Ube White Chocolate Chip Macadamia

Are you a chewy, cakey, or crispy cookie person? Regardless of texture, I am always an ube person. ⁠This is the first cookie recipe I ever cobbled together, but not without help from Alton Brown, Mrs. Fields, and Teachers’ Bakes.

Ube White Chocolate Chip Macadamia

Ingredients

  • 160 g Bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 113 g butter softened
  • 100 g white sugar
  • 50 g brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup ube halaya
  • 2 tbsp ube extract
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup salted macadamias

Instructions

  • Whisk together dry Ingredients in a bowl
  • In a separate bowl, using a mixer with a paddle attachment on medium high, cream the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add sugars and mix for 30 seconds.
  • Add the egg and mix for 30 seconds.
  • Add the ube halaya and extract to the mixture and beat on medium high for at least 2 min.
  • With the mixer running on low, slowly Incorporate the dry ingredients until the flour Is worked In.
  • Add white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts until just combined.
  • Set the oven racks into the top third and bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350* F. Cover and place the dough In the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Scoop the dough Into balls, approximately 2 tablespoons per cookie.
  • Bake for a total of 13 minutes. After 7 minutes rotate the pans for even baking.
  • Cool for 5 minutes on the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Inspired by Teachers’ Bakes, Alton Brown, and Mrs. Fields

Quick Chicken Tocino

Filipino tocino has its roots in Spanish Tocino, or bacon. The Filipino version is sweet, cured in annatto, sugar, and salt over the course of days. Even though my favorite silog is dasilog (daing na bangus), I cook tosilog most frequently because of how easy this recipe is. It’s a cheat-code tocino with no additional sugar added. The sweetness comes from the banana ketchup and pineapple. It takes about 5 minutes to combine all of the ingredients before you marinate it overnight, then 20 minutes to reduce the marinade and brown the chicken in a pan. It won’t taste like your classic tocino (probably because it’s missing the yummy sugar and pork fat) but it will satisfy your cravings and be a great go-to meal.

Silog | a portmanteau of the Taglog words for garlic fried rice and egg

Daing na bangus | milkfish marinated in vinegar, pepper, garlic, and salt

Chicken Tocino

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Breakfast, dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: Breakfast, Chicken, Dinner, Meat, Silog

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 6 ounces Pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup Banana ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • Optional: 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp Canola oil

Instructions

  • Chop chicken into 1-1.5 inch chunks
  • In the container you will marinate the chicken in (I use a glass tupperware) combine remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
  • Add chicken to the marinade. Marinate for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
  • Heat a 12" skillet over medium heat.
  • Pour the chicken into the skillet, along with the marinade.
  • Boil the chicken in the marinade until the sauce is reduced and the chicken is cooked through. Increase heat to medium high. Add 2 tbsp of canola oil and brown the chicken.
  • Once chicken is sufficiently browned, transfer to serving container. Chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Itlog na maalat at Kamatis

Itlog na maalat at kamatis is usually a much simpler dish of salted duck egg and tomato. This is the way my mom made it growing up, so you know it’s the best (for me)! If you look at the ingredients list you’ll realize we’re about halfway to pico de gallo, subbing vinegar for lime. This is the Southern California influence on my family’s recipes, which of course was influenced by Mexican cuisine. I grew up in Carson, CA and we slowly worked our way South to Orange County. It was such a blessing to be spend my early childhood in a diverse place with the bonus of having my Titas and Titos nearby for weekend gatherings. I could walk to my 99 Ranch. Sure, my mom wouldn’t actually let me walk there, but you get how close I was to fresh salted duck eggs and Filipino snacks! Now LA is having a major Filipino food moment!

Pair this side dish with tocino, longganisa, bangus… basically with any of the silogs. For a quick meal, just mix it into your rice!

Itlog na maalat at Kamatis

A SoCal twist on a classic Filipino side dish.
Prep Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: Filipinize it, Filipino, Sawsawan
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 Small red onion
  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 Itlog na maalat
  • 1/2 cup sugarcane vinegar
  • Patis, to taste

Instructions

  • Dice tomatoes and onions. Transfer to a serving bowl then mix in chopped cilantro.
  • Cut open the itlog na maalat and scoop it out. Roughly chop it and sprinkle on top of the tomato mixture.
  • Pour vinegar on top of the mixture. Serve fresh. Option to add fish sauce if the itlog na maalat is not salty enough to balance the vinegar.

Notes

The salsa itself will last in the fridge up to 3 days. I usually store the eggs separately. 
Apple cider vinegar is my favorite substitution for sugarcane vinegar. 
I use Datu Puti with the chilis in it. 

Itlog na Maalat | Salted duck egg

If you can’t tell from my blog name, I LOVE eggs. Itlog na maalat was my first egg love, long before I appreciated fried eggs or meringues. I can eat it with a spoon, though I shouldn’t because high blood! It has a funky flavor and creamy yolk texture that you can’t get in any other food dish. The mix of itlog na maalat with vinegar and tomatoes is the perfect balance of funky, sweet, salty, and sour.

The Chinese have been making salted duck eggs since the 6th century as a means of preserving eggs, likely bringing this method to the Philippines a few centuries later before Spanish Colonization. The Filipino version is typically dyed red to distinguish the salted duck eggs from fresh ones. The most popular way of making itlog na maalat is the Pateros method, named after the municipality famous for its duck industry. The eggs are dipped in a mixture of clay, salt, and water then cured for 12-18 days. The salt moves into the egg via osmosis creating a hypertonic environment for most pathogens, preventing the eggs from spoiling quickly. It’s quite a long process, but very reliable. Luckily, I’ve always lived within an hour of a Filipino market and nowadays you can even order a case on Etsy.

In this photo series, I’ll be featuring:

  • Itlog na maalat. These deserve their own photo shoot because they are GORGEOUS
  • My version of itlog na maalat at kamatis
  • No sugar added chicken Tocino
  • Combinging all 3 into the grand finale: tocilog

This marks the start of my new photography style. While most food bloggers opt for the light and airy style to highlight the food, I just never got the hang of it. During Filipino American History Month and the Bread Series I played around with different aesthetics until I landed on one that felt right for my personality and the food I want to explore. Bright and Bold, with lots of saturated color, dramatic shadows, and plenty of plants. It feels like a day on the beach in the Philippines or growing up in sunny Southern California. Hopefully you enjoy the style change, but more importantly I hope you love the recipes!

Itlog | egg

Maalat | salty

Sawsawan | sauce

Kamatis | tomato

Sinangag | garlic fried rice

Silog | a portmanteau of sinangag and itlos

Devour Asia: Salted duck eggs

The Science of Salted duck eggs

How do salt and sugar prevent microbial spoilage?

Cast Iron Love

I am a BIG FAN of any pan that doesn’t use non-stick coatings. Give me all the stainless steel, enamel, and cast iron, please! I have spent the last year gifting cast iron skillets to my apprehensive friends and family. To get them warmed up, I send a cheesy intro email with tips and tricks and now I will share it with you!

Prepping your brand new cast iron

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425*F
  2. Wash that baby with soap and water. 
  3. Place it over the stove on high heat until all the water evaporates. 
  4. Rub a thin layer of vegetable oil or shortening all over the skillet. I usually use a paper towel for this step. 
  5. Place the skillet in the oven face-down and bake for 60 minutes. Place foil or a half sheet on the rack underneath to catch drips. *Warning: it will be smokey!*
  6. Let the skillet cool in the oven.

Helpful article on cast iron skillets: https://www.seriouseats.com/2010/06/how-to-buy-season-clean-maintain-cast-iron-pans.html
Other tips:

  • To build up the seasoning in the beginning, try pan frying things (cooking bacon works perfectly).
  • Once the cast iron is seasoned, you should be able to wipe off any food residue with a paper towel or clean sponge. 
  • Contrary to popular belief, you can use a little bit of soap to clean a cast iron pan.  
  • For tougher spots, use a scraperchainmail, or brush to clean. 
  • The pan must be dried immediately after rinsing to prevent rusting. The easiest way to achieve this is to heat it on the stove until the water evaporates.
  • Always rub oil into the pan once it is completely dry. 
  • Do not cook highly acidic foods for prolonged periods. 
  • The more you use it and fry in it, the more non-stick it will become. 

Our favorite cast iron dishes:

If something horrible happens to your pan, don’t worry! There’s a fix: https://www.seriouseats.com/2014/12/how-to-restore-vintage-cast-iron-cookware.html