Kulinarya Cooking Club December: Pastillas de Leche

I was already a forager even when I was a kid. I remember one afternoon, I wanted to eat something sweet and there was nothing in the fridge or in the pantry. I looked around for food everywhere, until I got to my Dad’s stash of giveaways that he gets from clients and pharmaceutical companies who visit his medical practice. He used to get loads of freebies from chocolates to mugs to *ahem* free beach trips that we usually take advantage of in summer. Anyway, I was looking through the array of gifts when I chanced upon a box with several cube-shaped, soft white things. Ahhh, pastillas! I found something sweet to satisfy my cravings at last. I took one bite, chew chew chew, and then…

BLECH!!! I spit it out straight away! It was the most bitter, horrid tasting thing anyone could ever taste!

I looked at the half bitten white cube I was holding and realised that what I thought was a box of pastillas was actually…

A

box

of

white

cube

soap.

Que horror!!!!!!!!!! I quickly ran to the bathroom and literally ran water over my mouth for a good 10 minutes to flush away every single residue left in between teeth. It was just horrible! I learned my lesson then and there – do not eat anything that you see might resemble food until you’re absolutely 100% sure that it is food and not a bitter, leave-a-bad-taste-in-your-mouth-for-an-hour SOAP!

I had the perfect opportunity for redemption this month when Joy from Joy’s Misadventures hosted this month’s Kulinarya Cooking Club theme and came up with Homemade Christmas Gifts for December. I had so many ideas that I wanted to make for this theme, however one thing stood out and I thought the pastillas-slash-soap story really goes well with the theme. So for this month’s Kulinarya Cooking Club, I made pastillas and yes it is the milk pastillas NOT the soap that I ate when I was a kid. Let’s just leave it at that, shall we? 🙂

Pastillas de Leche

3 cups powdered milk

1 can condensed milk

1/4 cup melted butter

White sugar for rolling

1. Mix the condensed milk, powdered milk and melted butter together. Continue mixing until the texture becomes more dough-like.

2. Spread the mixture in a flat surface and let it rest for 10 minutes.

3. Cut into thick strips the shape of chips. Roll each strip in between your palms and shape them into small cigars.

4. Roll each pastilla cigar in white sugar. The pastillas can then be served wrapped in cello paper or unwrapped.

So, not too shabby for Christmas gift, eh? It’s simply so much better than the gift my Dad used to get in his practice, including one box of soap in particular, right?

Kulinarya Cooking Club was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colourful cuisine.

Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino Food as we do.

If you’re interested in joining our Kulinarya Cooking Club, please feel free to drop by our foodblogs and leave a comment – we would love to hear from you!

Say hello to the other members of the Kulinarya Cooking Club!
Kath – http://www.acupcakeortwo.com/
Trisha – http://sugarlace.com/
Trissa – http://trissalicious.com/
Olive – http://www.latestrecipes.net/
Caroline – http://whenadobometfeijoada.blogspot.com/
Ninette – http://bigboldbeautifulfood.blogspot.com/
Peach- http://www.thepeachkitchen.com/
Althea- http://www.busogsarap.com/
Asha – http://forkspoonnknife.blogspot.com/
Malou – http://www.impromptudiva.com/
Cherrie – http://sweetcherriepie.blogspot.com/
Acdee – http://acdee.blogspot.com/
Valerie – http://www.acanadianfoodie.com/
Sheryl – http://crispywaffle.com/
Divina – http://www.sense-serendipity.com/
Anna – http://www.anniesfoodjournal.blogspot.com/
Dahlia – http://www.energychef.blogspot.com/
Joy – http://joyjoycreativeoutlet.blogspot.com/
Maribel – http://www.foodgeek.webs.com/
Tressa
Jen – http://www.jen-at-work.blogspot.com/
Pia – http://bisayajudkaayo.blogspot.com/
Malaka – http://thegrandinternational.com.
Mimi – http://lapinchecocinera.blogspot.com
Erika – http://ivoryhut.com/
Kat – http://twitter.com/alanokat
Lala – http://thislittlepiggywenttothemarket.blogspot.com/
Selfie – http://eats.sefiebee.com/
Connie Veneracion frm http://homecookingrocks.com/
Oggi from http://oggi-icandothat.blogspot.com/
Katrina Kostik from http://lardonmyfrench.blogspot.com/
Rochelle Ryan from http://www.whydiss.blogspot.com/
Marica – http://cuppycreme.blogspot.com
Diona – http://titaflips.blogspot.com/
Rowena – http://saraplicious.blogspot.com
Theodore – http://chefbyday.wordpress.com/
Gianna – http://the-empty-fridge.blogspot.com/
Mireille – http://dirtyicecreaminyourlunchbox.blogspot.com/
Marishka – http://rishka.multiply.com/
Annapet – http://moonglowgardens.wordpress.com/
Boyet – http://reelandgrill.blogspot.com/
Adora – http://www.adorasbox.net
Yaz – http://whoatemytomato.wordpress.com
Marvin – http://www.eatmarvin.com

And of course… Kath of A Cupcake or Two and Trissa of Trissalicious!

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Kulinarya Cooking Club October: Suman na may Latik

I must admit: when I was growing up, I hated suman. I was a very, very strange kid.

I didn’t like suman because it ticked all the right boxes of a sweet Filipino dessert, such as:

  • Sticky
  • Wrapped in banana leaves
  • Has coconut cream

But lacks one ingredient.

Sugar.

GASP! A dessert, with all the characteristics of the famed Filipino sticky rice dessert family, with no sugar? Abomination! Blasphemy! Injustice!

So I didn’t like it. It didn’t seem right. It confused my palate. The smell, texture and sight all screamed “DESSERT!”, it was indeed in the same family as Biko, Bibingka, Sapin Sapin, and even has similar characteristics as Casava Cake, but the taste wasn’t sweet enough for my kiddie palate.

So, for this month’s Kulinarya theme, I vowed to myself that I will make this suman the sweetest ever suman that my teeth can take. I will go back to my 7 year old self, offer this suman, and tell her to wait 18 more years and then she’ll be able to make, nay eat, the suman that she’s always wanted.

Just a side note as well: this month’s theme, hosted by Sheryl of www.crispywaffle.com and Divina of www.sense-serendipity.com was one of the most fun themes I’ve had in a long time. I must say never in a million years did I imagine I would be making my own suman. To me, suman must be left for the experts. It’s something that the mums, and aunts, and lolas make and us kiddies would just tuck in once it’s all prepared and cooked.

The preparation itself is just absolutely magical. The smells, sights and even sounds of the ingredients instantly brought me back to spending lazy afternoons in the province as my Lola Nena prepares the meryenda (afternoon snack) for her grandchildren. If only I could bottle up the smells of smoked banana leaves and coconut milk and give it to you dear readers, to show you a little insight of the beauty that is the Philippines.

This suman is the core of Philippine cooking and eating. This goes down to the traditions of the Filipino culture: simplicity with an aura of local pride and using local ingredients. The use of coconut milk in almost all of the cooking process, and utilising banana leaves both as wrapper and string pay respect to Mother Nature – a kind reminder that sometimes, all we have to do is go back to basics. And the results?

Still pretty amazing suman.

Suman na may Latik (Suman with Latik)

Suman

2 cups glutinous rice

3 cans (400ml each) coconut milk

1 cup water

1/2 cup raw sugar

Banana leaves

Latik

1 can (400ml) coconut milk

1. In a big pot, combine the rice, 2 cans of coconut milk, water and sugar under medium heat. Stir to mix ingredients together and bring to boil. Stir constantly to ensure the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.

2. Meanwhile, in a pan, heat 1 can of coconut milk. Stir occasionally for about 20 minutes until the coconut milk has reduced from milk, to oil with milk curds, to browned milk curd (latik) and the oil has separated. Discard the oil and set aside the latik.

3. Once the liquid has reduced and rice cooked, remove from heat and set aside to cool.

4. For the leaves to become pliable and easier to use as wrappers, place banana leaves over an open fire and pass through the flame. The leaves are ready to be removed from the fire once they change colour and become shinier. Don’t leave for too long as it will burn the leaves.

5. Wrap the suman in the banana leaves as shown below:

Place a few spoonfulls of suman in the middle of the banana leaf.

Fold 1/3 of the leaf over the suman.

Fold both sides.

Continue wrapping the suman by “rolling” the remaining leaf, ensuring the sides are tucked in properly.

To secure, cut two small strips of banana leaf and tie on each end of the suman.

6. Place all wrapped suman in a big pot, add 1 can coconut milk and enough water to top up the pot. Cook under medium heat until all the liquid has almost dried.

7. Serve warm with the latik.

Kulinarya Cooking Club was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colourful cuisine.

Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino Food as we do.

If you’re interested in joining our Kulinarya Cooking Club, please feel free to drop by our foodblogs and leave a comment – we would love to hear from you!

Say hello to the other members of the Kulinarya Cooking Club!
Kath – http://www.acupcakeortwo.com/
Trisha – http://sugarlace.com/
Trissa – http://trissalicious.com/
Olive – http://www.latestrecipes.net/
Caroline – http://whenadobometfeijoada.blogspot.com/
Ninette – http://bigboldbeautifulfood.blogspot.com/
Peach- http://www.thepeachkitchen.com/
Althea- http://www.busogsarap.com/
Asha – http://forkspoonnknife.blogspot.com/
Malou – http://www.impromptudiva.com/
Cherrie – http://sweetcherriepie.blogspot.com/
Acdee – http://acdee.blogspot.com/
Valerie – http://www.acanadianfoodie.com/
Sheryl – http://crispywaffle.com/
Divina – http://www.sense-serendipity.com/
Anna – http://www.anniesfoodjournal.blogspot.com/
Dahlia – http://www.energychef.blogspot.com/
Joy – http://joyjoycreativeoutlet.blogspot.com/
Maribel – http://www.foodgeek.webs.com/
Tressa
Jen – http://www.jen-at-work.blogspot.com/
Pia – http://bisayajudkaayo.blogspot.com/
Malaka – http://thegrandinternational.com.
Mimi – http://lapinchecocinera.blogspot.com
Erika – http://ivoryhut.com/
Kat – http://twitter.com/alanokat
Lala – http://thislittlepiggywenttothemarket.blogspot.com/
Selfie – http://eats.sefiebee.com/
Connie Veneracion frm http://homecookingrocks.com/
Oggi from http://oggi-icandothat.blogspot.com/
Katrina Kostik from http://lardonmyfrench.blogspot.com/
Rochelle Ryan from http://www.whydiss.blogspot.com/

And of course… Kath of A Cupcake or Two and Trissa of Trissalicious!

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Kulinarya Cooking Club July: Gata

I was hyperactively excited for this month’s Kulinarya theme. Althea of Busog Sarap and Asha of Fork Spoon and Knife are the hosts for July’s Kulinarya theme and I couldn’t be any happier… they chose Gata or coconut milk-based dishes.

Anyone who knows me well knows that dishes made with coconut milk are one of my most favourite in the Filipino culinary world. I remember as a kid, I would always request Mum to cook Ginataang kalabasa at sitaw (pumpkin and snake beans with coconut milk). I love mashing the soft, sweet pumpkin on the rice and finishing off with a generous amount of the coconut milk sauce.

But how could you make this better?

Add some seafood of course. Blue swimmer crabs, that is.

This was Mum’s Sunday best lunch. I remember waking up at 7am on Sundays, drink my hot Milo, get out of my jammies and run to the car and excitedly go with Mum to the markets. My sisters thought it was crazy to wake up that early on a Sunday, but even thought it crazier that I actually wanted to visit the smelly, wet, putrid fish markets back in the Philippines. But it didn’t matter – I wanted to go food shopping with Mum and I was in my element.

This recipe is one of Mum’s magical Sunday lunches that I will always remember as one of the best meals if my childhood, and what better way to share this than through a feature for Kulinarya Cooking Club?

Ginataang Alimango at Kalabasa (Crab and Pumpkin with Coconut Milk)

Makes 4 servings

4 blue swimmer crabs
1/2 medium Japanese pumpkin, peeled and sliced into big chunks
Olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, minced
2 tbsp fish sauce
Ginger the size of a big thumb, sliced thinly
300ml coconut milk

  1. In a big pan, saute ginger, garlic and onions with olive oil. Add fish sauce.
  2. Add the pumpkin and cook until just soften.
  3. Add the crabs and cook for 6-10 minutes (depending on pan size, crab size and heat distribution).
  4. Once the crabs are cooked, add the coconut milk and bring to boil.
  5. Serve with vinegar with garlic and chilli – or just by itself will do!

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