Buko Pandan - My Favorite Dessert

24 September 2008 9 comments

I remember tasting this unusual dessert when I went back to the Philippines in 2003. This dessert has young coconut slivers mixed in with Pandan (Screwpine) flavored gelatin, sugar and heavy cream. The cream was heavily colored with Pandan extract so it was greener than the one I made on the photo above. Regardless of the aesthetic, I still liked the taste. It's simple and not pretentious.
Making this is quite easy. The part that took the longest was waiting for the gelatin to set. Otherwise, everything was a breeze. I decided to work on the presentation a little bit. You can blame it on the years I watched Food TV (now the Food Network.)

You can find Pandan (Screwpine) leaves in an Asian grocery, it is usually in the frozen food section. Some grocery have the Pandan extract, using this will save you time. Young coconut is sold in cans or you can also find these in the freezer section.

2 cans young coconut meat, drained and cut into strings
1/2 teaspoon pandan extract
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar or Splenda
for the Pandan gelatin:
2 (90 g) packages unflavored gelatin
3 cups water
1-1 1/2 tablespoon pandan extract
4 drops green food coloring (omit if extract is green)
1/4 cup sugar

Dissolve gelatin and sugar in the water and bring to boil.
Remove from heat and stir in the pandan extract and food color.
Pour into a rectangular pan and refrigerate until firm.
Cut the gelatin into 1 inch cubes.
Whip the heavy cream to thicken it just a little bit but you can use it as it is.

In a large bowl, mix cream, sugar and pandan extract.
Add the gelatin cubes.
Chill before serving.

-You can substitue light cream or half and half for the heavy cream. If you want an authentic Filipino flavor, use the brand NESTLE CREAM (canned cream.)
-If using Pandan leaves, boil it in 3 cups of water. Use this liquid for the gelatin.
-Adjust the amount of sugar according to your taste.


Read full post >>

Pork Loin with Mushroom Sauce

07 September 2008 6 comments

This is a Roast Pork dish that is usually served by our catering business in Pasig. It's simple to make yet elegant enough to serve in parties.You have to start with a good cut of lean Pork Loin, it has to be large enough so it won't disintegrate when you cut it after it had been tenderized. We don't have a special name for this dish. We call this dish 'pork loin with mushroom sauce'. Big thanks to my mom for teaching me how to make this dish.

1 large slab of lean Pork Loin
salt and pepper
4 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 can of small tomato paste
5 cups of chicken stock
1 stick of butter
1 small onion, minced
2 tbsp flour
1 cup broth from the cooked pork loin
1 small can of Cream of Mushroom (use regular not low fat)
1 cup grated cheese (any kind)

Wash and dry the pork loin. Season with salt and pepper. Heat cooking oil in a large pot, brown all sides of the pork loin. Add the tomato paste and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock and stir until the tomato paste is dissolved. Cook until the pork loin is tender, stirring the pot once in a while and adding chicken stock if the liquid becomes too low. Set aside 1 cup of the broth to be used in the next step.

Heat the oven to 350 deg F.

In a smaller pot, in medium heat, add butter. When butter is melted, saute the onions until it's cooked but not browned. Add the flour and cook for a minute or two. Then add the broth (that was set aside from the pork loin) a little at a time to prevent lumps. Wait for it to boil. When it's boiling, add the Cream of Mushroom and stir thoroughly.

Take the roast pork loin and cut it into 1/4 inch slices. Set aside. In a pyrex dish, pour 1 cup of the sauce on the bottom. Arrange the roast pork loin slices in the pyrex dish. Pour more sauce on top of the pork loin. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the pork loin. Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, just enough for the pork to be reheated through and the cheese to melt. Serve with rice.

Read full post >>