afritada

I usually make this dish using chicken but I haven’t gone grocery shopping for meats lately.  We’re planning to move out of our apartment soon so I’ve been trying to use what we have in the refrigerator and pantry.  So this time I made the dish with pork.  I’ve made braised pork before with celery, peppers, and carrots ala Melissa D’Arabian, but I wanted to try making it with Filipino/Asian ingredients so I thought why not make a spin off of afritada.  Usually you’re just supposed to brown the meat without seasoning it with salt and pepper or dredging it in flower; however, I decided to do both.  Traditionally, you leave the browned meat in the pot and add the vegetables and liquid.  I however went with the method of browning the meat and taking it out and then adding the vegetables, some liquid, the browned meat and seasoning liquids.  The result:  delicious homecooked meal just jazzed up a little bit.  Definitely not your moms but something new for a change.  😛  The recipe below can also be made with chicken.

Pork Afritada (braised pork in tomato sauce)


Ingredients

2 pounds of pork, cut into bite sized cubes
2 large potatoes, peeled and quartered (or into bit sized cubes, whatever tickles your fancy)
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of tomato sauce
1 tbsp of fish sauce
1 tbsp of soy sauce
3 tbsp of cooking oil
salt and pepper
flour for dredging 

Directions

Heat pot and oil.  While the pot and oil are heating up, season the pork (or chicken if using chicken) with salt and pepper, then dredge the meat with flour.  When the oil is hot, place the meat in the pot and brown on both sides.  You may need to do this in batches.  Take the meat out and set aside.  Then add the onions to the pan.  Saute the onions until translucent.   Add the garlic and when fragrant, about a minute add the potatoes into the pan.  Followed by chicken stock to the pot to deglaze the bottom, make sure you scrape up any brown bits on the bottom.  Add tomato sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, and the pork with the juices to the pot.  Let the sauce boil, cover, and reduce the heat to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour (I require a longer cook time than other recipes because I love my pork to be SUPER tender).  After 45 minutes add the peppers and allow to simmer for 15-20 more minutes or until pork and peppers are cooked through.  Serve with rice.

slow cooker pork adobo

I’ve shared with you my chicken adobo recipe here.  In a Filipino household you typically make adobo with chicken or pork or a combination of chicken and pork together.  I have never liked adobo with pork because I always found that the pork was either tough to chew or when made with chicken it made it gritty.  I’m thinking this is because my grandmother put random parts of the chicken into the adobo, like GIZARDS.  NASTY!  When she lived with our family, my dad had to nicely tell her to stop because my sister and I wouldn’t eat it it.  (It’s a cultural thing to use the ENTIRE bird when cooking as money back in the day was tight, so to stretch a buck or peso in her case they added the entire chicken to adobo.)   I wasn’t picky as a child but because my parents heard me complain they started making adobo with just chicken and I’ve always liked it that way and made it that way… with just chicken (and the parts of the chicken I actually like).  Until now.  I still won’t combine chicken and pork together for adobo.  I haven’t crossed that bridge yet; however, I have found a way to have SUCCULENT tenderizing mouth watering pork adobo.  Almost pulled pork style, if you want to pull it.  I so happened to pull my pork for this recipe as shown below.

The ingredients are the same as that of the chicken adobo recipe; however, you do have to brown the pork in a pan first before placing it into the slow cooker to eat to lock in the flavor (Note:  Do NOT season the pork shoulder with salt prior to browning.  I did this the first time and it was saltier than I would have liked.).  Then you as they say in the infomercials… Set it and Forget it.  Corny, I know.

Slow Cooker Pork Adobo

Ingredients

1 pound of pork shoulder (boston butt) – a leaner meat COULD be used but you may want to decrease the cooking time or add a little bit more liquid as the fat doesn’t render off to moisten and flavor the meat
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp distilled or apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
3 cloves of garlic chopped
2 bay leafs
1 tsp of peppercorn

Directions

Note:  DO NOT SEASON THE PORK SHOULDER PRIOR TO BROWNING THE MEAT.  This along with the fat on the pork and the salt from the soy sauce will make the dish saltier than Salt City (ha!  I made a funny.  Well not really, but you get the jist)!

Heat a frying pan (a pan thats big enough to brown the pork shoulder).  Add a hint of oil to the pan.  When oil is hot, brown the pork shoulder on each side.

While this is occurring, mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl.  Taste to ensure that there is a good balance of sweet, salty and sour/tang.  If necessary, add some more of another ingredient (whichever you think is missing) or a hint of water if you’d like to dilute the flavor a little bit, especially the saltiness.

When browned, place the pork shoulder into the slow cooker.  Add the mixed liquids  into the slow cooker.  Set the slow cooker on low for 4-5 hours and high for 2-3 hours.  You should be able to put a fork into the pork and pull away without any give.  Serve with rice and veggies, of course.  🙂  Eat your vegetables, mother says.

back to the norm…

It’s been pretty uneventful since I’ve been back in Cali.

Haven’t gone out except today to go grocery shopping.  The downfall of being away 2-3 weeks consecutively is that the refrigerator is bare.  The freezer has lots of meets and frozen vegetable but for the life of me I cannot seem to make a well-balanced meal with what’s in there.  My creative juices just aren’t flowing.  Sad.

Haven’t worked out (and desperately need to because Miami is in a week and a half!).  BIG FAT BOO to me.  Maybe I’ll just go super hard next week.

The great part of being home.  Making meals myself.  As much as it is a pain trying to figure out what to make, I secretly love it.  I love trying new recipes and perfecting recipes.  Plus I like knowing what I put into my food.  Goodness, I’m starting to sound like my mother.  Seriously.  I like knowing and controlling the calorie intake, not that I eat a lot and can finish an entire meal when I eat out out (I attempt to 1/2 all the meals I eat when I’m out unless its insanely good and I can’t control myself…not good).

So what was for dinner Tuesday? Well since we only had items in the freezer I gave FM a couple of choices since he hasn’t had a homecooked meal by me in about three weeks and he picked out chicken adobo!  Even though I just had chicken adobo I can’t get enough.  If I could have one dish to eat for the rest of my life it would be chicken adobo and rice.  There are a bunch of variation of how to make adobo… different vinegars, chicken stock v. soy sauce, adding in coconut milk or chilis, etc.  But I’m going to toot my own horn and say mine is the best.  😛  It’s a variation of my mom’s recipe (or Kris Aquino’s which I’m not proud to say but my mom tried her recipe after she saw it on TFC and my sister and I have fallen in love with it ever since) and my dad’s method of cooking adobo.  Sorry no pictures.  FM was super hungry when he got home so it was devoured immediately.

CHICKEN ADOBO (this makes about 2 – 3 servings.  plus I usually make to taste so the measurements may not be correct)

Ingredients

1/2 lb chicken (I used leg quarters and cut them up.  You can use thigh only, drumsticks only, whatever you like.  I do advise that you use something with a bone so the chicken doesn’t dry up quickly)

2 1/2 tbsp of soy sauce

3/4 tbsp of distilled vinegar

3/4 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

1 tsp of sugar

1 medium clove of garlic chopped

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp of black peppercorns.

Instructions

First off… mom’s recipe…. Place all ingredients except the chicken into a pot.  Do a taste test to determine the balance between sweet salty and sour.  Adjust as necessary with vinegar, soy sauce, sugar or water as needed.  After you’ve done that place the chicken into the pot and put onto the stove at medium heat.  Bring to a boil.  Once boiling put on a simmer for about 30 minutes. Now Dad’s method…After 30 minutes, heat up a frying pan with a small amount of oil.  Once heating, take some of the chicken pieces and some of the sauce/juice and place into frying pan.  This gives the chicken a nice crust and glazes the chicken.  Should take about 3 minutes to get a nice glaze.  Place the chicken back in the pot and repeat for the remainder of the chicken.  Note:  Don’t take all the sauce from the pot you want to leave some to put over your rice (Yeah I’m one of those people… the ones that like sauce over their rice).  Then when complete serve with rice.  DELICIOUS!

So what ‘s for dinner this evening? I purchased pork shoulder prior to leaving for the east coast and wanted to make pernil and/or pulled pork.  Well since I just came home from VA, I figured why not pulled pork.  I didn’t get a chance to have bbq while I was home so why not bring bbq to me.  Plus I have yet to find a good bbq joint here in the south bay.  PLUS since I got home I’ve been staring at these bridal shower gifts that cam in the mail and trying to figure out how I can use my new toys and I’ve been wanting a slow cooker for a while… so that’s the route I went.  I searched and searched for pulled pork slow cooker recipes online and finally decided to try this one by Baking Bites.  Bought some coleslaw mix at the store (you gotta have coleslaw with your pulled pork.  well at least I have to its the “southern” girl in me) along with hamburger buns.  Came home and shredded the pork for dinner.  Got my hamburger roll ready, put the shredded pork on the bun as well as  dash of bbq sauce we had in the fridge along with some hot sauce (I like my bbq sauce spicy, sweet, and tangy… I’m all about some bold flavors) along with some coleslaw… HEAVEN!  I had some more for lunch because we had leftovers… so did the FM.  Sorry no pictures… but it does look the same as the one Baking Bites posted.

Lookbook?  None.  I was super plain today.  Jeans, t-shirt, vest, chucks.  Nothing special.

BUT I did buy two dresses for Miami.  I went for a very Chanel look…. I’m going white and black.  I got the dress I previously talked about before.  I LOVE IT… and I bought sequenced black pumps a couple weeks ago to pair with it.  I’m still bringing my black LBD (just in case).  Yes, I’m one of THOSE people… the ones that overpack for JUSTINCASE situations.  😛  It’s called being well prepared.  😉

The other dress I purchased was an all white one sleeve/strap dress (isn’t it romantic looking but sexy at the same time?) which I plan to pair with a black studded belt (similar to Carrie’s in SATC The Movie) and possibly the sequence pumps as well.  Yes I’m a fan of the combination of hard and soft looks when it comes to dresses.  Like the one above… plus I like LOVE belts.  It does soo much to the shape of a woman’s body.  It just gets tiring when you wear one all day (above your waste/below your bust) and it’s tight and you can’t move… ahhh the prices we pay to look beautiful.  Why can’t men be the same way?  :-\

I can’t wait to see SATC2!  The dresses look ah-may-zing!  But before I can walk into the auditorium to watch SATC2, I have to catch IronMan 2 with the FM.  It came out right after I left for the UK and he hasn’t watched it because he knew I wanted to watch it and knew I’d be upset if I watched it without him.  ha!  I could’ve watched it in the UK since it came out there before here but I didn’t.  Then I’m dragging him to SATC2.  He owes me a chick flick since he made me watch Paranormal Activity with him.  I absolutely hate scary movies.  Anything with ghosts or slasher films terrorize the living day lights out of me.  Blame it on my parents… they never let me watch those types of movies when I was growing up.  Plus my cousins would scare me with ghost stories when I was younger… so I always think it’s real… even if it is a movie.  Yeah I’m ridiculous.