Potlucks – Philippino style!

So, today is the center of holidays. For Jews, we’re smack in the center of Sukkot, a holiday season where you’re REQUIRED to be happy! For Americans, today is Columbus Day! For Canadians, today is Thanksgiving! So, with all these holidays today, what to cook? Well, I have been thinking about it, and pondering how most temples have potlucks this time of year for Sukkot (To fulfill the ‘eating in the sukkot’ requirement.). As such, I think I’m going to share a few dishes the wife and I like to make for potlucks.

I’m going to start with Adobo, as it’s garlicy chicken goodness direct from the Philippines. Now, Adobo means, quite literally, ‘Black Dog’. The reason that’s given is that Adobo, when cooked right, has a blackish color from the soy sauce. In reality, in the islands this dish originated, it was made originally FROM small black dogs. In fact, a friend of mine, as a child, had a black dog she named Adobo as a joke. Her uncle, upon coming over, saw the dog and found out its name. That night… Well, suffice to say she’s always had a stuffed black dog plush ever since in memory of little Adobo…

But Adobo the dish nowadays is made from chicken, and has two different varieties: wet and dry. I prefer wet, so that’s what you get! We first need a BIG cast iron skillet, ’cause this dish makes a LOT! First off you need to take 2-4 Cloves of Garlic; Crushed and 1 sweet onion, sliced. We saute this in the skillet in about 1 Tablespoon oil. (You can use peanut oil or olive oil for this, but I like using my fire oil to give it a kick!) once the onions and garlic are golden, toss in 2 pounds Boneless Chicken Breasts, cut up. (Now, for traditional Adobo, the pieces don’t have to be pretty. Just chop it up as you see fit, and go with it. Some claim it HAS to be cubed, though, so just go with what you feel best.)

Now, as the chicken turns white, we want to add the following into the skillet: 1 Cup Water, 2 Cups Soy Sauce, & 2 Cups Red Wine Vinegar. When all the liquids are into the skillet, stir and make sure ALL the chicken is covered by the liquid. Now just cover and simmer over low heat for about 40-45 minutes. When done, serve over rice and enjoy! This recipe is up for lots of customizing. I like using lamb at times, or even tofu for vegan friends! I also up the garlic to 6-8 cloves for my personal dishes, when I cook this. Also, the so sauce can be reduced don to 1 cup with 2 cups of water, if you worry about sodium intake. Just play around, and you can customize it rather easily to your tastes!

Next up, we’ll stay with the Philippines to Poncit. This side dish was made to fill up a LOT of people for VERY little cash. I’m assuming this is for Dairy potlucks, so we’ll go with that. First off, you need a BIG Wok. This is for a large group, so we need something that’ll cook for a LARGE group. If your wok isn’t big enough, I suggest the largest skillet or pot you have. But, in the end, you need a LOT of space for this.

We start with 4 Garlic cloves, minced and saute them in 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil. As they turn golden, we next want to add the following to the mix: 2 Onions, Diced, 2 Cups Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP for short), 2 Carrots, sliced into thin shavings, 1 Large Cabbage, Shredded Finely, and 1/8 Cup Soy Sauce. Stir fry in the cooking instrument for about 2-3 minutes, and then add in 1/8 Cup Vegetable Broth and 5-6 stalks Celery, sliced into 1/16 in. Slices. Bring the whole dish to a simmer over low heat.

Once at a simmer, add 1 pd. Rice or wheat noodles and a pinch of Kosher Salt. If you want, you can also do a 50/50 mix of the two, or use your favorite gluten-free noodles, if desired. Cook over low heat until the veggies are cooked AND the noodles are soft, then throw the whole side dish into a large serving dish. As a final touch, top with lemon rings and diced green onions and serve. This dish goes well at any gathering, and the TVP can be replaced with beef, lamb, or any other kosher meat as you wish. I like even using steak strips, sometimes, to give it a nice flavor.

So I hope this gives you some ideas on carrying on this path. Keep it inexpensive, tasty, and enough for all! Now excuse me as I start planning Eggplant Parmesan for my OWN potluck I’ll be attending for the temple! So, until next week, Shalom and Good Cooking!

October 9, 2006. Gluten-Free, main courses, recipes, side dishes.

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