Tuesday, June 5, 2007

First attemts: sisig, cupcakes, and pad thai

Wanting to expand my present culinary repertoire, I've been experimenting on new dishes for the past week or so. Some were successful (sisig and cupcakes) and some, well, not so much (pad thai).

I found pigs ears at the chinese grocery 2 weeks ago, which became my inspiration to finally attempt sisig for the first time. So I pressure cooked the ears with whole peppercorns, garlic, onion, salt, a slice of ginger and a couple of bay leaves and chopped them up once they were soft.

Then, I pureed liver in a food processor and proceeded to saute that with onion and chili flakes (subbing for sili). Once the liver was no longer pink, I put in the chopped ears along with some beef broth, knorr, and lots of freshly ground black pepper. I simmered the entire thing until almost dry.

I then heated my cast iron skillet, poured in the entire mixture, topped it with crumbled chicharon and more chopped onion. I served it with more knorr, lemon (how I wish we had calamansi) and tabasco. Yum!!!

After such a yummy meal, I thought...ok, let's bake something. And because cupcakes have been en vogue recently, I decided to try that. I used a vanilla cupcake recipe with vanilla buttercream icing, which I tinted pink. And here's a picture of the final product...

It was ok. Not mind-blowing. But good. I made a second batch using mini cupcake containers and used a recipe for sour cream pound cake topped with 7-minute frosting, which I again tinted pink. It was MUCH better. Son #2's comment: It's really good, mom. But does it always have to be pink?

My third experiment was Pad Thai. I'd had success with yellow curry and green curry before, so I thought, why not? I followed Beth Romualdez's recipe from her cookbook. The boys weren't impressed. :-P

Looked ok to me, and I thought is was passable. But Son #1 and Son #2 didn't. In fact, after "dinner " Son #1 had a ham sandwich on rye and Son #2 had pate on toast. I guess Pad Thai won't be making a come back in our household menu.

Oh well...

Sour Cream Pound Cake

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/8 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. lemon extract or lemon zest

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs. Mix in baking soda with flour. Add flour mixture and sour cream alternately, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add the extracts.

At this point you could bake the cake in a 9x5 inch cake pan or in cupcake containers. You could also double the recipe and bake in a tube/bundt pan. For the cake, bake at 350 degrees x 40-45 minutes or 1 hour if doubling the recipe. For cupcakes, bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until cake is very slightly golden on top and a cake tester comes out clean.

This cake freezes extremely well!

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