Showing posts from December, 2010

Noche Buena Bento

I decided to continue my theme of "Holidays around the World" by going to the Philippines this time. Sadly, I didn't get to research as much history like the Hanukkah bento I did last week. The Philippines did surprise me on the amount of traditional foods and blending of flavors so I went ahead and did a quick dive into Filipino foods to bring you this nice (and hearty) lunch. Filipino food is greatly influenced by both Spanish and it's neighboring Asian cousins. This is pretty evident in the ingredients and dishes as well as their names (some taking on Spanish names). As a former Spanish colony, there is a heavy tradition around big feasts during the holiday season, namely Noche Bueno (Good night) for Christmas. I think there's a really rich food culture here and am looking forward to exploring Filipino food more, there's even a Filipino grocery/restaurant nearby for me to check out. Hardinera is usually made out of pork and reserved for special occasions, I

Tools of the Trade: FoodSaver and Special offer!

Howdy folks, quick off topic post today. I got a cool email on a special offer that I can share with you guys. The folks at FoodSaver contacted me and let me know about an offer for bloggers and food blogger readers. (more on that in a second) Normally I'm not one for adding this kind of stuff on my site, but it just so happens the FoodSaver is of my most used tools these days not only for preserving but also for my more recently frequent sous vide applications. So I posted a bit on this topic in the past . Back then I was most concerned with preserving left overs or freezing items that I've cooked in surplus. Now that I've had a few more years to get into the groove of things I find that home vacuum sealing has quite a few applications. The obvious is storage. I've used the large robust bags to seal vacuum and seal lots of dry good products that I need preserved from oxygen, things like big bags of paprika and cumin from the indian grocery or large dried shitake mushr

Hanukkah Bento

So I figure since it's the holiday season I'd take the time to pick a related theme. Hanukkah is a great excuse for me to do more research into the Jewish cuisine, I loved my dip into Rosh Hashanah bento and I enjoyed learning the history of the cuisine. I think I spent a week reading up on the Hanukkah food trying (in vain) to design a healthy Hanukkah bento. I think I learned a few things and my diners so far seemed to have enjoyed themselves. The picture at the right is the brisket, but I neglected to put in the veggies and the final sauce you see in the bento box in the title picture. It's a braised brisket with a red wine reduction. Hanukkah cooking is mostly about preparations the day before so that no work is happening while the Menora is lit. I think the brisket could have done with a few more hours of cooking for my taste but every recipe I saw called for a three our cook time and since I like to at least try things the traditional way once we have what we have. T