Archive for CHAMORRO DISHES

Månha Pie

This has got to be my most favorite Chamorro dessert!  For non-Chamorro-speaking friends, månha means the sweet, tender meat of the young, green coconut.

My recipe makes 6 — yes, SIX — pies, but in my family, we eat one or two when they’re done, save another two for breakfast, then give two to family members.  So, really, six is NOT ENOUGH.  😉

If you make this for a party, then six pies really won’t be enough!  Two might end up on the dessert table and the rest will be “set aside” for påtte (sharing or distributing amongst family) later! 🙂

My recipe uses “regular” pie crusts, not the deep-dish ones.  If you use ready-made deep-dish pie shells/crusts, you can probably make this into four pies instead of six.

I usually only make månha pie when I’m visiting Guam, and that’s because I prefer to use fresh månha.  You can used canned månha and juice, however.

It takes a while to make these pies, but the end result is worth every minute you spend slaving over the hot stove.

Give my recipe a try.  I know you’ll love it! 🙂

Månha Pie

Manha Pie

 

Ingredients:

  Filling:
  • 3 cups månha juice
  • 2 cups chopped månha
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cans (12 oz) evaporated milk
  • 2 cans (12 oz) water (use the milk cans)
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • ½ box cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup water
  Meringue:
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine or granulated sugar
  Additional ingredients for making Meringue in High Altitude areas: (see NOTE below)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  Other ingredients:
  • 6 “regular” 9-inch pie crusts (or 4 deep dish pie crusts), pre-baked
  • 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water, beaten together

Directions:

1.  Pre-bake the pie crusts; this is also called “blind baking”:

If your pie crusts are frozen, remove all packaging material and place the crusts at room temperature until they are completely thawed.

Heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Pierce the bottom and sides of each crust with a fork.  This keeps air pockets or bubbles from forming during baking.

Line each crust with heavy-duty aluminum foil.  If you don’t have heavy-duty foil, just double regular foil.  Make sure the foil covers the entire bottom of the crust and up the sides.

Fill the foil with pie weights (I just use dried beans).  Use enough dried beans to fill the pie crust at least halfway up the sides.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.  The pie crust should be a pale brown.  Remove from the oven.

To prevent your crusts from getting soggy after baking the pies, brush with egg wash (the egg mixed with water) and return to the oven to bake for an additional 3 minutes.  Remove from the oven; set aside.

Save the dried beans for the next time you blind-bake pie crusts.

2.  Make the Meringue (low-altitude areas):

TIP:  Make the meringue first then prepare the filling. Place meringue on the HOT filling (the hot filling will start cooking the meringue, keeping it from shrinking too much during baking). When topping the filling, ensure you push the meringue all the way to the edge of the pie crust; this “seals” the meringue to the edge of the pie.  Using a stainless steel or glass bowl (ensure the bowl is completely dry before putting in the egg whites), beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until soft peaks form.

Once soft peaks have formed, gradually add the sugar, a few spoonfuls at a time, beating the entire time.  Keep beating on high speed until stiff peaks form.  The peaks are stiff enough when the tips stand straight (don’t droop over) when the beaters are lifted.  Once you start beating the egg whites, do not stop in the middle of the process or your meringue won’t form properly.

Spoon the meringue over the hot pie filling.

Make the Meringue (high-altitude areas):

*NOTE:  I live in a very high altitude area (approximately 6,300 feet above sea level).  If you live in an area with high elevation, prepare your meringue as follows in order for the meringue not to turn out weepy after baking.

In a microwave-safe bowl, mix together the sugar, cornstarch, salt and water.  Microwave for two minutes on max power.  Stir once more then set the mixture aside to cool.

Beat the egg whites as directed above, until soft peaks form.  Gradually pour the cooled cornstarch mixture into the bowl of egg whites, beating on high speed as you pour.  Continue to beat the mixture until stiff peaks form.  Cover the pie filling as directed above.

3.  Make the Filling:

Place juice, månha, butter, and sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the evaporated milk and water; stir and bring to a boil.

Mix the egg yolks, cornstarch, vanilla extract, and ½ cup water in a bowl. Add the egg yolk mixture to the månha mixture and cook until the mixture thickens, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. The combined ingredients should thicken before it begins to boil. Cook a few minutes more then remove from the heat.

Pour two cups of the mixture into each prepared (baked) pie crust (or three cups if you are using deep dish pie shells).

4.  Bake the meringue and serve:

Top the hot filling with meringue, making sure to cover the pie filling all the way to the edge of the crust. Use a small spoon to make decorative meringue swirls before baking.

Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown.  If you’re in a hurry, bake at 450 degrees for 7-8 minutes, but then the meringue won’t turn out as “dry” as when you bake it longer at a lower temperature (it’ll still turn out delicious, though).

Let the pies cool then serve and ENJOY!

TIP: To make clean slices through the meringue, dip your knife in cold water before slicing the pie.

Refrigerate any uneaten pie (WHAAAT??? — uneaten pie???  Trust me, this pie will get eaten). 😉

Manha Pie

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Tamåles Gisu

Tamåles Gisu is a Chamorro tamales with one red side and a non-spicy white side.

I make my tamåles by making the red side corn flour or cornmeal-based (I prefer cornmeal) and the white side rice-based.  I also add hot peppers to the red side and leave the white side non-spicy. I add cooked bacon to both the red and white mixtures, but if that weren’t enough, I also top the tamåles gisu with a slice of delicious bacon.

This is an easy recipe to make.  The time-consuming part is wrapping the tamåles in individual packets.  The traditional tamåles gisu is wrapped in banana leaves.  Living in the mainland U.S., however, I rarely find fresh banana leaves (I prefer using fresh over frozen leaves), so I wrap the tamåles in aluminum foil and place a strip of banana leaf in each packet to give it a little bit of flavor of the “real thing.”

If you’re really pressed for time, forego wrapping individual tamåles.  Instead, use a large dish and place the red side in half of the dish, the white in the other half.  Add slices of cooked bacon on top and let your guests scoop out the tamales.

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

Tamåles Gisu

Tamales gisu

Ingredients:

  Red Portion:
  • 4 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 packages achote powder
  • 2 tablespoons powdered chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 to 1 cup white cornmeal or masa harina (corn flour) (Note: start with 1/2 cup first; if you want it thicker, add more)
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Hot pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup reserved bacon fat
  White Portion:
  • 4 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons powdered chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup cream of rice
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup reserved bacon fat

Directions:

In two separate pots, sauté the garlic, onion, and bacon over medium heat; reserve about 1/2 cup of melted bacon fat from each pot (or a total of 1 cup of bacon fat), drain remaining fat.

Tamales gisu

One pot is for the red portion, the other is for the white portion

For the Red Portion:

Add the water, achote powder, and chicken bouillon to the bacon mixture; return to a boil. Slowly whisk the cornmeal into the bacon mixture; the mixture should start to thicken.

Add black pepper and hot pepper to taste.

Continue to cook over low heat until the mixture thickens. Add some of the reserved bacon fat if the mixture is too thick to stir; the consistency should be like thick oatmeal.

Tamales gisu

For the White Portion:

Add the water and chicken bouillon to the bacon mixture; return to a boil. Slowly whisk the cream of rice into the bacon mixture; the mixture should start to thicken.

Note: If you don’t have cream of rice, toast 1 cup of uncooked rice in a shallow pan.  Let the toasted rice cool then use a blender to grind the rice into a fine powder.  Use this in place of the cream of rice.

Add black pepper to taste. Continue to cook over low heat until the mixture thickens. Add some of the reserved bacon fat if mixture is too thick to stir; the consistency should be like thick oatmeal.

Tamales gisu

Cut the aluminum foil into 8-inch squares. Top each piece of foil with both mixtures (red and white portions side by side) then place one strip of bacon on top of the red and white filling before sealing the foil. For those of you worried about placing uncooked bacon in the tamales, the bacon will cook as it steams.  Or, you can pre-cook the bacon before adding it to the tamåles.

Fold the sides of the foil over the tamales then fold together to seal.

Tamales gisu

Tamales gisu

Tamales gisu

Steam the freshly wrapped tamåles for 15-20 minutes (steam frozen tamåles for 30-40 minutes).

Unwrap and ENJOY!

Tamales gisu

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Spam Kelaguen

Spam is a staple on Guam.  In fact, Spam has been called the “poor man’s steak” by many, although a can of Spam is not cheap!  I have a friend who lives in an area where Spam sells for about $5.00 per can!  At that price, I’d rather buy real steak! 😀

Chamorros can be quite innovative when it comes to creating Spam dishes.  An easy and classic dish is Spam Kelaguen.  This is my sister’s version.

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

Spam Kelaguen

Spam Kelaguen - Carol's

Ingredients:

  • 1 can Spam, cut into thin strips
  • 4-6 stalks green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Hot pepper, to taste

Directions:

1.  Lightly pan-fry the spam (for only 1-2 minutes) then place in a bowl.

2.  Add green onions, coconut, lemon juice, salt, and hot pepper.  Mix, taste, and adjust seasonings and lemon juice, to taste.

3.  Serve with titiyas or hot steamed white rice.

ENJOY!

 

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Chamorro Potu (Sweet Rice Cake)

Chamorro rice cakes, or Potu, are rice cakes that are made by soaking grains of rice in tuba, or a sweet fermented coconut sap.  The soaked rice is then ground and sweetened then steamed into a light and fluffy cake.

Living in the mainland U.S., I’ve had to learn to make substitutions for those ingredients not commonly found or sold here.  A key ingredient for potu as I mentioned above is tuba.  Since coconut trees don’t grow where I live, I’ve had to figure out a substitute for this potent potable.

I use a combination of palm or coconut vinegar and coconut water when I make my potu.  I also use non-glutinous rice flour for ease in preparation.  I’ll post my easy-peasy shortcut potu recipe soon, but until then, this post features my good friend, Rose Camacho’s recipe.

Rose doesn’t use rice flour when she makes her potu.  Instead, she soaks grains of jasmine rice then grinds it.  She also uses palm vinegar in her recipe.

Rose’s recipe is “tried and true” and loved by many.

Her original post is below.  Give it a try.  I know you’ll like it. 🙂

 

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Rose’s original post and recipe for Chamorro Potu (Sweet Rice Cake):

Hmmm? How does one describe these pure white puff pillows of steamed ground rice?  Light, soft, sweet, and sticky!  Growing up, this has been many a childhood’s favorite.  Although the ingredients are simple, this recipe is pretty prized amongst the native Chamorro women and no one would share theirs.  It was a guarded secret recipe, and some have literally taken it to their grave!!

In my quest to find a GOOD recipe, because it is one of my husband’s favorite desserts, I’ve tweaked and wasted, and tweaked and wasted countless ingredients trying to perfect this recipe. I remember my sister-in-law, Mona and I, and mind you, she’s an EXCELLENT cook, I remember us mixing, beating, steaming and without any close results, have failed trying to perfect it.  I gave up! I just prayed that a passer by relative who’s flying in, stops and delivers some of these cakes, made all the way from the islands, to us.  I’d freeze them, steam them as we needed, and then one day our stash of sweet rice potu was G-O-N-E, gone!

With this recipe, I believe I’ve come close to, as close to can get, especially since one of the “main” ingredients is TUBA, which is not available in my area.  Because I have no access to this sweet “drink”,  I’ve had to improvise and use store bought jarred “Coconut vinegar OR Palm vinegar”.  Their flavor “ALMOST” mimics the taste of sweet Tuba, but of course, if you can get sweet Tuba, please use it.  This is how “I” make Chamorro Potu.  Please Please, pass on your comments and POSITIVE critiques, I would love to hear from you.  Until then, HAPPY COOKING, BAKING, and STEAMING! 😉

Ingredients:

1 cup Jasmine rice  (pictured below)
1 cup water
3 to 4  tablespoons Palm Vinegar (pictured below)
1/4 to 1/3 cup Sugar (I prefer less sweet)
2 teaspoons baking powder

Directions:

Because the rice kernels HAVE TO soak,  you need to start the night before you’re planning on serving it.  The brand of rice I use is pictured below.  If you decide to use another brand or type of rice, I will not be held responsible if you fail with this recipe.   I’ve only used this brand whenever I make my recipe.  The palm vinegar I used is also pictured below.  I’m sure other brands can be used.  I’ve also tried using coconut vinegar and it works fine.

  

Measure out 1 cup of the dry rice.  Wash the rice in water until the water runs clear!  Drain well.  Place into a container, add the  1 cup of water and cover.  Set this aside and allow to soak for a minimum of 8 hours but preferably overnight.

potu18    potu19

When you’re ready to prepare the recipe, start heating up the water in your steamer.  In the container that your rice is in, there may still be some water left from the soaking.  DO NOT drain this water.  Place the rice into a heavy duty blender container (I use my Vitamix Professional 750) for this process since it’s pretty heavy duty.  Add the sugar and palm vinegar to the rice and water.  NOTE:  If you do not have a heavy duty mixer, you may have to do this step in smaller increments.  Just process the rice in batches, rather than one whole time.  Although, I’ve never done it this way, if you have a heavy duty food processor, such as a KitchenAid,  I’m sure you could also use that.  The key is to grind the rice FINE!

potu7    potu6

Process this in your blender, until the rice kernels are finely ground.  Shut the blender off and add the baking powder.  Now process again for a minute or 2 being careful that the mixture doesn’t heat up.

potu21    potu22

While the mixture is still processing, line up your silicon cups in the steamer basket.   For easier handling, pour the batter into a smaller container and pour  3/4 of the way into each baking cup.  This mixture makes about 12 potu cakes OR more if you use smaller silicon cups.

potu24

Place the steamer basket into the steamer pot, which should already be producing heavy steam.  Place a CLEAN kitchen towel over the top of the steamer basket to catch any condensation that will occur during the steaming process.  Place the lid onto the pot.  The lid will also hold the towel taught so that it doesn’t fall onto the potu.  Steam this for a minimum of 20 minutes and up to 30 minutes, depending on the heat that’s produced.

potu17

After about 20 minutes, CAREFULLY lift the lid and towel away, to see how the process is going.  I get excited when I see that little “crack” in the center of my potu.  It tells me it’s gonna be PERFECT!  When done, the potu should spring back a bit, with a slight stickiness to the tops.

potu23

Remove from the steamer pot and allow them to cool before removing them from the basket.  Set them aside to cool completely before removing them from the silicon cups.

SERVE!  Place the leftovers in a plastic bag to keep them fresh.

potu25

 

Thank you, Rose Camacho (aka Chamorita Momma) for allowing me to repost and share your Tried and True Potu recipe!

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Corned Beef with Cabbage and Onions

This is another classic Chamorro comfort dish.  Most Chamorros grew up eating corned beef, maybe because it used to be inexpensive.  Now, it’s become something our family eats only once in a while since a can of corned beef has become quite pricey!

Made with canned corned beef, sliced cabbage and onions (and a few seasonings), this is another one of those quick and easy dishes that you can prepare and serve within minutes.

Feel free to substitute the cabbage with (or add) your favorite vegetables.  I like sliced eggplant and fresh green beans in this dish in addition to the cabbage.

Comment below to let me know how you like my recipe, or let me know your favorite way to prepare canned corned beef. 😉

Corned Beef with Cabbage and Onions

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cans corned beef
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dashida seasoning (or you can use salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 small head cabbage, sliced

Directions:

1.  Sauté the corned beef in a large pan over medium high heat.

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2.  Add the onions, garlic, Dashida, and black pepper.  Cook for a few minutes until the onions become translucent.

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3.  Add the sliced cabbage to the pan.  Cook over medium heat until the cabbage wilts and softens enough to your liking, about 10 minutes.

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4.  Serve with hot white rice and enjoy!

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