It’s Soup Season: Barley Soup Johri’s Talvo

Last week it was oxtail soup using the beautiful oxtails from Mohr Animal Acres. Then a “Cheater’s Pho Bo” with canned beef broth, canned chicken broth and a rib-eye steak from Mohr also.

Last night was a hit, Barley Soup, the recipe from Johri’s Talvo in St. Moritz (Switzerland). I didn’t have any Bundnerfleisch so it was additional prosciutto that made it into the soup — lucky for us there’s readily available imported prosciutto nearby.

This was a HEARTY soup, but next time I won’t make it as the recipe dictates, as it is quite meat-heavy. Doubling the barley, cutting the meat content in half and upping the beans would work quite well for us.

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The recipe as given in Gourmet (Dec 1994 issue).

2 onions, chopped (I used one LARGE red onion)
white and pale green part of 1 large leek, chopped, washed thoroughly and drained
2 carrots, chopped (shoulda used 4 for more Vitamin A!)
1/2 cup chopped peeled celery root or celery (double this next time as well)
1/4 pound prosciutto, chopped
1/4 pound piece Bundnerfleisch — I used 1/3 pound total prosciutto — bacon or smoked ham hock would be great here too
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (used extra virgin olive oil instead)
1/2 cup pearl barley (used 1 cup)
1/4 cup dried white beans such as Great Northern, picked over (used 2 cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed)
3 quarts beef broth (used 2 cans beef broth + 1 quart chicken broth — this is my standard formula for a copycat veal-y like broth + additional water to keep it soupy)
1/2 pound (about 4) smoked bratwursts or other small smoked sausages, sliced thin (used 3 Aidell’s chicken sausage and 1 Aidell’s Cajun)
1 1/4 cup heavy cream (omitted completely except for moi — I suggested soymilk or almond milk to the family but they were fine with the soup exactly the way it was

My instructions, since I used canned beans:

In a heavy kettle cook vegetables and prosciutto (and Bundnerfleisch if using) in olive oil over moderate heat, stirring, 5 minutes. Add barley and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add broths and simmer, uncovered, 1 1/4 hours. Add beans and sausages and simmer 15 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add cream at table. Makes about 12 cups.

For Denise: Lechon Turkey / Pabochon

Lechon Turkey/Pabochon

1 10-12 lb. turkey, rinsed thoroughly, giblets, etc. removed
1 cup fish sauce (patis) (or 2 cups kosher salt or 1 cup table salt) (available in Asian stores, a good Filipino brand is Rufina)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons or 10 calamansi (aka calamondin, a tiny, green, round citrus fruit found in Asian stores)
10 large cloves garlic, crushed but unpeeled

In a large stockpot or other container that will accommodate turkey, combine fish sauce with 2 gallons cold water. Add turkey, and additional water if needed to just cover turkey. Refrigerate for 12 hours. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, honey, oil and black pepper. Rinse lemons or calamansi and pierce with a fork all over. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove turkey from brine and rinse thoroughly under running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Stuff cavity with lemons and garlic. Truss turkey if desired (I prefer mine untrussed). Pour 1 cup water into a shallow roasting pan large enough to accommodate a roasting rack for the turkey. Set turkey breast side down over a roasting rack and brush all over with the soy sauce mixture. Roast for 45 minutes. Using paper towels, carefully turn turkey onto one side (wing/thigh up) and baste with soy sauce mixture. Replenish water if it’s drying up. Roast 15 minutes. Repeat with the other side. After 15 minutes, turn turkey breast side up. Lower heat to 325 degrees F. Start basting turkey every 15 minutes with juices from pan. Continue to roast until thickest part of thigh registers 180 degrees F on a meat thermometer. Juices should run clear, not pink or reddish. The last 30 minutes of roasting, baste turkey all over with soy sauce mixture. If turkey is browning too quickly, cover with a loose tent of foil. Remove from oven and let rest for 30 minutes before carving. Serve with lechon sauce.

Cook’s Notes:

– If using turkey that has already been brined, you may omit the brining process. (I like to brine my own turkey though so I try to buy unbrined turkey.)
– If you’re going to bake the stuffing in the turkey, omit lemons and garlic. Stuff turkey just before roasting. Do not fill turkey up completely, as the stuffing will expand as it cooks. The remaining stuffing can be baked in a separate dish. Trussing is not optional if you stuffed the turkey. A stuffed turkey will take longer to roast than an unstuffed one.
– A handy cooking time calculator can be found at Butterball.com

Easy Lechon Sauce:

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup minced onion
1/3 cup liver pate or liver spread, or liverwurst or finely ground chicken livers
1 cup water
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup breadcrumbs

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion until garlic is golden and onion is limp. Add liver pate, water, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring until smooth. Lower heat and add breadcrumbs. Let simmer 5 more minutes. Serve with turkey lechon.

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I thought all my Thanksgiving recipes that appeared in Asian Journal 3 years ago (?) were already here — but I guess I put it in the old “Beyond Adobo” blog. I’ll work on putting them here sometime. Sorry about that!

Korean-style Sweet Potato Noodle Stir-fry

My mom, not a serious foodie like me but a foodie nonetheless, brought me these Korean sweet potato starch noodles on one of her visits here, having tasted it when a Chinese friend brought some to their workplace. We might be traveling in less than a month, so we’re trying to use up everything in the house (I haven’t been to the grocery store in a week! Hooray!), and this just called out to me today. It may not be strictly Korean, but a mixture of my own experience, preferences and whatever’s in the pantry/fridge — 3 of my 4 kids liked it, which is quite an accomplishment in this household!

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1 1/2 cups shredded beef (I used sirloin, trimmed of fat and cut across the grain)
1 tablespoon shaohxing
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 medium-sized caps dried shiitake mushrooms
1 cup hot water
1 tablespoon salt
1 12-oz package sweet potato starch noodles
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
3/4 cup julienned carrots
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1 cup spinach (trimmed, washed and spun dry)
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce, or to taste (optional)

In a bowl, marinate beef shreds in the shaohxing, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, oyster sauce and cornstarch, mixing well. Let stand in the refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes or overnight.

Rinse the dried shiitake mushrooms to get rid of surface dust. Soak them in a bowl in the hot water, about 20 minutes. When softened, squeeze out the water from the mushrooms, discard the mushroom stems and slice mushroom caps into 1/3-inch shreds. Reserve 1/2 cup of the mushroom soaking liquid, passed through a fine sieve to remove impurities.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil over high heat. When boiling, add 1 tablespoon salt and the noodles. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, and drain immediately in a colander. Rinse with cold water and set aside until needed. (Noodles may not be fully cooked at this point; that’s okay because it will cook some more when you stir it into the dish.)

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. When hot but not smoking, add beef shreds (leave marinade) and stir-fry until half-cooked, about 4 minutes. Return to bowl. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil to the skillet. Add garlic and red onion slices and stir-fry, about 3 minutes, until onion is limp and garlic is beginning to turn golden (adjust heat if garlic is browning too fast). Lower heat to medium, add carrots and stir fry until half-cooked, about 5 minutes. Return beef to skillet along with its marinade. Increase heat to high, and add the 1/2 cup of mushroom soaking water and the optional chili sauce, stirring. Add noodles, bean sprouts and spinach. Stir-fry and fold until mixed well and spinach leaves are wilted. Serve hot.

reposting from my old blog at aboutweblogs.com/asianfood now aka noodlesandrice.com

Two Sides Yellow

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1 16-oz package firm or extra-firm tofu, drained, cut into 1-inch cubes and patted dry with paper towels
oil for pan-frying or deep-frying
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon chili paste (sambal oelek), or to taste
1/2 cup chopped green onions/scallions
1/4 cup soy sauce (if using Kikkoman, undiluted is fine; if using a Chinese brand dilute with a couple of tablespoons of water to tone down the saltiness if desired)
2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

In a wok or large skillet, pan- or deep-fry tofu cubes in oil (preheated for a few minutes) — in batches to avoid crowding — over medium-high heat until golden, 7-10 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Discard oil except for one tablespoon. Return to heat. Add garlic and chili paste, stirring, about 10 seconds. Add green onions/scallions and tofu cubes. Stir briefly, about 1 minute, then add soy sauce and sugar. Stir another minute or two to coat tofu cubes with the sauce. Serve hot over rice. Serves 3-4.

a repost of a recipe I wrote at aboutweblogs.com/asianfood now aka noodlesandrice.com

Spinach, Shrimp and Mango Salad

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I’m not too fond of most Asian-style salads, because I find some things are usually “off” or the combination of tastes just screams WRONG! This is one exception to the rule.

1 package baby spinach, washed and spun dry
2 cups large shrimp, steamed, peeled and deveined
1 large ripe mango (Champagne mango if you can find it is best), peeled, de-seeded and cut into 1/3-inch slices
1/4 cup red onion, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon grated zest and 3 tablespoons juice from 1 orage
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup canola oil, expeller-pressed preferred
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Place spinach, shrimp, and mango slices in a large bowl. Set aside.
In a small non-reactive bowl, macerate onion slices in 1 tablesoon rice wine vinegar for 5 minutes.
Whisk orange zest, orange juice, ginger and remaining vinegar, as well as salt and pepper to taste, in a small bowl. Whisk oils in until emulsified.
Add onion slices to salad bowl. Pour dressing over salad; toss and serve immediately.

a repost of a recipe I wrote for aboutweblogs.com/asianfood, aka noodlesandrice.com

Sesame Seed-Crusted Tofu Bites

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1 16-oz pkg extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes and patted dry with paper towels
1/3 cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
vegetable oil for deep-frying, I used safflower

Your choice of sauce for dipping: Thai chili sauce is good, as is plum sauce or peanut sauce or a mix of soy sauce-sugar-sesame oil

In a bowl, combine sesame seeds, cornstarch, flour, and sugar. Toss tofu cubes gently in the mixture to coat. Heat oil in wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, drop in tofu cubes gently, and fry until golden. Drain on paper towels, and serve warm with dipping sauce. My kids eat this with rice or noodles, but they’re great for appetizers as well!

Cambodian Shrimp and Snow Pea Stir-Fry (Cha How Lang Tao Nung B’Kong)

My uncle’s wife who’s from Pangasinan, Philippines, makes a similar dish, except that hers is more a veggie dish, with the emphasis on the snow peas. She also adds shelled peas and cashews to hers, a nice variation to this dish.

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Shrimp and Snow Pea Stir-Fry (Cha How Lang Tao Nung B’kong)

adapted from a recipe in The Elephant Walk Cookbook

For 4-6 servings

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled, deveined and butterflied
1 pound snow peas, topped, tailed and de-stringed
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir-fry until just beginning to turn color, about 15 seconds. Add shrimp, snow peas, fish sauce and sugar. Continue stir-frying until shrimp are just cooked through and snow peas are crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Season with the freshly ground black pepper. Serve hot.

Thai Spicy Lobster and Pineapple Curry (Kaeng Kung Mangkawn)

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1/4 cup coconut cream
2 tablespoons red curry paste (I’ll have a recipe up sometime)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 cups pineapple wedges (fresh preferred, but canned is acceptable)
lobster tail meat from a 1 1/2-2 lb. lobster, sliced into 1/2 inch medallions (you may used precooked)
3 makrut/kaffir lime leaves, 2 torn apart and 1 shredded
1 tablespoon tamarind puree
1 cup Thai sweet basil leaves
1 large red hot pepper, sliced finely

Simmer coconut cream in large skillet or saucepan, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until oil separates. Add curry paste and stir well; cook for 2-3 minutes. Add fish sauce and sugar and mix well, cooking another 4-5 minutes. The mixture should be darker in color now; if not, keep cooking a few more minutes until color has turned. Add coconut milk and pineapple. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until pineapple has softened. Add lobster tail meat, lime leaves, tamarind puree and basil leaves. Cook 5-6 more minutes or until lobster is just cooked through. Garnish with basil leaves and hot pepper slices, and serve hot over rice.

Pan-Fried Tofu with Caramelized Sauce

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This Japanese tofu dish is a modern rendition that I found in “Japanese Cooking” by Kazuko and Fukuoka (published by Barnes and Noble) — the combination, surprisingly (to me), works, especially the the use of butter and garlic chips. Two thumbs up from my kids. I’ve adapted it to suit our measurements here (US).

1 16-oz package extra-firm tofu, drained, wrapped in paper towels and weighted down with something heavy to remove excess moisture — prepare this about half an hour before cooking

For marinating:
1/4 cup chopped scallions
5 tablespoons sake
5 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
5 tablespoons mirin

2 large cloves of garlic, sliced thin lengthwise
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/4 inch “pats”

Mix marinade ingredients in a bowl. Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes after draining, and marinate for 15 minutes, folding occasionally to distribute flavors.

When ready to cook, drain tofu, reserving marinade. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet. Add garlic slices and stir-fry until golden; remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Add 2 butter pats to the oil, then the tofu cubes. Fry tofu until a nice golden brown and crisp on the edges/sides, about 5-8 minutes on each side. Add the reserved marinade and fold gently. Remove from heat. To serve in the Japanese manner, arrange tofu cubes on a plate. Pour a bit of the sauce over, and top with a pat of butter and a few garlic chips. (The butter melted before I could take a pic!)

Het Phat Tao-Huu (Mushrooms with Tofu)

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1 16-oz package firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes

For marinating:

1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 teaspoons thin soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced ginger

For the sauce:
1/3 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (you can use a combination of your favorites, I used shiitake here)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
chopped hot red pepper (which I didn’t use because they didn’t want it spicy today)

Marinate tofu cubes in the sesame oil, soy sauce, pepper and ginger for half an hour, stirring every now and then to redistribute flavors.

Mix stock with soy sauce, cornstarch and sugar in a bowl.

Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir-fry until just beginning to color. Add mushrooms, increase heat to high, and stir-fry 4-5 minutes or until mushrooms are just cooked through. Give the stock mixture another stir and add to the skillet, stirring. Decrease heat to medium and gently fold in tofu cubes until well-coated with the sauce. Adjust seasonings and serve hot, sprinkled with scallions and hot red pepper.

Note: vegetable or other stock may be substituted for the chicken stock

Cambodian Eggplant and Pork Stir-Fry (Cha Traop Dot)

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For 4-6 servings

1 pound eggplants
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound ground pork
1 pound shrimp, shelled, deveined and minced
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 green onions, sliced thin

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prick eggplants all over with a fork and place on a baking sheet in one layer. Bake 30 minutes or until cooked through. Remove skins and discard. Mash pulp in a bowl and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until just beginning to turn color, about 15 seconds. Add ground pork and shrimp, breaking up any clumps; stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add the fish sauce, sugar and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 3 minutes more, then add the mashed eggplant and continue stir-frying until eggplant is evenly distributed, about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in green onions.
Serve hot over rice.

Cambodian Ginger-Cured Beef (Saiko Niet)

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Marinating or curing beef and other meats is a practice that is found all over Asia; besides producing a highly flavorful dish, the process preserves the meat and increases its shelf life. The differences are usually in the type of seasonings used, but common elements are garlic, ginger, scallions or hot peppers; soy sauce or salt; vinegar or lemon juice; and sugar for a hint of sweetness. This is Cambodia’s version, the main component being ginger.

For 4-6 servings

3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons minced gingerroot
2 teaspoons salt
1 pound semi-lean beef (sirloin, round or rib-eye), cut across the grain into 1/8-inch thick slices (you can also use pre-sliced beef available at Asian stores)
vegetable oil (optional)

Combine sugar, ginger and salt in a bowl. Add beef slices and stir to coat evenly with mixture. At this point you can place the beef slices on a rack set on a plate. Cover with netting (to keep out insects) and set out in the sun for several hours to cure. You can also use the lowest setting of your oven, or a dehydrator for this purpose. Pan-fry using a bit of oil in a skillet, or grill, turning once, about 2 minutes per side. You could also broil this in a flame-proof baking dish, about 4 inches from the heat — watch carefully so it doesn’t burn.

Serve with hot steamed rice and some stir-fried vegetables or a nice crisp salad, preferably dressed using Asian flavors.

Cambodian Grilled Corn (Poat Dot)

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GRILLED CORN (Poat Dot)

For 6 ears of grilled or steamed corn:

In a saucepan, mix together 2 tablespoons oil, 3 tablespoons minced green onions, a tablespoon each of water, sugar and fish sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook over high heat until scallion starts to wilt. Brush or spoon sauce over hot corn and serve.

This is a simple dish, but truly delicious. In Cambodia this is sold by street vendors. A nice dairy-free alternative. You may use steamed corn, but I think the strong flavors of the sauce is better put to use as a counterpoint to the somewhat smoky sweetness of grilled corn. (I grilled mine indoors as the weather wasn’t cooperating today.) Putting fish sauce on corn may sound a bit unusual, but the combination works well. My family was pleased, and I bet yours will be too!

Recipes Coming Up…

Now that I’m starting to feel a bit more normal, I thought I’d pick up a project I started way back that I never got to finish. Last night I finished adding the links to recipes I posted at Like to Cook when I used to write there. The recipe links can now be found at the Recipe Index. Those, I cannot re-post here because they paid for all the rights. So I can only link. Today while I’m on reprieve from nausea I’m taking time to re-post recipes that I posted at Noodles and Rice. Enjoy!!

Linky Links Again, and Another Recipe

Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons Fastest-Growing ‘Churches’ in U.S. — Wow, never realized US was actually PREDOMINANTLY CATHOLIC! I had always thought the US as “predominantly Protestant”. Very encouraging, but as a PinoyDefensorFidei listmember pointed out, very sobering as well — if you look at the numbers of separated brethren.

A discussion of grocery budgets and such at 4real yielded this link to the USDA’s food cost averages — including those on a thrifty plan, low budget plan, medium, and liberal. Makes me feel better about how much we spend at food here at home with 4 kids, but I’m sure there’s always room for more frugality and prudence.

Maureen Wittmann, author of For the Love of Literature, The Catholic Homeschool Companion and A Catholic Homeschool Treasury, has anew project! The Virtues Reading List. Not only that, she is also beginning a new book: Books for Kids Who Love to Read. Get over there and tell her all about the books your kids love!

Are you (or your child/children) participating in World Maths Day? It’s next week!

Latin Podcast

Story of the Church at Sonitus Sanctus — the handouts are here.

A fellow hs mom was kind enough to send me the link to Franciscan University’s Transient Programs — one or the other may appeal to Aisa…. depending on where we end up in the next year or so…


Vegetarian Chili Recipe:

2 tablespoons canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced (I used a 7-inch one)
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
6 tomatoes, chopped
approx. 1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of sugar
hard boiled egg, chopped (optional)

Saute garlic and onion in heated oil in medium saucepan. Add spices and saute a couple minutes more. Add sweet potato, green bell pepper, carrot, and tomatoes. Add water, cocoa powder and salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 30 minutes or until veggies are tender. Add sugar, adjust seasonings to taste, and cook 2 minutes more. Serve topped with hard boiled egg.

This is the shortcut version of this recipe from Epicurious.com, but trust me, I think it really tastes better if you don’t put your SELF into it 😉 .