Google+ Followers

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tumbet y Pescado

As the Lenten season begins, my thoughts fly to one of my favorite Spanish dishes - the Tumbet, which is a mediterranean dish hailing from Mallorca, one of the Balearic Islands of Spain (of which Ibiza is part). I first tasted this dish more than 10 years ago when La Tienda, the Spanish restaurant, offered this as part of their special menu in their Alabang branch during the month of October in celebration of their National Day.

While originally, the tumbet is a vegetable dish, La Tienda offered theirs with fish and baked in the traditional but individual earthenware greixonera. Since then, I've been replicating this dish myself, and have been serving it to my friends for dinner. This is very good served with a warm baguette than rice, and quite good as the star of the show. Nothing more simple than a complete meal in one pot. By the way, baking this dish in a pyrex tray is just as good.

The Recipe:

2 large aubergines or 5 local eggplants
salt & pepper
6 large or 9 small potatoes
2 large white onions, chopped
6 T. olive oil
2 T. garlic, minced
2 big green bell peppers, seeded & sliced
1 big red bell pepper, seeded & sliced
9 T. chopped fresh parsley
3-400 g. cans chopped tomatoes
2 t. paprika
3 T. red wine vinegar
1/2 kilo maya maya, labahita or cod fillets

Slice the aubergines or eggplants on the diagonal, as thin as you can and lay them on a tray. Sprinkle them with salt and leave to sweat 30-40 mins. Blot with kitchen towel. Peel potatoes and boil them in salted water. When almost cooked, lift them from water and slice into rounds. Saute onions briefly in low fire with olive oil then add garlic afterwards. Set vegetables aside.

Grease your baking dish (8 x8 in. & 3 in. deep preferably) with olive oil. As base, pour 1/3 of the first can of the tomatoes & its juice at the bottom of the dish and season with salt, pepper and paprika. Then layer with 1/3 each of the potato slices, aubergines/eggplants, fish, bell peppers, onions and garlic. Pour the remaining tomatoes and juice from the first can and season once again with salt, pepper and paprika. Repeat procedure until all ingredients are layered in then sprinkle the red wine vinegar and add 1 tablespoon on top of dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven at 200 deg. C or 400 deg. F for 1 hour. Then remove foil and turn the heat to 170 deg.C/325 deg.F and give another 30 minutes to brown and concentrate the juices. Serve hot or cold. This dish also reheats well.

1. For variation and a little more flavor, you can add shredded queso de bola on top.
2. If crammed for time, omit the onions, garlic and cans of tomato and buy 2 bottles of
Bravo's Tomato and Garlic Dip and use this as the tomato sauce.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Newspaper Recipes

My love and adventure with food and cooking started with collecting recipes when I was a teen-ager in the 1980s. Yup, was very much in the middle of Generation X (and loving it) when my interest then was stimulated. I suppose I was more into baking than cooking, and the appliance being raved about was the turbo broiler, which deserves an entire article all its own. (Note to Self: Write a rhapsody on turbo broiler as next blog entry.)

But going back to the topic at hand, recipe collecting then was not as accessible as it is today, with the proliferation of cookbooks for sale, cooking shows on cable and live shows by our own homegrown talents, and of course, the internet. During the '80s, my school allowance did not give me room to buy cookbooks, and of course, the choices weren't as much varied as are found in newspapers. And it was way cheaper anyway. So, I would just cut out recipes from newspapers and even women's magazines such as Mod, Women's or Woman Today, courtesy usually of either the weekly columnists or advertised by food companies endorsing the use of their products as an essential ingredient for the success of the meal.

However, when my folders got messed up with all these bits of newsprint pasted on bond or typewriting paper, I decided that there must be a neater way of preserving my - ahem - research. So one summer vacation, my project was to transcribe all these collected recipes in Wordstar (!). Hey, trivia: does anyone out there still remember what this is??? Transcribing spilled over into the following schoolyear, but I did finish it and the pages since then have been compiled in a thick clearbook. There is a trade-off of course, and that is the fact that these cut-outs are art in themselves and are now gone.

But one evening, after several years of not leafing through this treasure trove, I checked it out for ideas and there were several dishes that stood out. My collection prove to feature pork chops or chicken meat as the main ingredients, but I managed to cut out a recipe for Menestra Con Cordero a la Riojana (Lamb Stew a la Riojana) and one for Sampaguita Ice Cream without any consciousness. I'm sharing some here that I've already tried out just in case it becomes useful to you. I apologize that I don't remember anymore from which newspapers I got them from, but I'm pretty sure you'll know which food product shared them in the first place. They will be hits for your family, as they have been for mine.


2 1/3 c. Sunquick orange
1 T. butter
1 T. chopped onion
3 slices old bread, cubed (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 t. orange peel
1/4 t. salt
6 pork chops
1 laurel leaf
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 T. cornstarch
1 orange, sliced for garnish

In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add onion and saute until tender. Remove from heat. Add bread cubes, 2 1/2 t. orange peel, marjoram & salt and stir until well mixed. Moisten with 2 tablespoon Sunquick.

Slit pork chops from top midway through to produce pockets and stuff bread mixture in it. In the skillet, heat some oil and brown chops well on both sides over high heat. Add 1/2 cup Sunquick, laurel leaf, 1 t. each salt and pepper. Heat to boiling. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Turn occasionally. Add 1/4 cup Sunquick, if necessary to prevent from sticking. Discard laurel leaf.

Remove pork chops from pan; keep warm. Mix cornstarch and remaining Sunquick until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture to skillet and cook stirring occasionally until thickened and mixture boils. Add remaining orange peel. Serve sauce over chops.

SAFARANCHO (Easy Pork & Rice Dish)

1 T. oil
4 pork chops
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, coarsely chopped
1 cup uncooked rice
1/2 c. UFC Banana ketchup
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
salt & pepper
2 1/2 c. boiling water/broth

Pour oil in bottom of skillet and arrange meat on it. Add onion and green pepper. Sprinkle the rice on top. Add ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper. Pour boiling water or broth. Cover and simmer 45 minutes. Allow to stand 15 minutes before serving. Serves 4.


4 pork chops, 3/4 inches thick
2 T. margarine
1 c. celery slices
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 8-oz. jar Cheez Whiz
2 T. water
6 oz. croutons

Brown chops in margarine then remove from skillet. Saute vegetables in skillet and remove from heat. Add 3/4 cup Cheez Whiz and water; stir until cheese spread is melted. Add croutons and mix lightly. Spoon into greased 8-in. square baking dish; top with chops. Bake at 350 deg. F oven. Top w/ remaining Cheez Whiz. Makes 4 servings.