Pot Roast, Chamorro Style

Whenever I find myself feeling a bit homesick, I think of something to cook that soothes my longing for my island home. Chamorro Pot Roast is one of those dishes. This is a dish that was usually on the menu for Chamorro gatherings. I remember going to parties when I was younger, and before the table was opened, I’d check to see if there was any pot roast. If there was, the ONLY things I’d have on my plate were rice (red or white), pot roast (with as much gravy as I could scoop up), and lots of fina’denne’. These days, I use a crock pot to cook my pot roast. Set it and forget it…what could be easier?

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

Chamorro Pot Roast

image

Ingredients:

  • 1 2-lb chuck roast (look for one that is nicely marbled with fat)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 whole garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped into large chunks
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (you can use white vinegar instead)
  • 2 tablespoons Dashida seasoning (Korean beef soup stock)
  • 1 teaspoon Accent or Ajinomoto
  • 1 cup water (if cooking this on the stovetop, use 2 cups water)
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch plus one cup water

Chamorro Pot Roast - 02

Directions:

1.  Place a large skillet or dutch oven over high heat.

2.  Using a long, sharp knife, CAREFULLY cut 8 deep slits into the sides of the roast. Push a whole clove of garlic into each slit.

Chamorro Pot Roast - 03

Chamorro Pot Roast - 04

Chamorro Pot Roast - 07

3.  Rub the sides of the roast with salt and pepper.

Chamorro Pot Roast - 11

Chamorro Pot Roast - 18

4.  When the pan is hot, add half of the oil into the pan. Brown the roast on all sides then remove it from the pan and place it into a slow cooker or crock pot set to HIGH.

Chamorro Pot Roast - 21

Chamorro Pot Roast - 24

Chamorro Pot Roast - 27

5.  Add the remaining oil to the pan used to brown the roast. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent.  Add the sautéed onions and garlic to the slow cooker.

Chamorro Pot Roast - 28

Chamorro Pot Roast - 31

6.  Into the crock pot, add:

the tomatoes with juice…

Chamorro Pot Roast - 37

the Dashida seasoning…

Chamorro Pot Roast - 38

the accent or aji…

Chamorro Pot Roast - 39

the balsamic vinegar…

Chamorro Pot Roast - 40

the soy sauce…

Chamorro Pot Roast - 41

and 1 cup of water (see note below) plus any remaining salt and pepper.

NOTE:  If making this on the stovetop, add 2 cups of water instead (a lot of water will evaporate as the roast cooks).

Chamorro Pot Roast - 42

7.  Place the lid on the slow cooker. Cook on HIGH setting for 2 hours then lower the heat to LOW and cook for an additional 2 hours then turn off the slow cooker.  If cooking this on the stovetop, cover the pot and cook over medium-low heat for 2 hours.

Chamorro Pot Roast - 46

8.  When the roast is done, remove the roast to a plate or cutting board and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing (don’t cut it sooner that this or all the juices will flow out and leave your roast dry).

image

9.  In the meantime, while the roast is resting, prepare the gravy. Using an immersion blender, purée the chunks of vegetables in the gravy until it is completely smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer all of the gravy (the liquid and all vegetables) from the slow cooker to a blender and blend until smooth.

image

image

10.  Pour the puréed mixture into a small pot; bring the mixture to a boil.

image

11.  Mix the cornstarch with the remaining 1 cup of water.

image

Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the gravy and return to a boil, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.  Turn off the heat once the gravy has thickened.

image

12.  After the roast has rested, use a serrated knife or very sharp carving knife to slice the roast into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices.

image

Pour gravy over the sliced roast beef.

Chamorro Pot Roast - 50

 

Serve with hot white rice and Enjoy!  I love to “drown” my pot roast and rice in lots and lots of gravy!  🙂

Chamorro Pot Roast - 51

Chamorro Bistek (or Bisteak)

Bistek (or Bisteak) is a favorite Chamorro dish.  The addition of achote (or annatto) gives a unique flavor, along with the tanginess of the added vinegar.  

image

If you have it, I prefer using achote water made with fresh achote seeds.  Fresh is always best, but of course, using achote powder works quite well too.  This is what the packet of achote powder looks like.  As with the Sazon Goya seasonings, achote powder is another item that is commonly found in either the Asian aisle of most grocery stores.  If your local store doesn’t carry it, try looking for it in your local Asian supermarkets.

 

goya achoteIf you don’t have fresh achote seeds or achote powder, you can substitute with Sazón Goya seasoning that contains achote.  This is what the packaging looks like.  It’s a common item in the Hispanic aisle in most grocery stores.

 

 

 

This dish usually includes peas as a main ingredient.  Some think that if you DON’T add peas, it isn’t Bistek, but my family prefers this dish made WITHOUT peas.  We like using fresh or steamed green beans or sugar snap peas instead.  It’s all up to you, really.  With peas (or vegetables, for that matter) or without, it’s still a very tasty dish that is a must-add to your list of menu choices.

Scroll all the way to the bottom to find my recipe.  Give it a try.  I think you’ll like it.  🙂

Chamorro Bistek (or Bisteak)

image

 

Place thinly sliced beef into a large frying pan.  I like to use minute steak for this.

image

 

Add Dashida seasoning, minced garlic, black pepper, and thinly sliced onions.  Stir to combine all the ingredients.  Cook over medium high heat until the meat is browned.

image

 

Add to the pan white vinegar and soysauce.  Stir to combine.

image

image

 

Add water to the pan.  Add more or less water, depending on how much gravy you like.  We like a lot of kådu (gravy)–adding about a cup of water will yield a lot of kådu.  Cook for a couple of minutes–just long enough to reheat the gravy–then stir in achote powder (the achote powder will dissolve better if the liquid is HOT). 

NOTE:  You can substitute the water and achote powder with achote water made using achote seeds.

image

image

 

Cook for another couple of minutes then stir in fresh or frozen peas (OPTIONAL).  My family actually prefers to use fresh sugar snap peas.  Cook for a few more minutes, or just long enough to either reheat the frozen peas, or to cook the sugar snap peas to your liking (we like it al dente, or cooked but still crisp).  You can also use fresh green beans instead of peas.  In the photo below, I used steamed sugar snap peas.

image

image

image

 

After the vegetables are cooked/reheated to your liking, remove the Bistek from the heat and serve with steaming hot white rice.  ENJOY!

image

 

Chamorro Bistek (or Bisteak)

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds thinly sliced beef
  • 4 tablespoons Dashida beef flavored seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water*
  • 1 packet achote powder*
  • *If using achote seeds, make enough achote water to yield 1 cup
  • Optional:  1 cup frozen or fresh peas, sugar snap peas, or green beans

Directions:

1.  Place the beef, Dashida, garlic, black pepper, and onions in a large pan.  Cook until the beef is browned.

2.  Stir in the vinegar, soy sauce, water and achote powder.  Cook for about 5 minutes.

3.  Stir in your vegetables.  Cook long enough to reheat the vegetables (if frozen), or until the fresh vegetables are cooked to your liking.

4.  Serve with hot white rice and ENJOY!  🙂

 

Buñelos Månglo’ (aka Typhoon Donuts)

Buñelos Månglo’ is another Chamorro dessert.  The name is loosely translated into “Air Donuts”.  I’m not sure why they’re called that.  Maybe it has something to do with WHEN Chamorros most often fry up a batch.  Often, during stormy weather when the rain is pouring down buckets and the wind is howling, many Chamorros fry up some Buñelos Månglo’.  No matter the origin of the name, this is another Chamorro comfort dish that you can make any time you want to, rain or shine.  Any way you look at it, it’s delicious.  You can’t go wrong with fried dough sprinkled with sugar.

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

BUÑELOS MÅNGLO’

IMG_1120

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (*may need more or less, depending on your location. Dry/less humid places may require more liquid, up to a cup; more humid places may need just the 3/4 cup.)

Directions:

1. Mix flour, baking powder and sugar.

IMG_1104

2.  Add the coconut milk to the flour mixture.

IMG_1105

3.  Gently mix until a dough forms. The dough should be smooth and soft.

IMG_1106

4. Roll out to about 1/3 inch thick, then cut in diamond or triangle-shaped pieces using a pastry wheel/cutter or a knife.  *I used a pizza cutter.

IMG_1107

IMG_1108

IMG_1109

5. Preheat the oil.  When the oil is hot, drop the pieces of dough into the hot oil.  Turn the donuts frequently to ensure both sides are evenly browned.  Fry until golden brown, then remove from the oil and place in a colander or on paper towels to let any excess oil drip off.

IMG_1111

IMG_1122

6. Optional:  after the donuts have cooled slightly, place in a ziplock bag with 1/4 cup sugar.  Shake to coat each donut.

IMG_1123

ENJOY!

IMG_1118

Fried Boston Cream Pie Donuts

One of my youngest daughter’s favorite desserts is Boston Cream Pie.  She also loves, loves, loves donuts!  Once, when she was about 2 years old, she went “missing” in the house.  After looking high and low, I found her sitting at the dining table–her head barely peeked over the height of the table–with a Krispy Kreme donut in each hand and her cheeks stuffed full with as much donut as could fit!  This recipe is one her favorites–who could blame her; it’s a fried, stuffed, chocolatey piece of heaven if you ask me!

I normally make my yeast donuts from scratch — mix flour, milk, egg, butter, sugar, yeast, etc. — but sometimes semi-homemade is just as delicious.  These decadent donuts are perfect to whip up when you’re in the mood for a quick and easy dessert.  They are superb for potlucks and bake sales too since they’re super easy to make!

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll LOVE them.  🙂

This recipe makes 16 donuts.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Fried “shortcut” Donuts (see below)
  • Vanilla pudding filling (see directions below)
  • Chocolate ganache (see recipe and directions below)

IMG_0934

 

DONUT INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 packages Pillsbury brand Homestyle Biscuits (contains 8 biscuits each)
  • Oil, for frying
Make the donuts:

1.  Separate the biscuits.

IMG_0938

2. Fry each biscuit in hot oil.  Do not overcrowd the pan or the biscuits will stick together when you first drop them in the hot oil. 

IMG_0941

I was able to fit 4 biscuits in a pan at one time without them touching.

IMG_0942

Flip the biscuits over periodically, to ensure even browning on both sides.

IMG_0943

They’re almost ready!  I want them just a little darker brown.

IMG_0944

Perfect! 

IMG_0945

Remove the donuts from the oil and let them drain in a metal strainer/colander.  Finish frying up the rest of the biscuits.

IMG_0946

 

PUDDING FILLING INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 large box (5.1 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 1/2 cups cold milk
Make the pudding filling.

1.  Place the milk in a small mixing bowl (or in this case, a large measuring cup).

IMG_0935

2.  Sprinkle the instant pudding mix over the milk.  Whisk to combine, ensuring all the lumps dissolve.

IMG_0936

3.  Set the pudding aside to set while the donuts are cooling off.

IMG_0937

 

FILL THE DONUTS:

1.  Prepare a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.  If you don’t have a pastry bag, don’t worry.  Just use a ziplock bag with the tip cut off (cut off only enough for the tip to push through).  Push the tip through the hole, then fill the bag with the prepared vanilla pudding.

IMG_0951

IMG_0956

2.  Use a chopstick to create a space in each donut.  Be careful not to split the donut in half or push the chopstick out the other side or the pudding filling will ooze out.

IMG_0960

3.  Place the prepared donuts on a plate, hole side up.

IMG_0963

4.  Fill each of the donuts.  Do not over fill.  Top with prepared Chocolate Ganache.

IMG_0964

IMG_0965

 

CHOCOLATE GANACHE INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 8 tablespoons heavy cream
Make the chocolate ganache:

1.  Place the chocolate chips in a shallow microwave-safe bowl.

IMG_0955

2.  Add the sugar.

IMG_0957 

3.  Add the heavy cream.

IMG_0958

4.  Microwave the mixture for 30 seconds.  Remove from the microwave and stir to combine.  If the chocolate chips aren’t melted enough (the chips aren’t soft), microwave for an additional 15 seconds.  

IMG_0961

5.  Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth.  The ganache pictured below is the consistency of a smooth frosting that is spreadable.  Mix in two more tablespoons of heavy cream if you want your ganache thinner and almost pourable.

IMG_0962

6. Place a dollop of chocolate ganache on top of a donut. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth it out.

IMG_0978

IMG_0967

7.  Serve immediately and ENJOY!

IMG_0968

♬ ♫ ♪ ♩ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬   Ta daaa!!   ♬ ♫ ♪ ♩ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬

IMG_0971

Yummm!!!  Are you drooling yet???

IMG_0976

Go on…take another bite!

IMG_0972

These are absolutely DELICIOUS!    What are you waiting for…go out and buy the ingredients and fry up a batch of these fabulous FRIED BOSTON CREAM PIE DONUTS!  🙂

IMG_0973

 

 

Lasagne al Forno

I first made this lasagne years ago, when I lived in Germany (yes, Germany, not Italy).  There was this small family run Italian restaurant in the little German town we lived in.  Aside from the restaurants and cafés in Italy, that little Italian restaurant in Germany is the best I’ve ever been to.  It’s been over 15 years since I’ve been there, yet I have not yet found any Italian restaurant to compare to that one in Germany.

This recipe is my take on one of my favorite dishes served there.  The blend of the tomato and bechamel sauces take this pasta dish to a whole new level.  Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.  🙂 

LASAGNE AL FORNO

IMG_1045 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 box no-bake lasagne noodles (have a 2nd box on hand in case you use a large pan)
  • Meat sauce (see below)
  • Bechamel sauce (see below)
  • 1 bag (1 pound) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan-Romano cheese blend

Lasagne al Forno ingredients

Meat Sauce:
    • 1 pound mild Italian sausage
    • 1 pound lean ground beef (you can omit this if you want your sauce less meaty)
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • 2 tablespoons Dashida beef flavored seasoning
    • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
    • 6 leaves fresh basil, chopped into small pieces
    • Black pepper, to taste
    • 2 29-ounce cans tomato sauce
Directions to make the Meat Sauce:

1.  Brown the sausage and ground beef.  Drain any excess fat and liquid.

IMG_0982

 2.  After the meat has browned, add the Dashida, onions, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and basil.

IMG_0983

IMG_0987

3.  Cook until the onions are translucent. 

IMG_0991

4.  Add the tomato sauce to the ground meat mixture.  Stir to combine.  Simmer for 5 minutes then turn off the heat.  Set aside.

IMG_0995

IMG_1002

 
Bechamel Sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 5-ounce bag grated Parmesan cheese
Directions to make the Bechamel Sauce:

1. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter.

IMG_0988

2.  Add the flour (all at once) to the melted butter.

IMG_0998

3.  Use a whisk to mix the flour and butter together.  Cook over medium low heat for about 2-3 minutes.  Whisk constantly to prevent burning.

IMG_1003

4. Slowly whisk in the milk and cream.  Whisk vigorously to ensure there are no lumps. 

IMG_1009

5.  Add the grated Parmesan cheese to the milk mixture.  Turn the heat up to medium high. Continue whisking; cook until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens.

IMG_1020

You know the sauce is thick enough when you dip a spoon into it, run your finger down the spoon, and you leave a line down the spoon that doesn’t disappear with runny sauce.

IMG_1024

6.  Add the grated nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.  Turn the heat off and set the sauce aside.  NOTE:  This sauce is EXCELLENT for fettuccine alfredo.  🙂

IMG_1023 

 

Assemble the Lasagne al Forno:

1. Using a large lasagne pan, or a deep dish baking/roasting pan, spread a thin layer of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan.

IMG_1021

2.  Add a layer of noodles.  Don’t worry about filling in the spaces with noodles; these no-cook noodles will expand during the baking process.

IMG_1022

3.  Pour some bechamel sauce over the noodles, just enough to cover the noodles.

IMG_1027

4.  Sprinkle shredded and grated cheese over the bechamel sauce.  Top with another layer of noodles.

IMG_1028

5.  Repeat the layering process — meat sauce, noodles, bechamel sauce, cheese, noodles — until you’ve used up all of your sauce and/or noodles.  The last layer (on top) should be bechamel sauce topped with cheese.

IMG_1033

6.  Heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Place the pan of lasagne on top of a large baking sheet.  Cover the pan of lasagne with aluminum foil.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. 

IMG_1038

IMG_1039

7.  After 25 minutes, remove the aluminum foil.  Turn the oven to Broil — continue to bake the lasagne for 5 more minutes to brown the cheese on top.

IMG_1044

8.  Once the cheese has browned, remove the pan from the oven.  Before serving, let the lasagne sit for at least 15 minutes (don’t worry, it will still be hot) to allow the sauces to set.  If you serve immediately after removing the lasagne from the oven, the sauces will run all over the place (it will still taste delicious, but your presentation won’t be as “pretty”).  Serve with your favorite crusty bread and ENJOY!  🙂

IMG_1045

 

 

« Older Entries Recent Entries »