Vanilla Champurrado; Rice Porridge with Soft Bananas and Salted Chopped Almonds

Filipino Rice Porridge

Vanilla Champurrado

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins 

JAYSUS! It’s FRESSING! I know folks in other parts of the country are laughing at this statement, but HELLO, I’m a spoiled So Cal lady. I’m not used the temps going below 65 degrees. Because of this unseasonably, yet seasonably cold weather, I decided to make something to warm me from the inside out, champurrado.  Champurrado, the Filipino version, is chocolate rice porridge. It’s usually eaten for breakfast or as a snack. When eaten in the Philippines, Tuyo, salted dried fish, is the preferred condiment. I can’t say that I’ve ever eaten it this way, but I can understand why some people do.  The combination of chocolate, sugar, rice and milk with dashes of sodium makes sense. I’ve developed two alternative versions of this popular AM food.

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Grab The New Year By The Balls! Ginataang Bilo Bilo

Tray of Bilo Bilo, Rice Flour Balls

 

By Haydee Vicedo

It’s a new year and it’s cold and chilly in many parts of the country. For me, there’s nothing better than warming up with my cozy Raiders throw blanket, watching Bowl games and chowing down on comfort food. Score! One of my faves is ginataang bilo-biloGinataang translates to “cooked in coconut milk/sauce” and bilo-bilo describe the sticky, glutinous (and delicious) rice balls that sprinkle this sweet porridge. Partnered with earthy sweet potatoes, caramelized plantains, jackfruit slices and chewy tapioca pearls, this creamy, fruity mishmash is a fusion of tropical flavors and hearty textures.

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Polvorons; Filipino Holiday Treats

Polvoron, Filipino Short Bread Cookie

Polvoron, Filipino Short Bread
Photo: Sweet Coconut Bakery

I prefer desserts that are dense, moist and almost devoid of nutritional value. Filipino treats like Suman and Bibingka Cassava were two of those sans sustenance. I looked forward to consuming  both, but I particularly loved peeling the soft steamed, sticky, banana leaf wrapping of Suman. Natures perfect package revealed a tube-like mold of fruity, milky, glued together, coconut rice. Bibingka Cassava, a rich custard pudding cake, was thick and heavy, filled with heavy cream and sugar, topped with shreds of coconut.

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Alternative To Eggnog; Filipino Avocado Smoothie

Avocado Smoothie

Avocado Smoothie

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins 

Chunky pieces of avocado with milk, sugar and ice, is there any other way to eat it? Apparently there is.  When discussing this particular recipe with my Mexican friends,  they always seem to get  little grossed out at the thought of a candied version of  guacamole. Regardless, there are numerous ways to prepare this delicate fruit. I prefer a  pureed, slightly sweetened, less rustic interpretation of this chilled concoction. It’s a  fresh filling nutritious breakfast or midday snack.

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Betsy’s Pandesal; Filipino Sweet Rolls

Pandesal, Filipino Sweet Rolls

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins 

I miss Betsy’s. I miss their pandesal. Pandesal are sweet bread rolls and Betsy’s Bakery was the quintessential spot for them. Located on Vermont, in a half ass strip mall, right next to LACC, Betsy’s was the end-all, be-all when it came to those heavenly balls of dough. They were fresh, hot and cheap. A dozen cost a dollar. I can still remember lining up, placing my order (no less than 3 bags), sitting and salivating.  The waiting area was small, a couple of chairs.  The seats were placed to the side of tall steel racks which housed prepackaged goodies, and were positioned directly in front of the shop’s refrigerated cases. The glass displays offered other Filipino favorites like hopia, ensaimada and siopao, but the star, the showstopper, remained behind the swinging doors.

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Win A PP&B Tote For Your Holiday Shopping!

Win A PP&B Tote For Your Holiday Shopping!

Calling all cooks, chefs, people who have access to a kitchen or secret family recipes, we have a great opportunity for you. We want your recipes!  Please email us your favorite Holiday Recipes with a Filipino, Pork or Beer Twist.  We’ll give props to our favorites on FB and the winner winner gets a chicken dinner. Joking, the winner gets props on FB, Twitter and PP&B and….wait for it… a fresh ass tote bag for their holiday shopping. Target charges $.10 a bag, just sayin…Happy Holidays.

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Filipino Cookies; Classic Shortbread with Ube

Filipino Cookies; Classic Shortbread with Ube

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins 

I have been on an ube kick lately. First the ube pancakes, now ube shortbread cookies! These ube shortbread cookies are the perfect accompaniment to a strong cuppa tea, hot chocolate  or kape. I took a classic shortbread cookie recipe and added half a cup of  purple yam. The purple, pinkish color of the dough still looks odd to me, sort of like SPAM, but when baked, the sweet treat retains a faint lavender  hue; so pretty. The taste is neither too dry or too crumbly, nor to moist, but just moist enough.  Its not to sweet, but definitely classified as a dessert, a dessert with unique character.

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New Filipino Breakfast; Ube Pancakes

New Filipino Breakfast; Ube Pancakes

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins 

I heard about this cafe in the valley whose cook was flipping Ube Pancakes and was like wha? where? Balls! I never got to actually try them.  Its like a “in the know” type situation, where they only serve these purple masterpieces on the third moon of every Saturn rising or some shit like that. So…I decided “screw going to the valley!I can make my own.” Hello? Gas is hella expensive. I have to say, of the things I’ve  baked or attempted to cook, this recipe came out surprisingly de-freakin-licious on the first try. Serve these purple flapjacks with butter and good old pure Maple Syrup. Enjoy.

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Cap’n Crunch Halo Halo; Chef Dale Talde

Cap’n Crunch Halo Halo; Chef Dale Talde

Most of you know him as the hot headed Filipino dude with glasses from Top Chef Season 4, but Dale Talde’s got all that under control now (so he claims). He better! He’s got shit to do and a restaurant empire to run. This m*ther f*cker (I mean that lovingly) has not one, but two NY spots; Talde and Pork Slope. Talde is “a hit” and Pork Slope is just getting started. From what I can tell (by the online menu and YouTube videos) Chef Dale  ain’t apologizing for sh*t;  not his potty mouth, nor his love for Filipino food.  This assertive Pinoy opened Talde, “the neighborhood joint” in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The menu incorporates Asian, Island and American  cooking methods and ingredients.

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