Archive for CHAMORRO DISHES

Shrimp Kådu

Kådu means soup or broth in Chamorro.  It refers to any type of broth or liquid in your cooked dish, be it soup, gravy, or a stew.

Shrimp Kådu is traditionally made with shrimp that still has the head and shell on, which adds so much more flavor to the dish.  I actually prefer to cook this dish with headless, shell-on shrimp, but you can use shrimp that has been shelled.  One thing is certain, however.  You MUST use raw shrimp in this dish; it just won’t taste the same if you use pre-cooked shrimp.

Fresh green beans, if you can find any, is another “must have” in this recipe.  Don’t used canned green beans.  If you can’t find fresh, frozen will suffice–just do not use canned beans.    Again, it just won’t taste the same.

Tomatoes, on the other hand, can be fresh or stewed.  I tend to use stewed tomatoes, mainly because I don’t really like cooked tomato skins that you’ll get from fresh tomatoes.  The type of tomato you use is entirely up to you.

Give my recipe a try. I think you’ll like it.  🙂

 

SHRIMP KÅDU

Shrimp Kadu

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups fresh green beans, cut into about 2″ pieces
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes, drained (cut them smaller if you like)
  • 2 pounds shrimp, uncooked, shell on (no heads)
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • a squeeze of lime juice (about half a lime)

Directions:

1.  In a medium soup pot, sauté the onions and garlic over medium heat, just until the onions become translucent.

2.  Add the green beans; cook for about 3 minutes, or until the beans are JUST starting to wilt (do not overcook).

3.  Add the tomatoes and shrimp.  Cook for 5 minutes or until the shrimp is no longer translucent (the shells will start to turn pink).

4.  Add the coconut milk.  There should be enough milk to cover the top of the shrimp; add more coconut milk if you like lots of kådu over your rice (I like my rice swimming in coconut milk kådu, so I use lots of coconut milk when making this dish).  Simmer over low heat until the coconut milk is warmed through — DO NOT bring the kådu to a boil or else the coconut milk will separate and the milk will look like it’s curdled.

5.  Add salt and pepper to taste, then add the squeeze of lime juice.  Stir to combine.  Serve over hot white rice and ENJOY.

My friend, Yvonne, and her daughter made some shrimp kådu — this is their version of the dish, made with shrimp with only the tails on.  Doesn’t it look scrumptious?

Shrimp kadu - Yvonne's

Shrimp Kådu, by Yvonne and Christie

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Easy Shortcut Chamorro Cake

This is an absolutely delicious cake, a favorite on Guam.  This is absolutely fantastic served without any frosting; however, it’s also delicious served with fresh fruit, whipped cream, or as a base for Latiya.

This is my shortcut version, but be checking back for my “regular” Chamorro Cake recipe, which I’ll post soon!

CHAMORRO CAKE

Chamorro Cake Cupcake with a
Marshmallow Plumeria Topping
(Marshmallow Plumeria design
by Arlene Sablan Aguon)

Ingredients:

  • 1 box butter (yellow) cake mix
  • 1 8-oz container sour cream
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (use 1 teaspoon for a stronger lemon flavor)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

1.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Mix all ingredients together; pour the batter into a 13×9 pan.

3.  Bake for 25 minutes (check at 20 minutes). A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out with a few crumbs sticking to it.

Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Turnovers (Pastit or Buchi Buchi)

This is one of my most favorite desserts.  It’s a turnover filled with a sweet, cinnamon-flavored pumpkin jam.  In Chamorro, Pastit is the term for a baked turnover. Buchi Buchi is the term for fried turnovers.

Pastit

Pastit ~ Baked Pumpkin Turnovers

My mom used to make this for us all the time, only she used fresh pumpkins instead of canned.  Making pumpkin jam with fresh pumpkins took hours!  However time consuming that whole process was, that’s the way to do it–fresh is always best, in my opinion.

Using canned pumpkin has its advantages.  You can make Pastit any time of year if you used canned pumpkin (provided the grocery stores have it in stock).  I remember one year when you couldn’t find a can of pumpkin anywhere!  But I digress….This dessert can be enjoyed year-round is my point; you don’t have to wait for fall to bake up a batch of these delicious treats.

My dad loves these turnovers, but his favorite filling is made with papaya–the green kind, not the ripe ones.  You really can’t make a papaya jam with the right consistency if you use ripe papayas.  In Chamorro, preparing papaya this way is called Konsetba.  Konsetba is also used to refer to candied young (green) papaya.

I do have one daughter who won’t touch this with a 10-foot pole.  It’s something about the fact that pumpkin is an ingredient and it just isn’t right eating a vegetable pie for dessert.  No matter how many times I tell her it’s technically a fruit, she won’t have it.

More for us, I say.  🙂

Give my recipe a try. I think you’ll like it!  🙂

Pumpkin Turnovers (Pastit or Buchi Buchi)

My recipe makes between 12-15 turnovers.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 stick butter (for especially flaky dough, use 2 sticks of butter, but freeze it prior to making your dough, and work fast so the heat from your hands doesn’t melt the butter while you handle the dough)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup ice-cold water
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Filling:

  • 1 small can pumpkin purée (do not use pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Make the pumpkin jam:

1.  Drain the pumpkin overnight to remove excess water; pour the contents into a fine mesh strainer, then set the strainer over a bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  In the morning, most of the water will have drained out.  Instead of draining overnight, you can also heat the pumpkin over low heat, stirring constantly; cook until there isn’t much steam left rising from the pumpkin (an indication that most of the water has evaporated).

2.  In a separate pan, melt the sugar until browned; stir often to keep the sugar from burning.  Add the drained or heated pumpkin to the melted sugar. Add cinnamon (add more or less to taste).

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*Note: When you add the pumpkin to the melted sugar, it might SIZZLE like crazy! This is because the caramelized sugar is reacting to any remaining water in the pumpkin. When you mix the two, the sugar will actually harden and look like candy. At this point, turn your heat down to low and cover your pot; cook the pumpkin jam until all the hardened sugar has melted. Stir frequently to prevent the bottom from burning. Allow the jam to cool completely before filling the dough.

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Make the crust:

1.  Combine the dry ingredients for the crust.  Cut the butter into the flour until you get tiny bits of butter mixed with the flour.

There are several ways to do this:  you can use a pastry cutter, or if you don’t have a pastry blender, you can use two butter knives and literally cut the butter into the flour mixture.  You can also use a food processor.  Here is a neat idea I learned from a cooking show — freeze your stick of butter, then grate it using the largest holes of a box grater.  Lightly mix the grated butter into the flour then place the bowl into the freezer for a few minutes to get the butter to be really cold again before adding the water.

The thing to remember is that the butter should be as cold as possible when you do this (frozen butter is even better); having little bits of butter mixed in with the flour is key to a flaky crust.

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2.  Add cold water to the flour-butter mixture, a few spoonfuls at a time, and gently mix (or pulse in a food processor).  Stop adding water when the mixture starts to stick together and forms a dough.  How can you tell if it’s enough water?  Scoop some of the mixture into your hand then squeeze it together.  If the mixture holds its shape (no crumbs fall off), then you added enough water.  DO NOT knead the dough at this point.  You don’t want to handle the dough too much, and you most certainly want to make sure you still see bits of butter in the dough.

3.  Make golf ball sized pieces dough; use a rolling pin to flatten each ball into a thin circle.  Add 2-3 tablespoons of pumpkin filling to the center of the dough; spread the filling out to about 1/2 inch from the edge. Fold the dough over and seal edges by pressing down on it with a fork.

4.  Optional: brush the tops of the turnovers with a beaten egg then sprinkle liberally with turbinado sugar (also called sugar in the raw).

5.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

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*For buchi buchi (a fried version), decrease the amount of butter (use only 1 stick); follow the rest of the recipe instructions.  Deep-fry each turnover until golden brown.

ENJOY!

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Chicken Kelaguen & Flour Titiyas

Kelaguen and Titiyas ~ both staples on a Chamorro fiesta table.  But you don’t have to be invited to a fiesta in order to enjoy these tasty dishes — they are so easy to make that you can have it anytime you get the craving!

My two daughters (ages 11 and 15) prepared the dishes pictured in the photos below; if THEY can do it, so can you!

Give my super easy recipes a try.  I think you’ll like them!  🙂

Annie’s Chicken Kelaguen

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Ingredients:

  • 1 small rotisserie chicken
  • 6 stalks green onions
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon powder plus 3 tablespoons water (or use the juice of 1 large lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (more or less, to taste)
  • Hot pepper, optional
  • Freshly grated coconut (unsweetened), optional

Directions:

1.  Debone the chicken; shred or cut into small pieces (I used a food processor to roughly chop the chicken).

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2.  Thinly slice the green onions then add it to the chicken.

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3.  Add the lemon powder, water, salt and pepper to the bowl of chicken; mix to combine.  Taste; adjust seasoning if required.

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4.  Stir in the grated coconut (optional).

5.  Serve with my super easy sweet flour titiyas (see recipe below) and enjoy!

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Annie’s Sweet Flour Titiyas

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup cream of coconut (the sweet one, used for mixed drinks)

This is what the can of cream of coconut looks like.  This is incredibly sweet so you do not need to add more sugar.  Cream of Coconut is NOT the same as coconut cream (thick coconut milk).

cream of coconut

Directions:

1.  Mix the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add the coconut milk, melted butter, and cream of coconut (start out with 1/4 cup; increase to a total of 1/2 cup, depending on how humid your day is–more humid means less liquid). Mix together until a dough forms; knead gently to form a smooth ball of dough.

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2.  Break off golf-ball sized pieces. Flour your rolling surface and rolling pin.  Roll out the piece of dough into a flat disc (about 1/8-inch thick). Place the titiyas on a dry skillet; prick all over with a fork to prevent bubbling during the cooking process.

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3.  Pan-fry on a dry skillet over medium-low heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the bottom begins to turn a golden brown; flip over and cook the other side until it turns a nice golden brown.  For thicker titiyas, cook over low heat for 4-5 minutes on each side; the titiyas is done when you gently press down on the center and it feels somewhat firm to the touch.

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4.  Place cooked titiyas on a plate covered with a clean kitchen towel to keep warm.  Serve with my delicious chicken kelaguen.  Enjoy!

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Lumpia

Lumpia is a staple at most Chamorro gatherings.  There are fried and fresh versions, both of which are extremely popular.

There are so many variations to the types of filling you can use.  I’ve used ground beef with vegetables, ground pork with vegetables, added noodles and diced potatoes to the mix, used shrimp (especially when making fresh lumpia), and for dessert, banana-brown sugar lumpia (or Turon).

Lumpia is delicious eaten as-is, without some type of dipping sauce.  But while I’m on the subject, let’s talk about some of my favorite lumpia dipping sauces: garlic-vinegar, garlic-lime-sugar-fish sauce (don’t knock this one until you try it), sweet and sour, and the ultimate Chamorro favorite–fina’denne’.

No matter what your filling or dipping sauce, this is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your next gathering.

Click on the photos below for my recipe and step-by-step instructions for making Fried Meat-and-Vegetable Lumpia.

lumpia 1

lumpia 2

lumpia 3

lumpia 4

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