My mom is one of the best cooks I know. I've eaten at some amazing places, and her food and skills can compete with the best of them. In the states, I have not found a single Filipino restaurant that makes food better than my mom's...actually, I can say the same for restaurants in the Philippines. I know that the few of my friends that have tried her Adobo or Foods for the Gods (Date Bars) or whatever else can attest this.
The joy of eating is not just in the food, but it's also in the atmosphere of where you eat. For as long as I can remember, my mom has made sure we have a proper table setting and centerpiece. We got the olive branches and rosemary twigs straight from our backyard.
This is my all time favorite dish. It's basically an oxtail stew with peanut sauce. Over the years my mom has developed the recipe to be healthy and the best.
Browning the Oxtail and Shortribs
This brings out the taste of the meat and the sauce. The oxtail is generous with meat and taste, and the shortrib is marbled so well.
Mmm, the yummy beef broth is coming together!
My mom's homemade shrimp paste sauce. It's nice and chunky and not overly salty like so many others.
This is a typical side for Kare Kare. I like eating the green mango with the bagoong. The tartness of the fruit pairs nicely with the saltiness of the sauce.
And here it is again - adobo! The dish is so perfectly browned, cooked, and baked every time.
We found this Filipino grocery in Vegas and couldn't resist getting this pork belly cut for the Adobo.
Look at that beautiful color. The sauce of the Adobo was nicely infused in the meat.
Fish sauce. The salty sauce cuts through the vinegar taste of the Adobo.
The freshness of this salsa contrasts the Adobo so well.
Homemade atsara (pronouced ah-cha-ra) - pickled radish and carrots.
Noodles with vegetables. This can also be eaten with patis and lime.
Crab cooked in garlic and its own fat. I loove this dish! It's a recipe of my grandfather's. If you try this dish at home, always get the female crab. She has more fat.
Even though we stuffed from the amazing main courses, we always have room for my mom's dessert. She's the best cook, and better than the best baker.
Coffee Crunch Cake
This is one of my mom's specialties. A light fluffy chiffon cake, with homemade whipped cream and homemade crunch. The crunch is an amazing honeycomb candy that's so airy and crispy.
The Wet Ingredients
The Dry Ingredients
Cooling and Resting the Cake
The Finished Product
Look at how professional and beautiful it is! And, it tastes even better than it looks.
Another one of my mom's specialties. The caramel sauce has a deep burnt taste that is so deliciously intense, and the flan is so light and creamy.
Making the Sauce
Coating the Pan with the Sauce
Cooling and Resting
The Finished Product
Look at that glaze and that color! There really is no other flan that can best this.
The best part about a dinner like this is the leftovers for the following days. The amazing eating experience lasts for another few days! And then the salad and fruit days follow suit....