Filipino Garlic Fried Rice with Vinegar Sauce (Sinangag-Style)

First off, this is not an authentic Sinangag. When I discovered this fried rice dish, I also discovered that every household in the Philippines has its own spin on the traditional breakfast dish. Some use garlic and rice only. Some add soy sauce.

Many serve the vinegar sauce on the side only. As I played with variations on the recipe, I felt the rice needed a bit liquid while stir frying. I hit upon this approach after misreading a recipe in Saveur (http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/filipino-garlic-fried-rice-with-vinegar-sauce-sinangag). Adding the sauce to the stir fried rice mellows the vinegar and garlic a bit, while incorporating heat from the red chile flakes.

If you prefer, omit the sauce while stir frying. You’ll still need a good amount of garlic, remembering to reserve some for a crunch topping. It will be delicious either way.

Wilted Kale Salad with Vinaigrette and Preserved Lemons

I love kale. Of course, I love all leafy greens…give me chard, and I’m yours for life! I have a friend who makes an amazing kale salad with a pucker-your-mouth lemon vinaigrette. You know the dressing is intense when I think the amount of lemon is just, exactly, perfectly right.

Her salad inspired mine. I wilted the kale so it wasn’t so tough. Then I made a light vinaigrette to complement the kale. Finally, because lemon and kale are perfect together, I added a bit of preserved lemon. The salty, lemony flavor makes this dish!

Chicken Vindaloo

Vindaloo is a tangy, spicy curry with origins in Portugal — the vin in vindaloo stands for “vinha de alhos”, or wine vinegar. The spiciness comes from a mix of warm spices such as cumin and coriander, as supplemented by a bit of cayenne. My husband would probably eat this dish every day if he could.

If you have time, marinate your chicken — or lamb, beef, pork — in some of the curry paste before cooking. If not, no worries. I prefer chicken thighs over chicken breasts because they carry more flavor. If have breasts on hand, they’re a fine choice.

As with most curries, this recipe is naturally gluten free. The list of ingredients is long, but don’t let that daunt you. The whole thing comes together very quickly!

Cooking with Vinegar

Via a link in my Twitter feed, I read a blog post that indicated rice vinegar is not gluten-free. This statement gave me pause because, by definition, rice vinegar is absolutely gluten-free. The author of the post was trying to figure out why her son became sick after eating sushi, and she used bad research to determine rice vinegar has gluten.

The culprit was almost certainly not the rice vinegar in the sushi rice (it was more likely the wheat in the fake crab meat). As I researched this issue — thinking maybe I was crazy — I saw there was a lot of confusion about vinegar. This makes me sad as vinegar is a fantastic ingredient to add to your gluten-free kitchen. Continue reading “Cooking with Vinegar”

Grilled Romaine Halves with Caesar Dressing

During the summer, it’s natural to throw everything on the grill, and salads are no exception. Sure, you can do fantastic grilled veggie salads tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette. Or you can impress your guests with this unexpected grilled Romaine salad.

Just brush the cut halves of Romaine heads with a bit of olive oil (I have a lemon-flavored oil I use for this) and grill for a few minutes on each side while your meat is resting.

The traditional Caesar dressing can be made in the blender or food processor (or by hand if you’re feeling energetic). Don’t skip the anchovies — they add incredible flavor and nobody (but you) will know they’re there.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try this with Iceberg lettuce to make a very different kind of wedge salad.

Chicken Adobo

This classic Filipino dish is also a classic chicken dish: chicken, vinegar, rice (and a few other things). A friend who detests vinegar makes an exception for chicken adobo — it reminds him of home.

Traditionally, this recipe is made with bone-in chicken, but I will confess that I’ve used boneless chicken breasts or thighs. This has the effect of making the sauce less rich — the effect of cutting the bone-in chicken into smaller pieces is the release of marrow, the stuff that makes this dish more delicious.

The large amount of vinegar in this recipe creates a tangy sauce. Adjust as necessary (remembering that it’s the vinegar that makes this adobo!) or substitute a mellower vinegar for the white vinegar. Cooking reduces the harsh edges of vinegar, just leaving the tanginess.

Chicken with Vinegar Sauce

I love chicken. I love vinegar. I love chicken and vinegar together. I love it so much that when I cleaned out my recipe clippings a few weeks ago, I had, in addition to my own recipe, three others from various publications. Clearly I’m not alone in my love of this flavor combination.

This meal packs a lot of flavor and adds a note of elegance to a weeknight or weekend meal. Make sure you plan for leftovers!

As with all my recipes, adjust the proportions to suit your needs, but you probably won’t need to increase the amount of vinegar — one cup is the maximum you’ll need for most meals. And the chicken stock and heavy cream are about right as well…unless you are feeding a small crowd.

If you love garlic (and who doesn’t?), the cloves come out of the pot soft and a bit pickled, so don’t be afraid to add some extra.