Filipino chicken soup (tinola manok)

Chicken tinola

I meant to post this recipe last week, but life got in the way. I’m not complaining though. It was all the good things in life. Birthdays, fall photos, spending time with the hubs and little one. I had this intention of setting up a schedule for the blog, of updating it on specific days so that I would not get lazy and let things slide. But last week the leaves were changing and the weather was perfect; there was not a day where I wanted to sit down and write. I wanted to get out and live. And so I did.

My mom is a great cook, as is my dad. This is one of my favorite recipes of theirs, warm and comforting, it reminds me of home. Normally it is made with green papaya and hot pepper leaves, but chayote and baby spinach are appropriate substitutes. The carrot is an unusual addition, but I thought it gave the dish a little needed color.

I may be 14 hours and a border away, but this dish takes me home.

Chicken tinola

Filipino Chicken Soup (tinola manok)

2 pounds chicken pieces (I used thighs)
1 thumb size ginger root, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 medium chayote or green papaya, cut into wedges
12 ounce bag of organic baby spinach
1 Tbsp Fish Sauce (Patis)
3 cups of low sodium chicken stock
2 tbsp canola oil
Salt and pepper

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add chicken, ginger and garlic and cook until chicken is slightly browned.

2. Add stock and Patis and bring to a boil. Lower heat to barely a simmer and poach until chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Skip any scum and fat if necessary.

3. Add chayote and carrot and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

4. Turn off stove and add spinach, stirring until it is wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with steamed jasmine rice.


Savory Guinness Stew Hand Pies with Flaky Cheddar Crust

Guinness Pie

There’s something magical that happens to stout when you cook with it. Its chocolate undertones become more pronounced, as if the heat has broken down the beer’s molecules into its essential components, love and chocolate. What is that you say? Stout is made from water, and perhaps roasted barley, hops and yeast? Maybe literally, but figuratively, when that long-simmered stout reaches my tongue, my taste buds scream chocolate. Oh, and I love you.

Thats why, when presented with several pounds of chuck roast and little time to put things together, that stout came to mind. The little one had been taking up most of my attention this week, with her little nose running, and her little feet scampering into who-knows-what. So, not having any time to even brown the meat, I cubed it and chucked it into a crock pot with onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms. And of course two (that’s right) bottles of Guinness. After a day at work, we came home to the heavenly smell of simmering beef.

While browning the meat may have made the stew that much better; I’m thinking the second bottle of beer almost made up for the lack of fond (you know, the brown bits left from browning meat). Also, all of that chocolately stout disguised any paleness of the beef as a result of my laziness.

The first night, we ate the stew with a simple crisp green salad and delicious popovers. The second night was on its own, although I had planned to serve it over a bowl of white rice. On the third night, the stew was wrapped up by a  flaky cheddar crust and eaten as a hand pie. Yes, this recipe makes a lot of stew. And yes, the third iteration was my favorite. Serve the stew naked or as a pie; brown the beef, or choose not to. Either way, make sure you use two bottles of stout, and make sure you listen as your taste buds proclaim their love.

Guinness Pie

Check out that flaky crust!

Guinness Pie

Savory Guinness Beef Stew

2-3 pounds chuck roast, cut into 1 inch cubes
5-6 large organic carrots, cut into large cubes
8 ounces white button or crimini mushrooms, sliced in half
4 stems organic celery, cut into large cubes
1 large onion, cubed
2 tbls. tomato paste
1 tbls. brown sugar
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 cup fresh flat leaved parsley, chopped
1 tbls. salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 cups low sodium beef or chicken broth
2 bottles Guinness or similar stout
4 tbls. butter
4 tbls flour
1 egg, lightly beaten.

1. Set crockpot to low, add meat, followed by vegetables, tomato paste, she and herbs.
2. Mix in liquids and gently stir to combine all.
3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Adjust seasoning if required.
4. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir on flour and mix for five minutes.
5. Whisk in a couple of ladle culls of the stew broth into flour and butter. Once it has the flour mix has dissolved, add the rest of the broth and bring to a boil to thicken.
6. Add the thickened broth back to crockpot and serve in bowls.

Hand Pies
Prepared stew
Flaky cheddar crust
1. Cool stew and roll out dough.
2. Cut dough into 5 inch diameter circles.
3. Place 1-2 tbls filling in the center or the circles.
4. Fold over dough and seal with a fork. Brush tops with egg, and create vent holes.
5. Place pies on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper.
6. Bake for 25-30 mins, or until golden brown.