Embutido (Filipino-Style Meatloaf)
Embutido is a type of meatloaf that is prepared the Filipino way. Although it is a well-known holiday dish, Embutido can easily be enjoyed every day. Embutido is made with ground pork and packed with sliced ham, hard-boiled eggs, or other sausages. Although it can also be baked, traditionally, it is wrapped in foil and steam-cooked.
The Spanish term for sausage, Embutido, was the source of the dish’s original name in the Philippines. In the Philippines, dried sausages are now generally referred to as Longganisa or Chorizo, and meatloaf is referred to as Embutido.
The American meatloaf, which was introduced to the Philippines during the American colonial era, is the dish’s original source (1898–1946). This was brought on by the growth of the American canning industry and the influx of canned products and processed meat to the islands. Filipino families adapted canned goods into a variety of cuisines during the time when they were still a new thing.
How to make Embutido
It used to be common practice to begin assembling an Embutido by laying down a layer of caul fat, the web-like fatty lining that surrounds organs in animals like cows, pigs, and sheep (known as Sinsal in Filipino). Nowadays, it’s more typical to see preparations using aluminum foil or banana leaves used as the outside wrapping layer.
Whichever one you choose, fill it with ground pork mixed with finely chopped veggies, sweet relish, and raisins, then load it with hard-boiled eggs, Vienna sausage, or hot dogs, and roll it all up into a log. After being rolled and wrapped, the Embutido is steamed, allowed to cool, and then cut into pieces that can be eaten cold, warm, or even fried.
Embutido can be made in a variety of ways, just like meatloaf. When I was a child, Embutido was served cold, steamed, and contained raisins. Instead of raisins and relish, I added sautéed bell pepper for sweetness, shredded cheddar cheese for smoothness, and Chinese sausage for its salty-sweet flavor, which I think complements the other ingredients in Embutido.
Embutido is typically sliced; it can be done so when hot, but it is more common to chill it so that it won’t fall apart while being cut. You can store it by freezing it. Embutido is typically eaten with white rice and dipped in banana ketchup, sweet chili sauce, or another sweet sauce.
In contrast to American meatloaf, Embutido is often steamed, however it can also be baked.
For this recipe, both were tested. Although steaming results in a smoother, more uniform texture, I liked the baked Embutido’s richer caramelized taste and lighter texture.
Easy Recipe for Fried Rice
The best way to make use of your leftover rice is to make fried rice. Numerous variations exist for fried rice. In China, it’s often prepared with sparse quantities of meat and aromatics, salt, and sometimes a little soy sauce or another sauce. Larger pork pieces and a lot more sauce are used when making it in the Chinese-American manner. For the time being, I’m interested in the Chinese style of fried rice preparation because it is what I primarily ate growing up.
Fried rice is pretty easy to make but there are some rules to follow if you want to make the perfect fried rice. I will be walking you through these rules.
Rule #1: Use the right type of rice
The key to the ideal fried rice is texture. I wanted rice with distinct grains, each with a soft taste and a little crunchy fried outside. I desired grains that were distinct from one another so that you could taste and enjoy their textures, while still being sticky enough to let you pick up little clumps with a spoon or a set of chopsticks. I made different batches of fried rice using Chinese-style medium-grain rice, short-grain sushi rice, and Jasmine rice. I also tried using long-grain variations (basmati and Riceland extra-long-grain rice) and also parboiled rice (Arroz parboiled rice).
The medium-grain rice had the ideal combination of stickiness (for ease of chewing) and distinct grains (for superior texture).
The short-grain rice is typically stickier than medium-grain rice. It was a bit challenging stir-frying without it sticking together, but the finished product had a perfect chewy texture.
Long-grain rice varieties proved to be the most challenging since they were less plump and came apart slightly when stir-frying, which is what gives fried rice its distinctive chewy-tender feel.
Rule #2 If you can, plan ahead
There is this theory I always hear about “if you want to make the perfect fried rice, use rice prepared a day before. You’d get a mushy dish if you use fresh rice”. Could this be true? If it is true, then why?
Two things happen to cooked rice as it sits: first, it gets drier then secondly the rice firms up and becomes less sticky because the gelatinized starches that have swelled and softened during the cooking process become recrystallized.
Knowing this do I go for dry or stale rice? I put up batches of rice under a table fan at room temperature to test for dryness in the hopes that it would dry out quickly and prevent it from going bad. I kept batches of rice in the refrigerator firmly covered on plates for periods ranging from 30 minutes to 12 hours to test for staleness. This allowed the starches to recrystallize without drying out. I also kept rice in poorly sealed takeaway containers. These batches would most likely get dry and stale over time. From my test I came to the following conclusions:
Rule #3: Rinse the rice properly
Because rice clumps as a result of too much starch, it is important to properly wash the uncooked rice with cold water. No one likes their fried rice clumpy.
Rule #4 Break up the rice
Before adding the rice to the pan, separate any rice that has begun to clump or get stale. By doing this, you can be certain that the rice will separate into individual grains without breaking or becoming crushed.
Rule #5 Use a wok
Even while woks were not intended to be used on gas ranges with rings of burners in the Western manner, they are still far better containers for stir-frying than a skillet or saucepan. A wok not only offers several heat zones (enabling you to move ingredients away from the centre when adding fresh ones), but it also makes tossing and turning simple. This is crucial to do to get “wok hei”, the smokey taste that results from the oil vaporising and burning when the rice is tossed in the air.
Rule #6 Keep the pan hot
I’ve never gotten the skillet hot enough or cooked too much rice at once, which are my two worst faults when making fried rice.
When making fried rice, the process is very similar to that of, say, searing beef chunks for a beef stew: you want to make sure that the pan is extremely hot before adding the rice so that the exterior can brown and develop some texture before the rice releases too much internal moisture and ends up steaming rather than frying.
Rule #7 Be minimal with the addition of extra ingredients
You are making a dish of fried rice. Just as the name implies, the spotlight should be on the rice and not the sauce. All of the add-ins should be taste enhancers rather than the main attraction.
Rule #8 Apply the sauce sparingly
Some fried rice recipes call for huge quantities of soy sauce, oyster sauce, or hoisin sauce. I’ve never really understood this. Why take the time to make sure your rice grains are dry and distinct if you’re just going to go back and cover them all with more sauce?
You don’t need a lot of sauce if you’re utilizing decent technique and premium rice.
Rule #9 Use fresh “greens”
You can’t say you’ve made a dish of fried rice if you don’t toss in green elements before serving it. This can be anything from cilantro, basil, mint, green peas or even carrots.
Rule #10 Stir well
The final step involves giving everything a good stir. By the end every gain should stand as a single entity and each spoonful should have an equitable distribution of all of the mix-ins.
Choux au Craquelin Recipe
Choux au craquelin is a sweet dish prepared with choux pastry and topped with a craquelin, a thin cookie disc. Like pie or short-crust pastry, craquelin is created using a combination of butter, sugar, and flour. As opposed to traditional choux pastry buns, craquelin gives the cream puff a coating of sweetness and makes it deliciously crispy.
A delicious, crunchy, crackly crust forms on top of the cookie disc (craquelin) as it bakes, encasing the cream puff’s top as the choux pastry bakes and expands.
Making Choux au Craquelin is not difficult, challenging or time-consuming. But, one common question I often get is “What kind of sugar works best for craquelin?” Well, I evaluated three types of sugar—granulated, light brown and dark brown for making craquelin.
I discovered that the granulated sugar gave the craquelin a gritty consistency with little taste depth, whilst heavy brown sugar’s robust molasses flavours overpowered the delicate choux. We discovered that light brown sugar was the finest option since it gave the baked choux a beautiful copper colour and a delicious caramel flavour.
How to make the Craquelin
The craquelin itself is simple to make; simply combine melted butter, light brown sugar, and flour in a bowl until smooth. Add salt and continue beating until a dough forms (this can also be done in a stand mixer). The dough is then chilled before being rolled out between sheets of parchment paper and cut into circles. The dough is forgiving, so you can immediately put the craquelin back in the freezer for a few minutes to allow it to firm up if it gets too soft to manage while you’re stamping out rounds. Even the remaining pieces can be collected, re-rolled, and cut into fresh rounds to be saved for a later batch.
How to make the Choux dough and filling
I prefer using water for the choux dough base; no milk or sugar is needed because the craquelin gives the choux all the colour development, crispness, and sweetness it needs. Aim for a two-inch broad foundation while pipping the choux (you can draw circles on your parchment if that helps; see instructions for that in the note below). Gently top each choux with a circle of craquelin once they have all been piped.
When the choux au craquelin are baked and cooled, you may eat them plain (they make a nice afternoon snack) or fill them with rich pastry cream, airy whipped cream, or velvety crème légère to make a fantastic dessert.
Choux au craquelin can be filled in two different ways: “piped-in” and “sandwich.” The piping method entails forming a little hole in the bottom of each choux, filling it with pastry cream or crème légère, and then sealing the hole. For the sandwiched version, use a serrated knife to cut each choux in half, pipe the filling onto the bottom half, and then top off the “sandwich” with the top half. You have a choice, and both are great ones (we’ve included steps below for whatever you choose).
For the Craquelin crust
For the Choux dough