Chicken Afritada


Chicken Afritada, is Spanish-inspired but unmistakably a Filipino dish.  Cooked in a savory flavored tomato base, it’s chuck full of vegetables such as potatoes, bell peppers, carrots, and peas.  You can also substitute pork for the chicken in this dish.  Give it a try and savor something different…..

Afritada

 

3 1/2 – 4 lbs. Chicken thighs, cut into halves, all traces of fat and excess skin removed
3 Tbsp.  Vegetable oil
1 medium Onion, sliced
6 whole Garlic cloves, minced
2 small Bay leaves
3 medium Russet potatoes, cut into chunks
2 – 3 Carrots, peeled and cubed
1 medium Green bell pepper, sliced
1 medium Red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 – 1 cup Petite frozen Peas, thawed
1 small can Tomato paste
3 cups Water
1/2 tsp. Black pepper
1//2 tsp. Salt, to taste
1 Tbsp. Chicken bouillon powder
2 Tbsp. Soy sauce
1 tsp. Onion powder
1 tsp. Garlic powder
1 tsp. Accent

Very lightly, season the chicken pieces with some salt and pepper.  Set aside.  Heat the vegetable oil in a deep fry pan, on Medium high heat.  Add the chicken pieces in batches, just to brown.  Remove and set aside and continue to brown the other pieces until all are done.  Set aside.
NOTE:  You are only adding color to the chicken pieces, not cooking them completely.

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Once the chicken is all done and browned; pour off the excess grease, leaving about 2 Tbsp. behind.  On medium high heat, fry the onions and garlic and fry until slightly golden and translucent.

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Return the browned chicken pieces and stir to combine with the onions and garlic.  Add the bay leaves.

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Add the tomato paste and then the water.  Stir to combine well.

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Add your seasonings and then the soy sauce.  Stir to combine well.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to MEDIUM or MEDIUM LOW.  Allow the chicken to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring a couple of times in between cooking time.

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After 15 minutes, add the carrots and potatoes, stir to combine.  Cover again and cook for another 10 – 15 minutes, allowing the potatoes to become tender.

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Add the bell peppers and peas; stir to combine well.  Cover and allow to cook an additional 5 – 8 minutes.

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After the vegetable are cooked through, taste and adjust flavor according.  Turn the heat off and remove lid.  SERVE with steamed rice.

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Chicken and Ginger Soup with Malunggay Leaves


This soup, typically a Filipino dish, flavored with ginger, garlic, and fish sauce; is a great “stick to your ribs” kind of soup.  It’s refreshing and healthy, with the addition of Malunggay leaves aka Horseradish leaves.  Although fresh is always better, these leaves can be found at local Asian markets located in the freezer section.  Here is a link that can provide you with some of the awesome health benefits of eating these leaves     http://health-benefits-of-malunggay-leaves.blogspot.com/   Give my recipe a try and make it a part of your meal planning!

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8 medium/large pieces Chicken thighs, excess fat and skin removed
2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
1 medium Onion, sliced
4 – 6 whole Garlic, finely minced
1 (2-inch piece) fresh Ginger, peeled and sliced
3/4 tsp. Salt
3/4 tsp. ground Black pepper
1 tsp. Accent seasoning
1 Tbsp. Chicken bouillon (I used the powder version)
4 – 6 Tbsp. Fish sauce, to taste
6 cups Water
1 (8 oz. pkg.) frozen Malunggay leaves, thawed and rinsed
1/2 head Cabbage, cut into chunks

VARIATION:
-1 Chayote squash, peeled and cut into chunks, add before the cabbage and Malunggay leaves.

-1 firm Green papaya, peeled and cut into chunks, add this after the chicken has boiled with the water for about 15 – 20 minutes. Then add your cabbage and Malunngay leaves.

 

Trim the chicken and remove excess fat and skin.  Using a cleaver, cut the thighs in half, making sure to remove any bones that have cracked or slivered.

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Let’s begin by heating up a 6-quart pot to MEDIUM HIGH heat. Add the vegetable oil. Add the ginger pieces, onions, and garlic.

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Once the onions have turned translucent, add the chicken.  Stir to combine well.  Cover and reduce the heat to MEDIUM.  Allow this to cook for about 10 minutes.  This is going to bring out the moisture from within the chicken, thus helping to make a great broth.

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Remove the lid and bring the heat back up to MEDIUM HIGH.  Add the salt, pepper, bouillon, and Accent.  Stir to combine well with the chicken.

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Now add the water and about 3 – 4 tablespoons of the fish sauce.  Stir.  Bring this back up to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to MEDIUM.  Cook the chicken for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until they become tender.

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Throughout the cooking time, make sure to remove any excess fat and scum that accumulates at the surface.
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While the chicken is cooking, drain the thawed Malunggay leaves into a colander or strainer.  Rinse and remove any leaves that are yellow or dark.  Remove the larger pieces of stem from the leaves.  Set this aside.

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Cut the cabbage in half and then using half of the head; cut the leaves into chunks.  I prefer to use half but you could add more if you’d like.

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Once the cooking time is up and the chicken pieces are cooked and tender, add the cabbage and Malunggay leaves.  Bring this up to a boil.  Cover and allow to cook for an additional, 10 – 15 minutes, or until the cabbage is cooked but still tender.

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Once the cabbage is cooked, taste for flavor.  Because the cabbage can add extra liquid, that will “water down” your broth; add more fish sauce as needed.  I myself wanted a little more “ginger” flavoring so I added a tablespoon of ground ginger, pictured below.

Stir to combine well and allow to finish the cooking time.  Serve with hot steamed rice and Vinegar style fina’denne’!

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Easy Clam Chowder


Easy Clam Chowder is just THAT EASY!  When you crave the flavors of a creamy, satisfying, chock full of clams and potatoes, kind of chowder; this is the one for you!

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10 pieces Bacon, chopped
1 small Onion, chopped
2 (15 oz.) cans diced Potatoes, drained and rinsed (add more if you’d like)
3 (6.5 oz.) minced Clams (reserve the clam juice, 1 1/2 cups total)
1 cup heavy Whipping cream
2 (10 3/4  oz. cans) Cream of Celery
1/4 tsp. Salt, to taste
1/8 tsp. ground Black pepper, more to taste
1 tsp. Dill
1/4 tsp. Accent
2 Tbsp. unsalted Butter

In a large deep skillet, add the chopped bacon and fry until crisp.  Once the bacon is crisp, remove from the pan and set aside.  Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease.

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Return the pan back to the heat and bring it to MEDIUM temperature.  Add the chopped onions.

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Fry the onions until golden and translucent.  Add the clam juice that was reserved from the 3 cans of minced clams.  You should have about 1 1/2 cups total, if not, add water to make up the difference.

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Stir the clam juice and try to break up the bits of flavoring from the bottom of the pan, left from the bacon.  Add in the diced potatoes and stir to combine.  Bring this to a slight boil.

NOTE:  You could use fresh potatoes, but you’ll have to allow the potatoes to cook until tender for about 20-30 minutes.  I said this was an easy recipe, so using canned potatoes is a great substitute.

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Add in the cans of Cream of celery and whisk to combine well.  Bring to a slight boil.

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Pour in the heavy whipping cream and stir to combine well.  Add the seasonings, stirring once again.

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Add in the minced clams and stir to combine well.  Add the fried bacon pieces and stir.  Bring the chowder up to a slight boil and then reduce the heat to LOW.

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Add the 2 tablespoons of butter and stir, until it has melted.  Allow the chowder to cook, uncovered, for about 25 – 30 minutes to thicken slightly.  Make sure to stir the chowder often to prevent scorching the bottom.  SERVE with your favorite oyster crackers or breads.

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Family’s Favorite Chili


One can’t have too many Chili recipes, can they? I know I can’t.  In fact, this is another one, of several that I enjoy making!  It’s actually my family’s favorite, full of flavor, with just a little kick…..Serve it up with lots of Sour cream, shredded Cheddar cheese, diced chilies, Frito corn chips, or on your favorite Nachos!  Give this recipe a try and see why it’s a FAMILY FAVORITE!  😉

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Serve up my Chili garnished with Mexican Crema, grated Cheddar cheese, more diced chiles. Make up a batch of my Cornbread to go with the Chili.

2 lbs. Ground beef
1 medium Onion, chopped
4 whole Garlic, finely minced
1 stalk Celery, diced
1 1/2 Tbsp. Cumin powder
3 – 4 Tbsp. Chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground Black pepper
1 Tbsp. Salt, to taste
1 tsp. Accent
1 (15 oz.) can Kidney beans, do not drain
1 (15 oz.) can Pinto beans, do not drain
1 (14.5 – 15 oz.) can Diced tomatoes, do not drain
2 ( 4.5 oz.) cans diced Green chiles
1 (29 oz.) can Tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can Corn, drained (optional)
2 cups Water
3 Tbsp. Masa Harina flour
7 Tbsp. Water

In a large pot, on MEDIUM HIGH heat, brown the ground beef. Remove from heat and drain in a colander. Return the beef back to the pot and on MEDIUM HIGH heat, add the onions, garlic, and celery. Stir to combine well and allow to cook for about 3 minutes.

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Add the seasonings and stir to combine well.

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Add the diced tomatoes, both cans of beans, and the green chiles; stir to combine well.

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Pour in the tomato sauce and the water, stir to combine well. Bring the chili to a slight boil. Cover and reduce the heat to LOW and allow to simmer for about 2 hours. Stir often in between cooking time.

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After about 1 hour of cooking time, add in the drained can of corn, if you’re using it. Stir to combine and continue cooking covered until cooking time has ended.

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Once cooking time has ended, taste the chili and adjust the seasonings, if needed.  Make a slurry, by combining the 3 tablespoons Masa harina with the 7 tablespoons water.  Stir to combine well and remove any lumps.

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Now, bring the chili back up to a slight boil and pour the slurry into the chili.  Whisk to combine the slurry with the chili; this will thicken it slightly.  Allow to boil for 1 minute then remove from heat.  SERVE and ENJOY!

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Easy Kielbasa Soup


KIELBASA SOUP!  One of the easiest soups I’ve ever prepared.  Using canned soup, veggies from the fridge, and Kielbasa.  It’s tasty, filling, and satisfying!  It’s great for those brrrrry cold stormy or wintry nights when you don’t feel like spending hours in the kitchen.  Serve it up with some crusty bread and you’ve got an awesome meal.  Give this a try, won’t you…..

Serve it up with thick crusty bread.....

Serve it up with thick crusty bread…..

 

1 Onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
4 stalk Celery, fibers removed and sliced (use however much you’d like)
4 Carrots, sliced (I just used baby carrots, use however much you’d like)
4 – 6 medium Potatoes, peeled and cubed (I just used canned potatoes)
1/2 tsp. Salt, to taste
1/2 tsp. Black pepperkielbasa1
1/2 tsp. Garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Accent
6 cups water
2 lbs. Kielbasa, sliced thin
2 (11.5 oz.) cans Bean with bacon soup (I used Campbell’s)

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve noticed in the picture above to the right, I’ve improvised and went even easier with the preparing of this soup by using canned potatoes and baby carrots.  Cut up the celery, carrots, onions, and potatoes.

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In a large dutch oven or 6-qt. stock pot; heat the vegetable oil on MEDIUM HIGH heat.  Add the onions, saute them for about 2 minutes.  Add the other vegetables.  Stir to combine well.   NOTE:  If you’re using canned potatoes (I used 2 cans), add them when you add the soups and kielbasa.

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Add the seasonings and the water, stir to combine well.  Bring this up to a boil, cover and reduce heat to MEDIUM.  Allow to cook for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots are tender.

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Once the vegetables are tender, add in the cans of soup, (potatoes, IF using canned) and the Kielbasa sausage.  Stir to combine well.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Be careful when adding salt because Kielbasa has a lot of sodium already, and although you may think the broth is somewhat lacking in salt, when you eat it with the sausage, it’ll end up salty, so be careful!  Bring it back up to a boil, and allow to cook for about 5 minutes.

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Serve it up with some crusty bread, ENJOY!

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Chicken Long Rice Soup


CHICKEN LONG RICE!  Typically a Luau dish, is the Hawaiian version of American chicken soup.  It’s a strong ginger-flavored chicken broth, with lots of bean thread noodles, garnished with green onions, it’s a satisfying meal in one!  Perfect for wintry days or anyday!  Serve up a bowl or two soon.  😉

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2 lbs. boneless skinless Chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and cut into bite sized pieces
3 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
1 (4-inch knob) fresh Ginger root, julienned thinly
6 – 8 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
12 cups Water (I like LOTS of soup)
2 Tbsp. Chicken base (pictured below)
1 1/2 Tbsp. Onion powder
2 1/4 tsp. Salt, to taste
1 1/2 tsp. Accent
4 – 6 bundles Bean thread Noodles (pictured below)
1 bunch Green onions, chopped

Bean thread noodles I used.....

Bean thread noodles

This is the chicken base I use often.  I like it better than bouillon cubes....

This is the chicken base I use often. I like it better than bouillon cubes….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Begin by trimming off the excess fat from the chicken thighs.  Cut them into bite sized pieces.

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Boil a pot of water, enough to cover the bean threads. Once the water boils, add the noodles and cook until soft and limp. Drain and set aside.

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Julienne the ginger root and chop the garlic finely.  I added a lot of ginger (almost 1/2 cup) because as we know, if you’ve ever eaten Chicken Long Rice, it’s highly flavored with ginger, plus it’s good for you.  😉

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To a large stock pot, on MEDIUM HIGH heat, add the oil.  Add the julienned ginger root and chopped garlic. Saute this for about 3 minutes and then add the chopped chicken.   Add the seasonings.

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Add the water and the chicken base.  Stir to combine.  Bring this to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to MEDIUM and allow to cook for about 30 minutes.

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Make sure to remove any scum and fat that floats to the top during the cooking time.  Cut the cooked bean thread noodles into manageable pieces, that way you’re not slurping up a long piece of noodle, LOL! 🙂   I just used my knife, but a scissor is preferred.  Add it to the pot and stir.

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Add the noodles to the broth and chicken.  Stir!  Add the chopped green onions.  Cover and continue to cook for another 15 – 20 minutes, OR until the noodles are really soft.

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Taste the broth and adjust seasonings accordingly!  SERVE!

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“Caldo de Rosa” aka Caldo de Res, MY WAY!


CALDO DE RES! A yummy Mexican soup that’s definitely both hearty and satisfying;  and a total “meal in one”!  Served in bowls, full of beef chunks, potatoes, cabbage, corn, and lots of other yummy vegetables; and usually garnished with chopped onions, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges; this soup is definitely a must try during those cold and dreary months. Remember, this recipe is MY WAY and not the traditional way, so no negative critiques please! 😉

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2 1/2 – 3 lbs. Beef shanks with bone, cut into chunky pieces
1 large Onions, chopped
4 Garlic cloves, crushed
16 cups Water (4 quarts)
1 (14 oz. tub) Goya brand FROZEN Recaito, defrosted (pictured below)
3 Tbsp. Beef Bouillon, (pictured below)
3 tsp. Salt, to taste
2 tsp. Onion powder
2 tsp. ground Cumin
2 tsp. Garlic powder
1 tsp. Black pepper
2 tsp. Accent
2 large Tomatoes, cut into wedges
6 small – medium Potatoes, cut into large chunks
3 Carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
6 pieces frozen Corn on the cob, cut into half or thirds
1 bunch Cilantro, washed and chopped
1 large Zucchini OR Chayote, cut into chunks
1 small head Cabbage; cut into large chunks, large thick leaves removed

 

 

Wash and then cut the beef shanks into chunky pieces. To a large pot, add the meat, onion, and garlic.  Place onto the stove top on medium high heat.  Add the water, bring to a boil.

 

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Combine the seasonings and then add it to the meat and water in the pot.  Stir to combine.

 

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The beef granules I used….

 

 

 

 

Add the defrosted Recaito mixture. (I’ve also added this while it was still frozen, and it was fine).  Stir to combine well.  Cover and reduce heat to medium.  Cook the meat for about  1 1/2 – 2 hours or until meat has tenderized, stirring in between cooking time.

 

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At about 30 minutes before the cooking time is up; add the potatoes and carrots.

 

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Add the tomatoes and chopped cilantro.

 

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Add the canned chopped green chilies.  Stir to combine well.

 

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Add the cut corn.

 

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Stir to combine well.  Cover once again and allow to cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender.

 

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Remove lid and add the cabbage and zucchini or Chayote.  Stir to combine.  Cover and allow to cook on medium heat for the remaining cooking time left or until cabbage has softened slightly.

 

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Stir and then taste the broth.  Adjust accordingly to your taste.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  Serve in bowls with avocado slices, chopped onions, chopped cilantro, Crema, and flour or corn tortillas.

 

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