new foldable bike. Even hubby biked a few blocks around the neighborhood. Upon coming home, he wanted to buy a new bike too :-)

For merienda we had Spanish chorizo, sauteed in olive oil with pan de sal and some scrambled eggs. Heaven in a bun!


Toni said...

Oh WOW. What a feast! All the dishes look very scrumptious. And boy, I just want to dive into that choriza merienda dish! Mmmmmm!

Leica said...

Thanks Toni. Everything that was laid out on the table was very good.