Pilipino Pantry: Easy Summer Dinners
The Philippines has two seasons; hot and hotter. Joke lang, we have summer, rainy season and typhoon season. We are at the end of summer and hitting the rainy season which is pretty much like living in an armpit of an eco system. For me, this means meals that don't require turning on the stove and making the kitchen even hotter. Here are are three simple summer meals you can make with easy accessible ingredients from your supermarket. I use my slow cooker and rice cooker because I am tamad (lazy), they don't give off a lot of heat and are low fuss.
Meal #1: Sweet and Sour Meatballs Over Rice. This is my take Asian/Filipino take on meatballs. You can make your own meatballs or take my lead and buy these affordable bags of frozen meatballs from Landers.
I throw them in my slow cooker with a bottle of barbecue sauce and a few splashes of vinegar. Cook for 3-4 hours and place over rice. Pair with a simple vegetable and fresh pineapple.
Meal #2. BLT's (Bacon Lettuce Tomato) on Pandesal. Filipinos really know their way around a pig, especially bacon. Sobrang masarap! You can get a fresh cut of bacon from your deli or again, take my lazy lead and buy bacon from the frozen section and just pull from the freezer as needed. This particular meal I bought pandesal from the neighborhood restaurant in our village and they did not dissapoint. This adds the Pinoy twist to a very American sandwich.
Simply, cook bacon as desired and layer on crisp lettuce and juicy tomatoes to a fresh and fluffy pandesal. For add flavor add minced garlic and a few splashes of red wine vinegar to your mayonnaise. Make sure you use a strong mustard for a real zing. Perfectly paired with a simple salad and cold fruit.
Meal #3. Beef Kaldereta. Yes, I know I complained about the heat and then have a Filipino beef stew on a summer menu but it is too easy and hearty to skip. I throw all the ingredients in the slow cooker at once and a few hours later you have a warm fulfilling meal.
A friend shared this recipe from Pinoy Kusinera and it is relatively simple. I Americanized my recipe and skipped the liver paste and used a large can of red pasta sauce+soy sauce. I used the beef from Landers and threw in any vegetables I thought fitting for a stew and topped the bowl with canned green peas.
Happy cooking friends!
***I happened to visit Lander's twice this month, before their super crazy sale and then again for the extended super crazy sale, which is actually still on going until July 16! Since Landers is my new happy place I wanted to share the love the with my expat mommas so we went on a little field trip. I was so curious what other expats would find exciting here. Tampons were at the top of the list, ha!