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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Menu for Eight

List of Hungarian dishes
List of Hungarian dishes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Juvy S. Iliwiliw

The Philippines is considered to be one of those that has plenty of superstitious beliefs. I have grown considering this beliefs my whole life having lived with my 87 years old grandmother. I can't seem to understand where all these stuffs came from but she said, it has been handed down from household to household, each generation after the other. I often heard from my grandmother how the number eight is said to be a lucky number so every time I have important events to happen, I should let it fall with the dates that has 8 on it. Luckily, I always seem to believe it to be true.

When I get older, 8 has become my favorite number that I often dream of rearing 8 children in my family. Then follows the wondering how to feed these number of people around the table. So just now, I have collected recipes that could be best served with eight people in one setting. There is only one thing left for me to wonder about, and that's how to equally give them my very best love.

You will need:

¼   cup lard
1½ cups diced smoked ham steak (about 8 ounces)
1    cup chopped white onion
½   cup chopped red bell pepper
½   cup chopped green bell pepper
2    garlic cloves, chopped
2    cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 4 ears of corn)
      or 2 cups frozen corn kernels
1    10-ounce smoked ham hock
1    medium Yukon Gold potato, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
5    cups water

Look for lard in the meat department of well-stocked supermarkets, or in Latin markets. Vegetable oil or olive oil would work, too, but lard gives better flavor-and is more traditional.

Here's how:

Melt lard in heavy large pot over high heat. Add ham steak, onion, both bell peppers, and garlic; saute until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add corn and stir 5 minutes. Add ham hock and potato, then 5 cups water; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer partially covered 1 hour. Remove ham hock. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)


You will need:

4    cups water
3    cups coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (from about 2 large bunches)
7    large garlic cloves, peeled
¼   cup red wine vinegar
3    tablespoons pickling spice
2    tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2    teaspoons ground cumin
1½ teaspoon salt
1    teaspoon ground black pepper
8    6- to 8-ounce skirt steaks
2/3 cup vegetable oil, divided
      Red-Onion Mojo (see recipe)
      Fresh lime slices

Here's how:

Preheat oven to 350oF. Combine first 9 ingredients in blender. Puree until marinade is almost smooth. Arrange steaks in 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Pour marinade over. Cover dish tightly with foil. Roast in oven 1 hour. Remove dish from oven; uncover and let steaks cool in marinade 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate in marinade overnight.

Remove steaks from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. Pour 1/3 cup oil into each of 2 heavy large skillets; heat over high heat until oil is very hot. Add 4 steaks to each skillet and cook until crisp outside, about 3 minutes per side. Drain briefly on paper towels. Arrange steaks on platter; spoon Red-Onion Mojo over. Garnish with lime slices and serve.


You will need:

2 very large red onions, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise (about 5 cups)
½ cup fresh lime juice
2  cups (loosely packed) fresh cilantro leaves (from 1 large bunch)

Here's how:

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until tender and translucent but not brown, about 10 minutes. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over medium heat before continuing.)

Add lime juice to onions and simmer until liquid is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove onions from heat. Stir in cilantro leaves.


You will need:

3  bacon slices, chopped
1  cup chopped onion
¾ cup chopped red bell pepper
4  garlic cloves, minced
3  cups long-grain white rice
3  bay leaves
2  tablespoons tomato paste
1  tablespoon ground cumin
1  tablespoon hot Spanish smoked paprika (Pimenton de la Vera)
2  teaspoons salt
4  cups water
1  15- to 15½-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed, drained

Here's how:

Saute chopped bacon in heavy 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until bacon is brown and fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Add onion, red belle pepper, and garlic; saute until onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir until coated, about 1 minute. Stir in bay leaves, tomato paste, cumin, paprika, and salt. Add 4 cups water and beans and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 18 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand covered 10 minutes. Fluff rice with fork. Remove bay leaves. Transfer rice to bowl and serve.

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