Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Moms in her kitchen (and her recipes, too), Part 2

Contributed photos

PERSONAL favorites, family hits, heritage recipes. Before a recipe enters the heritage status, the process starts with a dish becoming a personal favorite. If it becomes a hit on the palates of family and friends, the ball -- or the dish in this case -- starts rolling.

Good food is born in the kitchen. Moms spend countless hours cooking, tweaking ingredients to come up with the perfect blend of flavors. Here are four moms sharing their favorite recipes born in their own kitchen or inherited from generations past.

From one recipe box to another, try cooking these dishes. It may become a favorite in your household.

Maite Gempesaw says, “The Pote del Gallego recipe is a family comfort food served for our Sunday lunches. It always brings back memories of learning how to cook from my Lolo Nene when we would be shipped to Cebu every summer vacation when I was in grade school. And has become a crowd favorite in all of our Sunday gatherings.”

Preparing it is a breeze since it’s a one pot put everything in its kind of dish. It takes a while to cook but a no hassle since you can just leave it simmering on the stove til ready. And like any dish stew this tastes even better after a few days.

Maite Gempesaw’s Pote de Gallego (white bean soup)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours


* 1/2 kilo beef shank

* 1 meaty ham bone or 1/4 kilo smoked ham cut into cubes

* 1 chicken breast

* 2 pcs Spanish chorizo (preferably the dried chorizo like Pamplona or El Rey)

* 1/4 kilo shredded cabbage

* 1/4 kilo pechay chopped into strips

* 1 whole onion peeled

* 1 head garlic just peel the thin outer layer

* 3 stalks celery chopped in half

* 2 bay leaves

* Salt and pepper to taste

* 1/4 cup Virgin Olive Oil or you could put more according to your taste.

How to cook:

1. Soak dried white beans in water and 1 teaspoon of baking soda overnight. Make sure to cover with cling wrap so you don’t get unexpected creatures floating in the bowl the next day. Make sure to drain the beans in a strainer and rinse before cooking.

2. In a large pot put rinsed white beans, meat, ham, onions, garlic, bay leaf, celery. Add in water to cover by about 3 inches. Bring to boil on high and then simmer on medium to low heat.

3. When the meat is almost tender, add in the whole chicken breast. Cook til white beans, meat and chicken are soft. Make sure to add water if the soup seems too thick.

4. When meat and chicken are done take out from pot and shred. And Sauté with the sliced Spanish chorizo in olive oil, return to pot. Add in the shredded cabbage and pechay. Cook for 5 minutes more and then serve.

Bang Sibala may have taken a bow from hotel duties and relinquished the Executive Sous Chef toque to a successor but she will always be queen of her own kitchen. However, cuisine in her household is a departure from everything fancy. The brood’s favorite is anything crispy, that simple. From corned beef to sweet potato, from squid to fish, the best way to enjoy it is by frying it to a crisp. Crunch with every bite.

“One of our favorites -- and the most requested dish by friends -- is the very tasty Crispy Shrimps. The preparation is very simple but the trick is the cooking.”

Bang Sibala’s Crispy Shrimps

* 400g medium shrimp, deveined, but not shelled

* 2 tsp. Garlic salt

* 1/4 tsp black pepper

* 1 cup cornstarch

* 4 cups corn oil for deep frying


1. Prepare/gather the ingredients.

2. Season shrimp with garlic salt, and pepper. Set aside.

3. Heat corn oil to 183 C, in wok or heavy saucepan with deep side.

4. Slowly add shrimp to the hot oil 5 to 7 pcs at a time. Deep fry until shrimps float up. Make sure the temperature of oil does not fall below 176 C.

5. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon/ladle and drain on paper towels.

Continue deep-frying the remainder of the shrimp.

6. Serve and sprinkle with fried garlic, and dried chili flakes.

Japanese Matcha is one of Nikki Honasan’s favorite superfoods. This is where she gets her caffeine fix too, since coffee gives her hyperacidity and palpitations. Matcha has caffeine but also L-theanine, an amino acid compound that gives you a smooth alertness without the jitters. Plus it’s a great source of antioxidants.

“I love blending it with bananas for my post surf breakfast or as an afternoon snack to wake me up when I’m feeling sleepy (and have to work!). I use frozen bananas, since I have a habit of freezing bananas before they go overripe, although fresh ripe bananas work great as well.”

Nikki Honasan’s Vegan Matcha Banana Smoothie

* 2 to 3 ripe frozen bananas

* 1 cup of Almond or Soy Milk or fresh Coconut Milk

* 1 to 2 tsp Japanese Matcha

Optional ingredients:

* 1 tsp. Chia Seeds OR 1 tbsp. Flax Seeds

I rarely add sugar, especially when the bananas are really sweet. But if you have to, then 2 to 3 tsps of coconut sugar will do.

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth. Pour into your favorite glass, top with cacao nibs if you like, and that’s it! It’s easy, healthy and super yummy.

Ever since Nikki Gotianse-Tan had kids, she always wanted to come up with a version of roast chicken that her family will enjoy. To her, roast chicken is one of those classic dishes that families gather together around the table. Because home cooking is important to her and she comes from a family that values good food, she always made it her goal to come up with an arsenal of delicious, failsafe recipes that she can rely on so she can serve her own family hearty meals that they will remember and appreciate.

“Over the years, I’ve read and tried all sorts of recipes for roast chicken. Sometimes they come out undercooked or bland and it always inwardly frustrates me. But after trying out Nadine Levy Redzepi’s version, I was able to come up with one closely inspired by that but I changed it slightly to suit the tastes of my boys.”

This simple dish produces fall off the bone chicken and tender potatoes made tasty because of the chicken drippings and aromatics. The aroma of this roasting in your oven is absolutely heavenly.

Nikki Gotianse-Tan’s Roast Chicken

* 1 whole chicken (1.3-1.5kg)

* 1 head garlic, peeled and crushed

* 1 tbsp coarse sea salt or kosher salt

* 4 tbsp olive oil

* 1 tbsp butter

* 4 sprigs rosemary

* 1/4 tsp dried thyme

* 2 pcs medium-size potatoes, skinned and cut into wedges

* 1/2 medium-size white onion, cut into 1/2 inch wedges

* Freshly cracked pepper

1. Preheat the oven 160C.

2. Wash chicken and pat dry.

3. Rub the entire chicken with around 1 tbsp salt and half of the olive oil inside out.

4. Stuff all the garlic cloves and 2 sprigs rosemary inside the chicken’s cavity. Secure and tie the legs of the chicken with twine. Place it in the center of a 9x12” baking dish.

5. Brush the chicken with softened butter. Sprinkle with the dried thyme and freshly cracked black pepper.

6. Spread the potato wedges and onions around the chicken. Sprinkle the rest of the salt and drizzle olive oil over the potatoes and onions. Nestle the remaining 2 sprigs of rosemary on top of the vegetables.

7. Place the chicken inside the oven and bake for 1hr and 30mins. Halfway through, you can rotate the dish for more even cooking.

8. After the initial cooking time, turn up the temperature to 230C and cook the chicken further for another 20 minutes.

9. Serve immediately.

Once diagnosed with the Big C, Vanessa Ong had to bid goodbye to many of her favorite foods. To eat healthy means that she would need to change her diet. She avoids red meat and refined sugar and has more plant-based food. Seafood is a luxury she occasionally indulges in.

Perhaps, the most challenging for a sweet-toothed person is how to let go of desserts. This girl did not. Instead she tweaks the recipes of everything sweet she craves for and substitutes the ingredients to healthier alternatives, like almond flour for ordinary flour and coco-sugar or honey for refined sugar.

When a craving strikes, she makes her own. In the case of scones, “I wanted to tweak regular scones and change it to gluten free and using a healthy sweetener.”

Vanessa Ong’s Gluten Free Cream and Raisin Scones


* 3/4 cups coconut cream

* 1 large egg

* 2 cups gluten free flour

* 1/4 cup coco sugar

* 2 teaspoons baking powder

* 1/2 tsp sea salt

* 3/4 stick cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces

* 2/3 cup raisins


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees .Whisk together 3/4 cup coconut cream and egg. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, coconut sugar, baking powder and salt.

2. With a pastry blender, cut butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal, with a few pea size pieces of butter remaining. Stir in raisins. With a fork, stir in cream mixture until well combined. (Dough should be crumbly)

3. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until golden, or for about 20 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through.


SunStar website welcomes friendly debate, but comments posted on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of the SunStar management and its affiliates. SunStar reserves the right to delete, reproduce or modify comments posted here without notice. Posts that are inappropriate will automatically be deleted.

Forum rules:

Do not use obscenity. Some words have been banned. Stick to the topic. Do not veer away from the discussion. Be coherent. Do not shout or use CAPITAL LETTERS!