Monday, July 9, 2007

Stress and Bicol Express

Work can get a bit stressfull at times and my idea of stress relief is shopping, watching movies and cooking.

This weekend i did a bit of cooking as it also involves some delightfull shopping. I sequestered the kitchen for the day and cooked some Bicol Express and Lengua.

When i was in Bicol, i was struck by the many versions of the Bicol Express, so unlike the plain chili-coco cream version we get in Filipino restaurants. Much, much yummier and with more variety in the ingredients.

Bicol Express follows. The Lengua is in a following post.

Bicol Express Ingredients

Soak 100 grams of white beans or pinto beans overnight.
Simmer over a low heat for 2 hours to soften.

Saute 4 large garlic cloves and 1 large onion in 2 Tablespoons oil.

Fry fat portion taken from 1 strip pork belly until oil has been extracted.
Add lean portion and fry till brown.

Add 4 cups of thick coconut cream. Simmer for a few minutes.
Season with salt at this point.

Add 100 grams of pre-soaked and pre-cooked white beans.
(I prefer the spotted beans, i think they are pinto beans, but none
were available when i went shopping for ingredients.)

Add 100 grams of chopped fresh shrimps.

Add 1 bundle of sliced stringbeans (winged beans
are more visually appealing but once again, none were
available), and 1 kilogram of thinly sliced chilis.

I let the whole chilis sit in the kitchen for a few days
to allow some of them to ripen and provide an nice
contrast in color to this otherwise green/white-colored dish.

Simmer Bicol Express for a few minutes until coconut cream
is thickened.

And walah!

A wonderful siding to grilled meats, adobo or steamed fish.
Brave souls have this as the viand itself.
A platterfull of fire!

No comments: